With his work alongside Shackleton, and their jointly ran Skull Disco label, Laurie Osborne (aka Appleblim) was at the forefront of the first evolution of Dubstep and the gradual change that has seen it morph out of the cliché it became. Skull Disco, the now seminal label, which despite only releasing a rounded ten records, was busy beavering around the edges of the scene at its peak, tinkering with its DNA, adding tribal and techno leanings to proceedings, in the process creating sub-heavy music as at home in the Berghain as it was at FWD>> and DMZ.
It is very surprising then, that despite Appleblim’s credentials and status within electronic music as a whole, that his ‘Fluorescent/Past Present Future EP’ is actually his first full solo release. Having started his own Apple Pips imprint in 2007 – set up to “explore the areas between Dubstep, Techno, Minimal and House with an emphasis on echo, depth, swing and bass” – he has shared records with many high profile collaborators; the aforementioned Shackleton, Punch Drunk boss Peverelist, Hessle Audio’s Pearson Sound (when he was going under the Ramadanman moniker) and Al Tourettes, as well as releasing some of the most vital artists within the bass zeitgeist in its five or so years of existence. Therefore, it is easy to say that Appleblim’s pedigree and standing is not in doubt.
But with all the weighty expectation behind him, can he deliver on his own? Or is he always due to play second fiddle to someone else? The two tracker starts off with ‘Fluorescent’, a house influenced cut that although initially bathed in swathes of dubby atmospherics and an old school, Detroit-y snare set, reveals itself via the use of rave inspired organ vamp and subtle but omnipresent bass pressure. The track builds in intensity with a flurry of snare rolls, swinging around the main House driven beat, before breaking down and then kicking back in with stabs and bass reminiscent of a classic Orbital number.
‘Past Present Future’ changes things up somewhat, initially starting off firmly in German, Dub Techno territory, before metamorphosing in distinct Appleblim fashion, into something that is much more than the sum of its parts. The chords are altered by short delays and flangers into an alternate reality of spacey goodness, finally launching into a kind of broken and technical take on the breaks genre; utilising deep bass, sound effects and arpeggiated synths.
So in answer to the question above; can Appleblim deliver on his own? The answer is wholeheartedly “Yes”. The EP is creative, well thought out and ultimately different from any of the other House hybrids out in the market at the moment.
‘Fluorescent’/’Past Present Future’ will be released June 10th