Music

There Is a Libertarian Dubstep Guy, Obviously

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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.