Review: GetDarker Presents This Is Dubstep Vol. 3

The first This Is Dubstep compilation was released just under a year ago, in the Autumn of 2009.  A tentative, burgeoning, digital-only release, its success was marked: helped by the mainstream successes of the genre (following that remix of La Roux) during the summer of 2009, the compilation presented both the biggest tracks on the scene and the darker aspects at the fringes of the genre, serving to answer (with varying degrees of literality) the question they knew the mainstream were now asking: What is Dubstep?

This Is Dubstep Vol 1 had proven so popular that they released an expanded version on CD in July of this year, whilst Vol 2, which had been released earlier in March, went straight to CD (along with a digital release and an appearance on our much-beloved Spotify).  Although not necessarily well received in all quarters due to its slightly more mainstream track choice (does Benga really need to appear four times?), Vol 2 still became the first ever Dubstep release to hit the UK Top 20.

Vol 3 continues the success of the series, entering at number 10 in the UK Chart, a phenomenal achievement for Dubstep given a chart that has been dominated by Now That’s What I Call Music for more than a quarter of a century. But Vol 3 confidently backs up its commercial success with the most inspired tracklist the series has put together to date.  It still has the drops from the more popular tunes – as it always has done – but pays greater, more balanced attention to the varying influences and growing maturity of the genre; the first 5 tracks on the first side showing exactly what to expect.

Caspa‘s Geordie Racer typifies dance-friendly accessibility, while the four-to-the-snare skip of Benga‘s Little Bits (one of only two Benga tracks across the compilation this time, and material up there with the best he has produced) sees Dubstep growing beyond the “half-time-and-warble” template.  The UK Garage vibe of Splash by Sub Focus, the Big-Beat euphoria of the Flux Pavilion remix of Freestylers’ Cracks, and the GameBoy grit of Doctor P‘s Gargoyle all flesh out the increasing confidence of producers within the genre to push the sound to darker, or dirtier, or more accessible areas.

The mix is also the best to date.  Very rarely is the mix between tracks noticeable; a feat remarkable considering the range of styles and sounds present across the two CDs.  The mix feels the most considered of the series so far, the choice of tracks forming a well-mixed and well-paced compilation.  While previous efforts may have felt heavy and clunky to listen to, Vol 3 balances light and dark, resulting in a mix that showcases the individual merits of each track without ever losing the pace of the CDs as a whole.

GetDarker Presents: This Is Dubstep Vol 3 is a diverse, lively and superbly put together compilation, so if you really have made it to 2010 and still don’t know what Dubstep is, there probably isn’t a better place to start.


Freestylers – Cracks (Flux Pavilion Remix):

    1. Caspa & Subscape – Geordie Racer
    2. Benga – Little Bits
    3. Sub Focus – Splash (Rusko remix)
    4. Freestylers – Cracks (Flux Pavilion remix)
    5. Doctor P – Gargoyle
    6. Example – Kickstarts (Bar9 remix)
    7. Joker – Tron (VIP mix)
    8. Distance – Menance
    9. Cyrus – Beatwise
    10. Matt U – Compass
    11. Laid Blak – Red (Chasing Shadows remix)
    12. Kromestar – Hollow Sphere
    13. Gemmy – Maroon Chant
    14. Heny G – Candy
    15. LD – Blizard
    16. Fused Forces – Fairy Cake
    17. Emalkay – Critical Hit
    18. Lost Disgustin – Justin
    19. Chimpo – Bucktooth
    20. Clubroot – Comedown
    1. Von D & Phephe – Show Me (Skream remix)
    2. Benga – Stop Watching
    3. Nero – Innocence
    4. Digital Mystikz – Molten
    5. Mr Lager & Alys Blaze – Tell Me (Distance remix)
    6. Baby D – Let Me Be Your Fantasy (Mensah remix)
    7. Funtcase – Mattress Punch
    8. Fresh – Gold Dust (Flux Pavilion remix)
    9. Foreign Beggars & Chasing Shadows – Typhoon
    10. Breakage/Alias – Speechless
    11. Kryptic Minds & Youngsta – Cold Blooded
    12. Kulture – Mako Energy
    13. Bar9 – Strung Out
    14. Plastician – Magma
    15. Tunnidge – Bugspray
    16. Jakes – Time Ends
    17. Nero – This Way
    18. Zed Bias – Ambush Riddim (VIP)
    19. Killa & Instinct – Haterz
    20. Synkro – Angels (VIP mix)
James TAE

By James TAE

James TAE is a Music and Tech Journalist, Editor for Spotisfaction, and writer for God Is In The TV and London Tour Dates magazine. Follow him @James_TAE

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