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Outside the Box


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Album Review

Ollie Jones, recording as Skream, has been on the dubstep scene since it first lurched out of the London clubs and into the Croydon record shop in which he worked as a teen. Still in his early twenties, Jones has exerted a huge influence on the development of the genre, and on Outside the Box he contributes to a breaking down of the very stylistic definitions he helped create. Guest vocalists pop up here and there throughout the program, but their parts are often chopped and screwed and manipulated and sometimes rendered nearly unrecognizable — that's a sample of disco diva Jocelyn Brown on "I Love the Way," but her voice is pitched down and tethered to a coolly lurching beat that makes her declaration of love sound more like a cry of desperation; on "Where You Should Be," pop and dubstep join hands and Sam Frank's voice is sacrificed to the great god Vocoder, to very fun effect. Elsewhere you'll hear instrumental dubstep of the more typical dark and juddering variety ("Wibbler," "Fields of Emotion"), mixed-up jungle ("Listenin' to the Records on My Wall"), syrupy hip-hop with subterranean bass ("8 Bit Baby," with Murs on the mike), and straight-up lush and gorgeous electro-pop ("Finally," featuring La Roux). And at the very end, everything explodes into a colorful effusion of frenetic old-school jungle breakage ("The Epic Last Song"). It's an exhilarating ride, equally suited for dancing, fast driving, or skateboarding down the middle of a busy city street.

Customer Reviews

This is an artists album, not a dubstep album

So we all associate skream with dubstep, and true there are a couple tracks on this album that conform to the stereotypes we place on this genre (e.g. "Wibbler"), but the majority of this album is purely, ummm, experimental. There's a bit of hip hop ("8 bit", very hard to get out of my head), UKG ("How Real"), Jungle ("Listening to the Records..."), while the majority is a type of ambient/dubstep hybrid, which is fantastic, my favorite tracks are of this type ("Fields of Emotion" and "Where you Should Be"). But to be frank, I feel others have completed this type of cross-genre album with more memorable tracks (namely Breakage's "Foundation"), but tracks from this album will definitely have their place in time.


the best dubstep producer out there.


Just saw him at Hard Summer. Bought the album without even listening to it. You should too.


Born: 1987 in London, England

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Ollie Jones had the good fortune to be working at the Big Apple record store when he first started making beats at age 15 and armed with a cracked copy of the Fruity Loops music-making software. Big Apple was at the center of the early development of U.K. garage's dark, half-speed offshoot dubstep before it was even called dubstep, and it was at Big Apple that Jones, who recorded as Skream, met fellow beatsmiths Benga and Hatcha. Hatcha was a DJ at the seminal club Forward and was only too happy...
Full Bio
Outside the Box, Skream
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Customer Ratings


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