TaZzZ pulls a slightly sneaky one here, although it is well within his rights to do so – naturally, he provides the beat, but on his opening verse, he also steals the show with the most energetic and translatable verse on display. The beat itself is solid as opposed to spectacular, but it has an undeniable brute charm. The guest MC’s are variable: Words Ali is a good lyricist, but doesn’t seem vocally suited to this particular instrumental (at the very least, the sample could have been lowered in volume to accommodate his voice); anchorman Immi actually comes across best in some ways, his commanding demeanour grabbing the track by the scruff of the neck. All in all, it’s pretty good, but perhaps just misses that lasting appeal. (Reviewed by Rahul)
Whilst we include the straight bhangra video for “Shaal Marke” by Prem Singh, it is simply for the sake of it. The other video is audio-only of a lovely garage remix by Artful, and that will be the focus. The chopped up vocal sampling is expertly done, and that classic Artful sound helps to bring out the better aspects of the track (originally smothered in pretty typical bhangra-esque fashion) as it swiftly turns into an infinitely repeatable track to vibe to. This is definitely worth your time, and as Nihal says at the end of this radio rip, it could well be a subtle contender for one of the best tracks this year. Great stuff. (Reviewed by Jesal)
For those of you old enough to remember the UK Garage scene first time around, you will undoubtedly recall Sunship with affection – their remixes were the stuff of legend, energising R&B songs with their trademark percussion and vocal-chopping. This new effort featuring Lost Souljah works similarly well: the song itself is sequenced intelligently (helping to bring out the production), their mixing/mastering remains exquisite, Lost Souljah is fantastic (both in writing/delivery terms) and pretty much everything functions as it should. Good stuff. (Reviewed by Jesal)
It’s nice when a random artist comes along and drops a brutally effective song. Whilst Nsane’s new joint “You Want Me” isn’t perfect, it really does the job for the summer. It’s short, sharp and has a superb beat (almost like a less-fussy “XR2”). The rhymes are solid enough, though perhaps the chorus is a touch undercooked. Whilst this breaks new ground in no way whatsoever, that doesn’t mean it’s not a thoroughly enjoyable joint, and Nsane clearly has the confidence to pull it off. Don’t get it twisted, though – this is, first and foremost, about a really hot beat.
An interesting effort from DJ Dips. The beat is actually a bit of a banger: short, crisp, brilliantly sampled. It features a wide array of MC’s: Rax, RKZ, Horizon and Swami Baracus. None of them really do anything special, but none of them royally fuck it up either. No, the beat is the real star here – probably as DJ Dips would have wanted. Bit of a missed opportunity, rappers-wise, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an effective track, with a really hot beat. It’s nice to see these collaboration tracks every now and then, too, just to bookmark what’s going on.