Beautiful Death: The Last Mary Anne Hobbs

The choice of Claro Intelecto’s “Beautiful Death” as the penultimate song on the last Mary Anne Hobbs show was intended to send a message that needn’t be explicitly...
By    September 9, 2010


The choice of Claro Intelecto’s “Beautiful Death” as the penultimate song on the last Mary Anne Hobbs show was intended to send a message that needn’t be explicitly articulated. The doyenne of dubstep is far too bright and self-aware to crow about how important she’s been to its ascent. Besides, she has plenty of others to do it for her. Plus, a pair of impeccably curated compilations that serve as concrete testament to her prescience.

Dubstep has been the proverbial “next next” since the first Burial record in 2006, but America’s always been a late adopter to British trends. So nearly a half-decade after Hobbs’ legendary Dubstep Warz special, it’s only this year that teenagers scream “dubstep” at Kode9 and the Gaslamp Killer, two DJ/producers whose recent beats veer closer to house music and Stones Throw psych, respectively. Flying Lotus is branded dubstep. Hudson Mohawke is too. Drowned in Sound is penning massive Dubstep retrospectives (which you should read). Rusko produced for Britney Spears. Suffice to say, the word is analogous to “indie”-a once-appropriate term for a genre that had so much success it essentially became useless. By my estimate, we’re about ten minutes away from the dubstep Collective Soul.

Without Mary Anne Hobbs, I suspect that dubstep would’ve had a similar trajectory.  No matter how self-important journalists think they are, the reality is that someone else would’ve probably filled the same role. But it’s clear that no one could’ve done it as well as Hobbs, who not only served as one of the sub-genre’s most eloquent (if occasionally hyperbolic) champions, but also one of the best at plucking raw talent from the Soundcloud and Bandcamp babble. Like buying Wu-Tang Forever, all you had to do was listen to the Mary Anne Hobbs show and you didn’t even need to go to summer school.

Sach described the final show as ” historic and not in the Juelz Santana adlib sense.”  Though I’m reticent to use that other spavined adjective, it’s fitting. Sheffield University tailor-made a position for Hobbs and academia is a plush gig compared to the rigors and paltry pay of the journalism and public broadcasting world. She’s leaving on her terms, with a genre that she helped incubate atomizing into a dozen distinct but fluid realms, to the point of where journalists are coming up with self-defeating genre tags like “aquacrunk.”

Aided by stellar guest turns from Kode9 and the erstwhile William Bevan, her final program plays like a victory trot. Anyone who signs off with the Prodigy remix of “Release Yo Delf,” will be sadly missed, but I suspect Hobbs will make her presence and tastes felt in another forum — probably sooner than later.  In the interim, the final program is predictably outstanding — any beautiful death needs a proper Burial. –Weiss


MP3: Mary Anne Hobbs ft. Burial & Kode- 9/09/10 Sendoff Show (Left-Click)

MP3: Burial & Kode9-“Mary Anne Hobbs Mix 9/09/10

MP3: Method Man-“Release Yo Delf” (Prodigy Remix)

MP3: Claro Intelecto-“Beautiful Death”

1. Drumcorps – Terrible Things
2. Vex’d – Lion VIP
3. Braiden – The Alps
4. Gonja Sufi & The Gaslamp Killer – Change (from the LP ‘A Sufi & A Killer)
5. Jahbitat & Daniel Gutteriez – Tonado Tel Tormento (from the ‘Dublab Presents: Echo Expansion’ compilation)
6. Uma Thurman & John Travolta – Fox Force Five joke
7. Sepalcure – Your Love
8. Rakim – I Know You Got Soul Version
9. Al’Tourettes – Swan Sketch
10. Subtle – Long Vein Of The Law feat Mike Patton and Alexis Anne
11. Jacques Green – Tell Me
12. Misty in Roots – Mankind (from the LP ‘Live At The Counter Eurovision 79′)
13. Aphex Twin – ‘i’ (from ‘Selected Ambient Works 85-92′)
14. Burial – Fostercare

1. Speedy J – Tesla
2. Zomby – Natalia’s Song
3. Brandy – Never Say Never (El-B version 1)
4. Brandy – Never Say Never (El-B version 2)
5. Brandy – Angel (X-Men vocal mix)
6. Laurie Spiegel – Voices Within – A Requiem
7. Alena – Turn It Around (Hard House Bantons
8. Cooly G – He Da Biz
9. Theo Parrish – Soul Control feat. Alena Waters
10. KMFH aka Kyle Hall – Girl U So Strong (Wild Oats)
11. Terror Danjah – S.O.S.
12. Darkstar – 2 Chords
13. Prince – Condition of the Heart
14. Erykah Badu – Telephone
15. Foul Play – Being With U Rmx
16. A Guy called Gerald – Silent Cry

16. Kode9 – Black Sun
17. Method Man – Release Yo’ Delf (Prodigy Remix)
18. Mosca – Nike (Club Edit)
19. Monkey Mafia – Work Mi Body feat Patra & scratches by Krash Slaughta
20. Ikonika – Yoshimitsu (from the LP ‘Contact, Want, Love, Have’)
21. Pudge – Awesome
22. Airhead – Paper Street
23. Billie Holiday – Yesterdays (Junior Boys Remix)
24. Seaming – Vertigo Billy
25. Claro Intelecto – Beautiful Death
26. Ms Dynamite & Oris Jay – Tes Dis

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