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Quest – Quest EP review

Headed up by the ineffable Mala, Deep Medi Musik has a rich and illustrious history as one of the leaders of the dubstep contingent. Since starting out in 2006, the label has seen releases from the likes of Kromestar, Loefah, Coki, Silkie, Skream and Calibre. In 2008, London based producer Quest joined the crew with his debut 12” on the imprint, “The Seafront/Deep Inside”, followed by “Stand/Eden”, “Last Days/The Unknown” and his most recent release, “Smooth Skin/Wind Tunnel”. Bringing a fresh of breath air to the scene with his jazzy, Detroit-influenced sound, sci-fi samples and slouchy sub-bass, he has carved out an impressive name for himself and continues to do so with this self-titled EP – a glorious culmination of his work and musical achievements to date.

Beginning the journey with “Deep Inside”, Quest pairs a glowering, turbo-charged bassline sits with beautifully enunciated clip clop beats, delicate piano keys and nocturnal rhythms. Depth, soulfulness and innate musicality are its core, with a calming and hypnotic mystique accentuated by a sprinkling of fairy dust synths, melancholic strings and snippets of eerie late night/early morning birdsong.

The snap, crackle and pop intro of “Eden”, with its series of ricocheting gun shot beats soon gives way to more harmonious, bliss, replete with warm rolling subs, rather reminiscent of early Skream, circa self-titled album, in a kind of “Dutch Flowerz” way. A military drum pattern and a warning that “the world is under attack” herald a movement towards a tougher, more alert outing in “Last Dayz”. Despite the slightly sinister edge, the track still shines with that enticing aurora which seems to consistently accompany Quest’s productions.

Continuing where “Last Dayz” left off, the “The Unknown” incorporates stabbing synths to create a sense of urgency. Some fiddly bleep patterns take over before a smoky, jazz flavoured breakdown with exotic atmospherics and a touch of the Joker sound. Concluding with the more stripped back, brooding number, “Stand”, with its prophetic “Waking Life”-esque edge, distilled beats, mournful strings and tribal percussion, Quest proves he’s where it’s at when it comes to contemporary dubstep. A superb EP.

Belinda Rowse