by: Caspa & Rusko

By the end of 2007, it seemed as if the British dubstep scene had flowered fully and was probably ready to go to seed -- its fertile mix of dub reggae studio tricks, foreboding jungle basslines, weird cut-up samples, and clashy electro sounds had expanded about as much as it could without falling apart. But this excellent mix program by Caspa & Rusko shows that the genre still has some stretch left in it. From the eerie funk of Caspa's "Born to Do It" to the straight-up but slightly twisted roots reggae of Uncle Sam's "Round the Way Girls [Tes La Rok Remix]," and from the creepy dubstep rockers instrumental "Well 'Ard" to the cool reggae instrumental "Jahova," the program maintains a fairly consistent flavor without ever sounding samey or tedious. That's not to say that every track is a winner -- Rusko's "Hammertime" is queasy and weird without being very enjoyable, and "2 N A Q" (another Rusko contribution) is harsh and abrasive without being especially interesting. But that's two out of 29 tracks, a winning average by any measure. And when ConQuest finishes out the program with the lushly beautiful rockers anthem "Forever," every little lapse is forgiven. Very highly recommended. ~ Rick Anderson

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