5-6 years ago, it was all about dubstep. That genre is so often associated with the dubbed out, bass heavy, dark sounds of DMZ, Shackleton and Kode9, but the dubstep past of Martyn and A Made Up Sound are often forgotten. These two Dutch producers, for me at least, opened me up to different soundscapes through their takes on dubstep. A Made Up Sound under his 2562 moniker brought a more mechanical, techier feel to the genre, whereas Martyn brought a melodic fluency and groove to his productions that was hard to come by elsewhere in the genre. Although the 2 producers have both gravitated away from dubstep in recent times, their releases from the time stand up as some of the finest in the entire genre.
One that really springs to mind is Martyn’s Vancouver. It’s on the exceptional Great Lengths LP, but it also came out back in 2008, on the flipside of Natural Selection. That same year saw a reissue; the A side featuring a Flying Lotus remix of Natural Selection and the B side 2562’s Puur Natuure Dub of Vancouver. 5 years on, there’s another reissue due to come out on December 12th, with the original backed by a Head High Mix on the flip. With such a strong roster of artists on remix duty of an already heavy track, Vancouver has become canonical, almost anthemic.
The original is perfectly constructed. It opens up with keys and a vocal fragment which give way to a devastatingly simple beat. This is slowly developed, reinforced by reverb drenched synths, and a bass hum before the track fades out among more reverb.
2562’s adaptation of the track keeps its essential atmosphere, while making it into more of a shuffly number with a more frantic beat and a more prominent bassline.
Shed steps up to the plate for the latest version of Vancouver under his Head High moniker. True to form, he translates it into a roller, with a hugely fleshed out, break heavy beat, taking the original tempo down to a techno friendly bpm. The synths and snatched vocals of the original are pushed to the back of the track by a heavy kick. Shed has put his own stamp onto Vancouver, which is great news if you enjoy his sound. This Vancouver is a real peak time busy dancefloor track, with it’s spluttering beat sure to provoke a reaction. Previews here.
This comes out on December 12th on 3024. It’s available from all the usual places.