Review: Rusko - Kapow EP

Recently, the prolific English dubstep producer, Rusko, released his newest EP for free. See our review on the contents of the aptly named "Kapow" and our take on his new philosophy of free music below.

Rusko - "Kapow" EP Review

Rusko's latest collection of “Songs”, might just make you scream “O.M.G.!” The bass behemoth's latest KAPOW EP shares the same innovative composition as its two aforementioned predecessors, but this time something is a bit different. And its causing quite a stir in the world of electronic dance music.

As previously reported on our network, Rusko and his former label, Diplo's Mad Decent Records, had a falling out after the release of his most recent album, Songs. It came as no surprise when Rusko parted ways with Mad Decent, what is far more surprising is that he doesn't appear on any label, and he has no plans to change that. All of his future music will be independently released free of charge.

"It's about promotion and not profit - I want to give the fans the music in real time."
-Rusko

Rusko has decided to eliminate the label-induced lag time between creation and release, expediting the process of delivering music to his fans. And if it's about promotion instead of profits, it looks like Rusko will get exactly what he's after. Free releases lead to more blog posts and more shares, and as a result, significantly more music reaches the ears of potential fans.

But could this increased promotion lead to an increase in profit, despite offering releases to fans free of charge? Its no secret that live bookings often constitute a majority of an artist’s income, but it remains to be seen if the additional fans generated from Rusko's free release will translate into increased profits from touring, merchandise and licensing. Perhaps in this digital age, free music is more profitable after all.

In the spirit of staying on course, lets take a minute to actually talk about Rusko’s new EP. “Kapow” showcases the originality and expert production we’ve come to expect from this pioneer of bass music. Refusing to conform to conventions and expectations, Rusko has continued to evolve and explore new territory as a producer. “Kapow” is definitely a far cry from his early dubstep days.

Yeah - Rusko's masterful vocal editing shines in "Yeah", keeping the samples sparse yet just prominent enough to amplify the energy of this phenomenally orchestrated dubstep anthem. He showcases his uncanny ability to keep a track light and fun while still hitting the low frequencies with an unbridled intensity and vengeance.

Booyakasha - "Booyakasha" is a marriage of raw energy and controlled bass-ridden chaos, not unlike Rusko himself. This drumstep tune packs a harder punch than any other track on the KAPOW EP. Somewhat surprisingly, the oft-sampled Lil Jon vocals work flawlessly with the vibe of the song.

Bring It Back - "Bring It Back" is a glitched-out thrill ride that blurs the lines between genres, but can be safely classified as an absolutely monumental banger. Rusko fuses trance style synths with more traditional dubstep elements to create an infectious and innovative track.

Like This - A sure-fire hit with fans, “Like This” fuses elements of multiple genres with Rusko’s signature style to craft a wonderfully danceable and incredibly catchy tune. Add in a generously employed Chemical Brothers sample and you've got KAPOW's grand finale!