Unless you lived in the UK, dubstep back in 2011 was still in its infancy. Yeah, guys like 12th Planet, Rusko, Zeds Dead, Borgore, maybe even Flux Pavilion and Doctor P were popular in the US, but it’s nothing like the boom the genre experienced in the following years. Still, one of the most important albums this side of the Atlantic came out ten years ago today, September 12, 2011 — I’m speaking, of course, of Excision’s debut album, X Rated.
For years at this point, Excision had been a staple at Shambhala, releasing yearly mixes that all but defined the tone of dubstep for the next year. But albums in dubstep were at this point almost unheard of, with the important exception of Burial (who many would classify as a much different type of dubstep either way). Excision’s X Rated paved the way for countless dubstep albums following it, from the likes of Borgore in 2014, Kill The Noise in 2015, Zomboy in 2014, even Dirtyphonics in 2013.
(It must be noted that Nero’s Welcome Reality came a year before X Rated, however the UK duo were not as widely known in the states at the time, though their sound would go on to become a huge inspiration for many bass producers in another way.)
Excision called upon the help of Messinian for the album’s opening track which has become iconic.
Explicit expert, the highly exalted
I exercise dancefloors, leave ’em exhausted
Exploring apex, sound expedition
Filled with excess demons ya’ll can bring the exorcism
I exert stress when I export beats
That exhilarate the hard and exterminate the weak
Execution level next, no way to explain it
I’m XXX bitch, triple X-rated
He also brought on longtime friends Downlink and Datsik, who were just about on Excision’s level at the time (not counting current falls from grace for the latter), as well as UK juggernaut Skism. Many of the songs on the album might sound outdated by today’s production standards, but for many of us who were well into the scene a decade ago, this album is sure to produce some hefty nostalgia.
Refamiliarize yourself with X Rated below! We won’t blame you if you skip track #4 and #9.