Bristol, UK‘s loss is Melbourne’s gain, with bass music producer Titus 12 releasing six-track (with two remixes included as well) debut album Karnak on eclectic hip-hop and electronic Australian label Uncomfortable Beats.
Karnak was inspired by three months spent by Titus 12 in isolation at the tropical jungle location of Karnak Playhouse, near the Daintree rainforest.
The album is a surprisingly original take on dubstep, yet still utilising the original take on the genre. Karnak uses dub and reggae elements to best effect, and is honed to smooth perfection. There are also contemporary electronic embellishments such as rolling 808s used in trap in songs like ‘Drymouth Disco’, that improve rather than detract from the overall ambient spell cast by Karnak, laid from the off-set of introductory track ‘Junktion’.
Swaggering syncopation in ‘Title Fight’ reminiscent of Digital Mystikz show that the art of dubstep hasn’t quite passed us by yet, and that the genre hasn’t quite disappeared into the obscure murk of obsolete electronic music genre.
Other stand-outs include ‘Cliento’, combining an exotic atmosphere of synthesis, over hats and rattling samples. Reverberating acoustic guitar breaks, autotone vox samples drive along with the percussion and sub-bass tones in possibly Karnak‘s best track, ‘Burning Low’.
Two remixes are provided at the end of Karnak by Able8’s very cool juke/jungle redux of ‘Junktion’, and Dutch producer Frenquency‘s impressive footworki edit of ‘Cliento’, which accentuates the belling samples into a more trappy format that many DJs will want a piece of.
The summary of Karnak is that it’s an organic and accomplished piece of work, sone that’s obviously had a lot of time and effort placed into getting it just right. Titus 12 is showing that Melbourne’s brand of OG bass music is a force to be reckoned with on the global electronic music stage.
8.5 out of 10 Haarp Strings.
‘Karnak’ is available via the Uncomfortable Beats Bandcamp site in a variety of format, on a pay-as-you-please basis.
Written by Kristian Hatton.