Over a decade has passed since Croydon’s legendary vinyl emporium Apple Records became an influential meeting place and creative birthplace of the dubstep scene. Back then the likes of Hatcha, Coki, Skream, Benga and their peers couldn’t begin to fathom how much of a sonic revolution their early sub-low experiments would cause.
Thanks to the scene’s seemingly bottomless pool of exciting young talent, we’re still scratching our heads at sounds we’ve never heard before. From chart-smashing stadium-packers to sub-woofer-splintering underground bombs, it’s genuinely challenging to capture all of the inspiring sounds of dubstep today over just two CDs.
Ladies and gentlemen, This Is Dubstep 2013… A global sound represented by myriad sub-flavours and styles. Opening with Noisia’s incredible remix of The Prodigy’s once-controversial anthem “Smack My Bitch Up” we’re thrown headfirst into dubstep’s widest, most vibrant spectrum to date. Distance’s take on Alex Clare’s Microsoft-endorsed “Too Close” rumbles with sonorous bottom-end muscle, Skream takes inspiration from Detroit’s Motor City tonality on “Exothermic Reaction” and Mala’s “Cuba Electronic” takes us into such wild percussive pastures that it’s been found in many a forward-thinking techno DJ’s sets.
Further on we’re bombarded by the trad-dub abyss-like depths of Killawatt’s “Single Entity” and sent into hyper-hypnosis by the unearthly savagery of Dark Tantrum’s “Tormented”….And that’s just a handful of highlights from CD1!
As we progress on to CD2, our spirits are instantly soothed by Phaeleh’s cosmic take on Rudimental’s power-soul cut “Not Giving In.” Elsewhere, our switches are flipped by Icicle’s left-minded loopy wonderland “Acid Step,” minds are melted by the stunning spaciousness of Cyrus’ “Hot Pan,” and senses are sent into emotional overload by Stinkahbel’s “Film Noir.” Gemini’s “3D Romeo” is exultantly euphoric – our lighters are thrust so high and proud we fear our arms might just fall off.
With so many shades, styles and sounds, this compilation maintains dubstep’s reputation as a matchless, uncompromising force within music. Don’t accept imitations: This Is Dubstep is the original compendium of the scene’s finest, broadest, most exciting talent. And This Is Dubstep 2013… our best collection yet. Here’s to the next 10 years of dubstep.
This Is Dubstep 2013 CD 1: