Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Review: Starbass – 'Starbass 1'

'Starbass 1' 

Industrial and dubstep are fast becoming comfortable bedfellows. Whether it's Australia's Cryogenic Echelon or Canada's Comaduster, the “wub-wub” of dubstep is becoming increasingly popular within industrial circles either as a remix device or as a cornerstone to a bands sound. Even veteran acts like Front Line Assembly are beginning to incorporate elements into their sound. It's no wonder then that solo project Starbass (AKA Steven Le Diable) is finding a willing audience on his native live circuit supporting acts such as Ego Likeness.

Blending danceable electro-industrial with that distinctive dubstep bass and throwing in catchy vocals. It's not the most ground-breaking genre blend right now, yet there is an enjoyable simplicity to Starbass' formula that is infectiously groovy and just made for dancing. With songs like 'Fire From The Sky', 'Darkstar', 'Hackers On Steroids', and 'Sunset' in tow he shows that he definitely isn't a one-trick pony.

The album's most interesting and rewarding listens though have to come in the form of the covers of Nine Inch Nails' 'Something I Can Never Have' and The Velvet Underground's 'Venus In Furs'. Two songs which have been covered in more ways by more bands you can probably think to name, yet still sound original in the hands of Le Diable.

In spite of nods to other genres and the occasional use of flute in some tracks, there is an issue with the sheer repetitiveness of some of the material here. It's unfortunate as after three-minute mark, some of the songs begin to lose their edge, and could do with being a bit more punchy.

However, 'Starbass 1' is a solid dance-orientated album with strong pop hooks and a few nice tricks thrown in for good measure. Starbass is certainly one to watch and it's going to be interesting to see how Le Diable develops this formula on the next release.

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