Monday, 2 August 2010

Magnetic Man - I Need Air

There are around 9 million people in Britain in Britain who are registered deaf or have a serious hearing impairment. And me. The other 53 million denizens of this Fayre isle will already have heard Magnetic Man's new single "I Need Air", owing to the serious playtime it's been getting on Radio 1.

I approached the track with trepidation. Is a dubstep supergroup really what the world needed? Does this signal The Day The Dubstep Died (or was that the day Zeke from Neighbours ran away to a squat to become a dubstep DJ?) Either way, I needn't have worried, because the track delivers, and then some.

It begins with euphoric ravey synths, four simple notes incanting a stabbing, staccato rhythm, before growing into a lush, anthemic beauty. Breathy vocals sound overheated, evoking those "special" moments where, derenched in sweat and all danced out, we need to fill out lungs with oxygen (and let's face it, which of us haven't needed, um, a little time outside once in a while?)

Most noticeable though is what this isn't. Dubstep is evolving. Whilst Flying Lotus and Kode 9 are taking dubstep into more expansive, psychedelic territories, Magnetic Man is unmistakably aimed at the heart of the mainstream. Whilst the drumbeat is identifiably dubstep, the tune is classic rave. And that's no bad thing. Whereas it's hard to imagine 11 year kids pouring over their 12" Digital Mystikz vinyl, this is accessible, music for anyone to dance to.

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