Music Review: Various Artists – Suburban Dub Vol.3 (2011, S.K.P. Records)

This compilation EP brings together diverse sounds from lo-fi to IDM under an overall dub banner offering some refreshing tracks for the dub listener

Suburban Dub

Genre: Dub / IDM / Abstract / Dubstep

Region: Ukraine

Artists Website: http://skprec.com/

Label: S.K.P. Records

Suburban DubThis is an intriguing compilation EP dropped by indie label S.K.P. Records last year. Bringing quite different -sometimes awkward- styles and forms together, it still manages to maintain the dub and roots vibrations throughout the whole listening experience. You can download it for free and experience it yourself.

Inspector Reespeckto’s ‘Chalice To Chalice’ brings those disparate styles together like glitchy electronics, retro electro 8-bit bleeps, some reggae vocals and plenty of dub effects all garnished with heavy subbass and odd African drum samples. With all this weirdness in play, the result is remarkably refreshing with a really positive vibe. Thumbs up!

Suburban DubMoredub’s track ‘Roots Analyser’ is a typical UK-steppers dub with a noisy, wobbling bassline. Kudos for the tasteful effects, efficient brakes and the whole ‘roots & culture’ appeal of the track. It brings UK dub artists in mind like King Earthquake, Vibronics etc. but mostly the French countryman steppa dubster Kanka.

‘Step Up With Jah Jah’ is probably the most enjoyable tune in this compilation. It is an interesting, groundbreaking composition between roots reggae, IDM and dubstep with a groove-laden riddim and smart breaks. Dubmasta & Roots Controlla deliver the track with the intention to innovate on the established forms of dub, giving also a cutting-edge dubstep boost and a healthy dose of experimentation. Btw, they created a soundsystem smasher!

Next comes King Imagine’s ‘The Night Watch’, a dubstep-driven tune with some orchestral samples that aim at a cinematic touch. While the rattling subbass is eminent with a sense of experimentation, the orchestral parts sound a bit out of place with the song and the compilation as a whole.

Suburban DubI Wannabe drops the hardest number here. ‘Tiger’s Spirit’ is a typical dubstep tune with hard, stretchy, elevating basslines and a dark, industrial feel. Although not breaking out of the strict boundaries of contemporary dubstep, Tiger’s Spirit is a song above the average and quite skip-inducing.

Foa Hoka’s ‘Spacepause’ is the perfect closer, a fabric of sounds asymmetric, syncopated with influences from glitch, lo-fi to IDM, dub and drone. There is a constant phasing hum, several elemental rhythms and effects oddly edited and put together. The sounds are like coming out of an old factory of the 1980s.

Altogether the 26 minutes of the ‘Suburban Dub’ compilation EP are quite enjoyable. It is also nice to find brave labels like S.K.P. that defy genres and bring together disparate styles to push dub further into creative territories.

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