You know, it's hard for us 21st-century folks to imagine the future without simultaneously imagining some form of the apocalypse. Whether it's the second coming of Christ, technological/ecological collapse, or the wrath of Coki's "Spongebob," something will probably come along and destroy all of us, right?
Sometimes it seems equally difficult to conceive of dubstep without a pervasive apocalyptic mood. If the world does in fact end, perhaps some of us some will go to heaven (the futuristic dance party that Detroit electronic producers have been mythologizing for the past quarter century) and some will go elsewhere (a dark, mental hole in which cudgel-like dubstep drops are infinitely rewound and replayed and rewound again). Everyone knows by now that dub is a weapon, but tracks like "I'm Loving" by D1, the Kode 9 remix of Massive Music's "Find My Way," Burial's "Raver," Caspa's Art of Noise edit, and "Temple Ball" by Gravious (to name a few) are a reminder that dub isn't always a weapon. Here's the latest release from Hyperdub... this stuff has the futuristic flavor of Skream's "Tech-Appeal" and "2-D," and it manages to eschew the eschatological tendencies that are so hard to avoid these days. Mechanical music for the mechanized soul, which might not be just a ghost in the machine after all.
Ikonika - "Simulacrum" [alt link]
This one is a real keeper: Manuel Göttsching performs an extended live version of the kraut classic "Sunrain" from the 1976 Ash Ra Tempel album New Age of Earth. The original is one of my all time favorite synthesizer-krautrock songs... and when I listen to this recording from last year, it's hard to deny that Göttsching remains a significant contemporary presence in the world of electronic music, even when he's just rehashing his own favorites from three decades ago.
Manuel Göttsching - "Sunrain (Live at Mount Fuji 2007)" [alt link]
Speaking of contemporary "krautrock," here are some West coast grooves from Paper. This stuff beats Fujiya & Miyagi, at any rate...
Paper - "Love"
So I managed to track down a promo of Benga's Diary of an Afro Warrior. For a dubstep LP, it is admirably consistent, but some moments are better than others. This one was a bit surprising...
Benga - "Someone 20"
More moody dub from Martyn. No heavy drops here - just steadily paced, head-nodding smoothness.
Martyn - "Velvet"