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Animal Kingdom EP marks the tenth release for Imperial Audio, a label which strives on pushing an exciting, consistent style of dubstep and experimental music at or around 140bpm. With four years behind the imprint, their first double figure release marks a step forward and represents the ethos of Imperial as a whole.
Crystal Catcha provides the release with four tracks all centred around a very much animalistic and primal sounding ascetic, with a back catalogue of releases this South East, UK based producer certainly keeps away from the hype that captures so many producers these days and supplies something which is homegrown and original. After a long line of more ambient and electronica style releases that also hint to dubstep Jayson is taking a look to the more deep and dark dubstep whilst keeping it experimental in this EP.
The first track on the release, Crane & Tiger, gives a nod to Hip Hop in the almost sample like synth arrangement. It captures the asian sample well and works around the vocal with eastern strings, and ‘falling over itself’ percussion. 808 kicks punch through the low end and shuffling top frequencies break through the mix on a forward march.
Title track on the EP is exactly as it suggests, although not the track that first incepted the EP idea it certainly glues it together nicely. Bird calls, raws of the king of the jungle and atmospherics lead you through whilst tough lows balance things against the rattle like percussion on top of the steady kick pattern.
Locusts is a real look back to what Dubstep as a genre began as, a focus on the low frequencies but with a twist. It evolves throughout with simple snappy drums and a bass line that just harvests a head nod. The real action comes from the second drop, this track is the ‘mover’ of the EP.
Lastly, Endgame closes the release with game-esque synths rising in and out of the track and almost horror movie organ sounds. It keeps in context with the rest of the EP percussion-wise with clean steady percussive patterns throughout.