The undisputed king of reggae versions, Mato returns with his sixth series of dubbed out hip-hop covers. Far from the crass, crude mash-up culture, Mato's original instrumentation ensures a much more natural remix feel which, in some cases, sounds better than the original. Across the 10 track set we're treated a bouncy, sun-kissed take on Eve's "Gangsta Lovin", a tight skank-flexed take on The Beatnuts "Off The Books", a Vadim-style contemporary digi dub take on Nate Dogg's "Good Life" and a very authentic rendition of "Still Dre". Essential listening for both hip-hop and reggae heads.
Frameworks and Blurum13's cross-Atlantic fusion works with impressive effect: gritty, low-riding classical hip-hop breaks with Blurum13's slick rhyme style. It touches you with genuine emphasise that's missing in a lot of hip-hop right now. This remix opus follows the release of their album in June 2013 and while the remix roll call stretches far and wide, there's a consistency throughout, adding beef to the grooves and more dancefloor-focused soul to the more inward looking tracks. Check the dreamy harmonised loop on the WhoAmI? remix of "Timeframe" or the clicky, frenetic percussion on Herma Puma's deep jazz rub of "What You Gonna Do". Few remix albums work better as a whole narrative. Highly recommended.
Music is rife with repetition. It thrives off it, from sampling to homages to pastiche. But we guarantee you have never heard anything like this. It's Shakespeare's Othello told in a UK hip-hop narrative. No, really. What's more, it genuinely works; while charged at rate of verbal knots, bardman Charlie D's lyrical approach is clear and emphatic, enveloping you into the tragic tale with true storyteller skills. The beats, meanwhile, flicker and faze with the right balance of poignancy and bass. Genuinely unique.