With many people – fans and producers alike – saying dubstep is all but dead in the UK, Uprise Audio label head Seven is unapologetically forging forward with both his label’s and his own dubstep agenda. In a recent interview with the Fat Kid on Fire Blog, he even went so far as to say that all the different permutations of slower bass music: halftime, trap, soundsystem, et cetera are “…all still dubstep (to me).” It’s no surprise then, that his new LP entitled 11:11 releasing November 11 (clever), is also unapologetically and categorically dubstep.
To say that 11:11 is categorically dubstep when referring to Seven is really just simply to say that the album is done in Seven’s own trippy, psychedelic and somewhat ambient style. That said, he still also covers a number of categories of dubstep. There’s tracks on the very dubby dubstep side such as “Top Rank” with JMan, melodic and vocal-driven dubstep like “Velvet” and “The Elephant in the Room.” There’s techy brostep-like tracks which could be considered more trap or halftime such as “Pyramids” with Youngsta and tracks like “Apparition” which some may argue is halfstep. To Seven, as he’s stated, it’s all dubstep and it’s all done with quality and care.
The album opener on 11:11, “Praying for Fire” featuring vocalist Polly Yates, is the only track which, if Seven will forgive us, is categorically not dubstep. It’s a trip hop track, and it’s gorgeous. All the tracks on 11:11 are unique and interesting, but Your EDM chose to debut “Praying for Fire” because of its completely different beat structure. Seven must have chosen this track to open the album for a reason; perhaps to set the tone or just wake listeners up. No matter what the reason for the choice, Seven’s definitely got a multi-genre knockout on his hands here with the simple trip hop beat and synthed-out meldoy but mostly because of Polly Yates’ extraordinary vocals. The lyrics are goosebump-inducing and her pitch-perfect voice has no digital alteration whatsoever. It’s jazzy, smooth and bright all at once and Yates’s ability to connote the many different emotions of the lyrics shows that she must be classically trained in addition to having clear passion for her craft. Once the EDM community gets wind of this track, Yates will likely be the next hot vocalist for all forms of bass music.
As the head of the UK’s seminal dubstep label, Seven is both sticking to his guns and embracing the newer forms of 140-160 BPM bass music with 11:11, and with “Praying for Fire” he’s also giving a strong nod to the forms of it which even came before dubstep. It’s a comprehensive snapshot of where bass music is and where it’s heading, and a definite declaration to the UK community that dubstep is not dead.
11:11 releases on Uprise Music tomorrow, November 11. Pre-order by clicking here.