Saturday, December 09, 2006
Dubstep in Tampere
Tammerforce/Bass and Beer Party club's Dubstep special last night at Yo-Talo presented Tes La Rok (a.k.a. Jani Niiranen from Helsinki) featuring MC Rogue Star from London. I checked this with some interest because I couldn't claim to have much idea what this dubstep thing -- supposedly the latest craze in UK's electronic dance music -- was all about.
Well, it turned out to be pretty intriguing: very growling and slow bone-shaking sub-bass sounds accompanied with abstract electronic excursions circling from one speaker to another. In fact, one could say it sounded much like a jungle 45 rpm vinyl record played at death-slow 33 rpm instead. So the tempo was that of dub reggae but the aggressive heaviness -- in fact, downright scary at times -- was clearly from those darker styles of drum'n'bass.
This sound made me somehow think of my old favourites Meat Beat Manifesto, Techno Animal (Kevin "The Bug" Martin's project with Justin Broadrick of Godflesh) or even one my all-time fave tracks, LFO's 'Tied-Up' (albeit as a slowed-down version). So I have to say I quite liked the dubstep sound: nice, dark and hard. (Heh, a comparison for the more rock-oriented people might be of grunge's slower Black Sabbath-like sounds to that of speed metal.)
The only problem with the performance for me was that maybe the BPM/tempo there remained a bit too same-y all through the set; for my own tastes accelerating the tempo and adding more rhythmical variation every once in a while might have probably made it more interesting, but perhaps this would have also lost the idea of what this style is all about. And perhaps it might have been interesting to hear it all as purely instrumental without the Cockney chants from this Brit MC who did his best, though, to lift the audience's emotions and even trying to make them raise their cigarette lighters for Tes La Rok (as they do at UK parties to show appreciation for the DJ; it seems Finnish audiences have not adopted this habit, at least not yet). After the set, Bass and Beer head honcho Bob Ryynänen played some cool electro, the way we haven't heard in ages in this Northern Mecca of milk-white junglists, Morrissey-worshippers and forest folkers; even causing one ol' pHinn to do some rare body movements on dancefloor; a considerable feat in itself these days.
Sakke Karipuro's photos from the event
More on dubstep:
Dubstep - MTV Base "About To Blow"
Dubstep documentary of BBC Collective