Electronic music is constantly in flux, and while some artists can plant a flag and never change their sound, the majority must adapt or be left behind. Case in point: Redlight, who built a decade-long career as drum and bass producer Clipz but now crafts dubstep-bashment hybrids. Certainly not the only – or last – DnB head to slow down their frenetic productions into hulking wobblers, Redlight has found a second life by focusing the over-the-top energy of DnB into something more corporeal.
As Clipz (aka Bristol-based Hugh Pescod), the man now known as Redlight tended towards the melodic side of the rave playground. There is more to songs like “Slippery Slope” and “Sticky” than unrelenting DnB. “Ugly,” featuring vocalist Holly G, is a forebearer of his current sound.
In 2009, Pescod put away childish things and renamed himself Redlight, releasing the Lobster Boy EP. Some of the trademarks of his earlier sound remained, like the breakbeats that fuel “Pick Up the Phone” and “Feel So Good (Wine Up Yr Body),” a tune that relies on singers and MCs to counterbalance eruptions of bass.
The most addictive track on the EP is “Be With You,” which bounces from bashment toasting to a wobbling, house-inflected chorus. Redlight’s handle on West Indian riddims is exceeded only by Toddla T; he puts the dub in dubstep by bringing in Serocee and frequent collaborator Dread MC. This trend has continued: his banger “MDMA” served as the instrumental for Ms. Dynamite’s grimey “What You Talking About?”
Redlight’s evolution continues. Earlier this year, he released “Source 16” and “Progress,” which both feature housey, four-on-the-floor drums and metallic synth basslines. Guaranteed big room slayers, both are far cries from the riddims of the Lobster Boy EP. But with over a decade in the game, whatever Redlight does next – under whichever name he chooses – is sure to be essential bass music.