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Posted on September 28th, 2013 (8:31 am) by Andy Nelson

The brostep that has taken over the American zeitgeist in the last few years lacks the subtlety of its British dubstep origins. It goes for chest-rattling, brain-pulverizing wobble bass and screeching vocal samples, instead of chilly, dark moodiness, and unsettling drumbeats. This isn’t a bad thing; sometimes basses need to be dropped and faces melted. But within this over-the-top subgenre, melodic elements are refreshing among all the bone-crunching testosterone. Au5’s new Blossom EP fills this niche nicely with two tracks that combine the thumping nirvana of European trance music with the heavy trappings of dubstep.

Both songs on Blossom manage to avoid the repetitious drop-build-drop structure common in dubstep. Instead, Au5 takes time on both songs to build up the sound from sparse elements before dropping thick, glitchy, but beautiful bass drops on the listener.

The title track centers on a simple, eerie sequence of tones that quickly expands into whiplashes of bass entwined with sparkling keys. The song’s continuous up- and down-shifting, combined with its recurring piano melody, give it all the epic melodrama of a "Final Fantasy" soundtrack, but for some reason the over-the-top ridiculousness of adding a dubstep framework over all of it gives the song a transcendent level of cheesy brilliance.

The higher-tempo “Moonland” is similarly maximalist; it mainly lacks the heavy drops of “Blossom” but instead crafts the wobble bass into a melodic element, proceeding at breakneck speed through a series of piano breakdowns and drum-and-bass sections. It’s gaudy but fun.

Blossom isn’t subtle or avant-garde. However, it is a meticulously crafted, shamelessly bombastic, enjoyable dubstep/DnB hybrid infused with the explosive joy of ‘90s dance music.

Track List:
1. Blossom
2. Moonland

Blossom EP
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

70 / 100
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