Author is the self-titled debut album from Leeds’ Jack Sparrow and London’s Ruckspin, a pair of UK dubstep stalwarts who share a love of nerve-jangling rhythms and quivering LFO. Their collaborations in the past have been high-voltage, frantic affairs, so you’d be forgiven for thinking a full-length album would likely feature more of the same. You’d also be wrong. While tracks like Mothership and Fix see them flexing their familiar jungle and garage muscles respectively, much of the rest of this LP is spent in a state of blissed out jazz-dub, traditional steppin’ beats but smeared with rouge horns and earnest, soulful vocals.
Author starts with Turn, a dreamy marriage of subtle bass oscillations and Ed Thomas’ floating vocal line. This is followed by Sun, which trades Turn’s strong vocals with backing horns for strong horns and backing vocals. These essentially identical formulae remain intact for most of the album, only briefly switched for some more hard-nosed alternatives towards the end. Mothership is a tangle of toms and echoing scrapes; it’s easily the darkest track of the bunch. Fix bears a slightly stronger resemblance to the main body of the album, albeit with the nonchalant swing vibe sacrificed in favor of signature garage dynamism.
Along with Pursuit Grooves’ Frantically Hopeful, Author is only the second full-length release Bristol bass institution Tectonic have put out in 2011. Between them, these two records show a real dedication to showcasing the variety in the UK dub scene. Having a jukin’ Addison Groove release in the books doesn’t hurt either.