(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Clubroot (2009) , 7/10
II - MMX (2010), 6.5/10
III - MMXII (2012), 6/10

British producer Clubroot (Dan Richmond) expanded the vocabulary of dubstep on the all-instrumental Clubroot (Lo Dubs, 2009). Clubroot redefined the dubstep aesthetics by churning out evocative fleshy organic matter versus the usual icy, skeletal still life of dubstep. He bridged oneiric ambient music and elegant dubstep beats to craft the quasi-classical adagio Low Pressure Zone and the undulating seagull lullaby Dulcet. He redefined lounge music in Lucid Dream, exotica and new-age in Talisman, he bent beats and synthesizers to shape an atmosphere of tragic pomp reminiscent of prog-rock in Embryo, and he abandoned dance-music in the droning sideral beat-less Birth Interlude. More interestingly, he penned post-Eno futuristic vignettes such as the somnambulant android ballet High Strung and the tapping aquatic shuffle Nexus.

Clubroot's II - MMX (LoDubs, 2010) further twisted the definition of dubstep, approaching a form of dreamy ambient trip-hop with disembodied female vocals, at times even evoking the new-age music of Enigma (Orbiting), at times sounding like the distant echo of an exotic ritual as imagined by Jon Hassell with the trumpet replaced by electronic drones (Waterways) . Disturbing psychology abound, notably the exotic decadent kammerspiel Sjambok. Meanwhile, his dancefloor credentials are reinforced by the skeletal beat of Dry Cured and the mechanical ticking of Toe to Toe, both drenched in surreal atmospheres, and by the tribal polyrhythmic Whistles & Horns. Unfortunately the second half of the album is a let down, a hodgepodge of cliches borrowed from Moby, Orb and new-age music and simply updated to the digital beats of the dubstep era, with the emphasis on the ecstatic or melodramatic melodies spun by the electronic keyboards (Cherubs Cry).

Leftovers from the album appeared on the mini-album Solar Flares (LoDubs, 2010).

III - MMXII (LoDubs, 2012) had even smaller doses of dubstep proper, and tried different combinations of style, sounding like a transitional work in search of a new identity. On one hand there are subdued pieces that evoke orchestral film soundtracks, like Tempt Fate and especially the rhythm-less Ennio's Eden (presumably a tribute to Ennio Morricone). Then there are exotic vignettes like Demon Drum, and the industrial African-tinged hip-hop expressionism of Garrison. And then there are disturbing dancefloor numbers, like the martial, sinister Summons and the alien/android Lurking In The Shadows. There is the romantic new-age music of Faith In Her (the most melodic piece) as well as the slow, ghostly, glitchy Restraint. What stands out is mainly the sophisticated treatment of the human voice. The EP Summons/ Deep In Thought/ My Kingdom (Losonofono, 2012) contains two songs from the album, Summons and My Kingdom, and a bonus track.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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