I remember being at a Skream and Benga gig in Brick Lane back in ‘07 before I even knew exactly who they were, but even then I remember being captivated by this deep, dark and dynamic new sound. Soon enough I became a regular on the scene, keeping up to date with all the sub-species spawning from the original organism, which needless to say eventually became too many to document.
I felt happy with the direction dubstep was taking, constantly challenging itself and branching off into new directions, but then suddenly, without warning this “brostep” stuff seemingly became dubstep’s flag bearing incarnation.
It to me is corny, noisy, substance-less, over the top musical clutter that set the wheels in motion for dubstep’s eventual commercialization, championed by names such as Skrillex and Flux Pavilion.
I thought all hope was lost when this style became the ambassador of the sound as a whole in the US, with artists like Digital Mystikz, Distance and Zomby remaining nothing more than cult-like producers known by only a learned few.
This unexpected twist in the story of dubstep put me off the sound for a while—something I thought would never happen. Instead, in the midst of public pressure to sound like bolts and nuts being thrown into a blender, my natural inclination toward deep bass music was redirected at progressive labels that have retained their artistic integrity like Hyperdub, Planet Mu and Deep Medi Muzik.
I have since gotten over how pretentious and superficial the scene has become, nursed back to health with the warm embrace of artists like Rustie, Pangaea, Hackman and most recently Icicles with his flawless Rinse 19 mix.
Flawless is not an understatement. Make no mistake about it, the mix personifies everything that got me into dubstep in the first place and fills me with the hope that the movement still has life left in its wheezing, dilapidated lungs.
The mix starts off exactly where it should, from a dark and escalating place, slowly maturing into a tribal beat pattern in the form of Icicles very own “Deep Tech” then morphing into a more funky and flavorful arrangement with “Centraal” by Locked Groove before moving on to the more upbeat and hard-hitting sounding “Kick In The B” and that’s only the intro and first three tracks.
Icicles naturally dominates the mix with his own tunes and rightly so, there some of the best on the mix with the exception of artists such as Distance, Proxima and Killawatt who make an equally competitive case for being the standout tracks on the mix.
The mix has the perfect composition of different moods of dubstep, from the aggressive and dark, to the speedy and hype, to the simplistic and bass heavy there are flavors to satisfy the palette of every kind of lover of the genre, with the exception of “brostep,” fans of that will find no haven here.
Here's some randdom stuff from Icicle's Soundcloud page: