Oliver and Marco. Yeah.

11 July 2011

DZ - The Ransom EP + EP Review

Hey guys, from today Just Plain Filth is starting a collaboration with Dubstep.Net. They are a website purely dedicated to promoting dubstep
and we at Just Plain Filth support that and are helping them promote their posts. We are not sure how often we will feature their posts so give feedback on what you think so we know if you enjoy this!
This is the first post that JPF is blogging for them. The entire post is written by Dubstep.Net and they deserve all the credit :)
Oh well, enjoy guys!

If you’re anything like us here at the office you have probably been just as antsy for the new DZ EP to drop. Well today is the day. Today Chronos Records finally unleashed “The Ransom” and although the wait was excruciating, it was so worth it.

DZ is an Ottawa-based producer with over 15 years of experience on the scene. He’s produced everything from DnB to hip-hop to house – and now he’s taking over the world of Dubstep. Since 2007, DZ’s been pumping out Dubstep after Dubstep track, touring Canada and the US, and featuring his sounds online. His new EP, “The Ransom,” is in true DZ style – both recognizable yet continually evolving. The 4 tracks on “The Ransom” combine hip hop with grimy bass, half-time breakbeats with dubstep shuffles. But enough with the general stuff – let’s get in to some tracks.

“The Ransom” starts off with a remix of Lonestar’s track Amplify. The first thing I noticed was that the vocal samples were changed. They’re lower-pitched in DZ’s remix, and there seems to be more of the clip sampled. Just before the 1-minute mark, the beat cuts out, drops, and screaming synths match the hard, distorted bass. Using futuristic sounds as fills between bars, DZ’s added in a little bit of glitch to keep things exciting. The shuffling beat (as opposed to Lonestar’s triplet-based tempo) is overrun by DatsiK & Excision-like bass womps, but these sections are quickly cut off by a vocal sample that brings things back to the original smooth beat. At about the 1:50 mark, DZ brings in some really cool, hip-hop-influenced synth lines. The bass matches them in the lower register, the drums groove along, and soon we’re brought back into another round of slightly glitchy, shuffling womps and screaming synths.

Hot on the heels of the Amplify remix is a DZ original – Jamboree. This track features a super funky guitar riff at the beginning, which perfectly contrasts the heaviness once things get going. After about half a minute of calm, soothing guitar, electronic noises start to infiltrate the track – a signal that it’s time to stop relaxing and start moving to the dance floor. The guitar doesn’t let up until the very last second; one last chord is sustained as machines power up all around, a voice commands us to “dance” and we’re pushed into a drumstep track that features distorted synth, reloading guns, and more of DZ’s signature womps. The hip-hop synths make another appearance, but they’re frantic – high-pitched, short-lived, and piercing, not smooth like in Amplify. Our funky guitar player seems unimpressed, however, by this 2-minute display of aggression, so he starts up again halfway through the track, taunting the machines that have brought their sonic weapons out to play. Amidst warning wobbles, we hear another few bars from the unfazed guitar player until he’s silenced by the commanding machine – and we’re quickly brought back into another round of hard-hitting drumstep.

In The Cut is the third track on “The Ransom,” and there’s no denying the hip-hop influence on this one. Even before the drums kick in, there’s a vocal hook pumping things up – and as we invariably start to chant along, synths start flowing in the back. They quickly swell up to full volume, bringing in a breakbeat to amp up the energy. Soon, a kick drum starts firing to lead us to the drop – we scream along “this one’s a killer!” and we’re hit with another dose of legendary DZ drumstep. Wet midrange synths are paired with a surprisingly simple drum beat – but these drums are containing a breakbeat that pushes its way forward intermittently. 2 minutes in, we’re given a fast-paced fill as the synths slide up and out of the way; what comes through next is a barrage of synth fire as fast as machine guns. Soon afterwards, we get a quick dose of that breakbeat that’s been itching to be unleashed, but it’s almost immediately repressed by another charge of the synths. The track calms down as the vocal hook is brought back in, but it’s really only a sign that things are about to get crazy again real soon.

The fourth and final track on “The Ransom” is called Sandbox Rock. This is the quintessential “crossover” track – about half of Sandbox Rock is at dubstep’s traditional 140bpm, but the other half is brought up to drumstep’s 160-ish beat-per-minute. Synths and piano mimic each other to start off the track, but they soon come together and form a harmonious pre-drop. Less than 30 seconds in, the drop comes (out of nowhere) and we’re hit with some shuffling dubstep. A mixture of womps, sound effects, and distorted synths let us know that this is another DZ original. The piano consistently fades back in to calm things down – but it’s quickly silenced every time with the anticipation of the next drop. At the 2:30 mark, a breakbeat emerges to bring up the intensity and the tempo slides up. The overall sound stays relatively the same, but the synth slides are held for longer and some of the futuristic sounds are either sped up or slowed down to adjust for this new tempo. This change in intensity has apparently not scared off the piano section – in fact, it comes back more powerfully than ever, and accompanies the drums and synth around the 3:30 mark. By 4 minutes, you might be thinking “ok, the song is done.” But it’s not – wait a few seconds, and you’ll get hit with another dose of dubstep. This tempo carries the track until the end, where synths and piano play around once more until everything falls silent.

DZ has roots in hip-hop and DnB, and this background really shows itself on “The Ransom.” All four of these new tracks show that he’s still in action, with no signs of slowing down. Check out the samples on his SoundCloud, and make sure to buy the EP today!

Buy the EP here:

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  1. Prefer your usual posts.

  2. prefer just straight downloads, not reviews.