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Bass Musician Magazine – Feb 2017

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aQuarius Records Review

Super limited cassette of “retro futuristic dunestep” from aQ pal JD Short, aka Bassdbler, who made these tapes exclusive for aQuarius, limited to just 100 copies, and if you’re not a sucker for experimental dubstep, and/or a sucker for DUNE themed electronica, there must be something really wrong with you. A bass player by trade, Short infuses his particular brand of dubbed out beat heavy stutter with REAL bass, so the sound is thick, and buzzy, a little proggy, and in its own way sort of heavy. The sound looped and hypnotic, cyclical and a bit tranced out. But then it’s hard to pin down cuz the sound is all over the place.

Opener “Atrocity Arms The Future” is some seriously bass heavy dubstep electro prog ambience, sounding like a dubbed out soundtrack to some creepy eighties sci-fi epic, all looped beats, woozy distorted bass, and electronic pulses that give the sound a teensy bit of a Carpenter vibe. And that live bass also give it a sort of post rock feel too, but the beat is most definitely dubsteppy. “Ix” is almost like Pinback crossed with Squarepusher scoring some zombie flick, all dark and tense and low slung and ominous, warm fluid basslines wrapped around a pulsing electronic rhythm, while “Long Live The Fighters” sounds like it could have come out on Not Not Fun, a fuzzy, percolating bit of retro electronica that is like a more progged out caffeinated version of the current crop of Goblin/Carpenter worship. “The Scattering” takes thick sludgey bass and wreathes it in fluttery flute like melodies, and crunchy electronic glitch for something swirly and almost psychedelic sounding, Bassdbler’s dirgey basslines lending it some un-electronica sounding heft.

And so it goes, from stripped down, loping-bass-lined cinematic creep, to gristly, super distorted electro-buzz, from blissed out skittery / prismatic kosmische electronica, to old school VHS synth-funk, to grinding glitchy dirge dub stutter, to super melodic lilting electronic buzzpop, and from proggy, glitchy retro-futuristic electro ambience, to finally, a a last blast, a more distorted take on the opening dubsteppy jam, all anchored by Short’s heavy cyclical dark-prog Dune-driven bass. Super rad stuff for sure.

LIMITED TO 100 COPIES. Available only at aQ, includes a download coupon as well!!

aQuarius recOrds
New Arrivals #376
July 2011

Postcard Elba Review

Today’s tip-off is the latest from dubstep electronica artist BassDbler.

Editor’s Note – BassDbler is the musical persona of regular site contributor JD Short (check his writing here). We have reviewed this release as objectively as possible, dealing with the fact that we love JD and everything he does. If that bothers you, we invite you to “suck it.”

I thought that reviewing an album of Dune themed electronica dubstep – when I have never read Dune, and Sting’s glistening chest being the only thing I remember from the movie – and with dubstep not in my usual musical consumption might be tricky. Are there direct Dune related moments that I’m going to miss? Will I enjoy the album regardless? Well, if you’re like me and your taste in sci-fi gravitated more towards the Hitchhiker’s Guide series, never fear – Slow Blade Penetrates the Shield stands on it’s own as a swirling and intoxicating slice of cinematic dubstep. But even calling it dubstep is not entirely correct. The same skittering beats are there, sure, but with synth melodies that favor long epic movements and the addition of the bass guitar – sometimes simple and in the groove, and sometimes bursting with Short’s virtuosity on the instrument – the sound of the album is, quite appropriately, that of the score to a gritty future world. It’s a fun soundtrack to make your more routine activities seem of galactic importance, and we think you should check it out.

Stream the first single “The Scattering” here, and purchase the tape (oh did we forget to mention it’s a tape only release? yeah – it is, but it comes with a download code for best of both worlds) from Aquarius Records here.