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Dubstep Allstars Vol. 06 (Mixed by Appleblim) (Tempa) CD

 Although I play a fair amount of dubstep on the program, I have yet to review any releases on the site. I suspect that in the coming months I will make up for this oversight with a vengeance, starting with the sixth installment in the Tempa imprint’s influential Dubstep Allstars mix series. This series serves as a barometer of the state of the genre, featuring mixes by some of dubstep’s most innovative figures including Hatcha, Kode9, Youngsta, and N-Type. For this installment the newly Bristol-based producer and DJ, Appleblim (Laurie Osborne), does the selecting.

Appleblim initially made his name as a producer with a slew of influential 12” releases on his own Skull Disco imprint. Like Sam Shackleton, his co-conspirator over at Skull Disco, Appleblim operates at dubstep’s outer limits. His take on the genre is expansive and woozily cinematic, fusing dubbed out minimal techno (a la Basic Channel and Pole) with the gritty bass and languid rhythms that form the bedrock of dub. It’s no surprise, then, that in his debut mix CD for Tempa Osborne leans heavily on artists with similar proclivities. Producers like Peverelist, TRG, and 2562 look as much to Berlin as Bristol for inspiration. The atmosphere is thick and dark, building from initially languid, low-end murk to bristling dancefloor scorchers and back again over the course of this well-paced disc. Top shelf tracks are scattered liberally throughout, including 2562’s stellar deep sub wobbler, “Moog Dub,” and Skream’s gloriously frenetic, “Percression.” It’s hard to argue with Appleblim’s taste in the genre-stretching, techno-y side of dubstep that he helped pioneer. Very nice indeed.

—Susanna Bolle

 

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