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.
- Darqwan - M/a...ximum Reespek
- iTAL tEK - Blood Line
- Ceephax - Megalift E.P.
- The Doubtful Guest - Electrobotz
- Milanese - Extend
- Pinch - Punisher
- Mary Anne Hobbs - Warrior Dubz
- Tim Exile - Tim Exile's Nuisance Gabbaret Lounge
- Venetian Snares - Cavalcade Of Glee And Dadaist Happy Hardcore Pom Poms
- Boxcutter - Oneiric
- Boxcutter - Tauhid
- Uniform - Protocol
- Shitmat & Friends - Gary's Gruesome Remixes
- Guilty Connector - Beats, Noise & Life
- The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble - The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble
- Venetian Snares - Hospitality
- The Gasman - This One's For You
- Breakage - Drowning
- Equinox - Acid Rain V.I.P.
- Pinch - Qawwali
- Virus Syndicate - Ready To Learn
- Virus Syndicate - Ready To Learn Remix
- Vex'd - Bombardment Of Saturn
- µ-Ziq - Ease Up