Release Date: Oct 17, 2011
Record label: Planet Mu
Genre(s): Electronic, Club/Dance
Jamie Teasdale’s return after the shelving of his Vex’d project has resulted in one of this year’s most surprising debuts. As Vex’d, he’d teamed up with Roly Porter to make alien-sounding grime music of almost questionably human origins. As Kuedo he follows a more penetrating path, marrying cutting-edge drum programs to a slew of old science fiction synths.
When Jamie Teasdale's solo project emerged out of the ashes of dubstep pioneers Vex'd, it was an unabashedly colourful sort of dubstep. Then when Jamie Vex'd morphed into Kuedo, those edges got softer, and with this year's Videowave EP they threatened to melt away completely, leaving behind gaseous gasps of melody. This is the ether that Kuedo's debut album Severant emerges from, another rebirth for an already chameleonic producer.
Review Summary: Severant is where grime gives way to something more gorgeous, more expressive; and as a result, something much more eye-opening.As one half of the aggressive and industrial-tinged dubstep outfit Vex’d, Jamie Teasdale unwittingly became a champion for the expansive crowd of hard-edged bass enthusiasts who craft their music like car crashes, where everything just sounds like a tangled web of bent steel. But now shifting identities to the new moniker of Kuedo, Teasdale is eager to re-invent himself as a futurist pioneer, now having little to do with the aggro frustration of dubstep. What was hinted at on his breakthrough track ‘Star Fox’ and what Severant ends up fulfilling is Jamie’s love for the subtle and the sublime.
While he might have cut his teeth as half of industrial dubstep provocateurs Vex’d, [a]Kuedo[/a]’s debut album has little to do with that genre, and nothing to do with the vague ‘post-dubstep’ descriptions that usually get thrown in his direction. Instead, Jamie Teasdale has honed a beguiling blend of sci-fi soundtrack synths (think Vangelis’ iconic theme to Blade Runner), booming hip-hop bass and the jittery percussion of Chicago footwork. While its melodies are curiously soothing, the stuttering drums of ‘[b]Flight Path[/b]’ are the opposite – caffeinated, edgy and invigorating.
Back when he was making music with Vex'd, Jamie Teasdale was responsible for some of the more harder-edged, aggressive dubstep out there. With partner Roly Porter, the duo highlighted the genre's grimiest qualities, making industrial tracks like "Thunder" that sounded not unlike high-speed car crashes. But that wasn't his true calling. "I was more the technical guy in Vex'd," Teasdale, now going by Kuedo, recently told the Quietus.
Best known as one half of minimalist dubstep duo Vex'd, Jamie Teasdale, aka Kuedo, eschews the menacing wobble basslines he's renowned for in favor of a cinematic analog synth-led sound inspired by the proggy ambient scores of Vangelis and Mike Oldfield for his debut album, Severant. There are still traces of his 140-bpm past, such as the mellow R&B-tinged closer "Memory Rain," which combines spacious elasticized percussion with a chopped-up but soulful rare vocal, and "Flight Path," which borrows the bassline from the end credits of Blade Runner to produce a slightly sinister acid house throwback. But anyone expecting a speaker-blasting affair should look elsewhere, as its 15 instrumental tracks, which are awash with shimmering crystalline synth pads, disjointed old-skool hip-hop beats, and slow-burning melancholic melodies, certainly aren't designed for a party environment.
A stunning debut that gives up more secrets with every listen. Ian Roullier 2011 As Vex’d, Jamie Teasdale and Roly Porter helped lay the dubstep blueprint that so many now follow through tracks like the dirt-smeared Angel. Yet the duo’s 2010 long-player, Cloud Seed, showed there was a much greater breadth and depth to their sound. Not for them the genre-bound paralysis that has beset some producers following dubstep’s crossover to the mainstream.
In 2005, Degenerate by Bristolian duo Vex’d managed to comprehensively upset the apple cart of dubstep that was, by that point, racing away into the top 20 lists of every journo on these shores. Degenerate was utterly transgressive in the way it took the deep bass grooves that characterised dubstep, and then ploughed them into the dirt via a deluge of aggressive synths and excoriating percussion lifted straight out of harsh techno and EBM. Fast-forward six years and Vex’d is, sadly, no more.