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Benga Diary of an Afro Warrior

  • Words: Matt Earp
  • Label: Tempa
  • XLR8R Rating: 8/10

Dubstep has forever chased the island sound. From the “dub” in its name to the endless riffs on classic Jamaican tunes, dubstep expresses the piece of the British heart that has always tended toward reggae. Benga, however, explicitly seeks to incorporate electro into this sound, and by extension its particular black-futurist ideas. And that fusion makes this album totally awesome, from the vocoder-laden vocals on “Go Tell Them” to the jerky synths and handclaps of “Crunked Up.” The scene’s second true breakout hit, “Night,” sounds great as always, but ultimately it’s slinky and genuinely weird tunes like “26 Basslines” that make the album a real accomplishment. Fearless experimentation pays off.

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