Music News

Round Black Ghosts

In ten distinctive but complementary entries, Berlin's ~scape label explores an increasingly obvious link between dub techno and the U.K.-born attributes of dubstep on Round Black Ghosts. Label co-owner and celebrated electronic artist Pole helped assemble the compilation, which includes works from Pinch, Martyn, and Peverlist. Pole's own "Alles Klar" is one of Round's busier tracks, although it's noticeably colder and less dubstep-sounding than its peers. Like his 2007 Steingarten LP, Pole's "Alles Klar" is subtle and loose, with fragmented chimes and wafts of static resting on thin beats. Seated sonically opposite from Pole's effort is "136 Trek" from Tectonic label-head Pinch. An April 2008 B-side from the Bristol DJ/producer, Pinch's "136 Trek" is propelled by a techno kick at its base, but it's dressed in airy atmospherics, clicks, and jarring one-note bleeps. Peverlist, whose own label incidentally released Pinch's track, also makes good on the promise of a skillfully executed dubstep-techno hybrid with "Grid." Peverlist's percussion-heavy arrangement may fill more space than the wobbly "Beyond the Stars (SD Mix)" does from duo Syncom Data, but diversity is the goal here, and Round Black Ghosts delivers.
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Dominic Umile