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Time is crashing on today, certainly not enough of to fully dissect the long awaited debut from this Edinburgh based hip hop troup. But I will try. Their debut ‘Tape 1’ was one of my favourite releases of last year, a tuneful boisterous off kilter take on hip hop that the subsequent ‘Tape 2’ didn’t quite live up to. How will they fare with this debut full lengther now on Big Dada after a shift from Anticon?
Well its a much more strident and confident sound, produced with more conviction yet perhaps missing the idiosyncratic charm of those early records. It takes a few songs before catching light, the first few songs seem to drift by, notable only for the odd lyrical clunker. ‘Get Up’ is the first ‘classic’ here, a singalong treat one part Outkast, one part TV On The Radio, one part cLOUDDEAD. Brilliant. ‘Dip’ ups the wierdness factor with some churning synths and pounding rhythms. An undoubted album highlight is ‘Paying’ a stupendously brilliant slow jam with some strange siren like synth noises and a falsetto voiced chorus. Its dark, its paranoid, its grim and brilliant.
The variety of vocal inflections on offer is impressive, keeping the listener interested to know which variety of mic thug will come next. This darker type of track pays dividends especially on ‘Mmmh Mmmh’ which updates Massive Attack's cracked and paranoid late night slow-hop. There are are few missteps; they still haven’t found a way to build on the joyous lunacy of that first EP, they sometimes rely too hard on big singalong choruses and there is a worrying tendency to overuse the ‘n’ word later in the album.
However, this is a fresh and vibrant take on a genre which often seems to be on the cusp of disappearing altogether.
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