The Others
Red Planet


4.0
excellent

Review

by Will Robinson STAFF
December 25th, 2012 | 10 replies | 1,190 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A convincing argument for the legitimacy of heavy dubstep.

2012 has been a disappointing year so far for Dub Police. After a solid 2011 that saw the releases of a very good Subscape EP, a pretty good EP from The Others, a decent full-length from Emalkay, and some fantastic shorter releases from smaller artists like Subzee-D and KGB, the British dubstep label simply hasn't been able to match their 2011 output this year. Not only has the label released far less material, the material it has released has been unfortunately mediocre - a middling Subscape EP, some average Caspa singles, and three smaller artists' EPs which don't hold a candle to those released last year. Of course, this 2012 summary overlooks the massive amount of advertising of The Others' debut full-length which the label did this past year as well. Dub Police promoted the album like crazy, releasing somewhere around a third of the album in singles over the course of the year, and it was made clear that a mediocre 2012 was due in part to the label wanting to end the year with a bang with the release of the album on December 21st. Thanks in part to the almost ridiculous amount of hype surrounding the release, however, many fans of The Others (including this reviewer) were just a bit worried about the final product. After all, we've seen quite a few more albums than we would have liked to this year which didn't quite live up to massive expectations - Netsky's sophomore release alienated quite a bit of the fanbase he won over after his debut, and Calyx & Teebee couldn't quite live up to the monster hopes fans had for their first full-length in five years. As a result, it's fair to say that there were quite a few nervous fans waiting anxiously for Red Planet.

Almost surprisingly, then, the album is very good. The Others (aka Alex Crawford) does what Dub Police does best, albeit occasionally - make a convincing case for heavier dubstep as a serious force in the electronic music community. One of the best things about Red Planet is that it's far removed from most brostep clich├ęs, a factor which aids mightily in its argument for acceptance as a serious work of music. There are minimal, if any, stereotypical drops, there's a definite absence of shoddily-produced, balls-to-the-walls main sections, and most importantly the songs on the album don't sound like everything else already out there. Probably the best example of this phenomenon is "Spaceman." It's absolutely a heavy song - the bass is wobbly, the kicks and snares are room-filling, and there's a huge amount of distortion. Where it distances itself from other songs of its ilk is that it's a shockingly interesting yet catchy song. Much like the rest of the songs on Red Planet, "Spaceman" has interesting melodies and harmonies complementing the wobbling bass extremely well, a development progressing through the entire song instead of just making it halfway and then repeating itself almost exactly, and most importantly a coherent song structure rather than just wubs all over the place. It's a tale of an intelligible dubstep album in a world full of dumbed-down EDM, and it's clear that the release succeeds in a way people feared would not happen and rises above the toxic atmosphere surrounding it.

Almost counter-intuitively, the collaborations on the album represent some of Crawford's best output. "Feel It" is a nice work of almost chilled-out breaks with the eerie, almost otherworldly sound The Others does so well, while "Fallout" is one of the few bona-fide bangers on the album, ready to make a club go wild while not being an over-the-top, obnoxious experience at the same time. "Antithesis" is one of the best songs as well, taking a creepy, sci-fi instrumental feel and running it over plaintive synth whines and growls and a lethargic breakbeat. As a whole, the album shows a coherent and original sound that stays fresh throughout the entire release and for the most part doesn't focus on individual tracks, instead being in favor of keeping the whole album together. Sure, at times it does feel like parts of the album are there simply to support some singles - the second half of "Showdown / Polaris" as an intro to "Fallout," the second half of "Stargate" as an intro to "The Way You Make Me" - but mostly the full-length actually feels like a full-length instead of a collection of singles. It's a good thing, too - Red Planet displays exactly what can make a heavier dubstep album good, and it's relieving to see what The Others has accomplished. Dub Police has had a stroke of luck here - they managed to end 2012 with a worthwhile release, one which they can use to brag about an excellent year, a year where it's doubtful anyone will complain too much after listening to this.



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user ratings (1)
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Brostep
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2012



3406 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Originally posted on www.muzikdizcovery.com, can't find a stream for this so you'll have to buy (pirate?) this if you want to listen to the whole thing.

Apologies for a shitty review, I had mad writer's block on this one. I've basically had this album on repeat for almost a week now - didn't even expect it to be good at all, much less as good as it was. Definitely worth a look if you have even a passing interest in the heavier stuff.

Zettel
December 25th 2012



589 Comments


How is this compared to Reso album?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2012



31047 Comments


The Others have always been hit and miss, and with one of them leaving they've (he's) gotten even worse

Digging: Marcel Dettmann - Fabric 77

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2012



3406 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I thought the Reso was more "dunstep's answer to Split The Atom," this is good but not quite as interesting. Solid album though, worth a look (I thought the Reso was top 5 for me, this is more top 25 material).

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2012



3406 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Decent review though?

Zettel
December 25th 2012



589 Comments


Thanks for the response. I liked Reso a lot, but dubstep/brostep is really not my usual stuff, so I am not quick in checking more of it. I might give this a chance.

And yeah, the review is fine.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2012



3406 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great, phantom neg. Good to hear the review is ok though, although I admit it's not one of my stronger ones.

And Dev I agree The Others are rather hit and miss - the First Flight EP was shaky at best. This is definitely a hit though.

Zettel
December 25th 2012



589 Comments


The review is more than just "ok", it is a very solid one. I can say that of the most part of your reviews, and if you reviewed more "hyped" releases or more popular music, you would be, in no time, a contributor to this site. It would be very well deserved. It is very sad to see that users like you are putting more effort into his work than many contributors/staff.

You are slowly but surely improving, and as it is, your reviews are enough informative and detailed to be featured or flagged. You might not be "right there" yet, but it is a good thing. There is nothing worse than a lazy writer who thinks he is phenomenal and does not need to work harder.

As long as you enjoy writing and keep improving, you are in the right direction.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2012



3406 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the kind words Zettel! It's people like you who make me want to get better - I know I can, it'll just take some practice. You should review some more, too - I really like what I've seen from you (though I haven't seen much recently), and it would be awesome to see you get back into the swing of things.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2012



4400 Comments


Good work, Will. I dont think this was deserving of the neg (but everyone has their own reasons for it). It's a good review in my opinion, but I really dont know much about dubstep so I cant verify where you went right and wrong in that particular aspect, but you did describe the album and stuff well.

I like reading your stuff, keep at it. Have a POS.

Digging: Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty



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