Starkey Skewers Dubstep for Pop Purposes at Respectable

Dubstep triggers either immediate body-jostling or a dismissive smirk. Either way, it's impossible not to react to Philadelphia producer Starkey's approach to the genre, which is more akin to skirting it. Making bass-heavy music is the easy part, but adding enough pop twists to keep it compelling is something else altogether. Starkey released his second album, Ear Drums and Black Holes, in April via Planet Mu, and nobody's smirking now. With nods to U.K. grime and a wealth of downtempo funk, Starkey "started on some street shit, took it to the club," to quote the album's "Club Games." Each track explores different textures by combining the rawest Atari-influenced bleeps with more-sophisticated synths. And don't forget about the throbbing, pounding, thundering, wobbling, toenail-chattering bass. Starkey's stop at Respectable is his last on U.S. soil before he jets off for a date in Greece.


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