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Review: Hektagon – London

Artist: Hektagon
Title: London
Label: Freakz of Nature
Genre: Dubstep/Grime
Format: CD
Buy From: Juno Records

There’s a unique and interesting story behind both Hektagon and his debut artist album, London. Let me begin. Rewind ten years ago and Hektagon was a fresh-faced youth making his first forays into the music industry as a hip-hop MC and producer in Palencia, Northern Spain. Now, a decade on, he has established himself as one of the most forward-thinking and eclectic producers in the underground dance music scene, blending the sounds of dubstep, D&B, IDM, broken beat and electronica into a gorgeous melting pot of beats, bass and samples.

London sonically charts his spiritual and musical journey through the city, which has given rise to some of music’s – and indeed Hektagon’s – most defining moments. From the “Old Days” and “Nightlife” through “Finsbury Park interlude” to “Inside The Tube” and “Thames Out”, he blends dark dubstep with sparse, spaced out beats, mellow orchestrals and deep, contemplative b-lines with some subtle allusions to techno and nu-skool breaks, and some funky twists.

Scattering samples and sonic soundbites from the everyday (jingling car keys, birds twittering and background traffic) across the album, Hektagon builds a wide and textured palette of sounds into the very fabric of ‘London’ as a whole. Teaming up with MC Creamo in “This Is London”, as well as Vincent Kane in “Stepping Down” is the final addition to a fantastic body of work.

Atmospheric, thought provoking, and captivating are just a few of the words I would use to describe this intriguing, deeply musical album. As much as it is a work that seeks to challenge traditional genre boundaries, it is also a firm favourite amongst dubstep heavyweights Reso, Kromestar, Rob Sparks, Bar 9 and Tes La Rok, which speaks volumes about the quality and calibre of production – it certainly comes very highly recommended.

Review: Belinda Rowse