Ace of Bass
I know it's not even halfway through the year yet, but I've already cast my vote for Album 0f 2008.
21 year old Londoner Beni Uthman, aka Benga, was responsible for the biggest dubstep anthem of 2007, the infectious 'Night' (a joint effort with Coki, one half of DMZ). Some of you may have caught him when he played his Irish debut at Sibín festival a few weekends ago.
Now his highly anticipated album, Diary of an Afro Warrior, looks set to do for dubstep what Roni Size's 'New Forms' did for drum and bass, and bring the genre from the underground to the mainstream.
A work of incredible confidence and maturity, the album's tremendous crossover appeal lies in Benga's wide-ranging influences, from hip hop, electro breaks, wobbly bass, minimal techno and house.
Stand-out track '26 Basslines' features the most epic deep, groaning bass I've ever heard - listening to it loud gives you that weird vibrato in your throat and a shiver down your spine. Likewise, atmospheric closing track 'Loose Synths' has an ethereal quality somewhat reminiscent of some tracks on 'New Forms', with the titular synths squelching over skittering beats.
A ground-breaking, beautiful album that represents an evolution in dubstep. And the typography on the cover is also beautiful. Good shit outta Benga.
26 Basslines (zshare) (YSI)
Loose Synths (zshare) (YSI)