• Mary Anne Hobbs - Warrior Dubz

    Reviewed by Boomkat (Boomkat)

    <b> Mary Anne Hobbs </b> - Warrior Dubz

    Considering how young a genre Dubstep is, it's astonishing what a broad and textured palate of sound has been incorporated by the various proponents. Pretty much dictated by white labels and limited runs, dubstep has nonetheless been a slippery beast to grab hold of for the more causal listener; and that's where Mary Anne Hobbs comes in. Wielding the dubstep torch with genuine pleasure, Mary Anne's Breezeblock has been a crucial touchstone for those beyond the pirate's transmit zone - bringing seething 12"s and polemical live sets to the BBC. Now granted her own compilation by the Planet Mu peeps, 'Warrior Dubs' is a breathless journey through the dubstep infirmary - with everyone from Burial and Benga, through to Andy Stott and Loefah making an appearance. Opening through the Milanese / Virus Syndicate collision of 'Dead Man Walking', Mary Anne is evidently up for a ruck - with eroded concrete beats collapsing all around as the bass throbs and vocals punch holes in your cochlea. In your face and remorseless, we're flushed from here into the path of Benga's 'Music Box'; a strutting amalgam of vibrating low-ends, hot-to-trot beats and twinkling melodies. After the furnace blast introduction, it comes as something of an aural balm... Intelligent and displaying a firm grasp of the genre's key tributaries, 'Warrior Dubz' chucks in a welcome curve-ball with Andy Stott's 'Black' - wherein a thrumming techno beat is covered in urban twighlight, before Amit's 'Too Many Freedoms' takes over in similarly steely style. Elsewhere, the wunder-kid Burial offers up the dip-dive dubstep of 'Versus', DMZ fire off 'Anti War Dub' thereby cementing the soundsystem connection, whilst DJ Distance lays out the gloopy melodies of 'Worries Again' for some Grime leakage. Extinguishing all worries about the potential dilution of the genre in the face of a compilation, Mary Anne Hobbs has proven why she's a proper warrior Queen! Definitive...

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