Various Artists

Generation Bass Presents: Transnational Dubstep

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Dubstep's homeland is still located in and around southeast London, and its roots are most deeply embedded in the U.K. garage and 2-step genres (with significant contributions from the grime scene as well). But its influence has truly gone international in recent years, as this educational and entertaining compilation makes clear. Many of the artists featured here are actually British or European, but in some cases they are working in collaboration with musicians from around the globe, and in others they are simply incorporating multicultural musical elements they've gathered in their travels or research. What the tracks all have in common is that they caught the attention of compilers DJ UMB and Vincent Koreman, co-founders of the unapologetically internationalist Generation Bass dubstep blog, who sifted through over 300 candidates to eventually come up with this 15-track program. And virtually every entry is a winner: Alexis K's "Undertow in G#," with its dubwise Indian vocal; Knowa Knowone's "Cumbia Dub," with its layers of jungle flute and occasional eruptions of breaking glass; the stiff, robotic ska of "Valium Gitan" by the French ensemble Sa Bat' Machines; Celt Islam's "Dub Reflex," which is neither particularly Celtic nor Middle Eastern in tone (in fact, it's nearly straight-up dub reggae) but is still plenty of fun. Jajouka Soundsystem's "Salahadeen" ends the program on a rather long and plodding note, but even that track is enjoyable. The rest is spectacular.

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