‘Breaking Hearts & Minds’, the new EP from self-proclaimed ‘international dubstep heartthrob’ and joker, High Rankin, is pretty much what you’d expect from one of the scene’s more eccentric types. Featuring the dulcet tones of Tigerlight and rapid-fire lines from Murkage Dave, there’s just about enough here to make it a worthwhile listen outside the confines of a club.
Hearing these tracks live, or cranked through a mammoth sound system, will help things hit home, but a one-on-one listening experience simply won’t cut it with this thick slab of bass. The chart-friendly groove of ‘Save Yourself The Pain’ has a bassline that’s warped every which way but north and has some right-forceful stomps, but when listening through a basic set-up, it doesn’t really pack the punch that you’d expect. Shame really, because there’s some real power driving these tracks along; you just need a proper rig to really let these ones tear you a new earhole.
‘Day To Die’ is a shiner, taking on all kinds of moods in just over 5 minutes. From the sultry tones of Tigerlight pre-drop and haunting “wake up now, it’s your day to die” in an unbearably tense build-up, to the gritty electronics that dart about post-drop, there’s a move from bliss stillness to rabid chaoticness that echoes the “balanced on the edge of knife” sentiments of the lyrics. The sincerity of the track is contrasted to the brilliant ‘I Make Bass’; a ‘fuck you’ to any doubters of Rankin‘s, who here shows that he’s something of a Walt White when it comes to cooking bass. It’s gritty, but with a pretty simple structure, there’s little in the way of breaking boundaries.
If you push ‘Breaking Hearts & Minds’ to its limits, it will impress. There are some sickening drops and great vocals that make it more than just electronics, but giving it a spin on your own is akin to watching a tiger lulling around its compound, rather than watching it swagger through the jungle. Fans of the genre will enjoy, but passers-by may need more convincing.
Written by Ryan Williams