Dabin - Electropolitics EP Review
by Mitch Buchannan
Politics are tricky. You have to choose a side, deal with criticism, make sure you’re always aware of what’s going on, and be prepared to be put on the spot at any given moment. Dabin, a Toronto- based producer, has done just that with his newest EP Electropolitics. Released on March 20th through Montreal’s very own Kannibalen Records, this EP is already charting high on Beatport’s Top 100 Electro House releases – and we see no sign of it slowing down anytime soon. Moving from Electro to Dubstep to Drumstep with ease, the tracks on Electropolitics are original, exciting, and masterfully produced in every way. By creating an album that touches on many areas of EDM, it would be easy to criticize Dabin for being neutral in his Electropolitical standing – but instead, we think his political platform preaches unity.
As its name suggests, “Electropolitics” is one banging electro track. With a melodic, almost jazzy opening, “Electropolitics” boasts unique character and originality on all fronts. Mellow but driving until the last moment, the intro is abruptly interrupted with a cry of “turn up the bass!” The intensity jumps to a whole new level as Dabin lets go of all restraint. Vocal samples become an instrument mixing with synths and bass, all backed by a snappy rhythm. A variety of wobbles and staccato notes chop up the beat, but there’s no interruption to the funky, grooving rhythm that infects this track with energy.
This EP has also spawned several high-profile remixes of the title track. Apashe’s remix brings the tempo up to dubstep speed and adds an organically electronic atmosphere. Low, reverberating synths stutter underneath the track’s signature vocal line to create an exciting contrast between sweet melody and aggressive dubstep drops. Dooze Jackers’ remix of “Electropolitics” slows things down, but keeps the track fresh with emphasis on the kick drum and a vocal backbeat to keep the music bouncing. With a crossover set of sounds and rhythm, the Dooze Jackers remix would feel at home in any electro-house or moomba set. The last of the “Electropolitics” remixes is from Black Tiger Sex Machine. Maintaining the electro tempo, BTSM nevertheless give the track an entirely new direction – if the signature vocal samples weren’t layered in to this remix, it could almost pass as an original track. Unsteady synth lines and a more aggressive beat, paired with pounding bass, recreate this track into something wholly new.
The second original track, “Wildfire,” is a pounding dubstep track with a funky edge. The first minute is filled with modified vocals and pulsing melodic tones, creating a sense of tranquility that is both calming and fragile – and with the introduction of the kick drum, all tranquility is shattered in favour of shuddering bass, gasping voices, and modulating synths. Electronic laser fire soon joins the mix as the intensity continues to build – growing as a true wildfire would, sweeping across a dry, desolate forest.
“Welcome To The Future” rounds off the original tracks, increasing the intensity yet again with a fast-paced drumstep banger. Again, modified vocal melodies take centre-stage, backed by an almost medieval synth progression. Any thoughts about times past are swept away, however, by the rapid-fire drop – staccato high-end instruments blast across the soundwaves, intermittently deflected by mid- range synth holds. Both the soundtrack to the action and the action itself, “Welcome To The Future” is a high-energy track that shows it’s not just about Electro when we’re dealing with Electropolitics.
Dabin, a Toronto producer, has picked an interesting way to present his newest effort. Electropolitics comes at a time when there’s considerable debate over the future of dubstep and other areas of EDM. Although this causes conflict, debates, and even outright anger, Dabin has shown us that quality music can come from all sides. With each track retaining similar thematic elements but each one as entirely unique as the last, and by spanning multiple genres over six tracks, Dabin’s newest EP has us saying “screw the politics. Let’s just enjoy the music.”