Benga, XI, Phaded vs. Chris Widman | Smart Bar | Dance | Chicago Reader
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Benga, XI, Phaded vs. Chris Widman 

When: Thu., June 11, 10 p.m. 2009
Price: $15, $10 before midnight
Of all the styles that have built on the drum ’n’ bass beat—everything from glitchy IDM to post-Timbaland hip-hop—the genre’s most legitimate spiritual heir is dubstep. It put the brakes on the frantic tempos of drum ’n’ bass, steered it toward its roots in dub reggae, and sunk what was already a frequently dark style right into the Challenger Deep. Benga’s 2008 Diary of an Afro Warrior (Tempa) is a good place for dubstep novices to jump aboard. Its beats stutter less recklessly than some, its synths are big and wobbly but not overwhelmingly dense, and Benga—much like drum ’n’ bass great LTJ Bukem—is good at cooking up a pleasantly spacey vibe and working uncheesy touches of jazz into the mix. XI and Phaded vs. Chris Widman open. —Miles Raymer

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