Baku – More Dub/The Curse (Review)

Birmingham-based Styx Recordings just released a 2-track debut project from Baku, formerly known as Ghast, a 22-year-old producer from Wolverhampton. Styx Recordings has featured previous releases from the likes of P0gman, D-Jahsta, Vibez, Ponicz, Dee:See, Soloman, Lifecycle and more. Baku’s debut release is available at all the usual digital stores, you can purchase the 2-track EP here.

In ‘More Dub’, Baku wastes no time in setting the vibe, with Dub Reggae inspired guitar licks opening proceedings, intertwined with a solitary shaker before the reverb-soaked snares are introduced shortly after. A well-crafted vocal sample adds a nice touch as the rest of the drums kick in, pathing the way for a never ending 2-step skank. ‘More Dub’ is the perfect set opener, with various Dub inspired FX and delays and well-placed vocal samples.

‘The Curse’ has a darker, more minimal feel. It begins with an eerie ambience that gives nothing away, before dropping out completely into almost silence, leaving the listener stranded in limbo for a few seconds before the drop. The spooky background ambience returns alongside the minimalistic, Dub style drums as the track becomes almost hypnotising from there on in. ‘The Curse’ consists of subway-like soundscape and sluggish rhythm throughout, but that’s not a bad thing, it’s the perfect fit for a basement rave, especially combined with other dungeonesque, dark tracks.

This is an interesting debut release from Baku, the contrast between the two tracks is a bonus because often in 2-track releases the two will be quite similar. The drums, in particular, were impressive, in terms of placement and automation and both tracks are at a high standard in terms of production quality. My personal favourite was ‘The Curse’ due to its obscure, dark nature and sense of the unknown. I felt at times that the guitar on ‘More Dub’ lacked the slightest bit of variation in relation to the guitar lead, but not so much that it took anything away from the overall experience. I’ll definitely look out for future Baku releases and Styx Recordings should be confident for the future considering the fresh talent they have added here, to their already impressive line-up.