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Black Sun Empire – Lights and Wires

BSECD005, also known as Lights and Wires, was finally released on November 15th after what I can only describe as a painful 2-year wait since the release of Endangered Species. Two days on, I think it’s about time I register my feelings with the world.

What I love about Black Sun Empire is their trend-setting style; a heady mix of Drum n Bass and Darkstep with a little neurofunk thrown in for good measure. Such a concoction alongside legendary technical skills on the DJs’ part makes for some brilliant tracks with which I will never become bored.

Arrakis, Potemkin, Breach, Sandbag (with State of Mind,) Bitemark; all very memorable BSE tracks of albums past. Stalwarts of my music collection. I have discovered a pattern of late; each BSE album yields two tracks that are truly exceptional amongst the remaindered not-so-fantastic tracks. The same is true of Lights and Wires, to an extent.

The album begins with a track entitled The 405; a breakaway from Black Sun Empire’s usual unique usage of classic breakbeats in the use of beat that would not be out of place in a Dubstep album. Upon first hearing the track, I truly hoped that I didn’t have much more Dubstep to endure.

That fear vanished with the arrival of the second track, entitled Chaingang; a more conventional BSE track.

My only complaint regarding Lights and Wires is the high Dubstep content; something I would, under normal circumstances, consider reason to delete an album altogether. However, I stuck with it and was rewarded greatly. Despite Dubstep being sickeningly close to its retarded cousin Grime, Black Sun Empire manages to wield some potent technical magic and create some exceptional Dubstep tracks.

The ‘middle’ tracks are a consistent mixture of Darkstep and Dubstep with small generic influences creeping in here and there, but there are none too memorable.

Track 14: Fever. Exceptional. Earlier, I mentioned my Two Track rule. Chaingang is one, Fever is the other. Harking back to earlier BSE days, Fever makes use of beats and samples reminiscent of tracks such as Status and Don’t You. Definitely a favourite.

Lastly, I was most surprised to hear audio samples in the track Eraser from the Showtime series Dexter; a personal favourite of mine. I have to say that my interest was lagging up until Fever, lapsed a little more after that, but was awakened when I heard Dexter Morgan’s voice speaking the words “I’ve lived in darkness a long time.”

I won’t lie; Lights and Wires is not Black Sun Empire’s greatest album, a mantle I will now and forever reserve for Driving Insane, but nonetheless it is another landmark release by Black Sun Empire and an album to which I will enjoy listening for at least another month.

Favourite Tracks: Chaingang, Fever.

Likes: More epic tracks from a legendary producer; good, clean sound and masterful beats.
Dislikes: Crossing a little far into Dubstep territory; somewhere Black Sun Empire does not belong.

Rating: 7.5/10