Seattle DJ/producer Sublo has been making strides in the area's burgeoning dubstep scene, playing numerous gigs with some of the genre's heavy touring acts. Now he's dropping his debut release on May 21 for DJ Lukki's local Shift Recordings label, a five-track EP titled Nice Up!
An absurdly dramatic fanfare announces "Shook," which then evolves into a stolid, bleak steamroller of badassitude. More high/low shadowboxing occurs with the frequencies, squeezing out anything midrange-y in the process. This quickly leads into "Helltown," whose periodic dropouts reveal a preponderance of bleepy and chirpy Nintendo-rooni synth effects that lend stark contrast to its crushing, ominous low end. The record continues with the brief "Breeze" and immediately plunges you into some highly pressurized bass wobble that grounds a lackadaisical skank. "Jumper" peddles disorienting bass and treble tones in a track that bears incredible torque and bruising beats that punch unpredictably at your gut. One can imagine this track scoring a slow-motion fight scene in a kung-fu flick. "Toll" aptly begins with bell tones and then lead-footedly marches with the solemnity of a condemned man into a sludgy, sci-fi-aura'd landscape.
Nice Up! isn't the most groundbreaking dubstep material around by any means, but it's a solid debut abounding with cinematic atmospheres, street toughness, and crisp production touches.
* * *
When he leaves the cozy confines of Seattle left-field-house duo Jacob London, Bob Hansen goes by the intriguing moniker Hanssen (the second "s" is silent). Like his JL bandmate, Dave Pezzner, he's been flying solo more recently, flexing more experimental electronic muscles under his Norse Rarebit handle and remixing tracks by artists such as Si Begg, Groove Armada, Phoenix, Snoop & Dre, Sleepy Eyes of Death, and the aforementioned Pezzner (aw).
Hanssen specializes in buoyant house tracks that exude a playfulness of spirit while staying mindful of the dance floor and the importance of loony textures and catchy melodies. For promoter and Pleasure Boat Records boss Ian Scot Price's refurbished Bonkers! event, dubbed Re!Bonk?, Hanssen has been instructed to bust out an all-rave DJ set, like grandpappy used to spin back in the day. The time has come to remove the mothballs from your elephant-bell pants, re-up on your Pixie Sparkle body glitter, and get sorted for Es and wizz.
Hanssen performs with Rave on It with the Ravetronic Dance Squad, DJ Recess, and Tron Sister on Sat May 15, Re-bar, 10 pm, $5 before 11 pm, 21+; Sublo performs on Fri May 21, Contour, 9 pm, guys $5 before midnight/ladies free before midnight/$10 after, 21+.