Review: Conspirator “Unleashed”

The term ‘supergroup’ is thrown around pretty loosely these days, but there’s a certifiable one slowly rising up the ranks in the world of electronica.  Conspirator, originally a low profile side project of The Disco Biscuits has continued to grow and evolve its sound over the years into something that both pays homage to its EDM roots while exploring new sounds and redefining the way this genre of music is produced.  Conspirator recently released its latest EP Unleashed and it’s been met with serious acclaim, if iTunes and download totals are any indication.  The title of this EP is all too fitting as the band comprised of half of The Disco Biscuits (Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner), the guitarist from Raq (Chris Michetti) and arguably, the best drum and bass drummer on the planet, KJ Sawka, unleash a magnificent fusion of hard hitting dubstep and inspired instrumental work that leaves you wanting more and more of the same, once all six tracks have been heard.

Unleashed gets in your face right away with the opening track ‘Pow Wow’, which features a tight dubstep beat underlying  some intense and jagged synth sounds that almost sound like an electronic Indian eliciting a war cry of sorts.  After the second ‘drop’, there’s some absolutely brilliant guitar work courtesy of Chris Michetti who has several well placed and inspiring guitar solos on this release.  “The Commish” is another fun track that has even more catchy synth sounds that has the effect of an electronic horn section of sorts. KJ Sawka really shows off his chops here and shows why he’s one of the best in the business by nailing the furious tempo changes and giving a veritable human touch to electronically programmed drum beats. “Right Wrong” is a Conspirator remix and one of the more mellow tracks on the EP; the take on this gives Mark Brownstein a chance to put his melodic bass playing on full display alongside some vocal samplings which makes for an incredibly fun and engaging listen.  Not to be outdone, “Accent” features a synth melody that sounds like something found on an intense level in a Nintendo game.  Combined with more stellar dubstep fury and another sparkling guitar solo, it caps everything off in fine fashion.

Simply put, this is not your older brother’s dubstep, but rather a new and fun take, with an added emphasis of real instrumentation to go along with tight and precise programmable magic.  It would seem to lend itself towards decent mass appeal since there are really enjoyable parts for both the ‘jam’ fan and the dubstep fiend to latch onto. Time will tell, and until then, we’ll just have to wait and see what this supergroup unleashes next.

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