The true glory of dubstep, for this reviewer at least, is all in the offshoots. Peel yourself off the speaker and back away slowly from the dancefloor smashers and travel a little further into the micro-genres. Whether you find yourself strolling down the rolling tribal percussion avenue of Appleblim or Shackleton, bounding past the 4x4 high rise of Kode9 circa 2009, or stranded in the cul-de-sac of unashamed 2-step swagger that has infected everyone from Untold to Burial and beyond, there are too many niches to visit and investigate.
One such current must-see attraction is Joker. A lot's been made about the way he and his Bristol-based contemporaries Gemmy and Guido (AKA The Purple Trinity) utilise the power of late '90s west coast G-funk and its borderline cheese synthesizers, but it's in tracks like "Digidesign" that you can get a concrete look into the way this boy constructs his tunes. Here, he's got a heavy-handed beat interspersed with triangle hits and three or four upfront synth lines that either wriggle their way through a tightly wound distortion filter or whistle out their tune happily into the stale nighttime city air. The way he contorts his melodies is the key and "Digidesign" is an assured display of such talent and texture.
Keeping to the same over-synthesized tourist route is 2000F and JKamata's "You Don't Know What Love Is." Since the Danish producer's ode to '70s and '80s crunked-up disco was battered for months on dubplate by DJs like 2562, Kode9 and the aforementioned Joker, it seemed destined for a physical release and due to its overtly vocoder-driven hook and the clear absence of any discernible bass line other than the hard thump of a 808 kick drum, it seemed logical that only a brave and experimentally industrious label as Hyperdub could house it properly. Teaming its pure sexually emotive, hard-boogie melody with a Joker beat as complex as "Digidesign" seems like yet another logical decision for the imprint and, luckily for all involved, this 12-inch package has come out gold-plated.
Buy VA - Digidesign / You Don't Know What Love Is at
Tracklist: VA - Digidesign / You Don't Know What Love Is A Joker – Digidesign
B 2000F & JKamata – You Don't Know What Love Is