Various Artists, Box Of Dub 2: Dubstep And Future Dub

Jeff Chang

By Jeff Chang

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

If Soul Jazz's second Box of Dub doesn't hit the heights of the first, it is still more consistent and accessible than its predecessor. This is largely because it abandons the attempt to historicize dubstep — a worthy goal to be sure, but one that the first set could not accomplish. Instead, the comp locks into the dubstep scene with stronger focus.

Your one-stop shop for all of the varied strains of dubstep.

To be sure, influences can be heard. Spaceape takes a star turn with Kevin Martin's Cult of the 13th Hour, setting "Wickedness" afire with his nuevo-LKJ-style toast. Pinch's "Step 2 It" features Rudey Lee in a spare, Rhythm & Sound-styled track. Cotti's frenetic "Let Go Mi Shirt" and Digital Mystikz '"Thief in Da Night" nod toward the furious late-'90s steppers of groups like Dub Funk Association and Alpha & Omega. Kode 9's "Stung" and Ramadanman's "Every Next Day" point toward dubsteppers 'growing interest in the texture and propulsion of Detroit techno.

Dubstep may still be best heard from large bassbins in sweaty clubs, but Sub Version's "Soul Jah Boogie" and Pinch's "Chamber Dub" also pay close attention to detail and repay close listenings. They are reminders that dub is meant as much to stir the synapses as to keep bodies moving.