Welcome to Dubai, home of sand, oil and dubstep producer Asad Khan aka Digital Puppy. Dubstep never really seemed to be an option in Dubai, but Asad (who I met quite randomly on Facebook) informed me that parties of this nature are rather successful over there, and many people are into the original UK variant, of which Asad has home in UK label ABR records, which is mostly rugged riddim-style.
Oh wait, it’s starting to make sense now. Dub-eye. An eye for dub. The tenth release on ABR – Digital Puppy’s EP Wrong Cable – is another story to the rough staccato punch and wubs of riddim, and delves deep.
‘Ghost Train’ is a seething soundscape that strips all percussion right to bare bones and focuses on murky sub-bass surfing. Even that is minimal in tone and the main sound comes from silence, creating a dark and arid wasteland of wide open space, reminiscent of Asad’s homeland.
‘Glow’ is of a similar temperament to ‘Ghost Train’, except utilises the same types of elements to create a more cavernous and reverberating sound. One might say that they’re pretty much identical songs, but I’d reply that it doesn’t matter so much if you’re reminded that Wrong Cable is more about background atmosphere rather than trying to smash you in the face with a song.
‘Snap Your Fingers’ changes this aspect a fair bit with swaggering percussion that seeths, bubbles and clicks, with a jazzy bridge interval that serves to juxtapose the percussion, somewhat reminiscent of the Cuban guitar breaks interspersed in Mala in Cuba.
‘Vision Quest’s revisits the Arabic sound of ‘Ghost Train’ minimally and with style and with more upbeat percussion, and finale ‘Wrong Cable’ is pretty much on the same vein as far as overall downtempo sound and vibe.
I’m impressed with Digital Puppy’s unique take on the deeper dubstep genre, and this EP was pulled off with style. Nothing really leapt out at me with Wrong Cable (not necessarily a bad thing), but it was done tastefully enough to please any dub-style fans out there.