This third release from Rubi Records sees Ashley Tindall—aka Skeptical—stepping out of his usual drum and bass territory and slowing things down with three seriously deep dub-infused bass tracks in the 140-150bpm realm. While not the first time Skeptical has dipped his toes in such waters, these are easily among the finest, most musically mature examples to date. For those drum & bass fans out there unsure about Skeptical branching out into other genres, this EP shows that an open mind and listening without prejudice will reward your ears.
First up is the utterly dub-soaked 75/150bpm track 'Tell Me'. This solid stoner groove takes clear elements of Skeptical's more dub-orientated D&B and adds mesmeric pads and soulful vocal hooks, making it one of the deepest head-nodders in his overall catalogue. This is more a refined track for the 'listener' than for the dance floor, and while you can still easily throw some shapes to it, it's great to just immerse yourself in as a purely audio experience.
Next is the 140bpm 'Tapestry', which is somewhat the darker twin of 'Tell Me'. Again, we have a slow dub-infused head-nodder, but this time more menacing in tone thanks to the finely-judged use of some moody sound modules that Skeptical has tweaked and twisted in his inimitable fashion. This one's the audio equivalent of a restless mind in the depth of night.
The final offering is another 140bpm track – the unsettling beast 'Atomic v1'. It begins with a slow-burn build up of an off-kilter metronomic beat, subtly growling bass and haunting strings. This, in turn, gives way to a distorted rendering of Oppenheimer's famous use of 'Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds' from the Bhagavad Gita, before becoming a sinister slow-motion dubstep rumbler. With its dragging beat and the purposefully off-point main sonic hook running over the top, this is a disorientating and unsettling weapon for the discerning DJ.
This EP continues the fresh direction of Rubi Records, showcasing exceptional, forward-thinking music without borders.
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