Vinyl / DL all platforms
Cover artwork: Alex Digard
Bristol producer Rob Ellis returns after 13 years with a mixed bag of dubstep electronica to thrill your ears. Wayne Carey checks it out…
Rob Ellis has never really been away 13 years. He’s collaborated with Shackleton and Adrian Sherwood, he’s done shitloads of EPs and has earned a respectful reputation on the dubstep / bass scene with his ever evolving label Tectonic. This is a nice little follow up to Underwater Dancehall and is somewhat a sort of concept album around reality tunnels, which was a subject brought up in the 1983 book Prometheus Rising. Each song becomes a different reality tunnel in Rob’s sounds and you can hear the difference in each track.
Entangled Particles kick off the whole thing with that trademark Bristol trip hop intro and Massive Attack style vocals from guest singer Emika. It cranks up after a few minutes in with a massive crunch of dirty jungle just to fuck that shit up. All Man Got is a proper grime dubstep roller which features the familiar rasping tones of Trim from the notorious Roll Deep matched with that menacing bass sound from Ellis.
Next up is Accelerated Culture which is nothing short of a techno banger, far removed from the dubstep sound it totally changes the tempo of the album to give you a kick in your disco bollocks. A proper driving groove full of bleeps and atmosphere. Returnity and Finding Space are quite similar sounding. There a definite space them going on here which conjures up images of black hole and vortexes. These two track are verging on Orbital territory in their ambition.
Another ex Roll Deep deeper member Killa P joins Rob with vocal duties. The dubstep is back with a great threatening delivery which cranks up in the middle with some mental jungle sounds and flowing lyrics. One of the highlights. Back To Beyond goes all ambient with some nice atmospheric effects to chill us all out, then Jamaican vocalist Inezi get all spiritual with her roots meets modern bass sultry sweet tones. A proper toned down groove.
Non Terrestrial Forms start off all atmospheric and mellow with a Spiritualized kind of feel to it before it twats you in the face with a surprising attack of techno jungle. A definite shock to the sytem. Everything slows down on closing track The Last One which features Nive Nielson & The Deer Children, and goes back to the good old days of Tricky’s early stuff and Blue Lines era Massive Attack. A proper smooth slow burning trip hop number that shows Pinch aka Rob Ellis can change styles like a chameleon when he’s in the mood. That difficult second album wasn’t that bad then.
Words by Wayne Carey who writes for Louder Than War. His author profile is here.