Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2011-01-25


Blow Your Head: Diplo Presents Dubstep (Downtown/Mad Decent, 2010) Though by now the cognoscenti slot him as a blunt-force popularizer, Maya's unchivalrous ex will pass as a semi-popular tastemaker for the loikes of me and probably you. If you really want to, you can even dance to this moneygram from Club Downer--I've seen it happen in my own apartment. The beats are there even when the drums aren't. The electronics are suitably dark without ever approaching sadism or tedium. Lil Jon's fake thug is matched stereotype for stereotype by a British actor making dastardly threats in practiced Cockney. Major Lazer provides fake patois. There's even a lady vampire sounding suspiciously like a disco dolly in forlorn ballad mode. A-

Scion CD Sampler v. 28--Dub Police (Scion AV, 2010) Doubting my powers of judgment while prospecting for single-artist gold or at least promissory notes, I dipped into half a dozen failed tips while this simplistic stuff continued to please. So call me dumb, why should I care? Midtempo of course, with Dub Police label head Caspa and his paleskin posse extending stick-to-the-tympanum little synth motives into gallumphing lilts that only rarely--on Unitz' "Light ina Distance," say--approach what anyone in Notting Hill would call dubwise. Danceable if you or any of your flatmates is so inclined, its basic function is environmental--and also, some hustler has convinced Toyota, making young consumers think its boxy little cars are cool. B+

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