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Album Review: Interchill Records – “Subtextures”

Something’s been bubbling on the west coast, and it has been for some time. In a musical climate that seems to have only partially embraced 4×4 dance music, dub and breaks-based genres are combined with psychedelic sounds to produce a unique, western character. Deep rolling sub bass lines and syncopated percussion feel more familiar here than the consistent “thump thump thump” of an 808 kick drum.

And just as Montréal has built a strong connection to Berlin, Vancouver and the surrounding area seem to have been drawn to the UK. West coast collectives regularly pull from Bristol and London talent, both in Vancouver and at festivals like Bass Coast and Shambhala. In the latest compilation by Salt Spring Island’s Interchill Records, some of Canada’s best dubstep talent is featured alongside their UK contemporaries.

Compiled by veteran DJ and regular festival performer, Naasko, Subtextures is a release of deep rolling rhythms and melodic lines. Canadian producers Daega Sound, HxdB, Jafu and IMRSV demonstrate a mature connection to the sound as they appear alongside established dubstep names like Biome, Geode and Occult. The release comes as a natural follow up to Interchill’s 2013 release Depth Charge, an earlier compilation that showcased seminal dubstep artists like the Kryptic Minds and Ruckspin.

UK bass lovers will appreciate the balanced, yet consistent selections featured in the record. It manages to communicate a specific taste, while showcasing modern developments. Fans of labels like Dubstep for Deep Heads, Tectonic Recordings and Smokin Sessions will without a doubt find a few gems in there and will benefit from spending some time with each track on the release.

Interchill Records’ Subtextures represents a commitment to UK bass music on the west coast of Canada. It feels right at home for a record born from western festival and island culture. This release shouldn’t be missed by selectors, nor casual listeners, interested in chill-out or breakbeat genres. Subtextures continues a cross-continental musical relationship and is certain to wind up in the collections of DJs in Canada, the UK, and abroad.

– Reviewed by Wiklow

 

Listen back to the most recent episode of CKUT’s all-Canadian electronic music show Lo Signal, featuring tracks by IMSRV and Jafu from Interchill Records’ Subtextures release.