Album Review: 2562 | Unbalance

Originally published in Time Out Chicago: TOC | 2562

2562

Unbalance

TectonicRecordings

Dubstep \ dub-step \ n + tech•no \tek-nõ\ n

Terence McKenna, who did for psychedelic mushrooms what Timothy Leary did for acid, often spoke of drug-addled trips that transported him to an alternate plane inhabited by “machine elves” that communicate via shapes projected above their heads. If there were a soundtrack blasting through the realm of these mythical organic-meets-mechanic beings, 2562’s sophomore album, Unbalance, might be it.

Fast-rising dubstep producer Dave Huismans—who borrows the handle 2562 from the zip code of his hometown, the Hague, Netherlands—has a knack for breathing life into a genre bogged down by a soulless, overly robotic status quo. While he’s always avoided falling victim to cold productions, on Unbalance he ratchets up the warmth, allowing his tracks to exist more as songs than dance-floor tools.

“Lost” is a perfect example. Huismans circumvents the conventional dubstep drum pattern in favor of a more mellow, layered shuffle. To that he adds a modulating, if indecipherable, vocal snippet that serves as a brightening, colorful texture. On “Dinosaur,” his contribution to the emerging U.K. funky sound, he picks up the pace, playing with two-step and broken-beat rhythms peppered with squelchy keys à la Bugz in the Attic.

Huismans proves that his is a more evolved dubstep. It hasn’t abandoned its mechanical roots—after all, dubstep is a purely digital construct of computer programming—but it has gone a step beyond. Unbalance exists in a nether region that’s neither too robotic nor too human, much like McKenna’s elves. And Huismans did it without lifelong drug experimentation. Well, perhaps.

— Joshua P. Ferguson


 

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