Sd Laika: That’s Harakiri (CD, Tri Angle, April 2014)

Okay, I’m not a huge dubstep fan, but there seem to be some interesting people pushing the genre boundaries out there, and in a determinedly leftfield direction. Wen’s Signals would be one example, but this takes it further: there are tracks here which only seem to contain trace DNA betraying their origins. Like the Wen record, the production is excellent, and there are some jaw-dropping juxtapositions and sudden changes in direction. Take, say, You Were Wrong: it starts out with a big wobbly sublow, but then cuts to a combination of skittery drum machine and a chopped-up loop played, apparently, on an out of tune piano, and then the drums fade, leaving the piano meandering, then the bass comes back, then the drums, and the whole thing comes together in a joyful staccato syncopation. All this in three and a quarter minutes — the whole 11 tracks clock in at just over 32 minutes. It’s great fun and very clever. And yet, and yet… somehow the album as a whole doesn’t quite convince me, and seems destined to go down as a curiosity rather than a classic — as, in all honesty, the Wen record did. Perhaps the problem is that I’m not a huge dubstep fan, and I haven’t quite found the record to convince me.

I bought this from Boomkat. They call it Grime / Fwd.

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