UK’s enigmatic beat marvel Sibla has done nothing but impress during his period on my personal favourite label, Rarefied. Across two of his three releases on the imprint, including a collab with Honey & Bass favourite Zygos, Sibla expressed his love for authentic dubstep music, whilst staying focused on all things raw and experimental. However, for his latest self released LP ‘Vanguard‘, he looks to take inspiration from his previous super limited, super low profile black label release on Rarefied (RAREBLK3). A plate that featured a duo of jazz classics with that now unmistakable Sibla twist. ‘Vanguard‘ features eight brand new, original tracks, where Sibla composes the most effective blend of raw, organic jazz music with that familiar magical ambience and those dark esoteric textures.
Following the pensive and spacious ‘Introduction‘, Sibla dives head first into the addictive grooves of acid jazz. He particularly pulls no punches on the lively drum work of ‘Vanguard‘. The creative patterns and authentic foley-esque percs are trends that continue to emerge throughout the record. Things get rather funky on the aptly named ‘Groove Digga‘ before the vibrant and uplifting brassy sounds of one of my favourites, ‘Far Out‘ develops as one of Vanguard‘s brightest moments. I would class ‘Fallen‘ as one of the more familiar sounding tracks when it comes to Sibla‘s dubstep influences. The generous lashings of texture and the sample heavy palette guides the mood into darker areas, particularly from the frequent echoing vocal licks. ‘Edify’ continues to follow the moodier route with it’s spaced out design and thick, heavy kicks. The same can be said for ‘A La Mode‘, although it’s return of the vibrant saxophone injections boosts the dynamics and overall tone. ‘Fin‘ rounds off the record in a lovely melodic fashion, including some nice acoustic plucks and soothing, authentic bass tones which reminds me how well paced the record is.
In an era where producers look to push boundaries, blur genres and invest into emerging sub-genres, ‘Vanguard‘ sees Sibla take a unique route, moving through paths untouched and creating something that feels genuinely unique. At times it’s easy to forget you’re listening to one of the UK’s most talented dubstep/140 producers, however on ‘Vanguard‘, you can really hear the effort and passion that Sibla has for this fresh, forward thinking jazzy sounds and for music in general.
‘Vanguard‘ LP is out this Friday (7th May) and available to download from Sibla’s Bandcamp.
Check out Sibla on Soundcloud.