Dubstep has become synonymous with blunt-force bass and overproduced breakless anarchy. Vibesquad and Kraddy, however, retain the grimy bubbles and ethereal space in their music that originally defined the style without sacrificing the raw modern power that fans eat up.
Vibesquad, hailing from Colorado’s electric triangle, exhibits the obvious influence of early house and techno from his Chicago youth, allowing the bass to drive straight ahead, not careen through every layer of the mainstream superhighway. Controlling rubber decks through lush wobbles, Vibesquad kicks an organic funk-based groove. Tracks like “Porcupine” from Return of the Pudding People punch insistent, ephemeral dub that shiftily floats on the heads of the drums.
Kraddy embraces a squelchy, grittier style. After his departure from the L.A.-based Glitch Mob in 2009, Kraddy’s solo stuff has switched from sonic urgency to a pounding sword-like stitchwork quilt of sampled cuts. Listening to Kraddy’s recently released Labyrinth EP, you get the sense of impending escape from the rat race, a bass escalation in your ribcage. Nonetheless, Kraddy maintains a punctual control over his sound, breaking perfectly and avoiding the temptation of jackhammer chaos.
These two artists, both exhibiting different styles within a rapidly evolving genre, boast critical chops in utilizing the sounds of hip hop, jazz and grunge to further purée canonical music.
Vibesquad and Kraddy play 8 pm Friday, Jan. 13, at McDonald Theatre; $15 adv.; $18 door.