Marshall Watson: Most Willing to Suffer EP
Marshall Watson Bandcamp

At one time a Highpoint Lowlife artist with two albums to speak for on the now-defunct label, San Francisco-based Marshall Watson recently issued his States of Matter EP on Car Crash Set in late 2010 and currently releases his music in a digital format only. He's clearly been keeping his ears to the ground, so to speak, based on the evidence of this new EP collection of four tracks (one a bonus that comes with a full download), as traces of dubstep and bass music are audible throughout.

Following an ominous intro, “My Exploding Heart” settles into a quasi-dubstep groove, with the cut's rich, synthetic sound-world accented by a high-pitched snare pop and dramatic strings, and the track as a whole sounding very much like something one might hear on an Ad Noiseam or Hymen release. Also on a rather brooding tip, “Stringy Harp Thingy” opts for strings-heavy dramatics and an an overall melancholic ambiance, even if a slowed-down dubstep groove still bubbles beneath the surface.

The other two tracks offer a marked contrast to those two, however. Vocal snippets add a soulful dimension to the snappy and insistent rhythmning of “I Want to Hold You Now,” while the bonus track, “Take You,” arranges a handful of vocal fragments into rhythmic form in a way that recalls the head-turning experiments Akufen explored so memorably on his 2002 opus My Way.

March 2012