Shackleton & Appleblim - Soundboy Punishments

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  • The most successful and yet experimental of dubstep’s first wave are those that have drifted furthest away from the grime roots of the genre. In terms of definitive albums, Burial’s eponymous debut is the shining light (or is that shining dark?) example of this, but it’s now joined by South London’s Skull Disco label compilation. Burial had the advantage of releasing an album in the purest sense of the word, but this release is only less classic because of what it is, a compilation, not because it lacks in quality or intensity. Between them, Shackleton and Appleblim (with a sole contribution by Gatekeeper) have filled two discs with tracks culled from their fledgling label’s six releases, topping it off with the inclusion of Ricardo Villalobos’ epic eighteen-minute minimal techno remix of ‘Blood on My Hands’. Shackleton opens proceedings, and the majority of tracks are simply dazzling throughout. His minimal drum pressures and ethnic atmospheres are completely convincing and never stop driving forward. It’s a sculptured, living jungle sound in the truest sense, conjuring up fierce fires and impenetrable shadows flickering in the pressing trees. Tracks like ‘Tin Foil Sky’ and the immortal ‘Blood on My Hands’ perfectly capture this mood, somehow wild and menacing, but deliberate also. Villalobos’s remix loses a little of the direct humid pressure of the original, but finds instead a slower, maddening hypnotism and an airiness that still works well. Appleblim has also honed the label’s signature minimal drum sound to perfection, but there’s less of an ethnic influence and more of an old school palette. The bass climb in ‘Mystical Warrior’, for example, is absolutely vicious and begs you to crank it up, while on other tracks he works more patiently to build brooding atmospheres. Apart from the quality of the individual tracks, the compilation has a fantastic flow to it, creating an intelligent, poised and sensual listening experience. Highly recommended, and to think they nearly shut their label down!
  • Tracklist
      CD 1 01. Shackleton – Hamas Rule 02. Appleblim – Girder 03. Shackleton – Tin Foil Sky 04. Appleblim - Mystical Warrior 05. Shackleton – I Am Animal 06. Appleblim – Fear 07. Shackleton – Majestic Visions 08. Shackleton – Naked 09. Gatekeeper – Tomb 10. Shackleton – Hypno Angel 11. Appleblim – Cheat I CD 2 1 Shackleton – Blood On My Hands (Ricardo Villalobos Remix) 2 Shackleton – Stalker 3 Appleblim – Gold and Silver 4 Shackleton – I Want To Eat You 5 Shackleton – New Dawn 6 Shackleton – Massacre 7 Shackleton – Make Me Cry