L-Wiz, Straitjacket/4.42 OZ

“Untitled” by Nobuyoshi Araki


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Earning a coveted spot in Joker’s farewell mix to Mary Anne Hobbs back in August, L-Wiz are no strangers to the Kapsize world. Even though the two Swedes behind L-Wiz operate outside the stomping grounds of Joker’s purple Bristol, they’ve proven themselves to be likeminded producers who have been releasing dubstep since 2006’s first release on Dub Police. But in contrast with the gritty flavor of English bass productions, there is a pristine atmosphere to most L-Wiz tunes. On their latest single, the duo focus on laid-back rhythms that feel at home with American R&B melodies, all while pushing through plenty of low end.

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The slowly unfurling drum opening to “Straitjacket” is quite redolent of Joker himself, its simple beat eventually bursting with bright synths and deep atmospheric bass. Where they set themselves aside is the gentle synth melody that flows effortlessly through the rhythm instead of whirling frenetically over top. The beats themselves also feel more akin to dubstep than they do grime, with large spaces between the jaunty hits. It’s an immaculately produced track, almost like a symphonic version of Bristolian dubstep. “4.42 OZ” is similar in terms of mood, with a lazy pad-heavy overture and minimal beats. The inventive bass pattern is a dark counterpoint to the somewhat cheeky ’80s style high frequency melody. This side lounges by even more than “Straitjacket,” pushing it further away from the normal remit of Kapsize. These two tracks are not even what one would typically consider as “purple,” with their reflective pace and drawn-out arrangements. L-Wiz seem to be pushing to make more than just club music, fitting in with the compositions of songwriting-minded Guido. Hopefully a full album presenting their vision isn’t far behind this latest single.

soapscum  on March 3, 2011 at 7:23 AM

Where are the Feb charts?

littlewhiteearbuds  on March 3, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Charts go up on Fridays.

Blaktony  on March 8, 2011 at 9:19 AM

Nice one 4 the soundbwoy’s.

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