When we interviewed him for his recent RA podcast, the Berlin DJ Hops said that dubstep first grabbed him because "it was like jungle, bashment, dub, techno and hip-hop all at once." Something similar (albeit with different genres) could be said of Version, the label run by Hops' friend and DJ partner Orson, one of Germany's key dubstep ambassadors since its early days. In its first six releases, Version sometimes felt like a classicist (or even revivalist) dubstep label, but lately it's been melting things down a bit, delivering tracks that blur genre lines without sounding like hybrids. This is truer than ever on its latest 12-inch, Version 7.
Both tracks here are sparse, fat and defined by rhythmic sleights of hand. In terms of beat composition, "Production House" is essentially a techno or electro track played at half speed—one clap per measure, a kick on every other downbeat—but this lurching slow-motion achieves the same heaviness as classic dubstep. "Fabrik" plays a more straightforward trick, superimposing a dubstep rhythm over an urgent 4/4 pulse to create something both linear and wobbly. Aside from suspenseful pads and some echo-drenched vocal samples, neither track has any frills to speak of—these clever rhythms speak for themselves.
Will Lynch / Resident Advisor
released April 29, 2016
written, produced and mixed by O. Sieverding, Berlin
mastered by Mike Grinser at Man Made Mastering, Berlin