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Traumatic Times

(Hyperdub; US: 14 Apr 2009; UK: 19 Mar 2009)

Any person mindful of advancements in dubstep, or, for that matter, the genre’s offshoots garnering superfluous tags by the millisecond, is probably aware of Hyperdub. The London-based label’s output has included excellent, varied production from Darkstar, Zomby, Kode9 (HD’s label boss), and more, while LPs from Burial have helped land words like “dubstep” and “garage” on the pages of high profile publications across the world.

Amid the early 2009 dose of powerful entries from Joker, 2000F & JKamata, and Kode9 on Hyperdub, the Traumatic Times 12” from professional sound engineer/producer Leon “LD” Day ripples with quivering melodies, bird chirps, and chipper organic percussion support. LD, whose collaboration work has seen significant love, exhibits his technical prowess markedly for the drums end of B-side “Woodblock”—clean and abrupt laser synths zip in and out of earshot at an immediate, incalculable pace, sprucing up a host of tribal rhythms and “wood block” clacks. Comparatively, the title cut’s thoughtful synthesis of slowly dissipating chords and low-seated congas is far more soothing. It sits well on a slick March mix for Vice Magazine that LD’s label mate Ikonika did, but it probably should’ve beat out that ridiculous track from the Dream for the opening slot.


Dominic Umile is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. His work has recently appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, The Chicago Reader, The Comics Journal, and more. Follow: @dominicumile | Email: |

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