Youngsta – Rinse: 14

by Kyle Risley (Marketing), published July 8th 2011

Moldy | Stale | Edible | Fresh | Tasty!

Since its inception as a pirate radio station in 1994, Rinse FM has championed the genres of grime, drum and bass, UK funky, garage, and dubstep and broadcast throughout London.  These genres have routinely been captured on a number of compilation mixes by its DJs, the latest, Rinse 14, being mixed by Youngsta.  A true innovator within the genre of dubstep, Youngsta has deep roots within the genre, mixing two installations of the pivotal Dubstep Allstars mixes for Tempa in 2004 and 2006 as well as hosting a weekly show on Rinse FM.  Rinse 14 acts as a fair representation of his shows, favoring the ‘€œdeep, dark, and minimal’€ sounds found in his sets.  The result is a mix with few missteps, but fewer surprises.

‘€œDown’€ introduces the mix with swelling synth chords as long exhales and twisted vocals move in and out of the foreground.  Sharp snare hits reverberate as the sound of electric currents pan from side to side.  A submersing bass line finally enters, the entire package creating a mesmerizing effect.  Unfortunately, much of the front half of the mix follows a similar formula with mildly different vocal samples and bass lines. This is compounded by Youngsta’s stand out talent as a mixer, blending beats from key producers such as LX ONE, Icicle, and Matt U until they collide in almost indistinguishable unison.  This is great for the fluidity of the mix, but not necessarily for the variety or the listening experience as a whole.

That’s not to say that Rinse 14 doesn’t have its fair share of stand out moments.  DJ Madd and Chris Su collaborated on ‘€œNo Respect,’€ a homage to the production styles of ‘€˜04 halfstep, while ‘€œEmpy Inside’€ (complete with a “Dexter” sample) is chilling enough to stun any listener.  In many ways, Youngsta’s mix holds up the same virtues as these earlier years.  The tribal percussion flourishes (e.g. ‘€œHidden,’€ ‘€œManhattan Blues,’€ and ‘€œWilderness’€), stripped down sound, and ‘€œeyes down’€ attitude all hearken back to the genre’s formative years, just through a new filter.

Though not a standout mix by itself, especially for those familiar with Youngsta’s Rinse FM broadcasts, Rinse 14 is a definitive snapshot of dubstep’s minimal side that stands in sharp contrast with the party friendly sounds finding popularity recently.  At the very least, it’s a welcome addition to Rinse’s catalog and a well selected introduction to the tastes of one of the genre’s biggest influences.

Recommended Tracks: Give It Up, Organic Step, Empty Inside

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