Vex'd Cloud Seed
‘Cloud Seed’ captures the dark, cinematic drama that defines the first golden era of Dubstep, circa 2006/2007. It has all the trimmings: Urban angst, techno noir, an overwhelming sense of melancholy and metallic jackhammer rhythms to shield you off from the outside.
Vex’d did much to popularise the original Dubstep sound with their debut album ‘Degenerate’ back in 2005. Riding on a wave of critical acclaim and supported by a fast growing scene, the duo of Jamie Teasdale and Roly Porter went back to the studio in 2006 to work on the much anticipated follow-up. Only, the second album never materialised and Vex’d split up quietly with both Teasdale and Porter going their own ways.
What happened? Teasdale, aka Jamie Vex’d, claims he and his partner fell victim to outside circumstances. ‘We had moved away from each other, to different cities in different countries. We wanted to keep writing together, but geography and work made it too hard.’
Nevertheless, Vex’d had racked up a few tracks which could pass as pretty much complete and their label Planet Mu stepped in to save this material for Dubstep and Electronica fans. Vex’d ruled out any touching up of the tracks in favour of a true snapshot of the early heydays of the Dubstep scene. ‘To change them would be to try to rewrite the moment we were in at that time,’ says Teasdale.
With electronic music moving on as fast as it does, ‘Cloud Seed’ is a clear anachronism. While today’s scene is dominated by baroque keyboard touches and heavily syncopated rhythms, ‘Cloud Seed’ is an exercise in angular, metallic soundscapes. ‘Cloud Seed’ is abstraction in a sea of organic impressionism. Or it just sounds sooo 2006/07, if you like. Have we really moved on that far in a few years? The answer is ‘yes’ and Teasdale himself is out there recording at the front of the new wave as Kuedo. Compare Kuedo’s brand new ‘Dream Sequence’ EP with ‘Cloud Seed’ and you will see that Jamie hasn’t rested on his Vex’d laurels.
If you don’t mind delving back into the past, ‘Cloud Seed’ makes a decent long lost companion piece to Burial’s classic debut ‘To The Boroughs’. Due to the unfinished nature of the material it is difficult to say whether ‘Cloud Seed’ could ever have matched the elegance of ‘Boroughs’ but Vex’d pin down that particular urban noir sound like few have done since.
On top of the ten lost Vex’d tracks, ‘Cloud Seed’ features four long out of print Vex’d remixes from that period. The re-rub of Russian classical composer Prokofiev’s ‘String Quartet No.2′ withstood the passing of time rather well and so did the Vex’d mix of Plaid’s ‘Bar Kimura’. Despite the mix and match compilation of tracks, ‘Cloud Seed’ succeeds in sounding like an album done with a purpose. Respect to the quality of the material left behind by Vex’d, which leaves the usual odds-and-sods studio outtakes compilations far behind.
- 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