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Essential Listening: Skream

Essential Listening: Skream

Starting out with an avid interest in dubstep Skream has since made a sweeping change of direction, becoming a highly competent exponent of house, disco and techno. An extensive knowledge of the craft that is making music was immediately apparent when Skream put out his first album at the tender age of 20.

Since the release of the eponymous record Skream continued to champion the style which has always been associated with engrossing bass lines, constant drum patterns and a smattering of vocals. The London DJ/producer has never been one to shy away from new conquests, joining forces with Benga and Artwork as Magnetic Man, a live electronic music act. The project helped bring a greater commercialism to the dubstep sound but within a few years Skream decided to satisfy an appetite for a totally contrasting musical style.

With the two stages of his career to date bringing such variety the task of picking out just five of his best tracks is harder than it looks, but nevertheless here are our choices.

You Know, Right?
A track that emerged from the Skream studio after the move away from dubstep, there is a fantastic variety to this record. The way that the drums emanate suddenly whilst a dark melody merges seamlessly with a vocal that epitomizes bass music makes this an intriguing adventure.

Bang That
An epic intro soon leads onto a striking array of bass and super-charged chords that make this a necessity for house, techno and disco lovers. This record offers a winding journey through the different genres and reflects repetitive sounds in such a way that listeners are left profoundly intrigued. If an example of a track which showcases an impressive switch from a producer’s old style to their new direction is what you are after, this one matches that criteria with aplomb.

A song which does a sterling job of giving off the most murky and hazy feel, this early record made during Skream’s dubstep days certainly provides a glimpse into the mysterious genre. The constant presence of a stirring flute-like sound works really well alongside the overwhelming bass and makes for another captivating aural journey.

The enormity and power of La Roux’s vocal talents serve to help this already masterfully-produced record become a highly pristine creative endeavour. With a melody that evokes such a serene atmosphere this track is certainly a soundtrack that caters best for a more relaxed environment.

The Epic Last Song
When listening to Skream’s second studio album, Outside the Box, this appropriately named record is the one that stands out as bringing the wildest array of sound, immediately reflecting the equally crazy genre that is dubstep. The eclectic collage of chords that are acutely weaved with powerful bass make for a sumptuous marriage.

Skream plays at MiNT Festival on Saturday 23rd September, with extended sets following over the next few months. First he’ll head down to Southampton’s Junk on Friday 7th October, then in December he’ll play both Sheffield’s Code for Muzik and Bristol’s Motion for In:Motion. Those three are all open to close shows, with a set at The Warehouse Project sandwiched in between on Friday 20th October.

Photo courtesy of B4 Bookings

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