Thursday, 4 March 2010

CHST008: Distance - Menace/Beyond

Alex at Surefire Agency hit us up with the latest release from Distance's label Chestplate, so of course we got our resident reviewer Emile on the case...

Artist: Distance
Release: A. Menace // AA. Beyond
Record Label: Chestplate

Amongst the many artists that have been lauded and hailed as paragons of Dubstep, Distance is one who, with maverick temperance, has largely stood alone. There may be those who consider his solitary stance to be lamentable, but true originality is seldom seen in alternate circumstances. Such is the case that serves as bedrock for the emergence of the phenomena otherwise known as Menace and Beyond.

Menace, in a similar vein to Distance pieces that precede it, epitomises great aggression, but not withstanding a sense minimalism. The track is introduced with sweeping, distorted guitar-play, which is shadowed by a hi-hat that dances with delay, dragging your attention toward an abysmal drop. At this dark point, the destructive potency of Menace manifests itself through the presence of the most penetrative kick drum, razor sharp snare and cavernous sub-bass. The track’s sheer volume is enough to shatter glass, aside from causing disquiet. It is these sentiments that evoke violent fervour whenever the piece graces a stack of speakers.

Beyond treads a very different path, journeying into the ethereal realm of the mind’s reach. It is an emotive piece that heightens sensitivity to sombre sobriety and self-contemplation. The track’s ambient and woeful pads rouse such feelings, just as percussion bestows the blessing of rhythmic drive, only for bright electric guitar-play to adorn the piece as a beautiful accompaniment. As organically individual as Beyond sounds, you cannot help but be reminded of Brad Fiedel and Brian Eno’s unforgettably emotional themes for The Terminator and Dune respectively. In the context of Dubstep, however, the track is symbolic of Distance’s creative independence.

With Menace/Beyond being only the eighth release for Chestplate, there is much that can be anticipated for the future of the label, but needless to say, forethought should not be full of worry. Expect great things.

Words: Emile

Available now from BOOMKAT & all good record stores.

Distance Myspace:
Chestplate Myspace:

American Booking info:

Finally a massive thanks to Alex & Emile.

1 comment:

Sageon said...

Spot-on. Menace is definitely more of Distance's usual metal-influenced dubstep like most of his stuff on Repercussions. Beyond certainly offers something different. The comparison to 80's sci-fi/apocalyptic film soundtracks is unmistakable. I plan for CHST008 to be my first of many vinyl purchases.