Various Artists Dubstep Allstars Vol.9: Silkie and Quest Review

Album. Released 2012.  

BBC Review

A harmonious family affair from the dubstep duo.

Ben Arnold 2012

Entering into a venerable alumnus society in Tempa's Dubstep Allstars series are Anti Social Entertainment and DEEP MEDi labelmates Silkie and Quest, almost veterans of the scene in spite of their tender years. They join a solid group to have mixed a set for the breakout series, comprising scene kingpins like Hatcha, Kode9, Appleblim, N-Type, Chef and Ramadanman. No pressure, then.

Call it a flash of arrogance, or call it audacious, but the pair has weighted this mix in favour of their own productions. But few will voice complaints about such trivialities when the dubplates laid down are of a calibre this reliable – Silkie and Quest are more than capable of carrying it all themselves.

So this is less a mix, more a showcase. It’s a statement. It might also be the only opportunity to hear some of these unreleased tracks outside of the club or radio environment.

Pleasingly, there are a handful of tracks here from Silkie's most recent artist set, City Limits Vol. 2. The skippy, feverish Get Up and Dance, the slinky club banger Lucky and the blissful Snowed In, his collaboration with Parisian producer Von D (written when they were, quite literally, snowed in) all appear, as does his mix of Katy B's Witches Brew.

Quest's ragga tendencies show through on The Seafront, and there's more than a whiff of Detroit about both the pulsating techno of Somewhere and the intricate, percussive Deep Inside, a welcome oasis of calm amongst the clamour.

There's a selection from the pair's DEEP MEDi boss, Mala. The sparse, minimal (and exclusive) Eyez VIP drops at precisely the album's pivot point and leads into the unfathomably dark Level O from Mizz Beats and Jay Retro, a denture-rattling weapon of a track.

They also offer close production pal Swindle an opportunity to shine, opening the mix with his Prince-esque dub boogie, Superhero, then dropping the bothersome breakbeat of Belfast, electroid madness Do the Jazz and the moody Forest Funk.

So this is a very much family affair, then. And a most harmonious nuclear unit it is, too.

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