J:Kenzo - Bloodlines EP [Review]

July 17, 2013 -

Ryan Farber

Dubstep producer J:Kenzo brings us a new EP containing his patented dark vibes, outlandish percussion and relentless basslines. Released under one of Dubstep's biggest labels, TempaBloodlines surely delivers the goods with a "DMZ flavored stew" of J:Kenzo's newest works, which are certainly a departure from the productions on his last release. These songs seem to have a more rampant quality, with insistent percussion elements that help carry the low frequency vibes. Sorry kids, you won't be able to listen to this EP on your laptop speakers. This is big-boy bass.

Leading off with "Cause & Effect", you are instantly greeted with the familiar lone crash cymbal; enter the ominous pads to set the foreboding texture, and you know you are setting foot into J:Kenzo's world. The most noticeable element about this song is the boisterous kick drum that smacks you across the face at the drop. The separation between the elements of the song is pristine and is something I continuously admire about J:Kenzo; from the warping basslines to the hi-hats to the 808 snare fills, he maps his elements to fit together like a perfect Dubstep puzzle.

"Ricochet" features a frantic percussion line swathed in a pulsating subbass.  Youngsta has been debuting this track on his Minimal Monday mix for the last couple of months, and it has been getting a lot of praise.  I am just trying to imagine myself in the dark box of Plastic People skanking to this banger.

"Enter Valarak" delves into the twisted metal Distance-esque basslines that we've all come to know and love.  The only analogy I have for this song is a hurricane.  It has the most powerful basslines of the four-tracks that whip you back and forth with no remorse.  Like the eye of the hurricaine, this song has a brief but beautiful interlude between drops that is nice break between the madness.  The percussion drops out, a mellow pad envelops you and a reverb-drenched saxophone distracts you from the impending doom of the next drop.  And then you are back in it.  This track is crazy.

J:Kenzo's last song ends the EP on a cinematic note.  Even more boisterous than "Cause & Effect", "Bloodlines" takes you on a journey from the sublime to the epic.  J:Kenzo does an excellent job of crafting an environment for the listener to live in for the (seemingly short) duration of this song.  I felt like I was being relentlessly chased after by savage tribesman decked out in war-paint through a colossal factory that was building giant mechanoid robots.  Sparks and spears were flying through the air, rogue machines were flailing about, and gutteral war-cries were echoing through the vast assembly lines. As I was weaving through the huge mechs to escape from my primal bloodthirsty captors, the world melted away beneath my feet and "Bloodlines" was over before it began.  I'm not making this up people.

Another fine work from J:Kenzo, Bloodlines is an example of his subtly innovative qualities within the darker Dubstep scene.  J:Kenzo has owned his distinct sound for sometime now, and these four tracks demonstrate why he is still one of the leading producers of the music.

1. Cause and Effect
2. Ricochet
3. Enter Valarak
4. Bloodlines

You can buy Bloodlines EP from iTunes here.

Also be sure to check out J:Kenzo's take on Dubstep Allstars Vol. 11.  Slated to release July 29th on Tempa as well, this date could not come sooner.  Featuring artists such as Kryptic Minds, SP:MC, Killawatt, and Ulterior Motive, this will surely be one of the greats of the Dubstep Allstars series.

Pre-order from iTunes here.

Facebook | SoundCloud | @jkenzo

BONUS! Check out Plastician's interview with J:Kenzo

-Ryan F.

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