There Is a Libertarian Dubstep Guy, Obviously

His name is Porter Robinson, he's 19 years old, and he's already playing sold-out shows in L.A. on the strength of songs like "The State," an aggro-electro stadium-pounder built around a clip from the audiobook version of long-ago Reason columnist Murray Rothbard's For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto

Check out the Nintendo break around the five minute mark. Pretty clever!

In an interview with L.A. Weekly earlier this month, Robinson said he's not politically active, but he does have a lot of anarchist friends who he identifies with:

How did "The State" come about?
That song is interesting to me because I just wanted to see if I could do something that would fit into the dubstep world. Then I stumbled across this sample [Murray Rothbard's For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto, read by author Jeff Riggenbach].

I always had a lot of anarchists friends and I listened to their posts and engaged in that conversation. I sort of identify with that politically. I thought that was a natural marriage -- very aggressive dubstep and that sort of rhetoric. I even chopped up the sample. I took the part that I thought was the most compelling. The most compelling anti-statist argument, I always found, is that taxation is armed robbery because -- I'm getting really into it now-- taxation is essentially armed robbery because every government action is backed by the threat of force. 

Here's Robinson on what happens when you mix libertarianism with the latest in trendy, Americanized Brit dance music:  

It's probably the only dubstep song I've seen that's been picked up by libertarian blogs.

I also found that hilarious. They totally recognized some of the silliness of it too. I was actually thrilled by that.

I feel like there's a certain demographic of people out there that thinks dubstep is hilarious and ridiculous and stupid. There are also people who have the best time mocking libertarians. Ron Paul is a punchline to them. Hopefully, they never stumble across that song because I would look like such an ass. But, whatever, there's always going to be critics.

I'll admit to some confusion about dubstep myself: I've listened to more than a handful of records that are supposed to represent the genre, but I'm not quite sure what to make of a musical label that's supposed to capture everything from Robinson's industrial stompers to James Blake's glitchy singer-songwriter routine, as well as Sepalcure, The Knife, and a dozen other sounds in between. But I suppose it's nice to know that libertarians are represented somewhere in the mix. 

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  • Colonel_Angus||

    I'm not going to listen to this thing but sampling movie and speech quotes is cliche.

  • ||

    But it takes very little talent! What are you, an elitist?

  • ||

    Robinson is a 19-year-old whose interest in electronic music was fueled by his pre-teen fascination with the video game Dance Dance Revolution.


  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I'm with you. Although I think I'm even older.

  • ||

    If you're feeling that now, you have a lot of pain ahead of you, dude.

  • anon||

    Fuck, I'm old now too. Plus, DDR = shit.

  • Mensan||

    I realized I was old the day I heard a song that came out when I was in high school on a classic rock station.

  • I Come Anon||

  • Apatheist||

    Can't wait for the new The Knife albums coming out in the coming year.

  • spencer||

    Sometimes I feel hope for the youth of america.

  • ||

    Forced to test with a cleaner name again:

    Wow, a whole musical(?) genre I've never heard of, which this article doesn't make me want to learn more about.

  • spencer||

    As someone who works with youth, it is a growing musical trend. And, from what I can tell, this was pretty good in relative terms.

  • Name Nomad||

    I don't like the "electronica" genre of music much, but I like dubstep somewhat. It's the "industrial" of electronic music in that it's grating, meaningless, and kind of annoying if you're not used to it. For what it's worth, this kid's song seems pretty good for the genre.

    And now a metal/dubstep fusion mostly for Warty.

  • Ben Jarrell||

    I'm pretty sure industrial is the "industrial" of electronic music.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I have become aware of dubstep via my teenage daughter and also a Wimp video and then YouTube videos. She likes Skrillex and went to his concert a few weeks back.

    I actually kinda sorta like a couple of the songs I've heard, but it all very quickly starts to sound the same and become repetitive and monotonous.

    But then again, my father said the same thing about Led Zeppelin and The Doors when I was a teenager listening to that stuff too loud.

  • ||

    But then again, my father said the same thing about Led Zeppelin and The Doors when I was a teenager listening to that stuff too loud.

    Well, sure, every generation slams the next generation's music, etc. etc. Here's the thing, though:

    It seems pretty plausible that at some point in human history, at least just once, there actually will be bad music that actually is repetitive and monotonous.

