When Starkey released Ear Drums and Black Holes back in April 2010, it was still kind of risky for a North American artist to put their weight behind the idea of a dubstep hybrid that incorporated Dirty South production and Auto-Tune vocals alongside more traditional grime and 2-step influences. It just wasn't as risky as it might have been a couple years before: there was already a thick, smothering atmosphere building in the air that made Starkey's eclectic approach seem like a cerebral sort of outlier when it dropped. Two months later, Sonny Moore posted his electro-dabbler alter ego's debut EP My Name Is Skrillex to MySpace, and by the end of the year the parameters for what constituted a Stateside take on dubstep had drastically shifted to a monolithic wave of WUB WUB SICK DROPZ.
Starkey's early work was some of the brightest in the glorious explosion of UK dubstep circa 2007. Funny that, considering his home base isn't London, but Philadelphia. One of the US's most visible adopters of dubstep pre-Skrillex, since the days of Ephemeral Exhibits, P.J. Geissinger has presented a happy medium between the American dance underground and the UK.
More Leprechaun In Space than 2001: A Space Odyssey, this apparent concept album appears haunted by a creeping insincerity from start to finish. With two rather decent prior LPs in his discography for Planet Mu, Philadelphia’s Starkey fecklessly endeavors to stretch out the gimmick of his 2011 single “Open The Pod Bay Doors” with this meandering, weightless collection loosely tied together with mostly sci-fi titles like “Renegade Starship” and “G V Star Part 2”. Unexceptional leads and dyspeptic detours mar the disappointing Orbits.
Philadelphia producer reveals a gleaming, maximalist space opera. Chris Power 2012 When Starkey emerged in the mid-00s, he represented thrilling evidence that grime and dubstep wasn’t just spreading across the UK, but all the way to Philadelphia, PA. He’s since established his own outpost on the rowdy border between grime, dubstep, crunk, and what he calls "street bass".