- Dusk & Blackdown's Keysound label has released some great music in the last few years, but it's only now that it seems to be establishing a completely distinct niche for itself. Fueled largely by the duo's search for music to play on their monthly Rinse FM shows, just-released compilation This Is How We Roll tapped into an impressive seam of 130 BPM music, from both hitherto unknown names and burgeoning artists such as Beneath and Visionist. While varied in approach, all seem to share a desire to return to that moment, in around 2008, where the emergence of Funky was having powerful effects on dubstep and grime, generating rhythmically inventive, dark and distinctly UK-flavoured forms.
Rather than staying focused on the tropes of grime or dubstep—the genres most of these producers grew up with—the four tracks on Keysound Allstars 2 draw from styles throughout the UK's rave continuum. So Walton's "Homage"—a brusque slice of darkside two-step—drags hardcore's drugged-up diva voices and the whiplash basslines of drum & bass into its orbit. Etch's "Scatta" is very much a jungle flavoured concoction, all pulsating sub-bass and shattered breaks that ricochet around the mix. Visionist's "From A Place" riffs on eskibeat: its frostily translucent basslines are pure Wiley, with heavily delayed snares thwacking like helicopter rotors while clouds of vapour rise up through the mix. Fresh Paul's "Sunblazed" touches on the romantic melodies of sinogrime, its diffuse frame seemingly woven from tiny shards of brightly coloured glass.
A1 Etch – Scattah
A2 Walton – Homage
B1 Visionist – From A Place
B2 Fresh Paul – Sunblazed