RUSKO O.M.G.!

Pasatiempo - - Music -

(Mad De­cent) Dance mu­sic’s fla­vor of the week is dub­step — that sub-bass-heavy groove train that chugs through your eardrums, fu­eled by jagged rhythms, os­cil­lat­ing metal­lic drones, vo­cal sam­ples, and re­ver­ber­ated snare. The mu­sic has its own Twit­ter page, and even Scion Au­dio Vis­ual (yes, the sub­di­vi­sion of Toy­ota Mo­tor Cor­po­ra­tion that makes cars shaped like toast­ers also runs a record la­bel) has jumped on the band­wagon by re­leas­ing a dub­step com­pi­la­tion. L.A. (by way of the U.K.) DJ/pro­ducer Rusko — aka Chris Mercer — is at the top of the genre’s heap, fa­vor­ing a style that’s lighter in tone than tra­di­tional dub­step. O.M.G.!, which finds Mercer on über-pro­ducer Di­plo’s la­bel for his de­but full-length, is less a dub­step al­bum and more a dub-in­flected show­case of dance mu­sic styles rang­ing from reg­gae and jun­gle to straight-up disco. The songs are re­lated more to con­tem­po­rary dance pop than dub­step, and Mercer, who has remixed Ri­hanna and Lady Gaga and is slated to con­trib­ute to Brit­ney Spears’ next al­bum, seems com­fort­able aban­don­ing the mu­si­cal style he helped pi­o­neer for some­thing more ac­ces­si­ble to main­stream ears. In true and in­creas­ingly tired Amer­i­can-pop-mu­sic fashion, how­ever, O.M.G.! is flecked with so-so guest ap­pear­ances (like that of The Dirty Pro­jec­tors’ Am­ber Coff­man), which plants Mercer firmly in the au­dio snob’s “sell­out” ranks. But who cares? This rave-in­flu­enced cross­over al­bum full of glitchy twists and turns is still a ground­break­ing work by an elec­tro ge­nius. — Rob DeWalt

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