Diary of an Afro Warrior
This is the second full-length release by the UK's Benga. One of the original dubstep pioneers, Benga's Diary of an Afro Warrior is one of the most highly-anticipated albums of the year. If Burial's Untrue dominated 2007's end-of-year critics charts, then it's odds on Diary of an Afro Warrior will do the same in 2008. Dubstep's trickle into the mainstream has been steady; Skream and Burial alike have nudged the door open. Benga is undoubtedly the force to smash it through and take dubstep to another level. "Night," the anthemic underground smash track lifted from the album has literally had ravers from countless club scenes, DJs and grandparents whistling and humming its infectious melody for months now. In addition to becoming the first dubstep record to be playlisted on BBC Radio 1, Night represented Benga's tipping point for many DJs and music lovers across the globe, including Gilles Peterson, Ricardo Villalobos, Pete Tong, Zane Lowe, Annie Mac, Herve, Shy FX and many others, regardless of genre. So we know how well "Night" has been received, can we say the same of the album? Once the journey begins, it is clear what all the fuss is about, neither relying on incessant wobbling bass lines to grab attention nor sailing toward the "coffee table" banner, Benga has managed to create an album with duality. For times when your ear is keen and your speakers are of the Bang & Olufsen ilk, the intelligence and quality of production shines through. The superb dance-ability, grooves and emotions remain present on even the tinniest of speakers. Herein lies Benga's massive crossover appeal. Much more than just a straight dubstep album, the tracks on Diary... have been favorably compared to such names as Carl Craig, Underground Resistance, Reprazent and Massive Attack. Vinyl version contains significantly different track line-up, with five tracks not found on the CD.