Release Date: May 6, 2013
Record label: Sony Music
Genre(s): Electronic, Garage, Club/Dance, Dubstep
Dubstep has been moving its way into the mainstream music charts throughout America and Europe for some years now. For every song on YouTube, you can find numerous more dubstep remixes, often put together by aspiring producers in their bedrooms. Benga has always been at the forefront of dubstep, with some crediting him for its rise long before the likes of Skrillex and Nero.
On his third full-length and major-label debut, dubstep producer Benga walks in many directions at once, and never quite focuses on a pronounced way forward. As a rule, much of this album would have fit on 2008's Diary of an Afro Warrior. There's the spacy, skeletal abstraction of "Click and Tap" that exists outside anywhere dubstep finds itself at the moment.
When someone writes a book about 21st century British pop, Benga will surely merit his own chapter for creating dubstep alongside fellow Croydon-ite Skream. How the chapter ends may prove intriguing, as in 2013 Benga finds himself – much like that other great UK music pioneer Wiley – at something of an impasse. He’s been making filthy basslines since Skrillex was in short trousers.
In 2002, the then-16 year-old Croydon DJ Benga released his first single, “Skank”, an exploratory 2-step track that took equal parts inspiration from the dark garage experimentalist Wookie, grime, and the beginnings of dubstep. The track wasn’t as brilliant as it was an exciting look into a new wave of UK bass for which Benga would later become a mascot. “Night”, his 2007 collaboration with Digital Mystikz’ Coki, is easily one of the greatest dubstep tracks of all time, wherein melodic, funky, and chomping guttural bass play a game of tug-of-war.