Posted by: Dominic Umile | 09/28/2009

September Commutes II: Mary Anne Hobbs, Guardian, more

Fall ColorsHaving experienced the absolute lunacy dealt by dubstep giants Skream and Benga last weekend in the city (vids here), there has mostly been that sort of thing in my headphones of late. I’ve been working on a couple of things that require some attentive listening, but in between, it’s been love for the low-end, some “Sunday morning” techno from Lusine, and some rock stuff. I’ll continue to keep this space updated with my music writings as they’re published elsewhere, but for now…have a look at what’s been playing especially for me on the G train. Downloads and details below.

Wild AngelsMary Anne Hobbs was in town last Friday night w/ Pinch for a dub war night at NYC’s Love. That place offers a positively splitting headache for anyone in attendance; I checked out a dubstep night there years ago, and went last fall to see The Bug (it was eventually was past my bedtime before he & Warrior Queen went on and I had to bail), and let me tell you, the sound system is absolutely absurd. Anyway, I missed Hobbs and co. because I intended to check out Skream and Benga at the Trouble & Bass party on the subsequent night, and too much bass music in 24 hours makes me cranky. Hobbs has been undeniably instrumental in championing experimental electronic music for years, with a lauded BBC Radio1 program and now three compilations on Planet Mu. Her Wild Angels collection is superb–there are cuts here from an eclectic array of producers based in the States and abroad. It offers adventurous strains of electronic hip hop hybrids, techno, dubstep, and more. I would say my favorites are contributed by Untold (get his XLR8R podcast free at their redesigned site), Darkstar (don’t have Need You? Get it), and of course, Nosaj Thing, but you read about the latter HERE, right? Check out PlugOne for more details.

Dubstep EssentialsI’ve written about Guardian here before; his first Dubstep Essentials mix appeared over at ISO50 in July, and the new chapter is there, for free download, as of mid-September. It’s huge. Guardian launches with a track from A Setting Sun–which is one of the monikers under which our host records haunting, hazy ambient stuff–and before you know it, classic wobblers from Pinch, Loefah (check 2007’s monstrous “It’s Yours” at 14:55), and Skream bump up against The Bug, Martyn, Ramadanman, an unreleased Guardian dub, and more. At 50 plus minutes, you simply have to grab this one.

Infinite LightLightning Dust’s sophomore record is a stunner. It’s my first encounter with this act, which splits its time with its other outfit, Black Mountain. Part hypnotic country and part densely layered pop balladry, the pastures on Infinite Light are wide open. There is such a wealth of sturdy songwriting here, fitted with sparkling organ tones and gentle acoustic strumming; I’m not even sure I have a particular track to point out. “Wondering What Everyone Knows” stirs a bit more each time the hi-hats open for the chorus, while the road trip-ready “I Knew” only really threatens to explode, easing off the gas pedal when you least expect it. Let Anthony Lombardi at PopMatters tell you all about it here, and get a couple of songs here.

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