WRDUBS is one of Donga’s record labels; an imprint that belongs to the Well Rounded Records collective, focusing exclusively on the 140 BPM/ dubstep sound.
Donga and the team, building on the success of their first sold-out split 12” which featured Foamplate and Corticyte (released in this time last year), are back with their sophomore effort.
WRDUBS002 is another split 12” and welcomes FKOF fam Headland and Sepia to the roster. Both producers are known for their somewhat experimental style, always searching for and pushing the limits of, the sound – creating a somewhat different approach to dubstep . This seems to be precisely the sound WRDUBS are looking for, which may explain the breaks between001 and 002 releases. Each release should contribute to the scene – special and high-quality tracks are vital in that effort – so props to Donga and the team for taking the time to get it right.
With WRDUBS002, Well Rounded have found two artists and tracks that are relevant to the sound; tunes that deliver a long-lasting impression.
Headland’s Local is the producer’s vinyl debut and acts as a perfect introduction to Gene’s uniqueness and creativity. The innovative track starts with a short intro consisting of highly processed voice elements. Heavy effects and elements announce the mood of the track: somewhat desolate and, in a way, lugubrious. On the drop, an oscillating and tough sub bass kicks in – combining with a gnarly and peculiar midrange section – these synths definitely will make your teeth grind. At unpredictable moments, a majestic and bombastic synth stab or a processed vocal sample interrupts your experience, while the rhythm section remains steady and driving (laying a pleasingly solid foundation). The relative unpredictability of the track, perfectly underlined by the distinctive second drop, is one of its distinguishing features – creating a journey that holds one’s interest from start to finish.
On the flip, Sepia’s long-awaited Amber appears. As a dubplate, this track received consistent support from the scene’s curators – and is a firm fan favourite. With its release, we can now enjoy this emotional track to the fullest. The track opens with fantastic and scintillating vocal samples, which inspire mesmerising daydreams. Perfectly-placed percussive elements complete the intro, while the vocal sample reveals some of Theo’s emotions or inspirations when writing the track. The drop, as expected, is seriously weighty.
The mighty bass swerves and swings through the lower frequencies, calling out to and controlling an ancient primal power, while being warm at the same time. This, combined with the continued vocal samples and a sublimely layered percussive section, make this track a personal favourite for 2016!
All in all, a truly stellar release from both imprint and producers involved. Big up Headland, Sepia and Donga – we hope it’s not another year to WRDUBS003!
Words by Joost Berndsen
You can watch a short film on the life of Brighton-based producer, DJ and listener Ashley Marlowe AKA Donga here.
Peace, love and respect.