BY NATTY MORRISON
Dubstep is often criticized for a lack of originality, or that the artists and tracks are mere carbon copies. Though the genre has made enormous waves in the electronic community, there are still those out there unconvinced of its relevancy. So the question is: Can a dubstep artist transcend the genre? Can they make an important album?
It looks like a dark horse candidate may be poised to take the lead. NiT GriT has found a way to blend the traditional stutter drum beats and whomp bass of dubstep with the swirling themes of psytrance, all while maintaining a vision of concept and composition. He stretches the traditional whomp bass lines out further than one could possibly imagine, turning deep synth into an almost metallic, otherworldly riff.
On his new 3-track EP, “Synthetic Heaven,” the artist wastes no time, beginning with the first track, named “Dimethyltrptamine” after the scientific name given for the powerful psychedelic DMT. Beginning with an ominous hum, the track springs to life following what sounds to be a Terrance McKenna quote, promising “This drug is gonna launch your consciousness.”
Then begins the whomp. And what a whomp it is. As a reviewer, I’ve yet to hear the low ends manipulated so ridiculously as by this guy. And the music lives up to its trippy name, with echoed vocal samples hidden throughout the music, as well as a minor chord progression that doesn’t sound far removed from heavy hitter artists like The Crystal Method or The Chemical Brothers.
The title track starts a bit dreamier, with a repeated chorus hum, and a few arpeggio sequencers. It creates the effect of leading the listener up an escalator, until it drops you a few floors down into pure, grimy and glorious dubstep. This is one of NiT GriT’s best qualities, the ability to create sonic compositions that actually inspire visions or emotional experiences in the listener. The third track, “What am I?” creates an intense, emotional recreation of a robot or android waking up upon its creation. At times it sounds quietly ponderous and others it sounds like banging on the side of a metal coffin.
In this short EP, NiT GriT has done what I had hoped many other dubstep artists would: he took the sound from the party to the studio, and turned it into something the electronic music community could be proud of. Sure, it will get your next dance party started, but it also plays nicely through your stereo speakers at night while you’re wrapped up in thought.
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