Why Listen? For quirky goodness; to see how context can conjoin the most disparate genres.
To my way of thinking, dubstep is one of the sonic styles least likely to stimulate creativity. Largely atonal, almost always lacking lyrics, and unrelentingly aggressive, this sort of electronic music seems best suited for clubs or festivals or any similar such venue where frenetic motion and elective ingestion of exotic chemicals is de rigueur. Or so I believed until happening upon Varien & Razihel’s “Toothless Hawkins (And His Robot Jazz Band).” A collaboration between a pair of up-and-coming DJs, the track fuses dubstep with (of all things) jazz, smoothly swinging between laid-back drums and jaunty horns to glitchy modulated bass and chirpy chiptune effects. What keeps it from becoming merely a creative musical curio is the initial opening. The high-bred voice of one Lady Gillespie announces the date as July 5, 2050, before introducing the titular Toothless Hawkins with his mechanical accompanists and -- wham! Just like that it all comes together. Why shouldn’t robots buffer a homage to Louis Armstrong with music more akin to their own making? Context can conjoin the most disparate genres.