Sunday, 2 May 2010

Reviewing Kontext

Russian producer Kontext's new album 'Dissociate' for Immerse builds on the promise of his early releases for the same label and delivers some inspiring and dark techno/dubstep material. Consisting of six new and four previously released tracks, the album is underpinned by a uniquely atmospheric sound seemingly inspired by Kontext's St Petersburg hometown.
Album opener 'Impossible Being' sounds like Nathan Fake or James Holden jamming with Martyn; blippy, squelching, with swirling clouds of synths underpinned by stuttering broken beats. 'Bilingualism' and 'Aerial Monarch Attacks' explore the edges of dubstep and techno; in the first, spoken word combines with dripping sounds, layers of atmosphere are added before a simple melodic line reaches out. The scurrying 'Clinch' and the previously released 'Hometown Swamp' up the pace, before the blissful 'Searching for the Transcendental' wraps the listener in waves of cotton wool synths. Further on into the album is 'Plumes', a track underpinned by a lethargic and bass laden 4/4 beat, drawing from the classic experimental techno of Basic Channel. Final track 'On the Bottom of the Glass' is a beatless piece of electronica that uses discovered sounds and liquid textures to create a spacious and ethereal final piece.
Kontext's 'Dissociate' cements his place as one of the most exciting exponents of dark, experimental dubstep that fans of T++, Monolake or Shackleton should keep an eye on. This album sees Kontext exploring techno, dubstep, drum and bass and electronica within the boundaries of his densely atmospheric sound, combining rolling techno influences with syncopated rhythmic experimentation. For anyone who enjoyed this album, Kontext has recently released two mixes that are well worth a listen; firstly is a mix for that includes Fluxion, Plastikman, BVDub and Pole, and a second pure dubstep mix for Electronic Explorations.