PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.

Silkie: The Lost Tapes Vol 1

With eight singles and his two City Limits albums released on the DEEP MEDi label to date, Silkie is truly a stalwart in Mala’s army of bass pressure junkies.


The Lost Tapes Vol 1

Label: DEEP MEDi
US Release Date: 2013-08-12
UK Release Date: 2013-08-12

Jumping out of the frying pan into the fire, straight after the magnificent $pace Cash EP by Commodo, comes Silkie’s immense Lost Tapes Vol 1 on Mala’s prolific and varied DEEP MEDi imprint.

With eight singles and his two City Limits albums released on the label to date, Silkie is truly a stalwart in Mala’s army of bass pressure junkies. The Lost Tape Vol 1 -- like Swindles’ recent album -- is a genre bending mashup of smooth jazz licks, retro ‘80s style synth leads and dirty, nasty bass lines designed to move bowels as well as feet.

There has obviously been a lot of furor about the longevity of the dubstep genre over the past few months. Skream’s misquoted comment in UK tabloid muck-raker, The Daily Star, about the death of dubstep caused panic over the interweb. Those waves lead top UK fashion behemoth Primark to create a T-shirt proclaiming its death, and for less than £10 plenty of smug house-heads and general dubstep detractors have been proudly wearing them around the town centers of cities all over the UK. Perhaps as a result, but more probably a coincidence, the output from DEEP MEDi seems to have ramped up considerably recently (although they have always been prolific), releasing more experimental fare than the eyes-down, heaving meditative darkness the imprint was first known for.

Obviously Silkie’s The Lost Tapes Vol 1 contains moments of this traditional, almost dungeon-type of sound, but it is all the more effective due to the seemingly mismatched juxtaposition of its smooth jazz refrains with the EP's meaty, aggressive, reesey bass wobbles. Grime and garage have always been staples of Silkie’s sound, and unsurprisingly the ghosts of those genres haunt and shroud the EP like a rude boy invisibility cloak. The half-step drums shuffle around, rolling the tunes along in a definite head-nod fashion whilst grimy whomps punctuate the beats and smooth licks with a modern urban flavor.

Apparently the tunes were culled and reworked from a large back catalog of unreleased music that even his close circle of friends had not heard -- maybe the time wasn't right for them to be unleashed onto the unsuspecting public until now, a time when dubstep is rapidly reinventing itself in the UK so as to distinguish its sound from the frat-boy orientated tones that dominate the American market. The omnipresent template of deep bass and half-time drums are employed throughout, but like Commodo’s recent EP, The Lost Tapes Vol 1 is definitely not an exercise in restraint. Multiple melody lines play against arpeggiated synth lines and harmonic pads creating fairly dense but extremely focused musical mixes. Like E.M.M.A’s recent album on Keysound it also does not rely on extreme sound effects or sound design to impress, instead focusing on the emotion derived from the mishmash of organic and synthetic sound sources, that although loop based, dip and dive out of focus creating organic sounding arrangements that live and breathe a life of their own -- a great feat to have achieved.

One stand out here is the meaty almost Vex’d sounding "Time Delay". The song unites a hard, stop start riddim with acid twangs, grime squares, and an unbelievably tough bassline before dissolving into a retro ‘80s style melodic synth break down, before returning in full force with the EP's ubiquitous Rhodes style organ vamps combined with the deep sounds seen at the beginning of the track. Its big and I'm pretty sure this is the tune that will get dropped the most on dancefloors around the world.

The chilled vibes of "Jazz Dub", for me, make for the best tune on a fantastic EP. As intimated in the title, it heavily samples jazzy pianos, Rhodes organs, sexy-yet-morose horns and all other manners of Miles Davis inspired instruments,deftly combining them with a relentless 4x4 rhythm and a deep walking bass line. It is dubstep for LA’s experimental beat scene and is sure to find fans outside of traditional bass music circles.

Every track could be mentioned for its individual brilliance. The EP is very varied in its use of sounds, but at the same time, each track is very much a home with each other. The pervasive vibe of the EP is that of a soulful kind of nostalgia -- which it manages to embody without being cheesy, derivative or predictable, again, no mean feat.

