Optimus Gryme – Eclipse LP Optimus Gryme – Eclipse LP

Optimus Gryme - Eclipse

Optimus Gryme is a ridiculous name. I do not know if it is better or worse than “Optimus Rhyme;” the Seattle based Transformers themed rap group. I am even confused whether or not Optimus Grime is a different artist or if the same producer shares two spellings of his name. Whatever the case, Optimus Gryme is one of New Zealand’s only Dubstep producer.

Dubstep broke out in the mid to late 00’s. Since then, there has been a concentrated effort to either evolve the genre in new abstract directions or make the existing style as low and heavy as possible. Optimus Gryme does neither and does both at the same time. It is appropriate to compare Gryme to his English brethren as it is appropriate to compare the residents of New Zealand to the United Kingdom. What exists is identity in imperial form. The electronic commonwealth established on this record retains the Dubstep sound only in skeletal form. What makes up the organs and muscles is a mix between dub, slow jungle, dislocated drum and bass and heavy ambiance.

The Eclipse LP caught me by surprise. To be honest, I was interested because of the name. While I said it was ridiculous, it is also memorable. I became further interested upon learning the native history of Gryme. I also became interested when I learned that New Zealand had an established and influential musical history. Who knew this country was home to a small yet strong Industrial scene? Electronic music has long been established on these two islands and it was only a matter of time before Dubstep began growing in the backyard. While I do not think Gryme fully intended to mix traditional and modern influences; Eclipse is a record which could of only came from New Zealand and makes a decent import from an underrepresented country.

Eclipse is not a dance record but makes use of its deep end in spectacular ways. The use of heavy beats is used in an atmospheric manner rather than a grand display of how low one can drop the bass. There is a large amount of space in this record like the majority of Dubstep productions. Eclipse‘s space is more organic, however, and resembles more of a night desert rather than an abandoned building. While the differences between European and New Zealand Dubstep are subtle, they are still present and make themselves known in jaw rattling ways.
There is a possibility of a larger Aotearoa Dubstep scene making itself separate from its English roots. The same type of shift was seen with the establishment of the Indian Goa Trance scene from the larger European movement. While this is a possibility, Gryme could just be another forgotten foreign producer; making low ends beats on the land of the long white cloud. Eclipse isnt a knockout yet but there is possibility for a long standing legacy.

Optimus Gryme - Eclipse LP, reviewed by Kaptain Carbon on 2010-12-03T09:55:29-08:00 rating 3.1 out of 5

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