For the past few years Dubstep music has really made moves. Consumer and media interests seem about ready to peak, and will most probably go off the Richter when this baby drops. Highly anticipated, Skream delivers his debut LP on Tempa, the same label that's brought you the classic 'Dubstep Allstars' compilations.
For those not familiar with the exciting genre, your best bet is to pick up one of those compilations, or indeed this album. A fair description would be to say Dubstep is a chilled out version of DnB with a focus obviously on the heavy bass of older forms of Dub music. People often refer to the music form as being dark Grime music, on the most part with the absence of vocals. Classification difficulty aside, you'll soon know what's meant by the term after a few tracks. Attend the FWD club night at Plastic People, London, and become immersed in the scene within the space of a few hours.
So onto the self-titled album. Is the hype justified? Most definitely. Every track smashes it, from the now legendary 'Midnight Request Line' which rave crowds still have babies over, to the final track 'Summer Dreams'. Consistent to the point tracks can't be considered highlights, there's continual goodness. Grime's most promising rapper JME features on 'Tapped' and Warrior Queen drops vocals over 'Check It'. Those two aside, it's instrumental all the way. 'Rutten' and 'Colourful' are flute based numbers whilst 'Stagger' is rootsy snyth music heaven.
Although Dubstep's still pretty young, there's already a few anal veterans who will frown upon this for its 'cross over' potential, much like a UK Hiphop geek will cuss Sway or Plan B for aiming beyond internet forum fame, but fuck them. Skream is one hell of a producer and is flying the flag for the Dubstep scene in great fashion. Time will tell if this is to do for Dubstep music what Roni Size's 'New Forms' did to DnB in terms of mainstream recognition, but one thing's for sure. He's given it a better shot than anyone else. The recent Burial album, this and the forthcoming Kode 9 release are taking electronic music into new spaces.