Tom Ford's Punch Drunk label wasn't Bristol's first big dubstep imprint—that honor goes to Rob "Pinch" Ellis' Tectonic Records, established in 2005 to release material by Moving Ninja, Loefah, and Random Trio—but the label's commitment to broad musical diversity has unquestionably impacted dubstep's demeanor. Read more »
Mala and Coki, better known as Digital Mystikz, are dubstep OGs. Considering how much that word and that scene have gone through since DM's first release in 2004, it's surprising that their music still hits as hard as it does. Their sound could be a textbook definition of the genre, yet it's hard to call it conservative—even if they're still using the same terrifying dentist-drill synth sound.
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Seven years after his LP, Make Your Peace, paved the way for what the whole world now calls dubstep, Maddslinky is back. In fact, he never actually went away, but the recent popularity of music inspired by his early work has brought the man also known as Zed Bias back to everyone's attention. Read more »
There's a special rush one gets driving down the freeway en route to a club or concert on a Saturday night. White and red brake lights blink and glow in traffic, wind rushes by, and fluorescently lit buildings create a halo above the city. You arrive at the spot energized and ready to plunge into music. Oriol Singhji's debut for Planet Mu, Night and Day, takes you on that journey from twilight through sunrise on an album well suited for automobile excursions. Read more »
Kode9's relationship with dubstep has always been an uneasy one, but with this latest DJ-Kicks installment, his avoidance of the genre is as much a political statement as it is an issue of taste. Only three tracks in the mix even somewhat resemble the one-drop cliché the genre has settled into: Ikonika's "Heston," Digital Mystikz's "Mountain Dread March," and The Bug's "Run"—and even those seem like brilliantly fringe elements compared to the cartoonish wobble most often heard in the trenches.
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For all the talk in 2009 about Bristol's next generation of dubstep producers—largely centered around the hip-hop- and G-funk-influenced "Purple Trinity" of Joker, Gemmy, and Guido—it's almost shocking how quickly the bass music landscape has changed. Read more »
If the band-name pun doesn't tip you off as to Jahcoozi's, um, energy, singer Sasha Perera will not leave you in the dark for long. "Skankin barefoot be a global movement," she coos on "Barefoot Dub," Barefoot Wanderer's first track, "gotta find a place for a barefoot temple." You won't need the remaining 10 tracks to figure out that this temple's location is not far from Black Rock City. Read more »
For all the ink devoted to the rise and seemingly endless mutations of UK funky, the genre is notably devoid of full-length albums. Granted, the lightning-quick pace of London bass music doesn't exactly lend itself to thoughtful, drawn-out masterworks, but other than Geeneus' tone-setting 2008 LP, Volumes: One, there has been a parade of virtually nothing but singles and EPs, even from the biggest names in the scene. One of those names has undoubtedly been Roska (a.k.a. Wayne Goodlitt), whose steady stream of drum-heavy production, not to mention his ubiquitous "Roska Roska Roska" drop, bridged the gap between bottle-service clubs and the underground and played a huge role in putting funky on the map. Read more »
Among the myriad skills Paul Rose (a.k.a. Scuba) possesses is putting his projects in a right, tight context before the music even begins. Triangulation, his second album of original productions, is a largely seamless distillation of regional dance vibes found in the Berlin, Detroit, and London power centers. If it were mere formula, or history lesson, it would have less impact. Read more »
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