Thanks to blogger and one-time musical partner Gutterbreakz, I developed an uncharacteristic jonez for the Dubsteps long about late 2005. I say uncharacteristic since, not only am I a gentleman of a certain age who should leave such racket to the yout’, but my electronic music library/understanding is relatively small and uninformed. Nonetheless, something about the music touched me (perhaps its links, sonic and physical, to dub reggae and Bristol, respectively) and, over the next 4 years I set about regularly buying Tectonic plates, Punch Drunks, white label refixes, etc., etc., entertaining myself with lonely bass weight sessions in the stereo room at Chez Asbo. None of my contemporaries or neighbours were interested. The few times I ventured into DS club nites were certainly musically edifying (the punishing volume adds impact, weight and substance), but socially less so.
Anyway, I often wondered when I would make my first Dubstep-Charity Shop purchase. And so it has come to pass. Of course, in my reveries, the buy involved copies of the first ten DMZ 12″s, but a £1.25 cd from The Shelter in Hythe of Will Bevan’s woodblock bothering second (and, at present, last) album which sent Boomkat into such paroxysms half a decade ago will do. (Other reveries involve finding J. Coltrane’s complete Impulse! oeuvre, so let’s say my daydreams don’t hew very close to reality–still, I get chills thinking about the possibility). I already own Untrue on 2xLp, but the cd, in decidedly oldskool fashion, has four tracks not on the vinyl. I hesitate to call them bonus tracks since, interestingly, the cd’s playlist has been given a reshuffle, offering a different listening experience to this unique, crepuscular record.
This quote from Derek Walmsley in The Wire explains Burial better than I can: “Inspired by the darkside drum’n’bass of the Metalheadz label, Burial decided at the outset to avoid at all costs the rigid, mechanistic path that eventually brought drum ‘n’ bass to a standstill. To this end, his percussion patterns are intuitively arranged on the screen rather than rigidly quantized, creating minute hesitations and slippages in the rhythm. His snares and hi-hats are covered in fuzz and phaser, like cobwebs on forgotten instruments, and the mix is rough and ready rather than endlessly polished. Perhaps most importantly, his basslines sound like nothing else on Earth. Distorted and heavy, yet also warm and earthy, they resemble the balmy gust of air that precedes an underground train.”