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2562 - Unbalance

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Artist: 2562

Album: Unbalance

Label: Tectonic

Review date: Nov. 3, 2009

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 dubstep’s latest leap forward, marrying dubstep’s 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, 2562’s 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 album’s 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 album’s get-go, it’s 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 album’s brief introduction, but from there things morph into “Flashback,” a sprightly thumping track that is oceans away from Aerial’s sparse, somnambulant dub. The album’s strongest moments come when it’s at its most stutteringly frenetic. “Dinosaur,” with its dialed-down garage beat and woozily intricate synthesizer melody, is simply hypnotic. And when it slips through a haze of Huisman’s trademark static into the punishingly fractured, and weirdly funky title track, it’s ... well, lovely.

The single that heralded 2562’s shift to a more colorful palette, the aptly named “Love In Outer Space,” is as seductive, giddy, and beautiful as ever. It’s a testament to the album’s overall strength that it comes near the tail end of the record. It’s about as perfect a mixture of dubstep and techno as anything out there.

By Susanna Bolle

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