Last night, on a desolate Wednesday evening, one of dubstep’s true OG’s– the Birmingham UK native, Martin Knowles, more familiarly know as Emalkay, took the stage at Boulder’s Fox Theater. He was supported by Denver’s forefront bass producer, and recently signed 1320 records artist, Project Aspect. Ticket sales seemed to have been minimal (as expected of a Wednesday night show the week before finals), but the theater slowly began to fill up with an interesting mix of rowdy, young dub-heads, bored hill residents who stumbled upon promotional comp tickets, and local friends and supporters of the show’s openers. When we arrived, Project Aspect was half way through his set, which was truly a testament to the modern-day Ableton DJ. His melodic, heavy style was littered with glitchy beat-repeats, improvised vocals and venue-rattling drops. He reminded us of a new age, glitch-hop version of Aarabmusik, by the way he was constantly effecting and controlling every “aspect” of the music throughout his set.
By the time Emalkay took the stage the venue had filled up quite a bit and the crowd was anxious. Knowles, baring only a case of CD’s, wasted no time in dropping the heavy genre-defining classics for which he is so admirably known. His style was refreshing- taking the speedy, repetitive UK sub-bass melodies expected of a Dub Police artist and infusing them with the dirty, contemporary saw-tooth synths that have become a staple in newly trending American dubstep. Knowles continued to fuel the crowd with fast-paced (140BPM) four-on-the-floor jungle beats between dropping his countless well-known dubstep anthems (see: “When I look at you” and “Fabrication”). All in all, we were impressed with the show. We got to genuinely witness one of modern dubstep’s acclaimed originators with support one of the movement’s newest local innovators.