By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
In an interview a few months back, Wanz Dover explained the simple formula for dubstep, and how it helped him redefine the music he was making: "Back [in 2005], the formula for dubstep was to take whatever music you were into and stir it in a pot at 140 [beats per minute], add special spices of bass and space and, poof, dubstep. It was a genre that was not really a genre. It only had two rules: lots of bass and 140 bpm. The first two Blixaboy albums totally operated within that realm, and all of a sudden I was creating music with more focus than ever before. I was able to funnel elements of Krautrock, shoegaze, techno, punk, electro, New Wave, film scores and dub and have it still make sense."
Futro City, the latest full-length from Dover's electronic dance music persona and first for British label Concrete Plastic, makes it very clear that his professed genre of choice, "futro," is not tongue-in-cheek. He's advancing EDM, not inviting the throwback. "Dreams of Orange" rides on the sound of knives being pulled, and the pulsating, repetitive beats of "Nova" take on their own shape. Closer "Sound of the Sun" brings the Teutonic radiance of opener "Futro City" full circle, coloring it in slightly more ominous strokes. With more popular modern EDM, there's pleasure in the buildup and then the dropping of bass. Dover, rather than build anticipation, steadily layers with each song. The beats per minute don't change, in accordance with dubstep law, so a subtle tension starts to build and never really peaks. In that way, it's very similar to dub and house, two genres in which Dover is well versed. He lets the beat ride, and pockets of space remain blank and open, never forcing the music into corners or making it all about the "drop." It's something he started exploring back on 2010's Kliks & Politiks, and he refines it here.
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