Becoming Real Becoming RealSpectre EP
NOT EVEN (NTEVN1, 12” + digital)
Right now it’s really easy to make some smart remark about Becoming Real’s moniker –his real name is Toby Ridler– like, his presence on the post-dubstep scene has become more real, decisive and visible with every release. Starting out as a mysterious artist with releases on small labels, presented with meagre artwork, the man with the pixelated face has become the creator of some of the most intimidating bass music on this side of the English Channel. The merit is solely his, because it’s not his apparent anonymity that has drawn those looking for new urban gems towards him, but the robustness of his beats and the aesthetic flexibility of his style. For example, this “Spectre EP” gives us a Becoming Real at ease with the grime idiom: not only is Trim accompanying him on vocals –the most heterodox and crazy rapper alongside the most unpredictable beatmaker, they were made for each other–, the foundation he lays in order for those vocals to sound full of all their rage are perfect: minimalist, dry, nocturnal, slow, oppressive in the case of “Like Me”, with an disturbing oriental melody on “Showdown In Chinatown”. But there is a moment on this 12” that counts twice: the remix DJ Rashad –who we’ve heard before on one of the Chicago juke singles released by Planet Mu–, comes up with using his fastest bass drums and sharpest snares, going beyond grime and ghetto-tech to transform “Like Me” into something very close to gabber. If there was a way to make a Becoming Real 12” (even) better, he found it. It makes you want to go out and break some windows.
Claude T. Hill