Horsepower Productions Quest for the Sonic Bounty

Horsepower Productions released two albums years ago, launched the Tempa label and provided stable footing for artists such as Benga, Skream and Kode9. Then they promptly disappeared. Last year, the group saw a revival with the release of "Kingstep" and suddenly Quest for the Sonic Bounty was in the works. If anyone could claim to be the originators of "dubstep," Benny Ill and the members of Horsepower Productions would have a fair shot. Quest for the Sonic Bounty strips away the gimmicky over-productions, reverting to a more classic take on dubstep. The album toys with a multitude of dialogue samples, which tend to take away from the overall enjoyment of the songs, rather than help them build. That said, Quest for the Sonic Bounty has some standout tracks, such as "Water," with its aggressive stuttering and wobbly synth, and the metallic clashes that abound on "18th Special," while still playing with the Middle Eastern style prevalent on previous recordings. (Tempa)