With his debut album under the 2562 moniker, Dave Huismans produced one of the most stylistically perfect dubstep full-lengths to date. Fusing his unique sense of swung dance floor rhythms with the stark stabs of synthesizer that techno pioneers Basic Channel made prudent, Aerial was—as the bleak artwork reinforced—an impeccable exploration of the shadows of greyscale. The follow-up, Unbalance, is even better, seeing him discovering colour, embracing the lighter scales and sometimes even twinkling with melody.
From the get-go, with just a distant flicker of a high pitch behind the most forcefully danceable opening drum break you're ever likely to hear, "Flashback" marks Huismans defiant statement. Where Aerial spliced the bass weight of dubstep with the driving, minimal drum work of techno, Unbalance explores the new multi-limbed bastardization of bass music in full by pooling an array of lighter sounds and synth tones and layering them over warm bass tones rather than the dour stabs of low end that littered his debut.
"Like a Dream" does this perfectly, wrapping elementally calming bass notes around a simple staccato beat and tumbling melody. "Dinosaur" is the opposite, with galloping kick drums and a garage snare pattern taking the flux away from the overrun lounge pianos that swirl up through the octaves. Everything from the ascending bass notes of "Superflight" to the hesitant hum of the synthesizer on the title track point toward the fact that Huismans is now texturing all of his productions differently.
These 11 tracks are happier than any previous 2562 work to date and they make Huismans, as a producer, categorically shimmer. Despite the minor keys on "Yes/No," "Narita" and "Who Are You Fooling?" his unfathomable talent for drum programming and surmising a groove in an 8-bar loop, pushes past the subtly delayed nuances and snatches of melody and headlong into the pulses of low end and this new arsenal of technicolour fizzing synthesizers.
Unbalance feels a bit like a zenith for techno-tinged dubstep in 2009. There hasn't been an album that sums up the attitude and style of a producer so well since Martyn's Great Lengths and its plush decadence. Similar to that record, these tracks work just as well away from the dance floor, just as comfortably soundtracking that last slow tussle with consciousness as they do your 4 AM drunken peak.
Buy 2562 - Unbalance at
Tracklist: 2562 - Unbalance 01. Intro
04. Like A Dream
08. Yes / No
09. Who Are You Fooling?
11. Love In Outer Space
12. Escape Velocity [digital only]