A few months back, the announcement was made that Dubstar were at work on a fourth album, due for release this year. This came from Steve Hillier, brains of the outfit, who has, in the intervening years since Dubstar’s departure from the music scene, continued to maintain webpages connected with their music. Perhaps Hillier’s prevalent nostalgia is what has kickstarted the Dubstar motor once again; or perhaps they just couldn’t help themselves (real musicians never can); either way, things are afoot. i think that history—with all the old-fashioned benevolence of a grandmother—has been kind to Dubstar; they are encased within a memory that finds playful melodies and darkly acerbic lyrics joined, a paradox perfectly encapsulated in the person of singer Sarah Blackwood, her strongly northern dialect colliding with her angelic, unwavering soprano voice. Dubstar, in short, are like one of Grayson Perry‘s ceramics, discreetly placing disturbing imagery within a context that at first seems familiar and safe. It’s been interesting, then, to revisit all their old releases, many of which have been untouched on the CD shelves for far too long; 10 singles (all long out of print), 3 albums, plus one or two other odds and ends, totalling a little over 7 hours of music—released over a 5-year period, this is a fair achievement. But how does the music acquit itself now? What is Dubstar’s legacy? Read more
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