Site Meter

deadbeat / something borrowed, something blue / ~scape

The timing couldn't have been better for this album to come out. These days, "digi-dub" conjures up the sound of dark and heavy-lidded, surface-noise filled beatscapes. Don't get me wrong, I still love Pole, Rhythm and Sound, Kit Clayton etc., but I'm not excited about the prospect of hearing just another version of the aforementioned artists.

Deadbeat's new album, his second on Stefan Betke's Scape label, IS a solid member of the "digi-dub" family, but it manages to stand on its own, deftly avoiding falling into digital dub cliché. For one thing, the album is not another track-to-track exploration of the same theme over and over. From the first note the album opens up slowly and evolves, slowly introducing shifts in rhythm and melody that follow alternately open and song-like structures. Killer warm bass is woven into directed ambient moments that progress into nicely developed songs. Good old-fashioned quality "songwriting" that's well sequenced to create an "album" feel. (It sounds like I'm grasping, but I'm not, trust me.)

This album also successfully uses its dub roots as a launch pad instead of an anchor. In other words, it takes its dub inspiration and moves away from it to become something else enjoyable in its own right rather than sounding like a looped tribute album. Sounds easy, but as I hinted at in the "timing" comment earlier, these days that counts for a lot. I've been recommending this album left and right as a downright solid new electronic album. It might not change your worldview, but you'll definite play this one over and over.
listen: deadbeat / fixed elections
listen: deadbeat / white out