Label: Tempa Release date: 09/08/10 Link:Official Site Buy: Amazon I’m not going to waste any time. I really want to like most dubstep, especially as a fan of electronic in general and as a fan of artists like Burial and (more recently) James Blake and Mount Kimbie. So when confronted with dubstep forerunner (and “big name”) Skream, who has the balls to call his latest album Outside The Box, the expectations are high – I mean, he’s had years to gather influences, refine his sound, make sure he’s not going to fall into the traps of the genre, and deliver something fucking flawless…but alas no. Instead his lugubrious sophomore effort proves to be a task to get through, in no small part thanks to a sense of directionless meandering. There are almost no tracks on here that don’t go on too long or without a sense of self-editing. Hell, even The Necks know when to cut their free jazz improvisations. And whereas other artists like the above mentioned Burial might cut a song short or fill it with self-propelling elements, all the parts of a typical Skream song just go in endless Mobius strips of dullness. Take ‘CPU,’ for instance, a song built on a simple drum loop, stereotypical dubstep bass, a voice saying “I am your computer” on a loop, and a high synth line that is apparently made of random notes in the right key. It’s maddeningly repetitive due to each element being so damn annoying and unimaginative. The same pitfall makes ‘8 Bit Baby (featuring MURS)’ into the second worst thing on the disc, made of lame drums and a lame wannabe Nintendo sample while MURS sounds like he was put on Vicodin before recording. ‘I Love The Way’ shows a semblance of imagination, with good use of samples in a new context to create a song that is actually kind of unsettling and sounds not to dissimilar to ‘Where I End And You Begin’ at times. Banal moments like ‘Wibbler,’ a song of one bass line and drum loop for half of the song before going into….wait… the same bass line with some distortion mods and pitch trickery totals four and a half minutes of skull drillingly boring attempts at music utilizing every stereotype in the book for dubstep. And he calls himself one of the originals. Skream had better make a disc on par with an Aphex release to redeem himself for this fetid release. Oh and the worst song on the album? ‘A Song For Lenny,’ or some lame ruminations on softsynth strings with rhythmic MIDI piano that sounds like an attempt at remixing Kakariko Village music but only going as far as the first two loops of an intro – not even the one bar of percussion and sub bass can save this one, folks (and don’t get me started on the lame sax part…here’s a fun fact: the synth he uses for those saxophones is called SAXLAB). Every song on this album feels like it was culled from some outtake disc or listened to for mixing and that’s it – just enough to call it a song. Nothing feels final, and instead we are treated to sixteen wadings through music. For lack of a better phrase, and pardon my French, it feels like we’re being fucked with. And I personally don’t like that feeling. Photobucket