Album Review: Deekline & Ed Solo / ‘Bounce n Shake’ (Rat)

Deekline Ed Solo Bounce n Shake


Deekline and Solo’s constant of putting the ass into bass is one long car chase up and down San Francisco-style slopes, revving through box-strewn alleyways and doing perfect figure of eight skids right in front of the camera. Get to the heart of the matter and the here and now of the rave first, without going on about it over and over like numerous EDM soothsayers; and, save for “Can’t Hide It,” get in and out at the double.

So, rapid firestarting for a 21-track double-pack with a taste of the familiar – Zhane’s “Hey DJ,” Dawn Penn’s “No No No,” Boris D’Lugosch’s “Hold Your Head up High” to name three sources. Dubstep, breaks, drum ‘n’ bass and the cooperation of all three at once makes the album disappointingly close-knit, going on to make the ragga-house option “Champion Number 1” a lonely cliché. However, driven by ragga rough riders joining up to kick the party up the backside (“Dancehall Tribute” is simple, skankable fun) and girly orchestrators of weekend hatchet jobs around handbags, every possible convention/back catalogue check, emphatically whacks the nail on the head. Despite rushing through, the pair barely leave a soundsystem skidmark in what’s a digitally-brushed typhoon speckled with cheese.

An album that gives itself every chance of spanking festival tents and stages while working the crossover vote (“Weekend Lover”). Unoriginal, yes — clean bassy fun, more so if you’re balanced on someone’s shoulders.

File under: Aquasky, Freefall Collective, Skool of Thought

Album Review: Dub Pistols / ‘Worshipping the Dollar’ (Sunday Best)


UK bum-rushers Dub Pistols have festival goers ready to greedily eat from the palm of their hand. Wholly set up for the live experience, the instantaneous draw of house, drum ‘n’ bass, hip-hop and dub explodes with ragga hooks, regularly provided by Dan Bowskill, and a raft of scrumptious horn fanfares. It’s safe to say that the big beat tag that made them has long been left behind, though not totally dispensed with given the inclusion of Fatboy Slim cohort Lindy Layton, and the translation from stage to studio doesn’t come up short. With a little education lead by UK scholar Akala speaking up on “West End Story,” and narrative finding Brit-rap legend Rodney P going out of his head on the surging “Mucky Weekend,” its party-friendliness insists on pushing levels into the red. Opening ragga-house rumpus “Alive” has bass that can be heard for miles around, calling out the best of Groove Armada’s “Superstylin” and Funkstar de Luxe’s “Sun is Shining” in one fell swoop.

What the album lacks in outright originality, re-entering the home listening/live event argument again, it’s ever-ready to rev up a foolproof scatter & swing blueprint: clean, uncluttered, piece-by-piece production. More’s the point, the Barry Ashworth-helmed unit have been in the game long enough to know what makes a front row tick, pushing for crowd-surfing to become an Olympic sport so they can bring home gold.
File under: Groove Armada, Rudimental, Monkey Mafia