Article by Mitchell Buchanan
Musical evolution is a tricky thing. As artists develop a “sound,” their fan base grows around that particular sound or genre. So when an artist deviates, there’s usually significant outrage at the prospect of experimentation or music evolution. Sometimes, a producer “suggests” that a band moves their sound into a more “popular” direction; this is often met with resistance from long-time fans who recognize that the move isn’t typically made because of creativity – it’s made because of that sweet, sweet prospect of money. But then there are artists who experiment for themselves. There’s no “evil intent” behind the switch; it’s done simply because the artist feels like trying something new. And usually, the artist also knows that the experiment is going to sound pretty damn good at the end.
And here’s where Dilemn comes in. Hailing from Toulouse, this French producer has been pumping out tracks since 2007. Originally taking influence from Daft Punk and Justice to create his own signature funk-infused French House tunes, Dilemn’s music has made a significant turn in sound on his upcoming record, Talk About Us. Still maintaining a sense of funkiness (and I think I can hear some Daft Punk influence too), the new record nevertheless takes a step towards the more aggressive, with 5 tracks of drumstep and dubstep to shake your subwoofers to their core. There’s a good chance that long-time fans of Dilemn will be scratching their heads over this seemingly abrupt change – but that’s only because Dilemn is willing to flirt with danger. And at Dubstep.net, we loved every second of Dilemn’s dubstep experiment.
“Talk About Us,” the title track, opens the EP up with a blistering drumstep beat. Switching between a slamming 4/4 rhythm and some beautifully bouncing triplets through the drop, “Talk About Us” is one hell of an energetic return for Dilemn. Featuring some incredible vocals from Ayah Marar, the track has an exciting, empowering feel to it. “Let them talk about us,” sings Ayah – defiant words that fuel this explosive, anthemic opening track. But the energy doesn’t die there. Hot on the heels of “Talk About Us” is “Watts of Funkin.” Pure rock-n-roll fun, this track might show a Daft Punk influence as the synthesizer slides notes around before the drop. But when that drop does come, there’s no matching its ferocity. Gurgling, growling bass opens and drops us in to a world of screeching synths and bouncing offbeats. The tempo has slowed from drumstep to dubstep, but that only gives each downbeat more force – and it’s a perfect tempo transition into the third track, “Two Points.” Switching between standard 4/4 rhythm and a double-time beat, “Two Points” plays like a mechanical weapons factory. A conveyor belt runs like clockwork to slide us up to the drop; we’re set down on the firing range and as the track drops, all hell breaks loose. Prepare to be blown away by furious mechanical laser blasts; pay attention to the panic alarm in the background; beware of the deadly sonic saw. This is a dubstep track that slams down and doesn’t give up until the very last second.
Switching direction just past the half-way mark, “Kill The Nation” turns things around as Dilemn introduces us to a brand-new electro track. With this album’s trademark mechanical funkiness, the track would be well-suited for an outer-space trek to explore the sun. Deep but musical, the low bass and synth chords play off each other and the drums keep the energy high as our spaceship’s onboard computer talks to us in a flat but sinister manner. Perhaps that’s what pulls us into the final track of the album – that sinister feeling of our ship’s computer being in total control. It darkens the mood and allows us to transition easily into “Afraid Of Change,” the final track on this EP. Another explosive dubstep track, “Afraid Of Change” takes cues from the EP’s opener and brings back the bouncing triplets in the rhythm. Again keeping things steady in 4/4 time before the drop and switching to triplets after, Dilemn proves he knows exactly what’s going to make our subwoofers bounce with pleasure. Grinding gears, whining synths, and beautifully orchestrated interludes make up this closing track – and as synths echo away into the distance, it’s clear that the EP has come to its end.
There’s no doubt that Talk About Us is a new direction for Dilemn. But he hasn’t lost his signature funkiness, and his production skills are top-notch – and that’s why we’re excited to have our hands on a copy of this EP. Mixing funky production with aggressive new sounds, and unafraid to flirt with danger in these musical experiments, Talk About Us is an exciting new release from this French producer. Like the title track says, let “them” talk about Dilemn. Experimentation shows maturation and a willingness to evolve and push creative boundaries – and Dubstep.net is excited to hear Dilemn’s musical evolution. After all, without this branch out to dubstep and drumstep, we may never have gotten the chance to write about it.