Genuflection: to stoop down on at least one knee as a mark of the deepest respect. Interesting title, one can only assume this is B1t's personal bow to the great gods of the sub frequency. And he's done a good job; the depth of space at play here is mesmerising, often relating closer to classical dub techniques than dubstep. Melodic, emotional and weaved tightly with atmospheric textures; cuts like the embittered "Omega" and the bowel-shuddering D&B creeper "Finite" resonate with such mournful bottom end presence, you don't know whether to stop in your tracks and pray or dance your botty off. Throw in beautiful ambient melodies like "Watermelon Achroite" and you've got a really interesting album that works in myriad contexts.
Alias's Cyntel gets ridiculously deep and spacious on this Gradient debut. Stretching the concept of time and sonic space like few of his contemporaries would dare: moments such as a tripped out, super-sludge clicks and groans of "Song Of The Sandman" are truly unique and take modern day bass into the darkest, most abstract realms. For vibes a little more dancefloor-minded head for the soft swing and soothing jazz-pads of "Hypothermia" or the warped techno stabs and pitch bent washes off "Motiv8". Forward-thinking from start to finish, Cyntel has delivered something very special here.
Representing the creativity that's been rife in dubstep since the commercial bubble burst, Elefant Doc has cooked up a beautiful sound that tethers aspects of jazz and soul with stunning bass creativity. "Walkin'" confidently pumps with a cool organ riff and majestic melodic flurries, "Tonality" gets smokier with an infectious off-beat darkness and jazz-primed piano shots, "Street Sheet" is the most arresting of the set thanks to its vast space and emotional chord structure while "Fool Me" is the jazziest of the bunch thanks to its minor chords and infrequent trumpet blasts. Each one sits right at the forefront of a genre that's enjoying its first proper rebirth. Essential listening.
Foreign Feelings (feat Samantha Nova - original mix) - (3:14)
Lamplie (original mix) - (3:04) 147 BPM
Lost Nimb (feat Samantha Nova - original mix) - (3:06)
At Me (original mix) - (3:47)
Foreign Feelings (instrumental mix) - (3:12)
Lost Nimb (instrumental mix) - (3:14)
Portland future beat specialists Gradient present new artist Lamplie. With four originals and two instrumentals, he's repped himself well. We kick off with trembling delicacies of "Foreign Feelings". Woozy and wheezing like an early Portishead cut, Samantha Nova's vocals fall like feathers on your ears. Truly stunning. "Lamplie" takes us deeper into the musical mists with a light-skanked triphoppy flavour while "Lost Nimb" clicks and trips with a muffled, lolloping two-step and wonderfully enveloping breathy vocal textures. "At Me" completes the set with wonky beats and heavily processed horns and haunted organs. Icy, fractured and full of intricate details, each one of these cuts is special.
Love The Cook. Where the grub is grubby and the tucker is tight. Building on the momentum of "Critical" on Lutetia Dubz last month, here we find the duo exploring their creative potential even further. "Petroleum" lives up to its liquid connotations as the ever-growing drums slink with water-drop reverberations and the pad-heavy groove ebbs and flows like a mild incoming tide. Deeper again, "Crescendo" shows the duo on a much crisper, tech-minded flex as a springy synthetic riff springs around the dynamic with a subtle sense of unpredictability. With the low-end mirroring this riff as the track matures, there's a great sense of development throughout as the title suggests. Tuck in!
Marking his debut release for the Gradient Audio label, Time Difference marks out M.A.K.Z. as a producer with a singular take on dubstep that maintains a classic approach but takes it out of the shadows at the same time. "Aura" displays this perfectly, with its combination of unwinding beats and meandering, elastic melodies and eastern string plucks, while "Time Difference" positively explodes with lightning on the drop of every kick and snare and "Vitreous" combines jittery percussion and heavy dub textures alongside its growling undercurrent. Jafu rounds things off with his remix of the title track, adding more in the way of subbass to increase the pressure. Highly recommended.
Deep yearning, soul burning from Nativ's Mr Mist project, both "Breath" and "Gone Again" are deep, reflective sombre pieces tailored for cosy nights in, late nights and early mornings. Think Blake but darker and Sampha but less drippy. "Breath" pays homage to a special lady with heartfelt sentiments, while "Gone Again" is a much darker yarn where Misty almost sounds like a modern day Morrissey. This is no bad thing.