Since 2007, Dave Huismans (alias 2562) has held the collective attention of the dubstep and techno communities with a series of stellar releases that blend the best of both musical landscapes into a frontier terrain that is simultaneously familiar and mysterious, comforting and alientating, serene and disturbing. His first full length, 2008’s Aerial (off Tectonic) was most fortunately this writer’s somewhat unusual introduction to the frantic jungle that is the UK dubstep scene. Though clearly dubstep in structure, with that alluring slow-mo 2-step beat and wobble dub, 2562 had accomplished something novel and refreshing in the community: he had applied the minimal techno approach, reducing the dubstep sound to its elemental components, spacing out those dubbed-out drumbeats and percussive flurries until his tracks developed an almost ambient tone. However, as with minimal techno, those quiet interludes didn’t destroy the upbeat, dancey attitude of his minimal dubstep tracks, but instead allowed the listener the space to explore the roundness and depth of each individual sound, sinking ever deeper into a funky, psychedelic milieu in the process. And of course, though each finely crafted track would begin slow, it would, as with all electronic dance music, inevetiably build and develop, carrying the listener to ecstatic heights of cerebral dance heaven that only the brave and the initiated have glimpsed.
His following releases, including Unbalance and Fever, saw this approach to minimal dubstep expanded to other genres, including house, downtempo, and disco, while firmly retaining his honed dub techno sound. His latest release, off his own label When in Doubt, Air Jordan EP is something of a surprising departure. Incorporating field recordings from his travels through Jordan, 2562 melds samples of bedouin percussion and singing with his signature bevy of chirps, broken shuffles and dissonant synth trickles. The sub-bass, ever present in most contemporary electronic music, is here suggested, teased, but never really present except by that expansive empty space it leaves behind. Here again, this space allows the other sounds to reverberate further, into ever more profound depths of your inner ear. This man is truly a musical pioneer, exploring the badlands between genres of dance music, breaking down artificial barriers and connecting formerly disparate communities into one big booty bumpin’ love-in. Such a uniter deserves our thanks and support.