- Forsaken’s ‘Last Saloon Swagger’ was the odd duck of dubstep in 2007. For a genre built around the militant extremes of sound—the harshest contrasts between hi-hats and bass—‘Last…’ inverted everything, stuffing the mid-range with a whiskey-soaked piano, a sigh of guitarist Ben Blackmore and saloon bar chatter. If most dubstep has been an arms race to build the largest pipe bomb of sound design, Forsaken went perfectly antiquated and turned dubstep into a spaghetti western.
No label was willing to take a risk on ‘Last Saloon Swagger,’ but Punch Drunk wasn’t going to let that happen again, finding a slot on Punch Drunk, the experimental dubstep label in 2007, with releases ranging from symphonic-Alicia Keys anthem of Gatekeeper’s ‘Let Go’ to the brittle melody of Peverelist’s ‘Die Brucke.’
Forsaken’s new single follows the label’s contorted vision of dubstep. In fact, ‘Boat Noodles’ sounds a whole lot more like folktronica before the bass settles into dubstep’s familiar warble. Anchored by the warping and texturing of a strummed guitar, ‘Boat Noodles’ weaves in ghostly vocals and bass—often puncturing the best moments of the track. Although ‘Boat Noodles’ is just as insistent as the best dubstep, Forsaken’s strummed guitar disarms rather than overwhelms.
Forsaken’s remix of the Peverelist’s ‘Erstwhile Rhythm’ on the flip takes the original’s sinewy and melancholic melody and puffs it out, doubling up and twisting the original’s askew chimes. The troughs of ‘Erstwhile…’ are flattened in this remix, turning the track into a sleepwalker that slowly cascades forward.
A Forsaken - Boat Noodles
B Peverelist - Erstwhile Rhythm (Forsaken Mix)