Various Artists - Space and Time

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  • Hands together for Hot Flush boss Paul Rose, a.k.a. Scuba, who has really done a good job of putting together this collection of largely unreleased tracks from Hot Flush artists. The fourteen cuts here add up to an excellent CD that doesn’t feel at all like a compilation – there’s an unusual cohesiveness of vision that keeps the flow, the mood and the aesthetic together. The Hot Flush sound sits somewhere between the IDM complexity and old-school ambience of Planet Mu and the sophisticated big drum and big bass sound of Tectonic. That similarity is not surprising given that the three labels often share the same artists, but Hot Flush is far from derivative. Indeed, what makes it unique is its intelligence. Space and Time just sounds smart with every noise and mood having a well conceived place, function and purpose. Intelligent (sound) design, as it were. Everything is considered, but nothing is over or underdone. In the same way, each track has its place, blending comfortably with the intentions of its neighbour. Space and Time then hits the mark as a solid collection of bright, danceable and atmospheric dubstep. Highlights from the set are difficult to pick. The fine opening cut from Germany’s Jazzsteppa sets the dial to reggae but sounds nothing like Rhythm and Sound, while Scuba’s own ‘Inmost’ is one of the more downbeat tracks, contrasting a soft seaside field recording with the clatter of slow, heavy beats. The complicated Eastern melodic trains in Gravious´s ´Subterfuge´ flicker with energy, while Elemental´s ´Raw Material´ also wears a strong Jamaican influence on its sleeve, sounding like it could be straight from King Tubby himself. Yet best of all are Boxcutter’s ‘Philly’, one of the few previously released tracks and an elaborate composition that burns out in deep dub style, while Vaccine’s ‘Fever’ is simply brilliant with its humid atmosphere and haunting, sung vocals. The weakest track is perhaps the remix of Toasty’s ‘Angel’ by experimental techno producer Si Begg, which is marred by distracting computer game effects, but even this is hardly a turkey. Space and Time is also available as a triple vinyl pack, which reduces the fourteen CD tracks to nine by largely removing the previously released ones, but the vinyls should satisfy the DJs and purists nonetheless. If you came to the dubstep party late or are more inclined to straight up electronica, this is as good an entry point into the genre as you could ask.
  • Tracklist
      01 Jazzsteppa - One 02 Vaccine - Fever 03 Scuba - Out There 04 Boxcutter - Philly 05 Intex Systems - DS4 06 Scuba - Inmost 07 Elemental - Raw Material 08 Toasty - The Knowledge (Vex''d remix) 09 Gravious - Subterfuge 10 Boxcutter - Infraviolet 11 Slaughter Mob - No Big Deal 12 Vaccine - Wishful Thinking 13 Toasty - Angel (Si Begg remix) 14 Elemental - Sparkle