Reviewed by Subba-Culcha
Ever since Drum & Bass became a sad, fudged, chart friendly version of its former self, bass heads have been searching for a new poison. True grit was required, along with pounding bass and enough attitude to please the skeptics. Then Dubstep came along. Armed with its cheeky offspring, Grime, the Dubstep formula is simple. Take the essence of Jamaican dub rhythms, jam in an electronic box of tricks and then latch on bass-lines forged in the fires of hell, or Hackney, or Manchester, or wherever really. Dubstep gets confused with numerous other trademarks around these days, but it was always slower and more brooding than garage and much, much slower and less abrasive than raggacore. Mike Paradinas’ sharp imprint Planet Mu latched onto this rich musical vein a long time ago. Artists such as Vex’d and Boxcutter have consistently been crunching speakers up and down the country. When Manchester’s MRX1 (formally Mark One, but not the discount women’s clothing store) dropped One Way, the name was established on the dubstep map. Now, follow up album Copyright Laws, continues the good work but unfortunately brings few new surprises.
Slope opens with that slow step, menacing crunch of a beat along with echoing samples and then in comkes that trademark rough, rumbling bass. Slow dub claps ring out as the bass mashes and stamps out the rhythmic undulations of the melody. Heavy. Then Caveman Boogie feels a tad light in comparison. The Indian strings and light humming bass are nice ideas but they fall a tad flat on the ear. Dubstep mostly works when the nastiness is cranked to the limit. Ruler walks with a purpose, the grinding bass punches and parries as electronic shards cascade as broken glass as the tunes envelops the listener. Then, The Underworld has the gruffest bass on the album. Ranging as a jackhammer in your ears, the beat crashes and grizzles with intent. MRK1 packs in the reggae samples on this record, and largely they are well placed. Sensi Skank layers a wandering dub and Stardust closes the album in a punctured, ponderous dubstep rhythm. I Got Too featuring Sizzla feels pretty contrived though and Dr Rudeboy is just slowed down D&B, and nobody wants that. Overall, this is a solid, well built album with a few low points, but well worth checking out for all you bass heads out there.
- Rudi Zygadlo - Great Western Laymen
- FaltyDL - Endeavour
- Ikonika - Dckhdbtch
- FaltyDL - Phreqaflex
- DJ Nate - Hatas Our Motivation
- Oriol - Night And Day
- Vex'd - Cloud Seed
- Terror Danjah - Power Grid E.P.
- Oriol - Coconut Coast
- Ital Tek - Moment In Blue E.P.
- Rossi B & Luca (feat. Killa P.) - E10 Riddim
- Starkey - Ear Drums And Black Holes
- The Internal Tulips - Mislead Into A Field By A Deformed Deer
- Starkey - Stars (feat. Anneka)
- Slugabed - Ultra Heat Treated E.P.
- Venetian Snares - Horsey Noises
- FaltyDL - Love Is A Liability
- Luke Vibert - We Hear You
- Boxcutter - Arecibo Message
- Shitmat - One Foot In The Rave
- Terror Danjah - Industry Standard Part 4
- Terror Danjah - Gremlinz (The Instrumentals 2003-2009)
- Burnkane - You Know
- Subeena Ft. Jamie Woon & Om'Mas Keith - Solidify