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Skream/Instra:mental – No Future review

Artist: Skream, Instra:mental
Title: No Future
Label: Nonplus
Genre: Dubstep/Grime
Format: 12″, Digital
Buy From: Juno Records, Juno Download

With the slightly tinny, echoing monotone vocal sample “Lies, confusion, government, control, crime, money, panic, terror…” broadcasted over a hard-hitting stabbing beat, it’s a bold start for track that propagates an acutely felt cultural and musical zeitgeist.

At once dramatic and apocalyptic but also rather dreary and defeatist, the drilled, spoken message of No Future is quickly overcome by Skream’s expert deployment of grinding, grating SFX and wobbly, uncertain synths. Capturing the spirit of the origibnal Instra:mental version, Skream pairs acerbic, grizzled sounds with occasional glitchy moments and a building wave of bass coupled with gravelly sub-bass to create a rising sense of tension. A soundtrack for our generation, this is a chunky b-line monster that is deep, dark contemplative to the core.

On the flip, the aptly named Minimalistix sees the dubstep pioneer and musical phenomenon delve into sparser soundscapes with a distinctly minimal, genre-hopping, boundary-pushing overtone. Sharp, spiky beats, high-pitched suckerpunch sounds and bouncing, bleepy rattles predominate in this bizarre, experimental territory for a full 50 seconds before a smashing, thunderous beat kicks in. It’s interesting, very abstract and rather reminiscent of the Russian artist, Bop, as it retains a sense of beauty in its reduction and minimalism.

Review: Belinda Rowse