As you can imagine I really like this EP, all the sounds for a modern day dubstep classic are there: grimey bass, reesey bass, neon colored, portamento infused synth lines and warm, crusty samples. Another massive release from the DEEP MEDi camp.


Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.





Peter Frampton Asks "Do You Feel Like I Do?" in Rock-Solid Book on Storied Career

British rocker Peter Frampton grew up fast before reaching meteoric heights with Frampton Comes Alive! Now the 70-year-old Grammy-winning artist facing a degenerative muscle condition looks back on his life in his new memoir and this revealing interview.


Bishakh Som's 'Spellbound' Is an Innovative Take on the Graphic Memoir

Bishakh's Som's graphic memoir, Spellbound, serves as a reminder that trans memoirs need not hinge on transition narratives, or at least not on the ones we are used to seeing.


Gamblers' Michael McManus Discusses Religion, Addiction, and the Importance of Writing Open-Ended Songs

Seductively approachable, Gamblers' sunny sound masks the tragedy and despair that populate the band's debut album.


Peter Guralnick's 'Looking to Get Lost' Is an Ode to the Pleasures of Writing About Music

Peter Guralnick's homage to writing about music, 'Looking to Get Lost', shows how good music writing gets the music into the readers' head.


In Praise of the Artifice in George Cukor's 'Sylvia Scarlett'

George Cukor's gender-bending Sylvia Scarlett proposes a heroine who learns nothing from her cross-gendered ordeal.


The Cure: Ranking the Albums From 13 to 1

Just about every Cure album is worth picking up, and even those ranked lowest boast worthwhile moments. Here are their albums, spanning 29 years, presented from worst to best.


The 20 Best Episodes of 'Star Trek: The Original Series'

This is a timeless list of 20 thrilling Star Trek episodes that delight, excite, and entertain, all the while exploring the deepest aspects of the human condition and questioning our place in the universe.


The 20 Best Tom Petty Songs

With today's release of Tom Petty's Wildflowers & All the Rest (Deluxe Edition), we're revisiting Petty's 20 best songs.

Joshua M. Miller

The 11 Greatest Hits From "Greatest Hits" Compilations

It's one of the strangest pop microcosms in history: singles released exclusively from Greatest Hits compilations. We rounded 'em up and ranked 'em to find out what is truly the greatest Greatest Hit of all.


When Punk Got the Funk

As punks were looking for some potential pathways out of the cul-de-sacs of their limited soundscapes, they saw in funk a way to expand the punk palette without sacrificing either their ethos or idea(l)s.


20 Hits of the '80s You Might Not Have Known Are Covers

There were many hit cover versions in the '80s, some of well-known originals, and some that fans may be surprised are covers.


The Reign of Kindo Discuss Why We're Truly "Better Off Together"

The Reign of Kindo's Joseph Secchiaroli delves deep into their latest single and future plans, as well as how COVID-19 has affected not only the band but America as a whole.


Tommy Siegel's Comic 'I Hope This Helps' Pokes at Social Media Addiction

Jukebox the Ghost's Tommy Siegel discusses his "500 Comics in 500 Days" project, which is now a new book, I Hope This Helps.


Kimm Rogers' "Lie" Is an Unapologetically Political Tune (premiere)

San Diego's Kimm Rogers taps into frustration with truth-masking on "Lie". "What I found most frustrating was that no one would utter the word 'lie'."


50 Years Ago B.B. King's 'Indianola Mississippi Seeds' Retooled R&B

B.B. King's passion for bringing the blues to a wider audience is in full flower on the landmark album, Indianola Mississippi Seeds.


Filmmaker Marlon Riggs Knew That Silence = Death

In turning the camera on himself, even in his most vulnerable moments as a sick and dying man, filmmaker and activist Marlon Riggs demonstrated the futility of divorcing the personal from the political. These films are available now on OVID TV.


The Human Animal in Natural Labitat: A Brief Study of the Outcast

The secluded island trope in films such as Cast Away and television shows such as Lost gives culture a chance to examine and explain the human animal in pristine, lab like, habitat conditions. Here is what we discover about Homo sapiens.


Bad Wires Release a Monster of a Debut with 'Politics of Attraction'

Power trio Bad Wires' debut Politics of Attraction is a mix of punk attitude, 1990s New York City noise, and more than a dollop of metal.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.