We Will Not Harm You
Label: Big Dada
In the '90s, Dobie played a minor role in the U.K.'s blunted-beatz scene; then we stopped hearing about him. On his first proper album since 1998, it turns out that he's way more than a trip-hop also-ran. We Will Not Harm You sounds like the work of someone who's been listening hard but guarding his thoughts; it folds together decades of dance-music modalities -- acid, jungle, footwork, hip-hop -- into an idiosyncratic, expressive sound that follows no fashion, just the intricate beat of Dobie's own (sampled, programmed) drummer. It's timeless in a way that's rare for electronic music.