I haven't carried much dubstep here at Crucial Blast in the past, despite the fact that I've been becoming more and more obsessed with dubstep, breakcore, and the really hard ragga stuff lately. Our focus is and will always be targeted on the heavier end of the spectrum, so most dubstep falls outside of the scope of Crucial Blast, but occasionally I come across something from this scene that does fit in here with our general focus.
The Portland based record store and label Anthem Records has already made a name for themselves with excellent 7" releases from Nadja, Brainbombs, Daniel Menche and others, but they also have a new side-label called Lo Dubs that alot of you probably aren't as aware of. Over the past two years, Lo Dubs has released a bunch of killer 12"s featuring crushing, bass-crazed dubstep from a host of newer North American dubstep artists. Most of the UK dubstep that I've been listening to is more laid back, but their North American cousins go for a much heavier and more menacing vibe, and Lo Dubs has made that brand of heavy, mangy dubstep their calling card.
The thing is, is that most of the Lo Dubs 12"s have gone out of print pretty quick, and you'd have to be pretty quick to collect them all as they came out. Luckily for me, the label has collected all of these 12" tracks on the second disc in this new set, and it's an asskicking collection of little-known but punishing dubstep artists like Solvent, Starkey, South3rn, Bombaman, DZ and more. Each one of 'em takes that signature stuttering dubstep sound and warps it into their own image, with lots of crushing, distorted beats and fucked-up raga breaks, grinding distorted synths, buzzing low-end noise, tripped-out dancehall reggae toasting, and it's all surrounded by this dark, sinister atmosphere. There's alot of variety between the tracks, moving from minimal juddering grooves and skittery rhythms to mutant dub reggae and vicious synth bass. Killer shit, definitely a must-hear for anyone into the current dubstep sound, The Bug, Venetian Snares, and Razor X Productions.
The other disc features a ton of new remixes and tracks mixed by LA's 6BLOCC, all exclusive to this release and woven/blended together into a massive hour-plus workout of heavy mutant dubstep, with reworked tracks from DZ, Bombaman, DZ & Awaken Lion, Starkey, XI, South3rn, Hoodz, Pacheko, Cardopusher, and Nadja.
Yep, there's a track from dreamsludge faves Nadja, only it's a remix of their song "Alien In My Own Skin" by Vex'd, who takes the song's howling feedback textures and grinding guitar churn and layers chunky, sputtering beats, bleeping electronic textures and ominous buzzsaw synth over top. It's pretty crushing, and definitely one of the heavier tracks on here.