El-B was one of the key players in the transition from stripped UK garage to dubstep in the early 2000’s, a role celebrated in a superb Tempa compilation from ’09. After making a name with the soulful 2step of his Groove Chronicles collaboration with Noodles, El-B went solo in 2000 and never looked back. While dubstep retrospectives often focus on the scene surrounding Deep Medi, the pioneering work of El-B and Horsepower Productions is not always given its due.
El-B’s first release under his Ghost alias was a landmark 12″, including the backalley slink of The Club. The taut snares and hi-hats are set into a typical 2step shuffle, but the clipped melodies and negative space were new, while jazzy organ licks reference his Groove Chronicles heritage. As a club track it’s the contrasts the count – it’s tough yet funky, dark but undeniably sexy.