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Pinch – Retribution review

For all the hype over the various Joy Orbison & Boddika tracks which have yet to see light on Swamp81, it’s easy to forget that when they’re not breaking the internet with their indomitable hype machine, Swamp81 have been quietly releasing some of the best dubstep records of the last few years, and this new release from genre pioneer Pinch is a case in point.

At 128bpm, “Retribution” is perhaps a little slow for most dubstep DJs, but is no less powerful for it. The hallmarks of the genre are all there; booming subs, ethereal vocals, rolling kicks, but as a track it perhaps fits more with the slightly straighter take on the genre coming from Instra:mental and their solo identities as Boddika and Jon Convex. It’s prescient that this track has arrived within weeks of Clone’s Drexciya reissues; the searing synth lead that gives “Retribution” its uniquely heavy texture could easily be described as positively Drexciyan, and it’s very much a Drexciyan school of thinking that has influenced Boddika’s releases for Swamp81 this year. But while Boddika’s “Electron” and his collaboration with Joy Orbison, the as yet unreleased “Swims” delivers a frenzied, ADD take on that style of production, Pinch’s “Retribution” couldn’t be more different, delivering a much more measured take on abrasion, damaging the track’s fragile surface by rubbing it with sandpaper.

“Get Out Of Here” on the flip is a much more traditional take on the genre, providing a masterclass in looming threat, which, free of the cosmetic scratches of  “Retribution”, allows Pinch’s unadulterated bass to seep through the gaps. It’s over in a mere four minutes, but it’s testament to Pinch’s ability to create such sheer scale in his productions like nobody else that leaves you feeling more than satisfied.

Scott Wilson