For the most part, I'm still a newbie to the whole dubstep thing, but after falling for the self-titled release by Burial last year, I knew there had to be more out there that would be up my alley. In addition to being recommended by a couple people whose opinion I trust, Memories Of The Future popped up on a few year end reader's lists for this site, so I decided that I should probably add it to my collection.
It turns out this was a very good choice, because although it's very different stylistically than the album by Burial, Kode9 & The Spaceape have put together a stunning fourteen track album of claustrophobic spaces that's absolutely hypnotic. Produced over the course of the past 4 years, the album runs just over fifty minutes and contains a wide variety of sounds while still falling under that over-arcing theme and feel. Like Burial, songs are repetitive, and it's the small and subtle things that go on within them that make the album so great. "Victims" is a perfect example, opening with some delayed melodica over the top of dubby rhythms. When the growling vocals from Spaceape enter, the track shifts into a slightly more straightforward gait, and then a ways in from that some cracking snares push the track into an even more tense realm.
"Curious (feat. Ms. Haptic)" echos out some breathy vocals from said Ms Haptic over sparse synth chords and layered, snappy beats. As the track progresses, rumbling low end and vocals from Spaceape himself help to break the song into intense sections while drifting notes from synth and melodica add even more weight. On the opposite side of the coin is the insanely tripped-out "SIne," which strips things back to a low bass warble, some deep-space echo effects, and the vocals from Spaceape. The resulting track is something that truly sounds like it was sent back in time from some sort of sterile, creepy future where oxygen is running out and everything is pared down accordingly.
The album closer of "Quantum" is one of only many track standouts, as multiple layers of cascading synths chime over organ bursts, gut-churning bass, and choppy beats that perfectly accent the tightly wound vocals. Other than a couple shorter tracks that don't feel quite as developed (like the two minute each "Nine" and "Lime"), this is a release that sounds interesting on first listen and absolutely burrows into your skull on every subsequent spin. Full of serious, throbbing bass, cryptic words, and production that's both weird and stunning, it's another unique entry in the genre that's well worth having.