Lost Tracks: Review of 16bit's 'In the Death Car'

Tuesday, December 22, 2009



"In the Death Car," the debut EP from DRT and Kidnappa, the West London producers working as 16bit, really exists for one reason: To give birth to the '09 club behemoth "Chainsaw Calligraphy," the menacing dubstep/concrete admixture that made the duo -- at least for a time last winter -- the most buzzed-about dubsteppers on earth.

"Chainsaw Calligraphy" starts off with recorded history's most tuneful chainsaw noises (16bit is nothing if not literal) and devolves from there. It's fascinating, ungainly and menacing, forward-thinking but curiously old-fashioned, like a collaboration between Ministry, dubstep star Rusko and Leatherface, the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" villain whose omnipresence in fan-made YouTube videos of the track only adds to the creep factor.

"Death Car" contains three other tracks, which range from the pretty good ("M Dot Mosley," which sounds like an otherwise pleasant techno song under attack by '80s office equipment) to the seriously good (the bass-heavy title song, a half-step anthem provided here in two forms, with and without chipmunk-style vocals). All are worth having, though only "Chainsaw Calligraphy" is essential.

January will bring a "Chainsaw Calligraphy" remix disc, a probably unnecessary bit of lily-gilding, since the original track, in all its bludgeoning splendor, is tough to improve upon. It's dubstep as hardcore -- the perfect song both to mosh and have nightmares to.

-- Allison Stewart

Recommended tracks

"Chainsaw Calligraphy," "In the Death Car"

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