The recent wave of modern dubstep artists has become one of the most polarizing movements in today’s music industry. Love it or hate it, it has had a profound effect on the development of electronic music, and has influenced a variety of derivative styles. One such pioneer goes by the name of Blackmill, and has been producing music that he christens “melodic dubstep.” In a genre that is known for its heavy bass lines and fast-paced sampling, Blackmill’s sound is refreshingly calm. For those of you who find the average dubstep track to be too abrasive (i.e. my last post), I would urge you to continue reading, despite any hesitations you might have, and hopefully be pleasantly surprised by what you find.
His approach to music production is really quite ingenious. Although you might expect to hear an excess of white noise and heavy, distorted bass content, it is refreshing to feel the much gentler touch of Miracle upon your ears. The harsh wobble sounds have been crafted into a much warmer and muted tone. Sharp chord stabs have been replaced with echoing bells and slow-moving synth pads. The music opens up into a much less cluttered arrangement, allowing for a greater emphasis on chordal harmony and ambient sound textures.
At the age of fifteen, Blackmill started his electronic music career as a trance producer. This could almost be guessed from the genre’s heavy presence on Miracle. Blackmill has created his unique brand of electronica by encasing the funkier elements of dubstep within the fluid, emotional shell of trance. My advice is to carve out some time in your day to simply listen through all eleven tracks on Miracle. It can be an immensely personal experience, shared between you and the music. Blackmill’s sound benefits from all the healing power of trance music, as well. In other words, if you are having a particularly bad day, then put on this album and allow it to release you from your troubles. Music therapy at its finest.
Let it not be said that Blackmill is merely a one-trick pony, either. While tracks like “Spirit of Life” and “My Love” pull their energy from a deep, dubstep groove, “Don’t Let Me Down” explores a distinct liquid drum & bass vibe. “Love At Heart” features an array of pop-oriented synth pads, while “Fortune Soul” combines hip hop grooves with dreamy vocals. This album is the full package; a versatile collection of the finest “chillstep” tracks.
To boil down this entire review to the bare essentials, you owe it to yourself to add Miracle to your musical shortlist. We all have those times when our only need is a smooth, relaxing soundtrack to our otherwise hectic lives. This is an album for those times. Either as individual tracks or as a single, continuous experience, Blackmill’s music is truly a journey on which we all should embark. This is music for the ears, the mind, and the soul.