    And so when the people who happen to make up "the older generation" during said period criticize the music, they will in fact be correct -- and not merely guilty of kneejerk "in my day" cliches.

    I think it's highly possible that we are living in such an age.

  • ||

    (I should have picked a harmless handle that was easier to spell.)

    Anyhoo, I agree with TomD about the necessary existence of repetitive and monotonous bad music. My own tastes lean to classical, and I have to say that some of the stuff available now reminds me that a lot of composers and their works have been forgotten for a reason.

  • ||

    Good question.

  • ||

    Republicans: Born in the USA
    Democrats: The Macarena
    Libertarians: The State

  • ||

    Uh... I don't think Bruce Springsteen is a Republican.

  • ||

    Peter, James Blake is good, but I like Burial better as representative of what's good about the genre. This might be my favorite.

  • Joel||

    Amen! Try also:

    Ifan Dafydd

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    I'm glad to see James Blake has found something else to do. I liked watching him play. He had a good aggressive baseline style. Great, flat forehand. Backhand was shit, though. Too bad he hit his peak at the same time Federer did and got owned by Roger repeatedly.

  • ||

    Yeah, Dubstep can be pretty formulaic but you gotta love how the beats make you feel like you're having a seizure.

  • ||

  • Bumpin||

    Bought it on amazon and added it to my running/pre-hockey playlist. Well done kid...

  • juris imprudent||

    I feel like there's a certain demographic of people out there that thinks dubstep is hilarious and ridiculous and stupid.

    [raises hand]

  • Otter||

    Enjoyed the track. I hope he sticks around.

  • Joe M||

    I don't care what you classic rock fogeys say, I like electronic music, and dubstep can be entertaining. This is pretty good.

  • Brett L||

    Anything can be made dubstep, even LOTR

  • Nipplemancer||

    I want to like it. I just can't because it's exactly how I heard music when I did lots of K in high school.

  • Joe M||

    I wouldn't be surprised if dissociative anesthetics had something to do with the birth of the genre.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    That track just fried my synapses. I really should start taking drugs again.

  • ||

    Where is my hat tip!?

  • ||

    I had never listened to dubstep before. From what I can tell, it's not doing anything that, say, Ministry and Skinny Puppy didn't do a better job of 20 years ago.

  • ||

    I really don't care for it tbh.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Dubstep is way more dance-able than 80's/90's dark electronica, imo.

  • Ben Jarrell||

    I agree. Dubstep is electronic music for people who are tired of happy gay techno and want something aggressive but haven't ever heard of industrial.

  • ||

    But then again, I like things like Finntroll, so my taste is suspect.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    But then again, I like things like Finntroll, so my taste is suspect.

    You need no support for your proposition.

  • juris imprudent||

    Every time you open your mouth you prove that is the only place your sense of taste resides. But we all love you anyway.

  • Jim Treacher||

    The great thing about libertarian dubstep is that twice as many people have no idea what it is.

  • Amerifuntimes||


  • ||

    I am rocking it right now. My co-workers are filled with fear.

  • ||

  • ||

    While I'm on Ministry, here's a superior example of the political-speech-dubbing thing.

  • Franklin Harris||

    No. Just no.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Officer, am I free to dubstep?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Pailhead, a meeting of Minor Threat and Ministry. I will refuse!

    Born as a blank page
    We must pick and choose
    Our destinations and
    The paths we'll use
    What shall we say is sacred
    What will be abused
    It's no wonder
    The world is confused
    Murder and weather
    Is our only news
    I will refuse!

    Your offer is tempting
    But it's not what it seems
    You take advantage
    Of everyone else's dreams
    You create the perfect picture
    By dressing up the scene
    Trust our hopes and lives
    To your death machines
    Your point is not well taken
    Because that's not what it means
    I will refuse

  • ||

    Looking forward to anti-war Dubstep?

  • Matt Damon||

    Matt Damon!

  • Nike Dunk Shoes||


  • mallet diction||

    dubstep is murky industrial music from the late 80's filtered through 21st century tastes.

    Some of it is good.

    My own political music.
    Like Muslimgauze, I think words get in the way of the message, except when they don't

  • Mododj||

    I'm italian and I didn't know where the sample came from. Now I'm curious about the Libertarian Manifesto.


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