Helixir: Undivided (7even Recordings)
Dubstep is a genre I tend to sometimes run hot and cold with… a little can go a very long way when it comes to the snarly, wobbly “brostep” that often drowns out the genre. How many “wow-wow-wowowowow” basslines do we really need? To each his own, I suppose. In any case, Helixir skates between various subsets of the sound with references to dub’s spacious reverb, cosmic atmospheres that vaguely recall acts like the Orb, sensitivity to detail with intricate syncopation (think Apple Pips, Shackleton, etc.), and equal attention given to both the slow breakbeat as well as a more urgent uptempo kick pulse. Tracks like “Undivided” combine these sounds the best, with the chord pulse of dub and a rousing kick that’s sure to get heads bobbing. Helixir is also not afraid to get more physical with the more intricate pattern layering of “Space Traveling” or “Black Cat.” The repeated use of harmonic scales recalls the vaguely Middle Eastern tinges, in only the most general sense, of some of Shackleton’s output, but Helixir’s sound is more immediate and accessible, less oblique. It’s an extremely well-crafted collection of tracks that hopefully will withstand the test of time in their attention to detail and an ability to combine trends with unique ingenuity.