Thursday, May 13, 2010
There is little doubt that as far as America is concerned Dubstep has arrived. From sweaty, smoke-filled clubs in the U.K. the bass heavy, bastard child of garage, grime, & jungle has inexplicably caught the ears and hearts of anybody who happens to take a listen. The genre has it's godfathers (benga, kode9) and it's innovators (Burial, Skream) and now thanks to the Diplo backed, promotional juggernaut that is Mad Decent it seems that it has it's first American Superstar (I mean he's a superstar in America folks...Dudes a Bloody Brit through and through! pay attention). Rusko!
"OMG!" drops like a bomb on the DMZ! Scattering just about everything in it's path. The album has something for everyone. Rusko, born Chris Mercer, not just content to sit back and roll out grimey, sub bass, throb and gristle, cleans up his production and drops glittery, disco ball funk, rootsy dub and even plays with convention by adding southern hip hop icon Gucci Mane to the mix on "Got Da Groove." Oh don't worry, he doesn't disappoint the dubstep massive. Bass rollers abound. The man, alongside his partner Caspa, knows a thing or two about bass wobbles..."Woo Boost" is a dirty, mutated, chunk of the evil bass that simply screams anthem from beginning to end. But suddenly and seemingly without warning Rusko delivers a piece of 2-step, female vocal driven, club madness with "Hold On" featuring Dirty Projectors femme fatale, Amber Coffman.
But enough about the already leaked and over-blogged teaser tracks. The meat of the album is a fulfilling joyride from one end of Rusko's influences and interests to the other. The man eschews the played out, yet oh so trendy, auto-tune for significantly funkier and much more satisfyingly processed Roger Troutman-esque vocals on "You're On My Mind Baby," and "I Love You." Horns, ala "Sussudio" era Phil Collins, swirl their way through a retro eighties driven, synth drum, canyon and somehow end up falling into the earthshaking bass of "Dial My Number." Rusko has obviously been listening to the same soundtrack that Chromeo reintroduced to the world with "Fancy Footwork."
But Rusko doesn't stop there...oh no. "Kumon Kumon" and "Ravers Special" suddenly teleports back to the original hardcore (even before they were calling it jungle) rhythms of the early 90's rave scene. Sped up piano synths, female house vocals, and an amen break intact and waiting for whistles and air horns. Ok maybe the female house vocals were only in my head but I can totally hear them fitting into these tracks.
Rusko is about to be a household name with his recent production for M.I.A.'s latest album and there is little doubt that everyone is gonna have an opinion about the kid. So here is mine. "OMG!" is an astonishingly accomplished debut album from this kid from Leeds. It is the first but I'm quite certain it isn't the last. And I for one cannot wait for whats next!
Download: "I Love You" & "Dial My Number"