Record Review: Goli & Ashburner / RSD / Alpha Steppa – Get Up (2011, Steppas Records)

This 12” is a showcase of versatile dubstep producers, each leaving his distinct mark on the different ‘Get up’ versions. They also do not miss to honour the roots of their music field: dub, jungle and the dubstep originators of mid 2000′s.

Genre: Dubstep / Dub

Country: UK / Korea

Artists’ Websites: Goli & Ashburner / RSDAlpha Steppa

Label: Steppas Records

What started as an underground music phenomenon evolving in a particular area of London, became a global sound. Elements of dubstep, like syncopated beats and subbass wobbles, are nowadays used by many, from underground dub producers to the mainstream music industry.

In a period, where the music scene is largely saturated by the trends of bass music (commercial dubstep, brostep etc.), it is utterly refreshing to listen to a release that points directly at the beginnings of dubstep in the mid 2000’s. Goli & Ashburner’s theme refers back to the days when the genre was just sprouting, rendering a sound akin to artists like Loefah, Cotti, Skream and mostly Digital Mystikz. It features the dark, suffocating atmospheres, the slow pace, the crawling & rattling subbass and sparse use of sounds (in contrast with the overproduced dubstep of today) as bred in original dubstep recordings for ‘stretched-out’ bass meditation.

RSD, aka Rob Smith, has years of experience in UK bass music and already a few cuts flirting with reggae and dub. He stands more on the dub roots side of the dubstep spectrum. His version features an ‘Amen’ breakbeat and a thicker more pronounced bassline, providing a more energetic mix with a junglist vibe.

Alpha Steppa’s version is probably the most dynamic. Being a spiritual child of the UK dub pioneers Alpha & Omega, he has created a personal style, consistently forged throughout his releases over the last two years, which draws influences from dubstep, UK dub and 1980’s digital reggae with some far-eastern timbres. That proves to be outright refreshing for enthusiasts of innovative bass music who seek for dub consciousness at the same time.

All of his capacities as a producer are displayed on ‘Get up version’. Blending ‘worked-out’ low bass frequencies and discontinuous drum breaks with his persistent ethnic vibes he brings about a brighter side of ‘Get up’, more soothing. ‘Get up dub’ displays more of a throwback 1980’s digital sound, with the Alpha Steppa characteristic sounds and dubstep-sensible riddims intact.

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