Various Artists - Dark Matter: Multiverse 2004-2009

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  • Multiverse is basically an umbrella company rub by James Ginzburg, AKA Ginz. It's the locus of the labels Tectonic, Caravan, Vertical Sound and Kapsize, as well as the name of a studio that's generally used by Ginz, either alone or with his duos the Body Snatchers or Emptyset. Dark Matter: Multiverse 2004-2009, a brimming two-CD compilation (not mix), features 24 tracks by 17 artists in total, including stuff from labels beyond the four just mentioned, and there is a fair amount of inter-act collaboration, the most obviously successful of which is Joker and Ginz's instant classic "Purple City." But much of this collection is given over to individual visions that happen to mesh, as much as a hive-mind mentality. Granted, the advantage of a hive is multiple entry points, and one reason Dark Matter is so sharp is how porous its ideas are. Even if the artists aren't always getting together in the same room, they're bouncing ideas off one another, and that kind of interaction is central to this collection. The tracks favor hard, no-fucking-around bass lines without a blink—the dub pressure of Pinch's 2006 crusher "Qawwali" remains a high bar for new jacks to match—but there's room for all kinds of perspectives. We get laddish wobble on Body Snatchers' "Big Ass Miniskirt" (also nodding to Detroit bass, among other "ghetto" styles) and woozy atmospherics on Joker's "Psychedelic Runway." October's "Euro Dance Hit" is lazy and glitchy, art-techno technique transferred to bass-scaping; 2562's "Techno Dread" captures its own feel perfectly with its title, liquid on the bottom and on top. The low end of Pinch & P Dutty's slow-mo bomb "War Dub" utilizes every square on the board, in its own sweet time and way, while Emptyset's "Gate 4" goes so low it sounds like it's kicking up dirt. There's a lot to dig into here. Dark Matter is a summation, with emphasis on the "a." Keeping up with dubstep's many strands is a full-time job at the moment, but it's good to have a reminder of what a solid core there is to something with so many tentacles reaching in so many directions. It's an unapologetically arty compilation that never once leaves the body, like a Generation YouTube version of Platinum Breakz.
  • Tracklist
      Disc One 01. Vex'd - Lion 02. Circuit Breaker - Phonque (October remix) 03. Moving Ninja - Witchdokta 04. Pinch & P Dutty - War Dub 05. S.N.O - Disturbance 06. Skream - Bahl Fwd 07. Joker - Stuck in the System 08. The Body Snatchers - Big Ass Mini Skirt 09. 2562 - Techno Dread 10. Joker & Ginz - Purple City 11. Pinch feat. Yolanda - Get Up (RSD remix) 12. Baobinga & ID - Tongue Riddim Disc Two 01. Vex'd - Pop Pop 02. Loefah & Skream - 28 Grams 03. Cyrus - Indian Stomp 04. Pinch - Qawwali / Brighter Day 05. Loefah - System 06. Moving Ninja - Uranium 07. October - Three Drops 08. Joker - Psychedelic Runway 09. October - Euro Dance Hit 10. Emptyset - Gate 4 11. 2562 - Unbalance 12. Emptyset - Demian