Out of all the rising stars in today’s dubstep scene, none has made such an impact as Protohype. Starting out with humble beginnings, the first time I heard of him was his collaborative EP with Kezwik (now one half of Rise At Night with Messinian). But not much later, he was releasing on Firepower and making huge waves. Just last year, he released a trilogy of EPs, See No Evil // Hear No Evil // Speak No Evil, that exemplified Protohype’s immense talent with production and his own self-proclaimed “dub hop” style.
And now he’s back again with an even more refined sound in his Encore EP. Four tracks of inventive bass tunes with a slew of vocalists to compliment his powerful productions. Which, as an aside, I love from Firepower. They’re propensity for collaborations is nearly second to none — they just love to work with others, which is really nice. Yeah, anyway…
First to get us started, Jeff Sontag lends his vocals to the trapish dubstep banger ‘Fight To Hold.’ While the bassline is definitely dirty, the vocals and synths are surprisingly flighty and uplifting. This isn’t uncommon for Protohype either, to meld two opposing sounds and create something unique. Title track ‘Encore’ enlists the help of hip hop lyricist Ras and nails the deep dubstep Riddim sound. Even Firepower bossman Datsik makes a contribution to ‘Zero’ and lays down an absolutely evil mix.
My favorite from the EP is ‘Playing With Gold’ featuring Duelle on vocals. “Pairing the duet’s songbird vocalism with searing synth stabs unites two seemingly opposing genres into a unique, intense, and emotional headbanger.” Twine is also featured, remixing the title track and adding his own trap spin on the dubstep tune.