Skeptical – Echo Dub / Chain Reaction - FKOF Review

Skeptical – Echo Dub / Chain Reaction

FKOF Review

We’ve done well with FKOF Reviews over the past few months – but the next addition to the catalogue might just be one of the finest. The two tracks that form this next Tempa 12″ have been firm favourites on the Minimal Mondays rotation, and have resulted in some of the greatest release anticipation we’ve seen since 2013’s anthemic Hunter. And it’s a sign of the draw 140 has, when a DNB artist as prolific as Skeptical puts tunes like this together and sets the genre on fire. Maybe we’ll see more crossover success in the future? If TEMPA092 is anything to go by, we sure as hell hope so…

Skeptical - Echo Dub / Chain Reaction (TEMPA092)

“At long last Skeptical’s in-demand dub Chain Reaction lands on the shop floor backed with the stark skank of Echo Dub. Operating at 140bpm rather than his usual D&B zones really suits this producer, much like others such as SP:MC or Kryptic Minds who’ve also made the same tectonic shifts. Echo Dub is spacious pensile, hingeing pendulous subs off woodblock snares and Nyabinghi-like runs trimmed with scything synth slashes. Chain Reaction is pure dread, stoking super-wide subs and jaw-tensing rimshot skitters to killer effect.”

From a personal point of view, these two tracks are a welcome sign of life in a frustrated and often misunderstood genre. You’d be a fool to label dubstep as dead with this kind of weighty quality – and this isn’t even Skeptical’s mother tongue (as it were).

If a man of Skeptical’s talents can turn his hand to dubstep and produce something as brilliant as this, there’s surely more to follow from producers elsewhere in the many corridors of bass music…

While the techno/grime(/ whatever you want to call it) of Parris and Wen’s TEMPA091 may have got the 140 faithful wondering what or where Tempa’s intentions lie, TEMPA092 is a fine return to the dubstep form we’ve come to expect from the label. And we can’t wait to see what’s next.

The FKOF review

The expression “less is more” definitely comes into play with Skeptical’s latest release. With his debut 12” on the highly respected Tempa Records, Ashley Tindall has created two of the biggest dubs we’ve had in a very long time – they’re both immense dancefloor destroyers.

Echo Dub steers towards creative minimalism, utilising a vocal hook that may remind the listener of drowning in the depths or exploring deep, forbidden waters. The bubbly vocal soothes the ears with its repetitive nature, while the pressure coming off the warm percussion rises like steam from a boiling kettle. The production is completed by an amorphous bassline design that might make you lose control. It’s a truly brilliant tune.

Chain Reaction, on the flip, treats the listener to a subterfuge of intricate basslines, resulting in a near invincible mood  to any 140 fanatic. A ghost-esque entity travels through the sound field, chasing down the faint-hearted while burning the viral rhythm onto the brain’s grey matter. Skeptical’s exquisite choice of growls form the solid backbone of this hot 12”, spawning a release our movement has been crying out for.

Hopefully this is the first of many mammoth releases from the producer – but TEMPA092 proves his forays into the 140 territories are more than deserving of the Tempa seal of approval.

Skeptical’s TEMPA092 is out 11/08/14. Pre-order it from iTunesBoomkatJuno and Redeye.

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Peace, love and respect.

FKOF