• Boxcutter - Glyphic

    Reviewed by The Wire

    <b> Boxcutter </b> - Glyphic

    Based in his native Northern Ireland, Boxctter's interventions in the dubstep scene come from way outside its normal geographic borders of South London plus East London's Plastic People club. On Glyphic, you can feel how being free of those boundaries helps keep boxcutter outside the limitation's of the scenes conventions. Listening to, say, Planet Mu's forthcoming Ten Tons Heavy compilation of its own dubtep releases, you can admire the intense focus of the musical conversation being caarried on by the participants, but that focus becomes fatiguing, as similar whipsmart snares and growling bass filters conjure the same cold-eyed stare on so many tracks.
    Glyphic is like a burst of strange light breaking into the empty spaces of the dubstep sound. The title track itself stretches the form out into a fascinating drift of Aphex Twin-style Ambient harmony and scraps of free sax, and 'Windfall' picks up on this, with flute skittering over a massive dub bassline. The whole album could have been conceived as a straight finger to purists, with dubstep disappearing altogether as the set progresses. 'Bloscid' has more in common with Aphex side project The Tuss, 'Foxy' with Wookie's shuffling two-step, while 'Rusty Break' drops some classically explosive jungl percussion. But what's most characteristic about Glyphic is its dreamy recoding of dubstep's distinctly urban accents into a kind of near-pastoral, with Selected Ambient Works-style textures drifting through track after track.

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