Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Dusk & Blackdown – Margins Music (Keysound Recordings)

Another excellent dubstep album for this year we have already had treats from 2562, Flying Lotus at very different ends of the spectrum and from different countries. Margins Music is pure London all the way through to it’s core, in much the way Burial is, but then Dusk & Blackdown sound very different indeed from all of those artists I have just mentioned. So what do they sound like?

Margins Music is a diverse melting pot of sounds that you could hear in and around London but especially the edges hence the name Margins Music. This album is like taking a drive round different neighbour hoods as the sun sets and night life comes into full effect. The backdrop being bass and beats with a sprinkling of London’s found sounds such as Desi, Grime, Dubstep, Eastern, Techno, and lots in-between. The liner notes by dubstep scribe and Dusk’s other half, Blackdown describes Margins Music as a travel through the city to great effect and a lot better than I could ever do, as I live up North.

Darker Than East that features the Roll Deep Entourage sounds like a mosaic of found sounds and interviews about the place they grew up in on a bed of screwed up bass and electronica. This sets the tone for the album well as this theme runs throughout in other gems like This is London.

The first distinct section / trip through LDN is on a Punjabi / Desi / British-Asian vibe. The track Con/Fusion (Out soon on 12”) featuring the sublime vocals of Farrah who pops up on two other numbers as well, is one of my favourite the use of traditional drums and an irresistible techy synth hook with a mellow laid back tone juxtaposed with Farrah looped vocal is beautiful. Lata VIP continues the flow of Desi influence on an instrumental tip into the excellent Kuri Pataka (The Firecracker Girl) that features Teji & Farrah. This is another standout and will be on the same 12” as Con/Fusion. Kuri Pataka has a catchy vocal hook that draws you in before looping it and bringing the hype with a drum roll and big Asian strings. Rolling Raj Deep sounds like a freaky hybrid of Bollywood dance instrumentals and badass dirty underground sounds. The bass is huge as always with Dusk & Blackdown that goes without saying…

The next part of London the album ventures into is the ends of the Grime warriors, (Keysound Radio) sets the tone with some field recordings of a pirate radio show before Durrty Goodz spits bars over Concrete Streets. He is one of my favourite Grime MC’s for sure, and he brings it to this track the hook, ‘I from these streets, from these streets, everyone will tell you I run these streets’ buries into your brain as does the bass and hooks. Trim’s The Bits is up next in the Grime section, this is the same version that was on Soulfood Vol.3 Trim’s excellent mixtape earlier this year, I have already chatted about that before so I won’t go into detail. Dis/East brings a eastern vibe to the grime section with tingeling shimmers of string sounds and bells of some kind laid on top of deep bass and some electro style skitting drum patterns. That flows into the Aformentioned This is London…

Then the rain comes down for the final trip into some more ends. The foundsounds AKA keysounds hence the name on Margins Music are sublime you really get the feel of the place they were recorded and it adds some beautiful atmosphere to the record, not unlike Burial does with his deep pirate crackle and fuzzed out loops of drizzle but as I said before they are pretty different in sound. Iqbal’s Groove with that mighty fine vocal tones of Farrah comes on like an Arabic / Asian dub hybrid of massive proportions. The driving bass really keeps things moving. The Drumz of Nagano pound like a Japanese electro bass freak out and then melt into the Detroit techno influenced Focus. Focus came out recently on 12” and I can’t get enough of it, I put it in my first ever dubstep mix and blended it with a Derrick May remix of Night of the Jaguar as the strings and skipping beats fit together so well. This draws Margins Music to a close in euphoric style like darting lights in the midnight traffic of the London metropolis.

Check it out right away you won’t be disappointed…

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