It’s been five long years of waiting in high anticipation for the release of Jamie and Roly’s second album under the alias ‘VEX’D’, and from experiencing it one thing becomes clear; the wait was worth it.
Their seminal first album ‘Degenerate’ alerted minds of all musical genres to the awesome potential of dubstep, allowing for the widespread recognition of many emerging dubstep artists and officially labelling the duo as pioneers of the exciting new sound. 2010 sees VEX’D release yet another gripping album in ‘Cloud Seed’, a thoroughly accomplished piece of artistry that caters for all areas of the continuously evolving dubstep genre.
Kicking off with the aggressive yet gradually captivating ‘Take Time Out’ featuring the acclaimed vocalist Warrior Queen, the duo set you up for something utterly engrossing; pulling you back and forth throughout the album into such tracks including the fantastically dark and mysterious vocals of Jest in ‘Disposition’ and out again into the entrancing remix of Distance’s ‘Fallen’ and then to appreciate the brilliant reworks of the melodic classical compositions of John Richards and Gabriel Prokofiev.
Cloud Seed successfully shows the versatility of VEX’D; the album tells you the duo have been polishing and fine tuning their tracks down to a fine art and that time has also acquired them the admirable fearlessness to sample and incorporate tracks from far outside the walls of dubstep, and the indubitable skill to use them well. Cloud Seed still proudly includes the almost unreasonable bass from tracks such as ‘Crusher Dub’ heard on Degenerate, with a decent sub woofer you can feel the bass from ‘Killing Floor’ eating your solar plexus; but I like that the new album feels more complete than the prequel.
Tracks like ‘Disposition’, ‘Fallen’ and the exceptional ‘Heart Space’ featuring the haunting vocals of Anneka draw me into the same world I experience when I listen to bands such as Massive Attack and Portishead, groups that have successfully developed and defined their own sound. Does it make me want to get up and dance? No, not really, but that for me can be a very good thing. Cloud Seed offers something very different, it makes me want to turn off the lights, melt into my couch and absorb every single bass line and tune of this remarkable album. Experience it, now.
Cloud Seed is out now