Varios VariosDark Matter: Multiverse, 2004-2009
The multiverse. Getting bigger every microsecond. Creating new realities with every decision we make. Infinite. Unending. Blooming in a sea of endless waves of probability that we know as the "future." Projecting worlds that differ from ours in infinitesimal ways on other planes of existence, with impossible historical alternatives in which Hitler rules the world, the Twin Towers are still standing and Princess Di is an alien who eats brains. Out there is a parallel universe where dubstep doesn't exist. Bristol doesn't even exist. And, evidently, the studio doesn't exist either - transforming labels into a hive - Multiverse. Luckily, our holograms, projected in a 2-dimensional plane of pure information, have chosen to belong to a world where there is dubstep, also Bristol, and of course there is Multiverse.
That said, and with things being clear from the beginning, the compilation that concerns us is looming, like Stephen King's The Dark Tower, on a horizon that is not so far away. A double CD, with 24 cuts, which is the dark sulphur of night - dubstep cooked in the Multiverse pot. Everything before your noses has been cooked up in this small Bristol spot whose gravitational influence has been worn down by the main heroes of the genre. The track list looks back over five years of history; all the tracks were recorded between 2004 and 2009 in that temple of electronic mist and have been spread out over their various platforms. Surely, many will ask if a simple studio / office deserves so much fanfare. And the answer is yes. Multiverse has served labels the mainstays of the Bristol scene – Tectonic, Kapsize, Earwax – as a centre of operations and has became a type of sanctuary with a mystic for the soldiers of dubstep only comparable to that of the extinct D&D Studios in the world of hip-hop or the early FON Studios in Sheffield in the early days of the Warp label. But perhaps even more important is that in their rusty pots the genre has been mutating, evolving, perverting their genetic makeup in favour of underground bastardising and naked experimentation. Damn, Multiverse has contributed enormously to the propagation of the club virus in England and has strengthened Bristolian to the core, which is saying a lot.
The first thing you think upon finishing this magnificent and lengthy journey is how alive underground is on the islands and how far it has advanced in these miserable five years. It has taken dubstep five years to ally itself with the industrial technoide noise - incredible pile hammer of Emptyset on “Gate 4”–with tribal percussion and the minimal, bestial “Brighter Day” by Pinch– with old school techno –another notch on the belt for 2562 thanks to the nervously danceable “Techno Dread”… I could go on listing until it gets dark. Nobody told them what they had to do, how they had to sound, who they had to please; dub and its influences have flown free and have shifted shapes at will before the astonished gaze of the music lover. “Dark Matter” luckily shows us that in this land the laws of physics don't exist, that everything is possible; instead of being solid, this blessed sound moves through the fabric of reality in gaseous form, penetrating everywhere, even in the remotest corners of the musical underground. This behaviour has acquired a very special glow in the streets of Bristol -some identify it with glitter, but there are more nuances- and it has caused the London suburbs to no longer be the evolutionary centre of the movement.
It seems normal, then, that this black mass starts off with Vex’d – it all began in Bristol – and the monstrosity that is “Lion”. Logical, then, that we find many traces of the Joker in the song book. Clearly, the only thing that's missing, rising from the shadows of the Pinch spectra is Moving Ninja – “Uranium” is as if Scorn had returned– or October – Circut Breaker's “Phonqe” remix in the key of hardcore is better than sex. Someone had to do justice to Multiverse here and in all the parallel universes in which there is such a blessed place. Someone had to do justice to a city that has been shaking up British electronic music since the end of the 80s and that has the most fearsome horsemen capable of unleashing the Apocalypse. Okay, it's not Menorca, they don't make good mojitos, there aren't Cuban waitresses, it's not even that easy to find a good dealer, but damn it, this summer I'm going on vacation to Bristol even if it costs me my marriage. I wanted to go to Croydon, but not anymore. Óscar Broc