After Volume 3 revelled in accepting missions of infiltrating clandestine factions and subversive bass metamorphoses, Volume 4 arrives with an expansion team staying both on-point and ahead of the pack by cultivating its dubstep rams and raids. Jakes begins the fourth quarter with more of the same speaker stalking and severing, despite being backed by a gameshow choir that could make you millions, and Kryptic Minds and Steve Digital explore contrasting digital lost worlds where one wrong move and the walls cave in.
So Tectonic have hardly lightened up, but in places the belligerence taking secrets to the grave has been told it can cross into maximalist subject matter and makes the mood less profound. Of the skinnier assassins taking their place in the Bristol label’s latest line-up, Guido’s “State of Joy” is as much at home in the lounge as it is firing purple shots, and there’s a certain positive stride to Sinistarr & Texel’s “Decibell.” Pursuit Grooves’ “Hard Beginnings” seems to define tension, but becomes secure through expressing drama on the low. Bad news for crosshair marksmen, but more evidence of dubstep’s multiplex levels, especially when heads get upped by the footwork/trap networking from Decibel’s “Talk” and Mumdance & Logos’ “Drum Boss” evading definition by throwing down bass multiples. Ever turning evolution captured, the cut of the edge may have faintly, contentiously dulled, but Tectonic consistency still puts ample snap into a scene snapshot.
File under: Distal, Beneath, Jack Sparrow