Dorisburg, real name Alexander Berg, is a master of functional deep house. That might sound like faint praise, but it isn't. Berg is one half of Genius Of Time, a DJ and production duo who have put out some of the best party anthems of the past two years, namely "Houston, We Have A Problem," and their even better (if less overplayed) rework of "Love Thang" by First Choice. Working solo, Berg takes a subtler tack, crafting wintry cuts of seductive deep house.
Smuts is the first release on a new label called Bossmusik, and it shows Berg doing what he does best, but with a murkier aesthetic than usual. The title track is fat and smudged, with a groaning bassline, foggy chords and a slightly seasick swaying motion. "Studs," which is made up entirely of drum sounds, is an exercise in groove assembly. That's always been Berg's strong suit, and here he pushes the envelope, piling staccato rhythms on top of each other until the track is almost too busy, then breaking into a cleaner gait. Both make the artist and the label one to watch.
For their second outing after Genius of Time's sold-out Same Old Place EP , Gothenburg's newly established Aniara Records dive straight in the deep end with a double offering of ambient house and dubstep from upstart duo Fabian Bruhn and Alex Berg, AKA Dorisburg. Sinai Hypnosis' title track is a subtly budding nine-minute dose of Nordic bleariness, nestled somewhere between the woozy emotronica of Dntel's "This is the Dream of Evan and Chan" and Jichael Mackson's whacked-out minimalism. The result isn't explicitly joyful, nor is it "ambient" in its strictest sense—but it's enigmatic enough to be evocative of both, not unlike fellow compatriot The Field. Besides, if all that emotion is a bit too soppy in your record bag, the Dub version supplied on the flip might be more useful for the floor.
After the US and UK, Sweden is the world's third biggest music exporter. Despite this, it's probably safe to say that little of it has been underground dubstep. B-side "Mima" sets quite a benchmark. Sure, the droopy post-Burial vocals emerging early on may have been rinsed to death on other shores, but such misgivings are easily forgotten once the chirpy melody begins its flirty dance with a taut 2-step bass rub.