Review Summary: A new breed of dubstep2 of 3 thought this review was well written
While the bass driven genre of dubstep has grown immensely popular in the United States over the past year, it seems as though its detractors have grown in unison. Dubstep has often been criticized for its mechanical formula, 'womps', and lack of variety, but Atlanta electronic music producer Taste Tester challenges the status quo of the genre with the release of his new EP The Battle of Atlanta.
The Battle of Atlanta begins with a dramatic civil war narration that engulfs the listener into the atmosphere of Atlanta in the 1860's, prefacing the absolute chaos that awaits them later. While the civil war theme may not have been intended to be interpreted this way, the EP itself is almost a war between genres, where dubstep, dirty south hip-hop, glitch-hop, and countless other genres compete for supremacy over 5 tracks of controlled chaos. While chaotic clashes of audio have a tendency to sound unpleasant, that's certainly not the case here. Taste Tester seamlessly transitions on the stop of a dime from genre to genre, providing an interesting thrill of not knowing what to expect next. Don't be confused though, this is a dubstep release at heart but it elaborates on the genre and challenges the status quo. For example, the track 'Fate of the South' starts off with a verse by rapper Stanza that has a early 90's southern rap vibe, then progresses into a hip-hop groove reminiscent of early Outkast, and then transitions smoothly into a futuristic bass attack. The fluidity of these transitions is what makes all of this most impressive.
From a production viewpoint The Battle of Atlanta is a very solid release. Taste Tester has to have a drumming background, because the drums on here are absolutely fantastic and differentiate themselves from other dubstep releases. Rock and roll drum fills fly by at blinding speeds, time signatures aren't always in the standard 4/4 that dubstep fans have been accustomed to, and the beats are almost always interesting and varied. A variety of samples can also be found on this release and are integrated decently into the mix. I could pick out samples from Gucci Mane, Star Fox, Mario, Lil' Wayne, 70's slap bass, and what sounded like female vocals from an 80's lifetime movie. Point being there are a lot of samples here that add to the chaos of this EP. One complaint I did find myself having about the production is the lack of enough low end. While 808 toms and bass drops are present, they weren't enough to really get the air pumping through my audio system like other dubstep tracks do and were simply underwhelming. While this EP offers a wide variety of sounds and elaborates on dubstep, there are times where I felt like Taste Tester could have elaborated a bit more. The track 'I Know You Know' is a prime example of this. The track starts off with a catchy synth lead and builds up into a downward spiral of a drop, but from there it doesn't progress very much and at times feels only partially completed. These instances of staleness are rare, painfully obvious when they do occur.
The Battle of Atlanta is a solid release from this up and coming producer. Combining elements of rap and dubstep, Taste Tester crafts a product that's interesting and unique and that will ultimately set him apart from contemporary dubstep producers.