Making music since 2000, London trio LV surfaced for public consumption in 2007 when
the group released "Globetrotting/Takeover (Dub)" on the then-emerging Hyperdub label.
More single releases soon followed on Hyperdub, 2nd Drop, Hemlock, and Soul Jazz that saw LV collaborating with various singers (Errol Bellot, Dandelion, Rubi Dan, Okmalumkoolkat) and producers (Quarta 330, Untold) in a broad range of styles spanning reggae, dancehall, UK funky, and South African roots music. It all comes under the umbrella of dubstep, though LV's Will Horrocks, Gervase Gordon, and Si Williams say the association is accidental.
Their debut LP, the cleverly named Routes, may not be the best place to start digging into this intriguing group's body of work. After all, the 10 tracks contained here find LV working with yet another vocalist, Joshua Idehen, and coming up with still another stylistic recombination. Then again, it might be the perfect place to begin the discovery.
"I Know" jumpstarts Routes with an infectious and bouncy 2-step riddim overdrive before giving way to the crunchier, slower, and dubbier "Tough." Both fall on the funkier side of the dubstep spectrum, as does the polyrhythmic "Northern Line," which is close to being a straight-up ragga track. Same goes for the high-skanking "Talk Talk," for that matter.
"Past Tense" borrows equally from UK garage drum programming and traditional African
percussion. Perhaps the LP's best track is the the hard-charging "Murkish Delights," which offers spoken word delivered atop a velvety roll of mighty bass vibrations.