A genre which rises out of an underground scene and begins to see mass market appeal usually has a champion. Those who are breaking down the walls for dubstep in particular (often in spite of criticism by purists) arguably have more in common with electro-house than the genre they’re promoting. in some ways they are still representing the dubstep values and the optimist will note that this could be a great thing for the genre if you consider the number of people who will be introduced to a more accessible brand of the sound and later have their appetites wet to start exploring the truly inspirational innovators who lurk beneath the surface.
Part of what made Drawn & Quartered on Deadbeat's new label BLKRTZ last year so exciting was its radical reductionism—five lengthy slabs of pure digital dub, with no Echospace cliches to be seen. But how to follow such an act of reverent traditionalism? Following hot on the heels of the last one, Eight shows Berlin-based Scott Monteith heading back to his comfort zone with renewed spirit and vigour, dub-leaning techno armed with the truly epic spirit of his last venture. Opener "Elephant in the Pool" sets the mood—it's a lopsided techno banger that skids across a heaving dub framework instead of fully inhabiting it like Drawn & Quartered.
With 2011's Drawn and Quartered, Berlin-by-way-of-Montreal techno producer Scott Montieth aka Deadbeat dove into a dense, almost impenetrably thick world of minimal dub ambience, with an hour of foggy sounds sifted out over the course of just five epic tracks. The mood was heavy and plodding, almost suffocating in its woolly layers. With Eight, Deadbeat thins out the mood somewhat, but the darkness and minimal approach are refined and stretched out over a variety of different styles.
Ex-Montrealler and MUTEK-affiliated Deadbeat (aka Scott Monteith) recently made the inevitable move, like so many North American electronic musicians do, to the European home of techno: Berlin. Much like Monolake, whom he has collaborated with in the past, Monteith also builds his music software, as well as using it expertly. Perhaps as a result of this change of location, Deadbeat's new release (simply titled Eight, after the number of tracks on the record) shows us a different side of the Canadian ex-pat's take on dub techno.