By: Jamie Reysen
And I call myself a dubstep fan.
The fact that I hadn’t heard Sharps before this week concerns me. He’s of an increasingly rare breed in the growing dubstep community — Sharps is a professional.
If I had a dollar for every bad dubstep artist, I could buy my own turntables and become one. The rise of dubstep triggered an outpouring of artists who senselessly layer sounds over a sub-bass foundation, just for the sake of interruption.
Sharps uses the art of syncopation thoughtfully. At the risk of sounding pretentious, his music is intelligent. I usually avoid using “IDM” in any context because it’s vague and subjective, but there’s something smart about the way Sparks plays with pitch and speed.
“The Growth” is the strongest song on Bad Sister. Its heavy bass foundation is rhythmic in and of itself, but with each bass drop comes a unique deviation from the beat.
“Bad Sister,” is destined to be a hit in electronic underground. The dark, bass-heavy beat works well with his use of time-stretched samplings.
Heavy percussion and a quicker rhythm take dubstep to “drumstep” with “Bad Sister Drumstep Remix.”
In “Horns of Plenty,” brass takes a walk on the dark side. Horns lure the listener in, a sign of foreboding before the bass drops. Though a little too dismal for me, it’s uniquely eerie.
Bad Sister is good, but it doesn’t do Sharps justice. His music needs to be experienced in long mixes that allow for important progressions in sound.
How do I know this? I stumbled upon Phage of Reason DJ Mix, Sparks’ set from a party at this year’s Burning Man. I’ve been playing it nonstop, but I haven’t come up with the right words for it. Fortunately, he has. The mix’s introduction says it best:
“Please be advised that the following strain of beats are highly virulent and contain frequencies that cause mayhem on the dance floor. Now lets rock.”
Give it a listen here.
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