When Dutch dubstep producer Dave Huismans, a.k.a. 2562, first burst on the scene in 2008 with his hotly hyped debut full-length Aerial, reaction was neatly divided. To some, his stripped down music was the distillation of dubstepís latest leap forward, marrying dubstepís visceral sub-bass punch with the meticulous craft of minimal techno. To others, 2562 was too cool by half: his spare production and steely textures draining the lifeblood out of the music.
With Unbalance, 2562ís sophomore album, Huismans reworks the formula, putting an off-kilter spin on the Bristol dubstep meets Basic Channel formula that animated Aerial. In place of the first albumís icy resolve, Unbalance has a loose-limbed swing. Its spry, hiccuping rhythms owe as much, if not more to two-step and garage as they do to minimal techno.
From the albumís get-go, itís clear that Huisman is up to something new, while still retaining that cracklingly atmospheric 2562 sound. The static-filled textural soundscapes are much in evidence on the albumís brief introduction, but from there things morph into ďFlashback,Ē a sprightly thumping track that is oceans away from Aerialís sparse, somnambulant dub. The albumís strongest moments come when itís at its most stutteringly frenetic. ďDinosaur,Ē with its dialed-down garage beat and woozily intricate synthesizer melody, is simply hypnotic. And when it slips through a haze of Huismanís trademark static into the punishingly fractured, and weirdly funky title track, itís ... well, lovely.
The single that heralded 2562ís shift to a more colorful palette, the aptly named ďLove In Outer Space,Ē is as seductive, giddy, and beautiful as ever. Itís a testament to the albumís overall strength that it comes near the tail end of the record. Itís about as perfect a mixture of dubstep and techno as anything out there.