Nowadays the phrase ‘Dubstep Compilation’ is more likely to be met with furrowed brows or an overly lacklustreresponse than any real excitement. For the most part, it’s a justified reaction – the quality in your garden variety Dubstep Compilation sits echelons below the class of sporadic genre stalwarts like the Tempa All-Stars collections. It seems as if many of the record labels circulating compilations are suffering from a hideous lack of imagination. So if the idea of yet another CD featuring that Ellie Goulding remix, that Deadmau5 remix and usually a track featuring a sample of a foul-mouthed cockney is enough to make you take a hammer to your headphones then the antidote is 2CDs of inspiration in the shape of Adventures in Dubstep And Beyond.
Behind its ever-so-slightly Tolkien-esque name lies one of the most cerebral and exciting cross-sections of Dubstep to surface for some time. Rather than relying on pedestrian kick-snare patterns and generic, quivering bass-notes this Ministry of Sound compilation delves both down to dubstep’s deepest roots and out to its furthest, most twisted branches.
This should come as no surprise to those familiar with the name Joe Muggs. For those who aren’t acquainted, Muggs is an esteemed journalist with more than a simple penchant for electronic music. With boundless enthusiasm and extensive knowledge of the furthest reaches of Dubstep’s milieu it’s hardly a shock to see that Muggs has curated a cross-section of the genre that so completely reflects its broad diversity, brilliance and potential.
Starting with the brilliantly woozy Ikonika remix of Egyptrixx’s ‘The Only Way Up’, Muggs immediately establishes the compilation as a departure from the predictable, a celebration of innovation and evolution. As Ikonika’s jittery technicolour moves on through the proto-garage sounds of producers like Martin Kemp, Noodles, Sully and VVV there are hybrid references; nods made to back to the 90’s and gazes set firmly out to the future. It’s established pretty swiftly that this is not a compilation where you should be expecting Caspa or Rusko to rear their wobbly heads – it almost feels like the equivalent of delving through your Dad’s old vinyl’s; as if you’re plumbing the depths of a boundless musical revelation.
Adventures In Dubstep.. effortlessly traverses the wide and rocky landscapes of an area of dubstep that not nearly enough listeners explore. Without even a hint of predictability the compilation moves through 31 tracks of sheer variety. The tracks all share similar genealogy , yet every track is so disparate, so entirely and uniquely developed that the compilation never errs too close to a homogeneity too closely – and unfairly – associated with dubstep.
Adventures In Dubstep & Beyond is out now on Ministry of Sound, Below is the a minimix of all the tracks on the album, giving you a full overview of the eclectic and unique sounds on offer.