Dubstep lightly

Bristol and Berlin collide
By SUSANNA BOLLE  |  July 1, 2008
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Dave Huismans a/k/a 2562

In a genre better known for the sub-shattering potency of its 12-inches, the past year has seen an explosion of brilliant dubstep albums from veteran UK producers Benga, Burial, and Pinch. One of the most acclaimed releases of the year, however, comes from a relative newcomer — Dutch musician Dave Huismans, who goes by the name 2562. His debut, Aerial, is a powerfully somnambulant combination of UK dubstep and Berlin techno of the variety produced by the Basic Channel and Chain Reaction imprints. But 2562 is by no means the only producer championing this dubstep/techno hybrid.

2562, “Moog Dub” (Tectonic)
Huismans’s 2562 moniker refers to his postal code in the Hague, 200-plus miles away from dubstep’s birthplace in the boroughs of London. An intoxicating amalgam of sounds emanating from Bristol, Berlin, and Detroit, Aerial is a potent example of the genre’s stylistic (and geographic) expansion. With its wobbly bass line slipping seductively in and out of focus, “Moog Dub” is one of the album’s many high points, inducing the most pleasing sort of weak-in-the-knees motion sickness.

Peverelist, “Infinity Is Now” (Tectonic)
Bristol’s Tom Peverelist has been at the forefront of dubstep/minimal techno crossover ever since the release of his first 12-inch (“Erstwhile Rhythm”/”The Grind”) on his own Punch Drunk imprint in 2007. With its lush, shimmering synths and subtly dub-inflected bass line, “Infinity Is Now” is such a thorough fusion of techno and dubstep that the distinctions between them all but melt away. We’ve linked the MP3 release, which has a satisfying preview of the track. So, though the best things in life are free, in order to hear this lovely gem in its full glory, you’ll have to pay.

Kode9 and the Spaceape, “Time Patrol”
Scottish producer and Hyperdub label founder Kode9 is one of dubstep’s most creative and versatile practitioners. Gritty and minimal, Kode9 and his long-time collaborator MC Spaceape provide the perfect dystopic soundtrack. As this video by Jasmin Jodry for the as-yet-unfinished “Time Patrol” from their eagerly awaited second album demonstrates, even when they pick up the tempo, they lose none of that glorious dread.

Pole, “Streit” (~Scape)
Inspired by the mesmerizing rhythmic crackling of a malfunctioning Waldorf 4 Pole filter, Berlin’s Stefan Betke created some of the most hypnotic minimal dub records of the late ’90s. He released a trio of now-classic albums titled 1, 2, and 3 that are being reissued in a box set later this summer, and their influence crackles and pops up in the music of dubstep artists like 2562, Peverelist, and Appleblim. The sinuous and beautiful “Streit” from 2 is rife with the delicate clicks and static and deep, sonorous bass that were Pole’s late-’90s signature.

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