Initially we were late comers to Magnetic Man. Aside from a mention after the trio of Croyden dubstep originators, Skream, Benga and Artwork, landed the cover of NME we didn't give it much heed until it surfaced—courtesy of our good friend Roy Shay—that it "I Need Air" was the anthem at Big Chill '10. Now they've got our undivided attention. We've given their self-titled debut a couple of spins through today. Initial reactions:
- It's the second best album of it's kind that we've heard this year.
- We can't help but think it sounds like an extension of Skream's Outside the Box (which we recently reviewed), the first best album of it's kind we've heard this year.
- That said, you do sense Benga's presence in the studio and are glad for it.
- Nit picking aside, it's fantastic and we hope it makes these dudes famous.
- Katy B is awesome.
- It's crazy that they landed John Legend. Dubstep may yet crossover with this kind of backing.
- Ms. Dynamite sounds as bad ass as she did on "Boo," a song we haven't thought about in ages and are going to dig out the minute we're done with this rant.
The latest single, "Perfect Stranger," has a new video which we've posted below. Much more so than past videos, which have just been shots from shows, this one paints a cool picture of a British clashing of class. Street kids scuffle with riot police after knocking down on of Britain's ubiquitous eyes in the sky. Katy B runs off and a dashing young cop chases after, only for them to have a bit of a moment in a back alley. Has a touch of Romeo and Juliet to it that way.
Also making the rounds is live footage from BBC Radio's Maida Vale studio—where Gilles Peterson frequents to get all of his amazing in studio sessions for World Wide. This particular take is from Zane Lowe's primetime slot (the Magnetic Man record is coming out on Columbia after all, fully positioned to be a British chart topper). With the three boys lined up behind laptops, a full string section taking over the synth melodies and Katy looking all shy as she belts it out, I surely hope a song that adds this much of a pop sensibility to dubstep and drum 'n' bass can make it to the top of the charts. Now if only the same could even be a remote possibility in the U.S.... Look out for the track on our next podcast, soon come.
—Joshua P. Ferguson
—Joshua P. Ferguson