It feels weird calling music old skool when it's little more than two or three years in the can, but dubstep's blitzkrieg colonisation of popular culture means that anybody taking even a glance backwards can find the view like a lost world.
Pinch - aka Rob Ellis - can probably have more justification than most in claiming a major part in the genre's incredible rise from metropolitan underground to the mainstream. From Bristol - importantly the twin epicentre of this explosion alongside South East London - his Tectonic label has released work by a host of the movement's pioneers including Skream, Benga and Flying Lotus. What's possibly less widely acknowledged is his role as a remixer/producer, a personal injustice that MIA 2006-2010 should go a long way towards addressing.
It's been a long time coming as well, after his début - 2007's Underwater Dancehall - was released to critical approval. Given the limitations of the compilation format, there are plenty of things MIA could've been - disjointed, unfocussed and subject to fluctuations in quality - but it's testimony to Ellis' talents that all of these pitfalls are avoided. Arranged in chronological order to appease the 'spotter nature of its potential audience, the hand-picked contents are full of enough tics and self-expression to keep everyone interested. Opener Qawwali drips with all the archetypes we've become so familiar with from the movement; stuttering rhythms, gut wrenching sub bass, and a synthesised air of menace and regret.
Continue reading: Pinch - MIA 2006-2010 Album Review