Gravious: Junction City (Saigon)
Scottish producer Ali Jackson’s 5-track EP for Saigon brims with uptempo enthusiasm, each track a rousing dub-tech workout with varying amounts of “dub” and “tech” on each. The title cut that leads is the most balanced of the bunch, with a propulsive kick drum (probably clocking in around 145 bpm or so) and sweeping synth pads that recall the heyday of early Speedy J and Artificial Intelligence-era Warp. “Lodestone” is full-bodied with its deep dub bassline, but it’s when its drum patterns kick into a jaunty 2-step mode that it all clicks together nicely. “Cascade” is another one that combines all these various elements well, a nice arpeggiated square synth alongside sub bass and broken beat patterns that reside somewhere between the dubstep half-beat and something faster, opting to drop out every 4th kick to steer it just slightly away from a steady pulse. “Wu Shin” that closes things out is the most straightforward downtempo track, but its various synth patterns and details skitter around in double-time, lending it a spryness that makes it less predictable. Alongside handsome entries from Duffstep and Orphan101, Saigon has a nice discography under way. Junction City is yet another title that rests comfortably in such good company.
Watch/listen: Junction City