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Review: Kromestar – The Other Syde

Artist: Kromestar
Title: The Other Syde
Label: Dubstar
Genre: Dubstep/Grime
Format: CD
Buy From: Juno Records

Alternatively known by the alias Ironsoul when he’s producing grime, South London dubstep don Kromestar has swiftly reached the top of his game, and is now one of the biggest names in the game thanks to a series of strong releases over the past few years. The Other Syde is a double CD album package on the Dubstar imprint that melds together his strong grime influence with dirty basslines, wonky vibes, a deep, reverberating soundscape and crisp, punchy beats.

Characterized by some discernibly wobbly b-line action, the album kicks off with the delectably rude “Badman”, which mixes beautifully into the aptly named quivering “Bassbin”, with echoey vocal snippets amongst the heavy pummelling subs. Amongst the five unreleased tracks featured on The Other Syde, the dark, moody “Skystalker”, squelchy “Dutty Bread” and sparse, cerebral “Grey Thought” are all reason enough to buy the album alone. Other highlights include the twisted, atmospheric expanse of “Technique” as well as “The Buddha”, with ominous, tongue-in-cheek vocal sampling adding further fuel to the fire: “when facing your enemy you have to aim for his weakest point, use the Buddha finger accurately, and you’ll find you will win whatever he shall try to do”.

The second CD, entitled A Selection Of Works, is another carefully selected auditory assault for the discerning dubstep listener, featuring a warped out slab of bass, which is, quite literally, “Off Da Hook”, along with the eerie chiming “10 30”, and the sultry sounds of “Skaredem”, amongst others.

For Kromestar, this marks a departure from his debut album My Sound, but retains his fresh, dynamic approach. It’s one of those albums that bears for re-listening, re-winding and all that jazz…and you’ll still love it even after all that.

Review: Belinda Rowse