Darkstar- North (Hyperdub)
Darkstar were/are underground dubstep masters but like many of the now famous tags ("Dubstep" "Emo" "Drum n Bass") over popularized and thus meaning often the exact opposite, Darkstar had to rejuvinate their sound if anyone going to pay attention. Dubstep is currently a horrible term, popularized to the degree that there are a half a dozen over zealous compliations trying to flog this "hot new thing" to tweenies desperate to be a enjoy tinie tempah with a side of the cool. Further judging by the supergroup team of the completley over hyped and under sauced Magnetic Man, which in a way proved that the sub genre was progressively running out of ideas and basically restepping the sound to the mass mainstream. Darkstar added vocalist James Buttery to their double minded production duo, it's not easy to forget the dubstep tag because obviously much of the album hypothesis comes from the famous style, but at the same time Darkstar have moved away from their roots on "North"
"North" opens with "In The Wings" A Huge Explosion of Sonical bliss paths the way for a piano solo pulled straight from 90s house and a delicate injured vocal harmony, which then in turns fades away into "Gold," a song which contains the same vocal aesthetic (comparison point- As if you robbed the disco joy out of the recent metronomy album) and a beat structure that could be created by Jimmy DNTEL/Postal Service if his broken beats were more inspired by minimal techno then fluid drum and bass. "Deadness" is accompanied by a pulsing haunting guitar line before jumping into the upbeat and better known "Aidy's girl is a computer" which takes the dubstep beat and time travels back to its underground garage form.
Darkstar is forward thinking in a time when the genre needed it to be, it takes risks but is also very willing to stick to the enjoyable and not overdone elements of the genre but can also be considered as beyond genre and simply an enjoyable downbeat dance album, for fans of minimal techno, downbeat electro and the (sic) term of Dubstep. 8/10