Review: Leon Switch – Intrepid / Overlook [CHST038]

After what felt like quite a wait for long-time fans such as myself (full disclosure!), Leon Switch returns with a hard-hitting two track EP on Chestplate. It’s tricky to talk about his more recent work and not mention Kryptic Minds, a project that seems to cast a long shadow. While the duo helped shape the dark, dungeon phase dubstep went through a few years back, this type of sound could seem almost dated now.  However, for those who, like myself, prefer their dubs dark and hard, it is a powerful weapon for the arsenal.

The EP starts out with “Intrepid”, a strong affair that sets out with almost militaristic aggressiveness, while Leon’s trademark interaction of midrange abrasiveness and deep and tightly controlled sub bass channels all that tension towards its desired effect: making the sound system show everything it has. The B-side, “OverLook”, is at times remarkably similar to the A-side track from his previous release, “Deadlock“, minus the political discourse bit. It seems to share some textures and key elements, but it does sound more polished, and decidedly heavier on the low end, which scores points in my book.

Overall, this EP is quite consistent with Leon’s previous work. It feels like a treat to those who like this type of music, while it might disappoint anyone looking for the shape of dubstep’s future. I feel that “Intrepid” has a lot of potential and will definitely be testing this out in the field. “Overlook” might not sound as fresh, but it could have a time and place to be played out, especially if Leon Switch features frequently in your sessions and you feel like tossing things up a bit so as not to tire anyone’s ears. To wrap up, I’ll quote the single line of spoken word in this track, which is very telling, “You have been in my life so long… I can’t remember anything else”.

CHST038 is released April 8th and available from the Chestplate Store, Unearthed Sounds, Redeye, White Peach, Intense Records and Juno Download.

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