The dubstep techno alliance was a breath of fresh air when these ideas started making their way to the dubplates of DJs about 18 months ago. But now, some of the charm has worn off and the music needs to go somewhere. This 12-inch from Jus Wan, his first for Appleblim's Apple Pips imprint, isn't huge on revolutionary new ideas, but pulls disparate influences together in an interesting way and strikes the right balance between grit and refinement.
"Action Potential," which featured on Appleblim's Dubstep All Stars mix CD, kicks things off with reverberated rhythms and a saturated synth line that creeps its way in. A skippy snare and booming kick drum pick things up along with a brooding sub bass. The synth, percussion and other elements here twirl around your head in a sea of echo, reminiscent of hypnotic dub techno, but the strong bassline pulls things down and provides a stark distinction. "Affletic" is also a study in contrasts, pulling off playfully upbeat and moody at the same time. A raspy and metal clanging synth that sounds like it could have originated from the Berlin studio of someone like Monolake reverberates over a cracking snare workout and a booming bass drives the track forward with clicks and cuts scattered around the melody. Different directions that the track could have taken are subtly hinted at in—and around—the breakdowns where a teasing synth pattern makes a short appearance before the tune collapses back into the driving combination of echoing synths and thunderous bass.
With Skull Disco coming to a conclusion, Appleblim looks set to take Apple Pips in a different but equally exciting direction. Here, Jus Wan shows big potential with two dance floor friendly tracks that cleverly pull together different sources of inspiration. It's a solid 12-inch that explores the juxtaposition of the genres in an interesting way, mashing bits of techno sensibilities with the bass heavy dubstep heritage and creating a blend that is a lot more than a rehashed sum of its parts.