King Midas Sound, Goodbye Girl/Earth A Kill Ya


Illustration by Pablo Jeffer Da Silva

[Hyperdub]


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One need only look at Kevin Martin’s shapeshifting musical history in bands like God, Ice, and Techno-Animal as well as his own alias The Bug, to understand how King Midas Sound so readily leaps between different sounds. Meshing various strands of dub and electronic influence, Martin, along with Hitomi and Roger Robinson, continually open themselves up to rethinking their own work. With the announcement of Without You, a collection of remixes of the 2009 King Midas Sound album, Waiting For You, Martin’s unique vision is once again being examined. Nite Jewel sits alongside Cooly G and dBridge alongside Gang Gang Dance. The initial offering from this collection comprises a one-two punch of legendary dubstep artists, with Kuedo (Jamie Vex’d) and Mala each turning in remarkable takes.

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With its ghostly vocals and floating rhythms, the original of “Goodbye Girl” is typical of King Midas Sound’s atmospheric, spooky dub. Kuedo decides to flip that spookiness into a monstrous horror show, escalating the tension with atonal synths, carousel-warped melodies, and thundering bass. Overall the impression is more R&B than dub, but darker edged than radio R&B, fitting in with Bristol’s purple and Glasgow’s synthetic hip-hop. Mala also dabbles in the dark side with his DMZ-leaning remix of “Earth A Kill Ya,” amping the BPMs of the original’s loping and skeletal dancehall poetry. The remix gains a towering bass line along with added percussion while retaining much of Robinson’s vocal, albeit cut into fragments throughout. The timeless quality of DMZ productions is on display here, preserving the best of classic dubstep but still sounding fresh and tough. This 12″ shows two very different kinds of versions and serves as a tantalizing taster for what the rest of King Midas Sound’s interpreters will do on the remix album.

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