Dubspot Selections 005: Burial, BNJMN, Artifact, Pinch & Roska, Baobinga & Hyetal

[Burial - "Stolen Dog" from Street Halo 12" which comes out Monday, March 28th on Hyperdub]

It has been nearly four years since the last Burial full length on Hyperdub. Since then, dubstep has mutated and produced various dance music styles, gained worldwide recognition, and let’s admit it – the UK bass music genre has been completely flooded with a lot of stale imitations of Burial. The producer (whose real name is William Bevan) first surfaced around 2005 with South London Boroughs EP on Kode9′s then nascent Hyperdub imprint, and Bevan has remained unfazed/unruffled by the many changes in the rapidly evolving bass music scene. He remains one of the truest voices in dubstep, crafting emotionally deep dance tracks with absorbing, atmospheric soundscapes, twisting concrete sounds and voices to incredible results. Since his last LP, 2007′s Untrue, Burial has released on one-off tracks, such as “Unite” and “Fostercare” and collaborated with the likes of Four Tet, Thom Yorke, El-B, and Jamie Woon. With Street Halo EP, Burial isn’t offering something completely new, but in some way his music has gotten more deeper, more interesting and spacious. We’re still digesting the EP (three tracks, “Street Halo”, “NYC”, and “Stolen Dog” running about 20 minutes) but without a doubt, this is a welcome return of one of Dubstep’s finest and most beloved producers – definitely worth the wait! - L


[Artifact - "Dusty Grave" (Car Crash Set).]

Mutant house‘, ‘future house’… ‘weird house‘. You get the idea: It’s house, but far from conventional. This is a good setting to place Artifact’s “Dusty Grave”, which was released by Car Crash, a label adept at toeing that, “it is, but it isn’t” line. Built on drum machine beats, “Grave” rolls out with a subtle 2 step rhythm over a 4/4 throb and a collection of tiny hits that dart in and out of the base structure. An olympic sized medicine ball bounce drops at the 1:00 mark, switching up the beat entirely while underground subs boil. Each measure is full of syncopated clicks and cadence, and halfway through this portion the idea takes a swing towards more visibly juke influenced tastes with a rapid deep click jumping into the mix. Next it circles back to the first beat coupled with languid, phosphorescent synth melodies and quick shakers. A pause to catch some wind, and back to the second section, blended with robo rolls. Apparently people stopped visiting the grave of pedantic genre. [COP IT] - MS


[BNJMN - "Miniature Steps" from Plastic World LP out on Rush Hour Recordings.]

One of the best albums that I’ve heard this year comes from a young guy from the UK, Ben Thomas, who just released a bomb of an album on Amsterdam’s legendary Rush Hour Recordings (a label with a roster that includes artists such as Kenny Larkin, Dan Curtin, Recloose, Carl Craig to name a few.) BNJMN’s Plastic World LP caught us off-guard with it’s off-kilter rhythms and detroit-inspired pads that come in loud and leave just as quickly. But track to track the album reveals itself to be a deep emotional journey across the rhythms of this moment, something that we will come back to more than once or twice. The album ends with “Miniature Steps,” a track that evokes the sounds of old Warp records with very new rhythms and production quality. The track breathes in a space of its own spilling upwards for tension and when the pads drop it’s just heaven. In addition to the new album, BNJMN mixed a podcast for Little White Earbuds that is really nice as well. - MW


[Baobinga & Hyetal - "Trouble" (Build).]

The hyperactive skitter of submerged garage and a warbling synth introduce “Anything For Now”. The beat surfaces after a minute and meets first with a breaks style bass stab, and then a neon synth that’s characterized by a cylindrical decline from its high pitched perch. Distant echos of the synth appear in mirror to it while odd placed snaps flutter amusedly about in the percussion. A spacey G-whine melody comes through, riding on top of this all for a bit, and some keyboard loops jump in between the pauses of the aforementioned synth, filling the foreground completely. This all is the climax, but some new features shine in the mix out, such as the morse coding, steady metallic polyrhythms, and subtle melody. Build Recordings is the physical outlet of the Bass Music empire, which includes the substantive Bass Music Blog. [COP IT] - MS


[Pinch & Roska - "Paranormal Activity" (Tectonic).

"Paranormal Activity" is colored with Nung River flavor, fluid in its approach and risky in its atmosphere. Although it rocks a half step beat marked by syncopated crushed snares, it's so full of percussion that it rolls on at an effortless clip. Pinch's affinity for bongos are at the forefront, while an airy rim of skitters and hard bass drums are layered on top of that. Roska's affinity for bass stabs also make their mark, but only briefly so. The erie synths of Tectnoic lore and muddled rants create an air of wariness tempered with a zen acceptance. [COP IT] - MS