Sunday, May 8, 2011

Young Montana? - Limerence

Dubstep producers have restlessly been reaching into more and more disparate musical territories to infect with 2step rhythms and chop into melody snippets. Perhaps one of the most successful accomplishments of this trend is Young Montana?'s Limerence, a hyperactive journey bounded only loosely by dubstep's hazy sound and UK Funky's persistent beat. Perhaps I should call it future garage to highlight its forward-thinking approach (not to mention distance it from frat house bass music), but the truth is this album embodies the malleable nature of dubstep in its infancy.
Having found out about the album through techno circles, I was amused to see it classified as Trip Hop on rateyourmusic. Yet the label is valid, because YM? works like a British Dilla: short episodes are cycled around a basic groove which keeps the track moving. The result is always fresh, if somewhat disjointed, but the erratic jumpiness of the album is certainly part of its charm. One of the most cohesive tracks on the album is its effective opener, 'Sacré Cool,' which is a high contender for groove of the year, with the help of some expert vocal manipulation. Producers have been overusing this technique lately, and YM? shows his subtlety by keeping the melody to a few well-timed vocal stabs against the pulsating rhythm section.
I expect this album will usher in a couple more meticulously crafted but flashy dubstep records which will all inevitably be throwaway. Young Montana? shows that virtuosity is useless in itself; most producers of frantic dubstep lack any sort of artistic control and their ideas get muddled. Young Montana? succeeds—for the most part—at exploring concentrated ideas from wildly differing perspectives.