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various / tectonic - Tectonic Plates Volume 4
Tectonic’s compilation series is always a reliable gauge of where dubstep’s at, and Volume Four suggests it’s in an open-minded place indeed. Most of the participating artists are familiar names: Guido is in fine form with ‘State of Joy’, his extrapolation from the ol' purple wow sound now approaching a kind of fine-tuned, psychedelic future-soul, while Beneath’s house creeper ‘Flight’ rattles the bones like an old Skull Disco track. Kryptic Minds’ ease off the snares on ‘Convoluted’ to produce one of the most serpentine, compelling tracks in their oeuvre, more darkling minimal garage than dubstep; the underrated Pursuit Grooves conjures a rarified atmosphere of brooding dub-jazz on ‘Hard Beginnings’; Distal jerks the drums hard on the aptly named ‘Kerplunk’; and Mumdance and Logos team up for tuff avant-grime grind-out ‘Drum Boss’. There are some unexpected, off-the-trail blinders too: Sinistarr & Texel offer up a cut of slick, synthed-out futureboogie reminiscent of Maurice Fulton as much as Kuedo, and Steve Digital shrugs off his d’n’b togs to deliver old-school, Mystikz-style half-stepper ‘Larry Shite’. Acre, Decibel, Jakes and Armour also contribute.