2011 has had its fair share of highly anticipated UK bass releases. Jamie XX dropped Far Nearer, Skream got around to making Exothermic Reaction official, and finally, Goth-Trad has released Babylon Fall on Deep Medi Musik. The four-song EP has been “forthcoming” for more than two years; in fact, some of the songs date back to 2008 and earlier. However, even though it may not all be new, Goth-Trad manages to keep it fresh and original.
Babylon Fall kicks off with the title track, a song rife with the dub sound that first defined dubstep. It’s also the oldest song on the release and a remix of the original from Goth-Trad’s group Rebel Familia. The EP then continues with Falling Leaf, a song that goes mental every minute that it plays. It has that minimal feel to it where the instrumentation, though repetitive, has a lot of movement in its subtle changes. When I talk about dubstep, I usually mention that the wobbles don’t define it and try to gloss over the unfortunate stereotype of YouTube comments that have infiltrated the genre, but damn if this bass line isn’t dirty.
Sublimation is the newest song on the record, first surfacing in 2010. I absolutely love the sub on this one; it’s an other-worldly sound. Yes, it’s heavy, but the real heart of the song is its melody. One thing that I don’t want to overlook is the rhythm control Goth-Trad has. Each song on this release has some complex interplay between the bass and the drums, whether it’s a shaker, a hi-hat, a reverb-laden snare, or bongos like on Sublimation. Its that attention to detail that makes Babylon Fall so devastating.