Unbalance is the second album from 2562, aka Dutchman Dave Huismans, and an impressive step up from its predecessor, Aerial. After a string of highly promising 12"s that raised high expectations and arguably gave the near-legendary T++ a run for his money, Aerial was ultimately a little disappointing. Despite bustling UK garage rhythms and deep bass, the overall impression was of a perfunctory workout that erred too close to clinical execution. Unbalance addresses these issues with a sense of greater confidence and a real attention to texture.
Where 2562’s debut sounded too skeletal, the first track on the new album is a brief, but subtle passage of distant industrial sounds. Reverberating beats gradually pull into focus before blending seamlessly into Flashback, a compulsive percussion workout replete with whiplash snares and bruising bass. The sound here and throughout is urgent and detailed. Track three, Lost, weaves a spell with hypnotic vocal loops and lowering atmospheres. There's a whole host of technological dread here that would make a great soundtrack for a Philip K. Dick story.
The quality dips a little with Like a Dream which, with its rather mechanical execution, harks back uncomfortably to Aerial. Dinosaur raises the bar again with intricate synth work and funky tweaks. Yes / No is haunted and mesmeric while Who Are You Fooling? is punctured by brutal, pile-driving beats and menaced by sub-bass; but it's the pauses that provide a real sense of space and contrast.
Unbalance sketches views of a cybernetic near future that touches a number of bases, from dubstep and broken beat to the Detroit-tinged breakbeat sci-fi of Jacob's Optical Stairway. Yet it's more than the sum of its influences and Unbalance ultimately gives Huismans' much-feted fellow Dutchman Martyn a run for his money. --Colin Buttimer
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2562 follows up his groundbreaking debut album 'Aerial', and pushes both his creative talents, and the boundaries of dubstep, to another level entirely. 'Unbalance' is an exceptional body of electronic music, and fully demonstrates 2562's adept ability to move through engaging soundscapes with both pin-point precision drum programming and innovative sample regeneration. 2562, real name Dave Huismans, is named after the postcode in The Hague, Netherlands where he lives, a city detached from the main epicentres of dubstep, and thus brings both cultural distance and a uniquely diverse sound to the project. During the course of a brief but faultless discography, he's dropped four killer twelve inches for Tectonic, as well as 'Aerial' - one of the defining albums of 2008 - not to mention a similar number of singles under his A Made Up Sound guise, and, in the process, has blown wide open a number of scenes, allowing a welcome and long overdue cross pollination within DJ set lists. 'Unbalance' sees 2562's vision of dubstep moving forward into previously unexplored areas. Warmer than its predecessor, innovation and experimentation is still as evident as ever, as the influence of Theo Parrish and Flying Lotus meet with the deep end of Bristol bass music. With productions drawing inspiration from garage, dubstep, house, techno and broken beats - affiliations and collaborations have proliferated - killer remixes and one-offs have cemented the Dutchman firmly in the 'A' list of contemporary production talent. 'Unbalance' is impeccably built, and accessibly disposed: sheer dancefloor carnage is guaranteed. Tectonic label boss Pinch says:''I've worked closely with 2562 over the last few years and I can honestly say that 'Unbalance' is an incredible album - it's one of the most exciting releases that Tectonic has seen to date - it vastly exceeds the already high standard he set himself with 'Aerial'.''; With this new LP for Tectonic, 2562 breaks new ground - in moving away from the dub-techno associations of his earlier works, he creates a whole new world. It's with some major excitement then that we present his second full length album: 'Unbalance' on Tectonic - right on time for an end of year carve up. Where 2009 was ushered in by fellow lowland compatriot and close friend Martyn smashing it with 'Great Lengths', Huismans, in true competitive spirit, delivers a dancehall crasher of an album, to round out a year of even more pronounced genre exchanges and hybrid sounds. From the outset, 'Intro' and 'Flashback' let fly some of the face cards in Huismans' deck - the ample swell of swung garage informed by a new school sensibility, all grounded by that trademark giant bass presence. 'Lost' reprises a familiar broken refrain in refixed mode, landing with a delightful low-end almost junglist descent and a huge mid range melodic sustain, absolutely killer stuff. With 'Like A Dream' the album is really motoring by now - squashed Mr Fingers style acid machinations inside a wildout bass and drums swing, if anything typifying the sheer sense of progression and development this music brings with it. In many ways this is an album for playing out, but also about playing out - each tune seeming to recombine on second and third listens, just as the DJ's selection is never the same twice, even when playing the same records. Tear up the form book - the diversity and breathtaking momentum of this fine album moves fleet of foot - like Usain Bolt over Berlin - inspirational.