Monday, 22 February 2010

PRE-ORDER: Subeena - Picture/Spectrums [Opit]

London based Subeena is another one of those producers that floats between the margins of several genres, seemingly taking delight in confounding any simplistic attempt to categorise her music. Ostensibly connected to dubstep, in so far as its skeletal percussive framework and focus on low-end motion were touchstones, her recent Planet Mu release ‘Solidify’ was essentially a standalone creature. Its strongly defined song narrative and gauzy synth melodies, along with Om’Mas Keith and Jamie Woon’s honeyed vocals, brought the final result closer to a kind of slo-mo electronic soul. She follows a similar path on the follow-up for Opit, but the pace has been upped considerably, tracing similar lines to the cosmic house and garage vibes of her similarly minded contemporaries on the Eglo label, Floating Points and Alexander Nut.

In fact, ‘Picture’ sounds a little like the cousin of Floating Points’ mercurial ‘Vacuum Boogie,’ built around thick, blocky chords and heavily filtered backing ambience that weaves in and out of a hypnotic percussive figure. The London connection is evident once again, in the track’s bubbling sub-bass and the spacious nature of its house-tinted rhythm, but it’s the pulse of London’s pirates shot into orbit with a headful of Lindstrom’s space disco. If anything, ‘Spectrums’ stretches even further from earth, its constantly shifting dynamics and eddies of reverb tapping into some otherworldly, pleasantly dissociated headspace.

Although driven by the ebb and flow of dance music, and with more than a little deep house in their genetic code, it’s hard not to feel that a little of these tracks’ charm would be lost in the mix. A little like most of Floating Points’ recent material, Subeena‘s productions are so defiantly musical that not to listen to them in their entirety would do her a disservice – further evidence that there’s far more churning in the melting-pot of London’s ever-shifting bass scene than simple floor-filling fodder. Space is the place, man.

Words: Rory Gibb
Out: "still not sure when it's out exactly but should be very soon"


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