Friday, 13 January 2012
Review: Phutureprimitive - Kinetik
Let's be honest here: dubstep in in 2012 is, basically fucking boring and played-out. This may sound like complete elitist underground hipster snobbery, but I barely listened to any dubstep in 2011. The style is just done. None of it is interesting any more. All the good guys in this scene have gone off into the weird and wonderful realms of post-dubstep, future garage, UK funky or just electronic weirdness. But because the genre is so ubiquitous, it's now hybridising wildly with scenes that have abso-fucking-lutely nothing to do with the London urban bass music scene. Such as the psy hippies. So we get this: Phutureprimitive's album Kinetik, the latest and most prominent example of the nascent psychedelic dubstep (or psy-step, or whatever) sound.
Phutureprimitive used to make psy-dub and ambient, and so I suppose ostensibly it's pretty obvious that he'd eventually extend his dub interests to dubstep. Except, of course, that dubstep, or specifically the loud mid-range wobble nonsense that is so popular right now, has abso-fucking-lutely nothing to do with dub at all. Make no mistake: this is not some organic continuation. This is a total bandwagon jump.
But is it any good? It's alright. Most of these tracks retain some pretty melodic bits inspired by psy-trance and ambient, which appeals to my taste. But almost every track features annoying mid-range wobble and other dubstep stereotypes, which turn me off immediately. I guess this is like people who hate dance music because they just can't hear past those stereotypical UNTZ-UNTZ-UNTZ beats - I should just accept that these sounds are part of modern dubstep and needn't preclude it from being interesting. But I still just can't get over them. So most of the tracks on here are a contradictory listening experience, where certain elements of every track are arousing my interest, and others are turning me off entirely. It makes the album quite difficult to judge. It's very weird liking approximately half of the sounds coming through your ears at any given moment, and hating the other half. It all just feels very forced, like these disparate sounds have been crowbarred together with no unity of effect. Deliberately loud, nasty sounds collide with delicate, pretty ones and the end result is disjointed and annoying. Certainly too annoying for me want to relisten.
Genre: Psychedelic bandwagon-hop.
Stupid Arbitrary Rating: 6/10