Boomkat Product Review:
One of the scene's youngest and brightest talents finally drops off his debut album proper for Tempa, and needless to say, it's mucking fassive. Benga has been an integral cog in the dubstep machine since the genres inception, producing his first genre defining e.p at the tender age of 16, with 'Skank/dose' on the original dubstep label, Big Apple, and has since proceeded to rule the scene with a slew of irrefutably influential releases for everyone from Planet Mu to Hot Flush, and his own Benga Beats imprint. Alongside his school pal Ollie Jones, aka Skream, Benga has come to define this particularly virulent and effective strain of the the hardcore continuum known as dubstep, marrying a rudeboy raving attitude with a devastatingly raw production talent and passion for bass to come up with the freshest dancefloor sound currently coming out of the UK. Kicking off with the jazzing juxtaposition of 'Zero M2', the CD moves through outright anthem 'Night' onto the massive 'B4 the dual', placing Moondog style big band wind instrumentation over a skipping Benga special, with unreal effects. Why isn't this on the vinyl copy fo f*cks sake?!?! Again, another CD only cut, 'someone 20' shows another previously unheard side to benga, with a slack and moody electro disco cut sounding quite unlike anything we've ever heard from him before. The album moves through more anthems on 'Crunked up' before arriving at electro hardcore beast 'go tell them' sounding like it could have come from Luke Vibert's Spac Hand Luke project. In the albums final 3rd, the lights are dimmed for the awesome run of 'emotions' (the b-side to 'night'), followed by '3 minutes' and the tranced out minimalism of 'pleasure', indicating very exciting new directions for dubstep as it embraces the funky house and techno scenes and moves slightly away from the skunked out rave bliss of yesteryear. The CD copy also includes the alternative ending of 'loose synths' with Benga rolling up for a velvet smooth landing with some darkly opulent synthwork, sharing more in common with Italo or European electro than anything vaguely dubstep. Seriously classy stuff, the cd/digital edition in particular.