One of the great things about dubstep is that it never went big. Focused on small audiences, dubstep remains a style of music that belongs to a community. You have to know the artists, the tunes, the dubplate culture, the slang, and the jokes, to be part of it. It’s hard to impossible to go to a dubstep party by chance.
Musically, it can’t be anyone’s cup of tea. The low frequencies, the atmosphere, the edgy snares, the delays, and the repetitive pattern are just some of the elements upon which dubstep is constructed. Since its beginnings, dubstep continued to morph and welcome influences from different genres. It’s hard to pinpoint who had the biggest impact on musical mutations. Some artists introduced more grime, others garage, and others dug more into dub. No matter the choice dubstep remained a music culture deeply rooted in the dancefloor, with artists releasing mainly singles and EPs, formats suitable for the DJs. Albums are scarce because it implies a lot of work, the cost of productions and sale point is also a lot higher, and the audience is not so receptive. Nevertheless, when a bass music artist, even more, a dubstep one, releases an album, the expectations and the intrigue are high.
Such is also the case with the debut album of EVA808. 'Sultry Venom', released on the 18th of December on Innamind Recordings, comes after the hype the artist has raised in the last years with tracks like Prrr (2017), Pink Uzi Gang (2018), and Exchange (2020). Not a stranger to other tempos, Eva delivers not a concept record, but a collection of tracks and emotions.
On the first audition, I was intrigued by the different emotions and state of feeling the tracks would offer. With each track, I had the feeling I was entering into another chamber, with a completely different design. I am used to albums that induce an atmosphere and, step by step, transmute the listener to another feeling. On the opposite, Eva creates different paragraphs, each of them coming as a strong statement. I felt it as a mix between a classic album and a beatmaker mixtape. The feeling is unique, and once you understand the mood and drop your expectations, the surprise will follow.
From abrasive synths on No rivals or I saw the devil, to beatless tracks as Interlude and Demantar Pt2 Embla RIP, going through soulful melodies as Skull in the mud, and broken beats, Sultry Venom is a record that sums up the hard work Eva has put in the game. Kudos to Innamind Recordings for taking a leap and releasing the album!