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Skream and Benga to reunite for new music in 2022

The dubstep pioneers last released as a duo in 2003

By Joe Goggins

Skream and Benga on stage at Rock Ness festival in Scotland, 2013
Skream and Benga's last collaboration was for a Radio 1 Essential Mix in 2011. (Photo: Alamy)

Dubstep trailblazers Skream and Benga will reunite for new music in 2022.

The pair have not released material together as a duo since 2003, with ‘The Judgement’, although they did team up in 2011 for a BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix. In 2007, they formed the trio Magnetic Man with producer Artwork, releasing an EP, ‘The Cyberman’, in 2009 and a self-titled full-length the following year, which reached number five on the UK album chart; their single ‘I Need Air’, which prominently featured Katy B, cracked the top ten.

Now, they look set to finally follow up ‘The Judgement’ in earnest. Over the festive period, Skream – real name Oliver Jones – took to Twitter to drop a heavy hint that fresh music is imminent. “The boys are back in town….” he wrote. “Skream X @iambenga 2.0….. 2022 we’re having it.”

In a reply to the initial tweet, Croydon dubstep producer DJ Hatcha, who himself is a long-time collaborator of both Artwork’s and Benga‘s, said “I pray this happens,” along with a praying hands emoji and a heart emoji. Skream quote-tweeted Hatcha with the message “Nearly finished 2 tunes this morning……”

The move would signal a continuation of Benga’s return from retirement; in February 2014, he announced that her would be stepping away from music to focus on raising a family. By May, however, he had announced another album, and in 2015, he revealed on Twitter that mental health difficulties had been to blame for his retirement, with drug use and heavy touring having contributed to his development of schizophrenia. He confronted the subject on his 2018 track ‘Psychosis’. His last solo album was 2013’s ‘Chapter II’.

Skream has continued to tour and remix in a solo capacity. He has collaborated with the likes of Chromeo, Kelis and Miles Kane. His biggest hit remains his ‘Let’s Get Ravey’ rework of La Roux’s 2009 single ‘In for the Kill’, which became a major crossover hit and arguably outstripped the popularity of the original. He has released two solo albums, 2006’s ‘Skream!’ and 2010’s ‘Outside the Box’.