Speaking of Bristol, one of the most head-turning productions in dubstep has come out of the city, from Forsaken. The track in question, "Last Saloon Swagger" stands out not because it's melodic and not over-dark, nor because it features a guitarist Ben Blackmore and co-production by local grime genius Joker. It stands out because it features a spaghetti western piano roll solo and a breakdown that a chicken wanders through. Laughing in the face of soulless gnarly tech-tunes and wobble-clones, it's a maverick move that the fact that as it divides listeners only goes to prove it's pushing boundaries. It's light, El-B-esque woodblock snares tickle the ear, EQed without the need to slap the dancefloor in the face, funky like some strange Timbaland/Clint Eastwood hybrid. If the influx of new fans into dubstep circa 2006 has pushed back the boundaries of the scene, bringing it into contact with new influences far from its roots, risks like “Last Saloon Swagger” will be taken. If Distance can encompass heavy metal and Vex'd can vibe off avant classical, then bring on the spaghetti western.
"Last Saloon Swagger" is one of many quality tunes from Forsaken. "Sensei" is deep Sinodub, all Chinese instrumentation, deep sub and chopped gongs. And there's Forsaken's remix of Tom Peverelist's "Erstwhile Rhythm" that takes the original in new directions-- fitting since Tom, alongside Pinch, was one of the people to convert him from drum & bass' Bristol sound to dubstep. Forsaken also has releases forthcoming, with "Thunder" on Immerse and "Sagrada" on (drum funk Inperspective's sub label) Inprint, the latter having received play from Gilles Peterson. Finally he's working on an album of all the stuff he has done with guitarist Ben Blackmore.