Pole, who compiled this collection together with Tim Tetzner from Berlin record store Dense and Barbara Preisinger, slips a new track of his own onto the compilation. ‘Alles Klar’ is by no means anything that could be called dubstep: it’s quite loungy, and a far cry from the ten-tonne bass assaults normally associated with the genre, but the loose percussion and dubby atmosphere make a good counterpoint to the rest of the compilation.
The other tracks, all previously released, have been expertly selected from labels-of-the-moment such as Hessle Audio, Tectonic, Punch Drunk et al, and it adds to up to an intriguing snapshot of where dubstep is at in 2008. Album opener, ‘Velvet’ (3024) from Martyn is lush and Detroit-esque, 2562’s standout debut ‘Channel Two’, is a fusion of Maurizio style dub-Detroitism, house swing and stuttering beats that conjures a heavier Luomo. Punch Drunk is represented by two releases, Pinch’s most upfront four-four track to date, ‘136 Trek’, and Peverelist’s fantastically atmospheric, techno-templated ‘The Grind’.
‘Beyond The Stars - SD mix’ (SD Records) is the exception. Syncom Data, two Dutchmen known for their experimental techno live performances rather than dubstep productions, are part of the Clone family and had early releases on The Hague’s Bunker Records. As such, ‘Beyond the Stars - SD mix’ is an odd but successful mix of crawling drums and live melodica—a nice curveball inclusion that broadens the scope of the compilation.
Round Black Ghosts is not only an outlet for Pole’s new passion, it also functions well as a snapshot of recent developments in dubstep—more overt gestures toward techno danceability and house grooves—as well the common ground between dub techno and dubstep. Very accessible and packed with good stuff, anyone interested in left-of-centre perspective on Detroit-orientated dub mutations would do well to pick up this compilation.
Fri / 30 May 2008
01 Martyn - Velvet
02 2562 - Channel Two
03 Untold - Test Signal
04 Pole - Alles Klar
05 Syncom Data - Beyond the Stars (SD Mix)
06 Ramadanman - Response
07 Pinch - 136 Trek
08 Peverelist - The Grind
09 Elemental - Raw Material
10 Pangaea - Coiled