Magnetic Man – Eclipse

The debut album from dubstep trio Skream, Benga and Artwork, in the guise of Magnetic Man, came out this week and as I love it so much, and their previous work together, I’ve decided to have a rare SWS post without an image to accompany it to mark the occasion. Yes that’s right, I’m once again flexing my rules for the blog a little bit. That’s not to say that there isn’t a really obvious image to accompany the above, it’s just that I unfortunately, have not yet taken it – and eclipses are actually pretty rare here in the UK.

Magnetic Man started out life as a live project for the three dubstep dons a few years ago, but only really came to prominence last year when they released the Cyberman EP, a three-tracker from which Eclipse is drawn. I’ve already mentioned my love of Skream’s work (in particular brilliantly diverse his album from earlier this year, Outside the Box) and used one of his songs for this short film I made over the summer: Model Village, so it’s no surprise that I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while.

Having listened to the album a few times, my initial fears that Magnetic Man were at risk of becoming a dubstep Pendulum have been more than sated, and I think, hope, that they are actually looking more likely to end up doing for dubstep what Prodigy did for rave – growing up with it, embracing it, taking its best bits and then repackaging them so subtly and cleverly that they can be sold to a completely different type of consumer. Seeing Magnetic Man doing this is in many ways even more exciting than what Prodigy did, because when they did it back in the 90s, mainstream dance music wasn’t the stale husk of its former self that it is today – if Magnetic Man can build on their genre-specifc sucesses and manage to change dance music in the same way electroclash did nearly a decade ago, it will be a fine thing indeed. They even reference Prodigy’s biggest hit in the next single set to be released from the album, the Miss Dynamite fronted Fire, when the singer refers to herself as a firestarter.

You can buy the album from Amazon here or download it from iTunes: Magnetic Man – Magnetic Man. Both stores have the expanded special edition, but the £9.99 iTunes version features an excellent mixed version of the full album too.

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