Reviewed by killeye (inthemix.com.au)
Mary Anne Hobbs’ biography reads like a music journo’s dream career. She’s worked powerhouse UK publications such as NME and Loaded. She’s also worked behind the mic with XFM (in trial broadcasts) and eventually wound up on BBC’s Radio 1, presenting her ‘experimental show,’ with the following ethos, “My mission remains exactly the same… to bring the finest dark experimental electronic music on earth to you.” Warrior Dubz, then, is a reflection of this mission. Featuring 15 tracks (unmixed) from a variety of artists, this compilation is a fantastic taste of dubstep, grime, drum and bass and breaks.
Whilst this is a collection featuring a number of different artists, the overriding focus is ‘dark’ sounds, and if you’ve not listened to much of this music, you’re going to be after this! Milanes vs Virus Syndicate’s ‘Deadman Walking,’ kicks things off, a typically threatening track with effected vocals and an impatient beat. The tracks have been arranged well, there’s a good balance between the largely vocal and more experimental instrumental tunes. My favorite track is Amit’s ‘Too Many Freedoms.’ It’s one of those tunes that starts out subtly enough, you know it’s building to something and when it drops, it pulls you in, and stings with a typically deep vocal sample, “This world gives us too many choices, too many freedoms.”
While I did enjoy all of the tracks on this compilation, a couple really stood out to me, such as Digital Mystikz’s ‘Anti War Dub,’ a typically grimey, 2-step tune with a vocal that gets stuck in your head, “We don’t want to fight tonight.” Versus’ track ‘Burial’ is another, a track that’s all about the continuous momentum, breaking fleetingly with a very subtle vocal sample. Spor’s ‘Hydra’ is a challenging listen, full of industrial synthetic sounds that have been manipulated in a warped and twisted track that is far from your average dark drum and bass tune. Some of the more vocal tunes are still menacing, but have fun with rhymes and samples, for example ‘Give it To ‘Em’ (Terror Danjah feat Mz Bratt & Bruza) talks back to its own sample and the JME track ‘Pence’ is an interesting lesson in economics (thanks to Wiley).
One of the best things about CDs like this is that as a listener you are presented with a great starting point from which to investigate new artists and new sounds. Having not heard a lot of this genre, it’s certainly opened my ears, now I’m just off to check out some more Amit…
- Various - The Cosmic Forces Of Mu
- Venetian Snares - Defluxion
- Venetian Snares & Speedranch - Making Orange Things
- Joseph Nothing - Dummy Variations
- Hrvatski - Swarm & Dither
- Mu Allstars - Criminal
- Hellfish & Producer - Constant Mutation (Mixed)
- Leafcutter John - Microcontact
- Nicole Elmer - Beef Bouilion
- Tim Tetlow - Beauty Walks A Razor's Edge
- Phthalocyanine - 25 Tracks Fer 1 Track
- Leafcutter John - Concourse E.E.P.
- Luke Vibert - '95-'99
- Jega - Geometry
- Capitol K - Roadeater E.P.
- Kid Spatula - Full Sunken Breaks
- Jega & Kid Spatula - Unity Gain / Hard Love
- Capitol K - Sounds Of The Empire
- Slag Boom Van Loon - So Soon
- Tusken Raiders - The Motorbike Track
- Slag Boom Van Loon - Slag Boom Van Loon
- Jega - Spectrum
- Horse Opera - 3 Cornered Room
- Capitol K - Island Row