Soundboy Punishments

Skull Disco
By SUSANNA BOLLE  |  December 10, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
Although dubstep has been hyped by critics, the genre has yet to gain much of a popular foothold outside its UK club strongholds. But with the release this autumn of new full-lengths by esteemed producers like Burial and Pinch, as well this compilation from Skull Disco, there are signs that it might be peeking out from the underground. Run by producers Appleblim and Shackleton, Skull Disco is one of the most compelling dubstep imprints, releasing 12-inchers that push insistently at the genre’s outer limits. This two-CD collection includes every release (almost all by Appleblim and Shackleton) on the label thus far. The wobbling, wub-wub bass and the potent kick that are the genre’s calling cards are often absent, but the apocalyptic atmosphere, loping mid-tempo rhythms, and subterranean low-end are every inch dubstep, even if not in its most dance-floor-friendly incarnation. Some of the finest tracks — “Hamas Rule,” “Tin Foil Sky” (both by Shackleton) — are dark, atmospheric head nodders based on Middle Eastern percussion and samples that crackle with political subtext. There’s so much to digest that Soundboy Punishments is hard to absorb in one dose. This encyclopædic quality and an overlong Ricardo Villalobos remix are the release’s only real weakness.
Related: How much have we learned since 9-11?, Clicking is caring, The face of war, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Hamas, Ricardo Villalobos
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   ASSAULT AND BATTERIES  |  February 20, 2009
    After a brief stint in Pittsburgh, guitarist and electronic musician GEOFF MULLEN is back in his native Rhode Island, and the New England music scene is so much the better for it.
  •   SO MUCH IN STORE  |  February 10, 2009
    Australia's the NECKS are the sort of band who thwart classification.
  •   A COMPROVISATIONAL WHAT?  |  February 02, 2009
    Local saxophonist and electronic-musician JORRIT DIJKSTRA combines a variety of styles ranging from jazz to electro-acoustic improv and noise to create his own emotive and often idiosyncratic music.
  •   WINTRY MIX  |  January 26, 2009
    There are so many interesting and unusual musical happenings this week, it's almost more than this little column can bear.
    Although composer JOHN CAGE is best known for 4'33" of silence, he could raise a ruckus when the mood struck.

 See all articles by: SUSANNA BOLLE