Various Artists: Generation Bass Presents Transnational Dubstep

Various Artists: Generation Bass Presents Transnational Dubstep
Grime and dubstep are two burgeoning genres whose name seem to be tied together. Yet in the states, grime has had more of an impact than dubstep. Grime has produced a slew of at least minor characters on the national scene including Dizzee Rascal, Lady Sovereign, and The Streets. In a lot of ways, the genre has its profile in the USA to thank to the Run the Road compilation series. Dubstep is still waiting for that transitional moment; that is where Generation Bass Presents Transnational Dubstep comes in. Generation Bass, the UK’s premier dubstep blog, works with Six Degrees Records to assemble some of the most exciting new producers in dubstep to showcase the genre to Americans.
Unlike Run the Road which primarily showcased grime in a fairly pure form for American consumption, Transnational Dubstep showcases the mixture of other cultures into dubstep. The vast majority of the tracks on the album feature Middle Eastern and Asian influences into the dubstep genre. The major problem I have with compilation is very few of the tracks mix what I would call a traditional dubstep sound with the other influences. One of the few songs that does it aptly is Shem‘s “Only Human.” The track mixes the standard dubstep dirty synths with traditional Japanese instruments to create an interesting, esoteric dance experience.
That is not to say that the other tracks are not good. The album’s opening track Mars’s “India Sleeping” is a mixture of subdued beats and Indian influence in the form of vocals and instrumentation. The track is an interesting way to start the album because it does not exude those traditional dubstep influences. It let’s the listener know immediately that this is not the Kode9 or Joker dubstep album.
In the end, my only worry is that Americans that are not well informed on dubstep will hear this album and think this is what dubstep is all about. I would venture a guess that over half the album does not represent what I think of when I think of dubstep. That is not to say that it is not conducive of what dubstep is moving towards but I don’t think many Americans should look to the future of dubstep when they do not know the genres rich past. This compilation is probably better suited for well versed dubstep listeners and not necessarily for novices to the genre.
Rating: 8.3/10
MP3: Fleck & Fish Finger “Rude Profile (Pan Agnostix Flamenco-Step remix)”
Buy: iTunes or Amazon

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