Release Date: Oct 14, 2016
Record label: Planet Mu
On his solo debut, Severant, Kuedo crafted a wholly original album full of shimmering, cinematic landscapes. He took the filmic work of Vangelis and Mike Oldfield and updated it with more trap, hip-hop beats behind the lucid, gleaming synths. It was a refreshing and sophisticated album that could have fitted perfectly as the soundtrack to any of the great sci-fi works of the 1980s.
The years after dubstep offered some great debut albums. But the better that first one was, the truer the cliché about the difficult follow-up. Zomby has yet to match 2011's Dedication. When Darkstar finally followed up on 2010's North, they sounded like a completely different band. Jam City's ….
In hindsight, Vex’d’s seminal 2005 dubstep masterpiece Degenerate was already an attempt to look past the genre’s established aesthetic and avoid it becoming stale, with its aggressive bass charges and rattling beats presenting a dystopian, futuristic form of bass music that felt abrasive and vital even so early on in dubstep’s history. Degenerate seemed a mile away from the more accessible music of a Skream or a Burial, and eleven years on, one half of Vex’d, Jamie Teasdale, is continuing to consider where the staples set down by the first dubstep rush of 2003-2007 can go once the world gets over-familiar with them. Using his Kuedo moniker, he already evinced a certain trajectory on his 2011 debut, Severant, and it seems he has been using the subsequent five years, in between the odd reunion with former Vex’d compadre Roly Porter, to forge even further ahead, and with greater ambition.