Fresh off some Twitter beef with Deadmau5, dubstep meistro Rusko recently released two volumes of unreleased material, for free and through Twitter. Perhaps inspired by Skream’s Freeizm EPs, The Lost Dubs contains some material that pre-dates even his earliest releases, with tracks from 2004 and 2005.
As the name suggests, these dubs are steeped in reggae and dancehall grooves, from the slinky guitar chords on “Gyal Dem Inna Codeine Style” to the wandering bassline on his remix of Skream’s “Dutch Flowers.” The tracks are an interesting look at Rusko’s early material: “Jump Up” sounds like an underdeveloped version of breakout single “Cockney Thug.”
While these dubplates trace the straight line between reggae and dubstep, they also show synergy between dubstep and hip-hop. “Get down low” mashes a pretty straight-forward rap with wobbly bass for a banger that presages Caspa’s “How Low Can You Go” remix.
Unfortunately, there are no hidden gems on these EPs; these are basically demo tapes. Still, the Lost Dubs are required listening for Rusko devotees. A third volume is to follow, which will continue to fill in the blanks of one of the biggest names in dubstep.