Monday, March 17, 2008
If you pretty much single handedly popularise a genres’ name, like the Dubstep Allstars mix CD series did, then you really need to come correct. And while the first edition is absolutely peerless (Hatcha’s), the second a reminder of a beautiful time (Youngsta’s) and the third brave and experimental, if a little emotionally tempered (Kode9 and Spaceape’s), the recent two volumes of the Dubstep Allstars series haven’t hit the spot for me.
So I’m really excited to be able to say that Volume 6, mixed by Appleblim, is sick.
While many people might have rushed, the Bristol DJ took his time perfecting the mix and it paid off. Instead of unleashing a raft of upfront beats (exciting in the short term, risky in the long term) he condensed the essence of the sound he’s developed and pioneered and provided its definitive document.
I do like the Berlin/Bristol dubby techno/dubstep axis, I really do, but sometimes I have reservations. It’s a fine line between dubbed out and uninspiring. It’s a fine line between techy and rigid techno. It’s a fine line between headspace and head in the sand: at its best dubstep should grab you by the balls not drift you out to sea.
Anyway, I fully put all those reservations aside with Appleblim’s mix. It’s the perfect blend of groove and drops, tech and swing, Jamaica and Berlin, with a touch of Bristol jungle and NY diva house.
The latter, as manifested in Pinch’s album cut ft. Yolanda, “Get Up,” symbolises what works so well about Dubstep Allstars 6.
Firstly the mixing, which sounds live but is flawless. Secondly the selection is glorious: tried, tested cuts yet of a time (now) in harmony with each other. Thirdly the arrangement: “Get Up” provides an early peak, from which the mix really begins to flow. Yet not until Martyn’s “Broken Hearts remix” does it regain such ecstasy. Finally there’s the attention to detail, like the blissful moment when Appleblim key-mixes out of “Get Up” with 2562’s “Moog Dub.”
This mix is bigger than the Goodyear Blim-p.