Kieran Rates: Starkey Feat. Charli Xcx – 'lost In Space'
Kieran Yates is one of the most well-known music journalists in the UK and, having written for the likes of The Guardian, The Independent, Red Bull and Dazed & Confused, she will now be sharing some of her knowledge with The Wrap Up in a new weekly column, 'Kieran Rates'. In the column, Kieran will handpick some of her favourite tracks from grime, hip-hop, dubstep and beyond...
It’s always interesting to me when fans out of the UK have a great appreciation for dubstep. Earlier in the year, I was in Miami for the Ultra Music Festival, and I was struck at how much the locals loved our homegrown sound.
Though a bit weird, the American accents in the crowd screaming for Skream and Benga were an insight into how far the genre has come since my memories of underground raves. So popular, that even its sub-genres have come been notable this year. Post-dubstep is arguably on its way to outselling its predecessor, with releases from the likes of James Blake, Jamie XX, Ramadamman and SBTRKT.
This leads me to my pick of this week from Starkey. Hailing from Philly, which is a long way from dubstep’s London-centric origins, the producer has come out with an impressive body of work, all nestling itself firmly under the post-dubstep umbrella. Most recently featuring on Mistajam’s 'Daily Dose of Dubstep', and receiving great reviews from his last LP, 'Lost in Space' is taken from the album released earlier in the month, 'Space Traitor: Volume 2'.
The track features vocals from 17-year-old UK singer Charli XCX, and echoes the sounds we’ve come to enjoy from post-dub: bass-driven with a measure of skippy, broken beats. The (almost painfully) slow start and ambient build up lead to the jerky vocals that Charlie XCX finally delivers three minutes in.
It’s these qualities that give Starkey his distinctly sci-fi feel. I love it when people have a clear concept that can be heard throughout their music, and the robotic jolts – teamed with the borderline cheesy intro – give a dreamy, space-like feel, while still being energetic to (slowly) skank along to.
Speaking on the track, Starkey told me: "The next logical progression in my production and sound. Charli XCX definitely brings the track to the next level. It's a track that I spent a lot of time revising in the studio, and it really takes the listener on a journey." A weird, awkward journey that you might not be sure of, but still worth a listen.
Starkey Feat. Charli XCX: 'Lost In Space' - is out now.
Stay up to date with Starkey on Twitter - www.twitter.com/StarkbotBeats
Words: Kieran Yates (@Kieran_Yates)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)