Review Summary: I say dubstep, you say London. I say try again
Bristol’s music scene has always played second fiddle to the overwhelming colossus of sound that is London. Yet over the last few years the younger brother has come dangerously close to dethroning London as the UK’s capital of bass mutations; a slew of releases across the dub spectrum have proven that when it comes to forward thinking electronica, Bristol definitely punches above its weight. From Appleblim’s classic Vansan
to Joker’s ubiquitous anthem Digidesign
, the smaller city has been churning out high quality, intelligent dance music that shakes foundations and challenges all preconceptions of the genre.
Which brings us to Jarvik Mindstate
. At first it’s an interesting, if sometimes disjointed, listen. Only after multiple spins does one begin to fully appreciate the shadowy talent hiding behind the dark mists of sound; off kilter beats merge with a whole plethora of dichotomous synths, whilst deep, patiently throbbing basslines swirl underneath. This isn’t your average mans dubstep album; Peverelist himself has gone so far as to state that he doesn’t believe that his music is club material, and for the most part you believe him. Quite simply, Jarvik Mindstate
is just too remarkable to be floor filling fodder in some rundown basement; it’s that rare kind of dubstep which requires your full and undivided attention. Whilst bangers like Clunk Click
go down a storm when played live, it would be a shameful waste to relegate these songs to the domain of gurning fiends when there is so much depth and intricacy to them.
On an album this rewarding its hard to pick out any particular highlight, but there are a number of moments that leave you scratching your head whilst gyrating. The awkward rhythmic interplay on the title track is especially worthy of note; somehow it manages to stumble along in a glorious drunken stupor for well over seven minutes without collapsing. The even lengthier Infinity is Now
is another standout; a whirling dervish of spiralling arpeggios that whine like skipping stones hurled across murky, bass filled ponds. Not your typical dubstep, to say the least.
But then this is precisely what makes Jarvik Mindstate
such a satisfying album, and Peverelist such an interesting producer; his uncanny ability to mix both sweet and savoury elements into a thick, atypical musical sauce, add some sonorous spices, then serve it up on a huge steaming dubplate. Exotic ingredients merge seamlessly with benchmark two step elements to make an intensely flavoured, striking and effortlessly delicious dish.
You’ll be clamouring for a second helping.