KAHN - Dread (Front Cover)
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MEDI 064
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While dubstep continues to splinter into its myriad variations, from toe-curling pop to ear-splitting bangers and everything in between, it's reassuring to find a continued stream of producers interested in exploring the original space the genre occupied, where the evolutionary path is a much slower one. Kahn represents a strong case on his debut for Deep Medi, which is by and large a classicist approach to dubstep (as you might well expect for Mala's imprint). In his previous outings he has tackled a staggering range from synth heavy steppers, refined and modernist garage, to raucous grime and rootsy digi-dub. The incendiary vocal lick that kicks off "Dread" rasps and spits with the grit of 80s dancehall, instantly recalling the addictively unsettling grunts and groans of ragga MCs on the earliest jungle tracks. With some considered vocal assistance from Rider Shafique, "Late Night Blues" comes on startlingly stripped-back, fuelled by a crisp beat and soothing sub bass rumble. The glacial chord swell and distant clangs only serve to cool things even further, and once again the delay gets opened up to fire the drums off into the ether. It's a pristine turn, eschewing fireworks and shifting dynamics for a slow and steady twist-out, building up the feedback but never letting it run away from itself.

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