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Favorite ThisThe Alpha and Omega of Dubstep

Published: February 16, 2011

By: Anand Harsh

Colorado’s Denver/Boulder region has been the epicenter of a lot of innovation on the electronic music front.  Home of Big Gigantic, Pretty Lights, Savoy, and a bevy of pioneers, the mountainous area has also produced some pummeling dubstep. At the head of the Centennial State’s bass-hungry pack is New Yorker Chris Cox, a.k.a. Omega. With more than a decade behind the turntables, Cox has moved from industrial to jungle to psytrance before finding his muse in the syncopated rhythms and bone crushing bass of dubstep. Like his colleagues, who have landed upon this genre du jour from other places, Omega tries to bring a bit of melody to an otherwise lackluster sound. What sets him apart is his predilection for ultra-slow, pitch black, moody tracks that cut the audience to its core.

“Inception” rides in on floating synth runs and snappy drum & bass licks. Rollicking and buoyant, the upbeat intro climbs towards a devastating drop. Plunging into a free fall with no beat in site, the track is dropped onto the back of elephantine bass tones. Fat and fuzzy, these wobbles change tone and timbre, setting Omega’s dubstep apart from a crowd growing larger and more depleted of talent by the minute. 

Not to get too nerdy, but I was more or less awake during Psychology 101. I know what the “Diencephalon” is—the interbrain that controls your motor skills and interacts with the nervous system. Omega, no doubt, intends to give your little diencephalon a workout with the second track on his EP. Moody and mysterious, Diencephalon incorporates a lot of natural sounding percussion and melodic sounds. I’m forced to draw comparisons to Bay Area transplant Bird of Prey. Both spent some time in the psytrance scene, which makes sense once you hear the low, gurgling bass tones. From the drop onwards, Omega’s drums are so cold and spacy, like they were recorded in a vacuum. That doesn’t make sense, though, since sound waves can’t travel in a vacuum. That’s why any real nerds think Star Wars is bullshit. Please don’t email me. I’m not trying to raise the hackles of any Comic Book Guy wannabes. At any rate, Cox’s synth sounds are enviable. Each is rich, warm, and full, clearly delineating the gap between professional production and amateur hackery.
Simply put, if you like your dubstep big, dark, and brooding, Omega’s your man. Inception is a quick, double-dose of raunchy, pulsing bass, and extra-terrestrial drums. With tons of tricks up his sleeves for the live set, these tracks are going to crush the dance floor.


Tags: BreaksDowntempoDrum and BassDubstepGlitchPsytrance