Quasar has been steadily stepping up his game this year, going from strength to strength. Unleashing collaborations with some of the best names in the current dubstep scene – Phossa, 3WA – he also released tracks alongside a few of the most promising artists of the burgeoning French scene (Ourman, Tinky), quickly asserting his status as one of the leading producers of that space. This also reflected in his releases, as Quasar started 2019 following up his late 2018 Sub Garden EP alongside Tinky with the sold-out debut vinyl release of Bristol imprint Foundation Audio. The sequel sees him keeping up with this pace, as Quasar offers his debut Artikal release with Soundsystem Addict.
A four-tracker, Soundsystem Addict evidences Quasar’s production science: a minimal take on dubstep and an exercise in sound reduction, stripping down tracks to their mere essence to give each sound its optimal expression. Take the opening title-track: as its name implies, ‘Soundsystem Addict’ nods to the dub-leaning side of dubstep, relying on little more than a heavy bassline and metronomical percussion. The track progresses through micro-variations, as the bassline turns into a vicious wobble, and sound fragments are reverberated or given the tape delay treatment. ‘Soundsystem Addict’ is dubstep at its most efficient, displaying mastery in the subtle art of minimalism. And of course, it bangs when played on the proper system.
The rest of the EP essentially follows the same path, offering three more variations on the same set of ideas. This makes Soundsystem Addict a really cohesive EP: chances are you will enjoy the whole thing if you’re into this brand of dubstep. ‘Oops’, a collaborative track with fellow French producer HazeO, gives us an insight into more of a melodic sound, but its lead sounds ever-fading, hidden behind a jolting bassline. ‘Post Echo Dub’ goes further: Quasar builds a rhythm section that sounds like a proper assault, with an efficient bassline conveying the sense of dread, while our attention keeps being distracted by waves of sprinkled, echoed sonic remains. ‘Dub Energy’ closes the EP on the same line, but with a different energy, as the bassline seems to propel its way to the end.
A new step in Quasar’s rapid ascent, Soundsystem Addict clearly showcases the quality that you can expect from his output. Flawless production standards, tightly cohesive sound unity and perfect control of the dynamics of minimalism are just a few of the talents Quasar displays on his Artikal Music debut EP – hearing the tracks on a proper system, as the title calls for, should give you hints of the releases’ full strength.