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Various – Scientist Launches Dubstep Into Outer Space review

A project that has taken over a year to come into full fruition, Scientist Launches Dubstep Into Outer Space is an ambitious and impressive project spearheaded by Tectonic boss Pinch to bring dubstep’s primary influence into the forefront of our collective consciousness. The album sees King Tubby’s protégé, engineer extraordinaire and dub pioneer in his own right, Hopeton Brown aka Scientist, rework twelve exclusive and previously unreleased tracks from the contemporary dubstep landscape and put them back into the context of their heritage. Released as a double disc, with original tracks on one and Scientist’s dubs on the other, it’s a stunning and evocative opus of work, featuring tracks from influential artists such as Kode9, RSD, Cyrus, Guido, Mala, Shackleton and of course Pinch himself.

The album starts with Pinch and Ninja Tune artist Emika’s “2012”. Poignant, melancholic murmurings prevail from the off which Scientist draws out to the max, so that the soft, barely there vocal snakes around the pattering beats like whisps of smoke. Then there’s Guido’s signature synth-led psychadelia in “Korg Back”, bearing all the hallmarks of the sound he has become so known for. Scientist teases this out and adds his own touch, deftly dissecting but not destroying the sounds but rather re-moulding them like warm putty. Shackleton’s “Hackney Marshes” is another stand out, which Scientist re-works to perfection, with its pattering percussion and sparse, hollowed soundscape.

Continuing the journey into outer space, we are taken through the vocal-led whisperings of King Midas Sound, through contributions from Asbo and Distance, to seminal Bristol junglist-turned dubstep don, RSD who adds a more intrinsically reggae flavoured template to the proceedings. This immediately lends itself to Scientists’ sparkle, as he breathes a new life into the original, before we move on to newcomer Jack Sparrow, who shakes things up as we enter the finale. DMZ’s Mala brooding “City Cycle” is another milestone from the final tripartite of tracks and Scientist’s dub version really brings out the warm, fuzzy elements to the fore, before Hyperdub head honcho Kode 9 takes over for the forward thinking, tribal motif of “Abeng” which concludes the album.

Even in the opening few tracks, it is striking how the sounds and rhythms in the second generation of dub’s mutant offspring still retain the ethos of the music of its forefathers – something which becomes more and more evident as the album progresses. The project itself is nothing short of a post-modern masterpiece and its legacy will no doubt live on for future generations to enjoy, contemplate and consider late into the night.

Belinda Rowse