While the ‘Bloodlines’ EP is still fresh in the mind for many of the loyal 140 cohort, with TEMPA083D, J:Kenzo prepares his third release on Tempa of 2013.
Anyone remotely interested in dark 140 will be well aware of the lacklustre, social media-based paranoia that stipulates dubstep has had its day. This release is as much a thesis as a record – two tracks that each have their own say on the matter.
‘Magneto (Feel It)’, plainly, is nothing particularly new to the ears from Kenzo. But that doesn’t matter and is by no means a criticism – this is what the man does best. It’s characterised by an unforgiving swell of white noise and pitched vocals that sink down into chugging 808s, raw and abrasive basses, stepped up with familiar percussion that ride in the usual militant manner. Making no qualms about flaunting its fine features, this is a recognisable and welcome sound that swaggers with a well-deserved confidence.
Retaining his dark palette, Jay drops the bpm on ‘TVR’ with a shuffling, subbed-out groover. Those familiar with Kenzo’s back catalogue will know of him experimenting with house and techno – mainly through his work on Roska’s ‘Kicks & Snares’ imprint (under his Guttershake alias). ‘TVR’ is, however, his most convincing outing into other breeds of bass music to date. Despite the vast tempo difference between the tracks, which isn’t common enough of late, this is a fluid, coherent B-side – a track testament to a process of evolution, not simply a drastic change in direction or a thoughtless parody.
‘TVR’ shows an expansive attitude towards the current state of bass music and retains all the qualities that draws people to his dubstep.
There are perhaps two ways to talk about Kenzo’s latest offering. On the one hand, we are reminded that high quality, uncompromising dubstep tracks with a signature slapped proudly on them can continue to be exciting as ever. On the other, we are reminded that it isn’t 2006 anymore and never again will be. This isn’t a concession to another genre or an opportunity for dubstepforum to warn us that soon there will be nothing left but deep house.
What J:Kenzo’s TEMPA083D is is a powerful statement: dark underground music lives a much more interesting and healthy life without the simple constraints of 140 bpm.
Words by W. Jobsworth
Thanks to Infernal Sounds for the video.
Peace, love and respect.