Silkie & Quest - Dubstep Allstars Vol.09

  • Share
  • Dubstep has become a dirty word in light of... well... everything that's happened over the past few years. Distance's solid last instalment of Dubstep Allstars showed there was still life left in the classicist sectors of the genre, but when so many of its originators (Pinch, Kode9, et al) have moved beyond the genre almost entirely, it leaves one asking... who are the Dubstep Allstars in 2012? Tempa respond to this question with Silkie & Quest, two veteran but underappreciated producers who incorporate outside influences (namely, soul, funk, and jazz) to infuse standard dubstep forms with distinctive melodic flair. Both are signings to Mala's Deep Medi label, perhaps the last reliable dubstep outpost standing. The mix is thus heavy on productions from their crew, specifically the duo's own plus spiritual brother Swindle, whose horn-happy "Do the Jazz" is one of the year's greatest dubstep singles and has a prominent spot on this mix. The dynamic is largely Silkie's swing-heavy, garage-influenced breakbeats versus Quest's varying skanks, chugs and lurches, punctuated by Swindle's tinny, grime-fueled bombast. Quest is nowhere near as prolific as Silkie (who himself is two artist albums in), but he has a penchant for wandering outside dubstep borders into more downtempo territory, meaning there's an interplay of traditional vs. experimental keeping things interesting but all very "dubstep." Like a lot of dubstep mixes, Dubstep Allstars Vol. 9 is mixed hard and fast, sometimes to its detriment. There aren't a lot of tools or bridge tracks here, and each song feels like it was designed to be a centrepiece; mixing together what feels like 24 A-sides gets a little wearying after a while. Secondly, when you're dealing with tracks full of pianos and noodling synths, you're bound to get key clashes—and while the duo do a remarkable job of avoiding too much awful clanging, some of the transitions can't help but feel a little sloppy or rushed. The pacing is also strange, with things ebbing and flowing at a rate more rapid than even the most extreme of dubstep mixes. Even as the CD bounds along ecstatically, there's a distinct lack of progression. Like the "too many melodies" issue, it's more of a good problem to have than a bad one. But it further highlights that Dubstep Allstars Vol. 9 is a production showcase rather than a mix. Silkie and Quest are two of the genre's most consistent beatmakers, but compared to previous Allstars mixes from Kode9, Youngsta, Appleblim and N-Type, Vol. 9 is fun rather than galvanizing. Nonetheless, if these are our dubstep "allstars" these days, then the genre isn't in such bad shape after all.
  • Tracklist
      01. Swindle - Superhero 02. Silkie - Lucky 03. Quest - The Seafront 04. Swindle - Belfast 05. Silkie - Get Up and Dance 06. Quest - Somewhere 07. Quest - Deep Inside 08. L Wiz - 4.42 oz 09. Silkie - Selva Nova 10. Silkie Vs. Von D - Snowed In 11. Swindle - Do The Jazz 12. Mala - Eyez VIP 13. Mizz Beats & Jay Retro - Level O 14. Quest - Overcome 15. Quest - The Unknown 16. Silkie- Concrete Jungle 17. Swindle - Forest Funk 18. Silkie - Mellow Yellow 19. Silkie - Cyberdub 20. Skream - Filth (Silkie ReMiX) 21. Silkie feat Truth - Feel 22. Katy B - Witches Brew (Silkie RMX) 24. Quest - Stand