Various – Worth The Weight (Bristol Dubstep Classics) review
Once again affirming Bristolâ€™s significant presence and enduring credibility in the ever-expanding global phenomena that is dubstep, this compilation marks another significant chapter in the genreâ€™s narrative history. Brought to you on Peverelistâ€™s Punch Drunk imprint, the album is split across two CDs and celebrates the past five years of music from the city. The first disc is predominantly made up of work from the older heads â€“ Pinch, Peverelist, RSD, Headhunter, Gatekeeper, Komonazmuk, Forsaken and Appleblim â€“ whereas the second disc marks the achievement of the new wave of artists â€“ purple wow trio Joker, Gemmy and Guido, Wedge, Shadz, Hyetal as well as a couple of tracks from RSDâ€™s other alias Smith & Mighty and HENCH founder Jakes.
The first disc kicks off with Pinchâ€™s “Midnight Oil”, in which swathes of instrumentals weave around a dark, oleaginous bassline, setting the tone for the compilation before we move through such highlights as Gatekeeperâ€™s creepy, sci-fi bleeping “Tense Past”, Appleblimâ€™sÂ “Vansan”, the delicate, dancing melody of Peverelistâ€™s “Roll With The Punches” to the tribal utterances of â€™06Â Planet MuÂ hit “Qawwali” around the midway point. Headhunterâ€™s “7th Curse” is a stand outÂ from the second halfÂ as is Komanazmukâ€™s recent release on Apple Pips, “Bad Apple” and RSDâ€™s superb “Pretty Bright Light”.Â Disc two sees the aforementioned RSD make another appearance, this time under the legendary Smith & Mighty moniker with “B Line Fi Blo” – a track which, originally released in â€™02, was re-mastered and re-released on Punch Drunkâ€™s sub label Unearthed earlier this year.
From here, we are taken on a tour of contemporary Bristol through the synth-heavy sounds of Jokerâ€™s “Holly Brook Park” and “Stuck In The System”, Guidoâ€™s gorgeous, jazz-infused “Mad Sax” and “Orchestral Lab” (both taken from his debut album Anidea, which was released on Punch Drunk in May). Jakesâ€™ obnoxiously bruising bass heavy riddim “3KOut” rears its head, but itâ€™s the glorious Rustie-style technicolour “Pixel Rainbow Sequence” from Hyetal which concludes the album with a final flourish. This essential album of 2010 brings together some of dubstep’s defining moments andÂ itÂ has most definitely been worth the weight.