Sach O wants to smack the Grammy nomination committee till they stop nominating. And breathing.
Legendary DMZ producer Coki’s predicament reminds me of Raekwon’s late 90s situation: what do you do when an entire musical Universe bites your style and proceeds to miss the point entirely? As the innovator behind Dubstep’s wobbling bass lines, Coki elevated simple sonic elements to high art, tweaking frequencies until they caused chest palpitations and unprovoked skanking, thus forever altering the genre’s DNA for better for worse as countless imitators jumped on the bandwagon. With talentless hacks in bumboy haircuts and washed up rap-metal bands misusing his ideas to make green however, does the DMZ originator switch up his style or keep it OG? The answer on this latest double pack is both: drop the hardest tunes for the dance but make sure you’ve got some tricks up your sleeves.
If you couldn’t tell by its title, opening number “Tree Trunk” is chainsaw Dubstep at it’s finest. Don’t even bother listening at home – while the ethereal background synths and sound design may separate it from the clones, tunes like this are meant to be FELT and hearing them in any environment other than a dark room on massive subwoofers is a disservice. Ditto for brain destroyer “Lower Octave”, an even more repetitive slice of bass line science that skirts the lines between drone rock, dance music and dread infused dub. Say what you want – Coki’s still making tunes for the same reason he’s always made them: for a South-London audience expecting nothing less than the harshest, most brutal sub-low science conceived by man. If a bunch of hicks with glowsticks appropriated his shit – that’s not his problem.
“Think You’re Gone” combines sour notes and burbling aquatics for a slightly less hectic and ultimately more successful bass line exercise perfect for the dance but spacious enough for emcees – Merky Ace and Family Tree need to get on this stat. The EP’s best moment however comes when Coki stretches out of his battle-weapon comfort zone with the stunningly crafted “Celestial Dub”. Fitted with a comparatively minimal bass line, the tune’s meditative vibe is instead complimented by an army of reverberating snares as the Junglist impulse is redirected back towards the drum programming. As inspiring as any of his previous classics released on the DMZ label, Celestial Dub’s voodoo funeral march is a potent reminder that Dubstep’s physicality can still retain the genre’s more reflective and spiritual tendencies and that while Coki remains king of the wobble – he’s never limited by it.