Sunday, November 14, 2010

Benga - Diary of an Afro Warrior (2008)

It's taken me a while to come full circle and embrace the genre of dubstep; you could say this is the third time I've tried to accept it (false starts in '06 and '08); I guess I either wasn't listening to the "right stuff" or my head wasn't in the right place- any way you slice it I wasn't getting it, which is disheartening considering my love for all things British.

So here we go; attempt number three- and it's sticking, finally.


Digression: I think dubstep's main problem (as most electronic music for that matter) is that it's somewhat rare for a specific vibe or a particular energy to hold up over the course of a full-length; since it's aimed at the club-goers, a five-to-ten minute slab of beats and synths is usually all that's needed and an artists' worth is measured from week-to-week as far as getting asses out on the floor. I think that's why I've never given most electronic music it's fair shake- I've always been an "album-oriented" kind of listener; give me a cohesive collection of songs packaged together as a statement of the performer's vision at a specific time and date rather than a jam or two. Anyways; I'll be mining the internets for more electro-based music from now on.

The obvious choice and the man that's done the best job at selling dubstep to the masses is Burial; both of his albums are considered the gold standard in the genre and the most representative of both where it's come from and where it can go- but for all its sheer determination, I'd offer you Benga's Diary of an Afro Warrior as a great place to start; it's meditative and funky, got those wonky bass lines throughout.

Give it a try, folks...

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