The last few weeks have seen a bit of unwelcome drama in the underground dubstep scene; with both accusations of adultery and plagiarism polluting internet forums, Facebook posts and even Soundcloud comments. A focal point of this drama has been the almost fabricated rivalry between US and UK based dubstep; but while the Americans had the misfortune of giving birth to Skrillex and the bro-step continuum that was to follow, over the years they’ve redeemed themselves by bringing some of the freshest and most forward thinking deep dubstep to the table.
At the forefront of the dubstep scene in America is Joe Nice‘s Gourmet Beats imprint; now a powerhouse of a label with release after release of stonking deep bass music, it alone is reason enough to think that if the rivalry between the US and UK scenes was actually a legitimate thing, the UK might have something to worry about. Luckily though, the drama will be gone within the week, but the music itself will be here to stay.
GB005 features two staples of the new generation of American producers; Virginia based Malleus and San Francisco’s Saule in both solo efforts and a collaborative track. The two share a similar style of heavily sample based dubstep, drawing influence from various sources of electronic and non-electronic music; creating a wonderful mesh of styles that proves there’s nothing wrong with taking ideas from other people and genres; if anything, it’s exactly what the scene needs to stay fresh.
The EP opens with Bad Kids; the joint effort between the two producers features a complex arrangement of both atonal and melodic sampling work, choppy drum fills, tripped out atmospheres and huge booming 808-like bass lines – creating a monster of a track that’s almost impossible to label as merely dubstep.
Next on the buttons is Saule with Kalakuta, again taking influences from unlikely sources with outlandish horn samples that really shouldn’t work in dubstep but somehow fit perfectly into the track, blending in with the shuffled percussions and pitch bending subs.
Lastly, Malleus steps up with the oddly-titled Parce qu’il est Mort, meaning ‘because he’s dead’. Here the sampled oddities and experimentation that run throughout the EP as a whole are taken to the extreme, creating a sloppy, skanking rhythm and a progression that keeps the ears occupied from beginning to end.
All in all, the EP is a fine addition to the back catalogue of Gourmet Beats and American dubstep; and it couldn’t have come at a better time – it’s proof that rather than starting petty internet dramas, both UK producers and US ones could benefit from taking notes from one another as both scenes have their own nuances and strengths to keep dubstep well and truly alive for years to come.