Objekt, Objekt #1


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Within only a few years of the word “dubstep” broke into the popular lexicon, the term’s already become pretty much irrelevant. Gone are the days when the phrase would simply indicate weighty, wobbling bass and brooding drum patterns, all clocking in around 140bpm. The “dubstep” of 2011 is punctuated with references to house and techno, flickering R&B samples, and sleek, funky bass lines, while in less imaginative quarters it’s morphed in to a cringing self-parody of itself, packed with ear-grating bass crashes and crass vocal samples. The subterranean scene that was so exciting and fresh when it began to flourish in the middle of the last decade has now almost disappeared completely. What would once see a small but dedicated group of bass-heads filing into a small, dingy room, kitted out with the best ramshackle sound system that the promoters could get their hands on, has been replaced by the masses queuing up in high-heels and Wayfarers outside a vast super-club, equipped with top of the range sound technologies. The sight of the unassuming DJ in the faded gray hoody balancing a bottle of beer on the decks has now become the image of sharply dressed men residing behind shiny laptops, encompassed by spectacular lights and visuals.

It’s this sense of nostalgia that makes Objekt #1 such a heart-warming and exciting listen. In an instant, A-side “The Goose That Got Away” strips away all the pretense, the glitz and the glamor that lingers around the scene and thrusts you back in to the anonymous urban dens where the sound thrived in isolation not long ago. However, the beauty of this track is that it’s almost dubstep redux: harnessing past glories and tweaking them into a sound that fits the 2011 landscape. Sounding like the taller but younger cousin of Scuba’s “You Got Me,” it edges in steadily with creeping gasps and bass kicks before settling in to an undulating and sullen stream punctuated with frequent LFO tweaks. The primary build-up is meshed in growling sinister early rave, briefly illuminating a moody celebration of the power of underground electronic music, before dropping in to a gnarled fury later on in the track. B-side “Tinderbox” also pays homage to dubstep’s darker days, oozing with disquiet and bass-fueled menace that would scare the living daylights out of any latter-day, fair-weather dubstep fan. This 12″ takes a moment to withdraw itself from the dizzying speed with which the genre’s offshoots are hurtling away from dubstep and turns back to reflect on where it all started. As a result, this record is possibly even more necessary now than if it had been released five years ago.

jonnyp  on February 18, 2011 at 6:30 PM

i dont think the term is irrelevant at all. dubstep is still dubstep, here in croydon anyway. i just put on the airways and there it is. things evolve, but that’s the “continuum” i guess!

Blaktony  on February 19, 2011 at 9:45 AM

I think what i love about Dubstep (in general) is the beats, various atmospheres,& compositions w/the un-willingness 2 stand still….the genre (if u wanta call it that)is all over the place,the productions are creative,funky,mind boggling,loose,& fun. A shame so many are losin’ out on the moves.(Nice tune).

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