Friday 13 January 2012

Mail-order "music"

See the title of this blog? Yeah, that's what my answer to the following question is going to be from now on:

Would you like to listen to some post-dubstep?

Right, this morning I noticed the phrase "post-dubstep" crop up in the list of eligible albums for XFM'x New Music Award 2012. Intrigued, I sought out some to find out what on earth justified the ridiculous moniker.

First up, a James Blake track entitled Limit To Your Love. This rather stripped-down song starts off with jaunty piano reminiscent of Aretha Franklin backing soulful pop vocals. Then the piano disappears, replaced by some lazy percussion. Then the percussion vanishes and piano comes back. THEN THERE'S PERCUSSION AND PIANO AT THE SAME TIME. Wait, no, that was just one chord. Got my hopes up there.

At this point I was thinking, "perhaps I've simply selected the wrong song as this has no elements of dubstep whatsoever", so I tried another: The Wilhelm Scream, also by James Blake. This was just as devoid of dubstep elements, and quite frankly, very dull indeed. As far as instrumentation goes, jazzing up the sound of a metronome doesn't really work.

Still unconvinced, I went for a different artist associated with the "genre", SBTRKT. Having suffered from a debilating impediment which causes suffers to ignore the existence of vowels, I expected Aaron Jones to plague my soul with winsome, melancholy music full of atmosphere and feelings.

(No, not really.)

Wildfire turned out to be significantly more dubsteppy than either of the James Blake tracks, yet also very lacking of...well, music. Some basic percussion accompanied with the wob-wobbing of electronics made a very dull background for some decent vocals provided by Little Dragon (apparently they're a Swedish electronic band). Not impressed, really.

I'm not one to judge something without adequate evidence, so I figured I'd check out one last track. SBTRKT again, with Pharaohs. Right, this is more like it. It's also what I'd call "electro-pop".

Perhaps there is a reason for connecting the "dubstep" genre to certain musicians, but a silly genre name is not the way to do it.

Conclusion: post-dubstep, if it even exists, is definitely not my thing. If you enjoy it, well...make yourself a nice cup of tea and have a civilized rave to it. On the other hand, post-hardcore makes my ears happy.

1 comment:

rikkit said...

little dragon are awesome though 'wildfire' isn't the best track on that album (goes to 'right thing to do')

also, post dubstep is not a thing