Tube Dub Sound
February 26, 2006
|Artist & tune|
|Overall rating : (1 to 5 stars)|
A lot of the current crop of euro digi steppers artists arguably sound so very conservative and predictable, and it seems fair to say that as a genre, euro digi roots doesn’t seem to have progressed beyond its apex around 1999, excepting perhaps, the awesome panzer like industrial power and creativity of Iration Steppas who are a phenomenon and force unto themselves, and just seem to get better and more inspired with each new release.
Bear in mind of course, this is only subjective assessment, and isn’t meant as a denigration -- but it is difficult to get excited about a lot of contemporary euro digi roots, so conventional are its aspirations.
This single then, is a fairly pleasant surprise, with its aggressive hooks, peaking sound signals and industrial sheer noise focus. It still manages to keep its groove, and "Chose Your Friends" has a quasi Rocksteady/Ska vocal over an austere rhythm. Madu"'s chant expresses his urban consciousness regarding selecting good companions on the journey of life.
It is always pleasant to see Kenny Knotts making music, since his Unity Sounds release "Watch How The People Them Dancing" was one of the finest British dancehall tunes of 1986/87, even though it probably only reached a hardcore UK reggae fan base at that time. Thankfully his style has reached more people since then with that 12" appearing on a popular UK digital dancehall compilation, and in the mid 90's he was frequently sampled on Junglist white labels. At that time, his vocal was very similar to Tenor Saw and Nitty Gritty, but as this "War In The Streets" release shows, he has now matured into a distinctive roots vocalist. There are similarities to Luciano and Dennis Brown in his presentation, but Knotts is no copyist, and has developed his own vibrations and lyrical intentions. Again, this rhythm is pure industrial frequencies, force and power.
Not bad -- Not bad at all, and the whole project is raised above the level of cliché and the generic by Knott's superior vocals and the single's gritty, aggressive, factory - like harsh noise production values.