Since the whole persona of the dubstep industry began morphing during the 2007 period; a more futuristic edge surrounded the scene, which released an arsenal of fresh producers pushing a new sound. J:Kenzo is a prime example of one of the artists who emerged at this time; giving an entire new dynamic to his tracks, which were precisely threaded together, from the highs, right down to the lows. With his debut album already out on Tempa records featuring tracks like ‘No Man’s Land ft. Footsie’ and ‘Invaders’, he’s set his sights on providing us with four more tracks, filled to the brim with his heavy, aggressive style.
Since the album release, his approach has adapted and developed into an even firmer sound; so recognisable by his (clearly) Loafah influenced production style; offbeat percussion crafted with such complexity, and surging bass lines to top it off. Tempa have certainly been setting the bar high for other labels, with releases from Amit, Proxima and Nomine, and thus this release continues their run of form, and arguably, could be one of the best releases from the label and from J:Kenzo as an artist.
The first track is ‘Cause & Effect’, which has been rinsed on the airwaves since its first play; it’s personally my favourite track off the EP. It can be distinguished early on due to a distinct robotic voice sample, taken from ‘Galactica 1980’, which lures you in and before you know it has built you right up to a body stomping drop. A hard hitting percussion combines with the growling metallic SFX, and snapping snare, and as the track progress the highs develop into a fast paced frenzy, jabbing right through the bass line, and all together creating a monumental piece of minimal dubstep.
‘Ricochet’ was another of J:Kenzo’s pieces that had been showcased numerous times and specifically on Youngsta’s minimal Monday’s over the last 6 months. Percussion seems to be the main ingredient when J:kenzo crafts his tracks, everything tends to centre around it and he always gets it spot on. His constant use of the elongated, squawking sample, trademark in all of his recent productions, creates endless depth. This track has been a wielding tool for numerous artists, so it’s a dream to finally be able to draw for this during a mix.
‘Enter Valarak’, is the track that most people have been calling for in build up to the release. Opening first of all with a bass kick, you’re then flung into an upbeat medley of distorted mechanical sounds, which antagonise back and forth. The weighty bass line, whilst cohering to the abstract percussion, instantly breathes vast amounts of energy into the track. Stalling gracefully, before the track advances via another bountiful bass kick, and is gracefully lightened by anamorphic synths, and a much more soothing bass line.
The final track, ‘Bloodlines’ is a militant, eye’s down affair, ideal for those dark room situations. Riddling his immersed signature sound throughout this 4×4 stomper, is the key element in producing a track which oozes depth and darkness. The track progresses, again awash with energy, and coated with delicate free flowing high hats, warping SFX and vibrant synth work.
This EP isn’t for the faint hearted. J:kenzo showcases his on-going ability to create diverse tracks and to progress even further through the dubstep genre. This allows him to feed his many years of experience through every track he produces. Furthermore there’s a variety of fresh Kenzo dubplates floating around the scene at the minute, including his remix of Killawatt & Ipman’s track ‘Dark Place’, which just reinforces why he’s considered one of the best producers around at the minute. Everything he touches is fire, so I’ll be hoping for an EP out on Artikal at some point, or perhaps a second album.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/JKENZO/115497756739?fref=ts
Soundcloud – http://soundcloud.com/jkenzo
Purchase links – Coming soon, Released July 15th on all good record stores, preorder online:
Written by Drew Jones