Rating: 8 / Format: 12" / Label: Planet Mu
It’s probably fair to say that if there’s one qualm about this current wave of producers operating in that ever-fertile space between hip-hop sub-genres, dubstep, grime and the rest of it – we all vaguely know who we’re talking about at this point – it’s how a lot of these tracks will sound five years down the line. It’s the way with all burgeoning scenes and styles, but you know what I mean: remember how revolutionary Def Jux sounded at one point?
Either way, cue Vex’d’s Jamie Teasdale – one of dubstep’s originals who’s spent the last few years in the shadows (though when he has shown his face, he’s seemed to favour the don’t-call-it-wonky side of the genre’s margins, putting Starkey forward to play Mary Anne Hobbs’ Generation Bass show, compiling a mixtape for LuckyMe’s website and remixing Scuba’s ‘Twitch’ in a style similar to Rustie’s crunked-out bump) to release his first solo 12" for Planet Mu, one of the most considered, timeless sounding records this music has produced to date.
For a start, it’s so well produced – there’s real pedigree to this release. People chat a lot about bass frequencies and returns to the womb, but the subtle, comforting weight to opener ‘In System Travel’ is something else – a slow-burning crunk odyssey that you could see being on a Telepathe or Gang Gang Dance album. Likewise on the more bombastic ‘Radiant Industry’, which is something like Joker and Ginz’ ‘Purple City’ by way of Fulgeance. It’s almost rock-ish with the live drum opening and out of control synths that are more head-banging than head-nodding, but don’t let that put you off; it’s far closer to say, Pacheko’s lazer-wobble than turgid bloke-step. Closer ‘Saturn’ doesn’t quite match ‘Industry”s combination of what-the-fuck kinetics and driving, locomotive danceability, but really, In System Travel is so impressive, so massive, and maybe the best EP to arrive at dubstep’s door since Mount Kimbie’s debut earlier this year.
Jamie Vex’d myspace