In addition to the somewhat worthy attention that Burial received for his two albums, the dubstep genre has always been a thriving and prevailing community in music. Artists like Benga, EL-B, Oris Jay and many others have proven the style of music to be a fantastic genre. It’s even moved into the realm of hip-hop where many have cited it for the influential and significant sound it is; even receiving an endorsement from hip-hop legends and pioneers, Public Enemy.
Rants aside, independent label, Rottun Recordings has been more than fair in allowing artists to spread their music through their digital store. A few vinyl editions are available but for the most part, it’s been a haven for like-minded geniuses to make heavy-beated, heavy-coated, layered dubstep of the best kind. The Boom EP is another step in the right direction towards notoriety. A blistering weighty set of four songs from music makers/producers Datsik, Flux Pavilion and Excision, it is without question, one of the best electronic releases of the year.
The integral role in all of this is Datsik and his other-worldly touches of grime and metal-clashing. The title track starts with whispering native flutes before tearing into stomping beats. The evil sounds of what appears to be one angry robot come in the shade of bass-heavy synths, a drum pattern and collapsing snares. All of this breaks away and reveals the flute all alone with only the mere recoil of a repetitive keyboard when suddenly, with the announcement of “tick-tick-BOOM!” the beats explode. It’s timely, it’s smart, and it’s absolutely musical.
And while that song stands out as the album’s signature tone, it’s packed around three other mammoths that eat, live and breathe sludge. A love for movies is obviously one of the main ingredients on Boom. On the other Excision and Datsik collaboration, “Calypso” is a movie-sampling piece that further explores the options of sounding big and full without ever over-doing it. Here, the mechanics state “Your services are no longer required” while the music trances away with more of the same fierce power. And on “Crunch,” the narrator is heard, “You’re on thin f*cking ice, and I shall be under it when it breaks…now f*ck off.” It’s vulgar, sure but it’s a brilliant introduction to the music’s nervy jolts.
“Game Over” is the closest they all get to creating an all-encompassing beast. Inter-relaying the rhythms from climbing quarters that rapidly fade into eights before rippling amongst eights and sixteenths, there is a definite love for percussion here. The bridge comes in the form of a mean keyboard that rouses with a crescendo into the final battle. While everything is entirely engrossing, this song’s strength is its building intro and ensuing structure.
The Boom EP is a unified and grand exposition of what three electronic producers can come up with. This is only proof that dubstep will continue to delve deeper into countless possibilities. When you have the attention and the talent is obviously there, Rottun shouldn’t have a problem cranking out more hits.