In October of last year Canadian DJ and producer Excision cemented his position at the forefront of the burgeoning dubstep movement in North America with the release of his masterfully crafted debut album X Rated on mau5trap. Dissecting an eclectic array of influences over the course of the ten tracks that make up X Rated, its influences stretch from drum and bass to hip hop, metal to electro, always remaining both unique and progressive. Packing enough heat to send any club into pandemonium, the album continues to resonate through the fibre of EDM.
Nearly one year on, its ripples continue to spread as Excision invites a collection of friends and like-minded contemporaries to put their unique spin on his tracks. With each artist picking up on different aspects of his tracks and bringing them into relief imbued with their own style, the result is a broad collection of club ready, bass led firepower. Title track X Rated gets a makeover from both Space Laces and Calyx & TeeBee, who pull it in two very different directions; Space Laces recalibrates the originals swagger into a rollercoaster of juddering bass contortions while Calyx & TeeBee channel its ominous atmospheres as they up the tempo warping it in to a techy drum & bass outing. Meanwhile Xilent and Loadstar both lend their ample production skills to Sleepless, one of the albums more expansive moments.
While rising Polish talent Xilent leads with its ethereal vocals and cavernous terrain, playing its more dreamlike aspects off against a glitching, hyperactive arrangement, Loadstar deconstruct it with a jacking half time drum & bass rhythm and incisive mid range bass. High Rankin retains the metal-influenced jackhammer rhythm of the original while giving Execute an industrial stomp. Eptic stays true to the cartoonish boisterousness of Excision & Datsiks 8 Bit Superhero, using flailing hyperkinetic synths to lead the slowed dubstep beat while the Dirtyphonics crew twist the pairs Deviance into a gnarly 4×4 outing. Specimen A takes Swerve to its extreme, fluidly moving from its linear power to an eccentric drum & bass rinse out while Elite Force splay The Underground into a million tangled strands of energy.
Far Too Loud takes SexisM, Excisions deadly collaboration with SkisM, and rewires it to a 4×4 electro beat while Lucky Date complete the stellar lineup taking Ohhh Nooo and fire it off into outer space. Here X Rated is given a new lease of life viewed through the eyes of some of Excisions most talented contemporaries, seeing us through as we eagerly await more original material from the man himself.