Orbits is Starkey’s 3rd studio album. The latest thrilling installment in his ‘street bass’ odyssey, the Philly producer draws on grime, hip-hop, electro, bass music and beyond to blast off with his most accomplished and fully realized album yet. Starkey’s intricately crafted, sci-fi inspired tracks escape the intro-drop-breakdowndrop formula of most dance music thanks to a more expansive, ambitious approach.
Epic opener Renegade Starship paves the way for the heavy-hitting Command, (which, along with remixes by Plastician, Drums Of Death, Noisses, Pedro123, DS1 and others, is availalble on 12″/Download here) The album continues to straddle straight club tracks (see The Shuttle, Dystopia) and more ambient offerings (Crashing Sphere, Synchronize) throughout.
Huge drums, Southern rap style high hats and Vangelis-like fizzing synths are deployed to dramatic effect, and the energy and aggression of grime pervade the record. Starkey – real name Paul Geissinger, and PJ to friends – has carved out a unique space in electronic music. His explorations in the unnamed airspace between grime and dubstep have earned respect from both camps, despite them being predominately British pursuits and Starkey being an American outsider whose music isn’t solely confined to either genre.
Starkey released his debut album 2008’s ‘Ephemeral Exhibits‘ and this sophomore, 2010’s ‘Ear Drums and Black Holes‘, on the Planet Mu Label. Both received critical acclaim and showcased his unique take on Grime and Bass music. He subsequently released the ‘Space Traitor‘ series (Vol.1 & Vol.2) on Civil Music and his genre spanning ‘Open the Pod Bay Doors EP‘ on Ninja Tune. Starkey’s music brims with big synths and bigger drums. Hard-edged hip-hop and scything bass mix, at times, mix with almost classical compositions and element, but it’s Grime that remains at the forefront of his sound, ever more so on ‘Orbits’
Since his last album Starkey has been doing production work for Tinie Tempah and Foreign Beggars, worked with Kosheen’s Sian Evans and released several collaborations with one time Roll Deep member Trim. ‘Command’ also gets the Trim treatment appearing as “Light Years” featuring on the MC’s collaboration release with Roachee, “The Nangesst EP” which is out now. P Money, Badness, Durrty Goodz, Kozzie and Merky Ace have also manned the mics for Starkey on releases for ‘No Hats No Hoods’ & ‘Keysound’ amongst others. These collabs sit in his extensive catalog of releases which also includes wax for Werk Discs, Lo Dubs, Rwina and more.
– Artwork by Pete Hawkes.