Meet Deadboy, another Londonite successfully mining the sonic territory between dubstep and UK funky. Over just two EPs, Deadboy is forging ahead with a sound that joins the lush soundscapes of Joker and the pulsing grooves of Geeneus.
Deadboy’s U Cheated EP relies on insistent percussion, warm waves of synth, and vocal house loops. The tracks are infectious and bass heavy – big slabs of dark disco. The broken two-step rhythms of the crunkish “Brock Lee Riddim” and the catchy vocals of the title track come together on “If U Want Me,” a single released last month.
His recently released Cash Antics Vol. 1 continues to push the genre forward, taking mainstream R&B songs and turning them into purple people eaters. Deadboy applies different treatments to two tracks by R&B chanteuse Cassie. “Official Girl” becomes “Unofficial Girl,” leaving the vocals intact but injecting a funky rhythm and sweet and sour synthesizers into the mix. On “Long Way 2 Go,” Deadboy pitchshifts the vocals, drops the tempo, and sprinkles wobble all over the chorus. Different approaches, similarly enticing results.
The highlight of the EP, however, is Deadboy’s take on Ashanti’s “Way That I Love You” which becomes a true dubstep ballad. The original’s descending piano lines are replaced with shimmering chiptune synths, and once again, the vocals are altered to give the song more warmth. The result is moving, melancholy, and powerful.