Mix Up (EP)
South Rakkas Crew
December 21, 2007 (CD-(EP)) / October 9, 2007 (12")
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 3/4|
If you haven't been able yet to get the
smashing Japan only release "Remakes ~ Come
Again (Greetings To All Raggamuffin)" that was released in Japan on
P-Vine Records July 28th (2007) and will be released in the rest of the
world in Januari 2008, this "Mix Up (EP)" will allow you to get some of
the tunes featured on that album and a couple of new killer tunes produced
by Orlando's South Rakkas Crew. The vinyl 12"
(with a different cover) was released more than 2 months ago and now that
the CD-EP has been released as well, the smashing tunes on this EP deserve
another recommendation to avoid anyone interested missing out. Last year
they impressed heavily with their 'Chinkuzi'-riddim - or should I say
riddims ('Chinkuzi'-riddim, 'Chinkuzi's Roller Girl Special'-riddim,
'Chinkuzi's Revenge'-riddim, 'Chinkuzi's Sweet 16'-riddim and 'Chinkuzi's
No Virgin'-riddim) - as Vol. 2 in their independent Riddim Riddin series.
Following this (of Jamaican Canadians in Florida - Dennis 'Dow Jones'
Shaw and Alex 'Alex G.' Greggs - consisting South Rakkas Crew)
production outfit's earlier two big riddims released in Greensleeves
Rhythm Album series: 'Clappas' and
its successor 'Red Alert',
and their riddim 'Bionic Ras',
probably best described as a 2-step / speedgarage riddim, the kind
normally blaring from carspeakers and estates in Harlesden in North West
London and probably a tad too wild for the dancehall massive, is another
riddim as much influenced by electronic dance music, breakbeat, hip hop
and Miami-bass, described by Dow Jones himself as South Rakkas stripped
down and built around an infectious groove, they showed getting in the
different variations of their latest 'Chinkuzi'
to be influenced by Miami bass, the UK-style of 2-step/speedgarage that
was so obviously present in their 'Bionic Ras'-riddim, soca and slick US
R&B as well as Madonna's "Like A Virgin". And now they how how much fun
showing off the inspiration gotten from the early digital dancehall days
combined with some great mash-ups can be.|
Kicking off this mini-album after the usual immediately recognazible signature vocodered cut-up intro on DJ Diplo's Mad Decent-label is South Rakkas Crew Canadian DJ Kid Foreigner with his girl tune "Hotter Than Them (Extended Mix)" delivered in the full and "Hotter Than Them (Radio Mix)" very convincingly over a riddim that only can be described as 100% UK grime inspired, followed by the Fire Man Capleton, whose "Real Hot (Remix)" is a great twist on his tune over the 'Red Alert'-riddim, this time delving even deeper into electro-territory than with the original backing and Sandy Smith (the Jamaican hot new singer on whose debut album South Rakkas are currently working) teams up with Professor Murder for the extremely infectious "Hot Patty". Getting in one of the truly big tunes on their 'Clappas'-riddim, (which in fact, strongly inspired by "Spirit In The Sky", Norman Greenbaum's worldwide pop hit from 1968, was an uptempo, superphat street beat, a sort of swinging adaptation of the 'Sleng Teng') Mr. Vegas, Alozade and Hollow Point's "Under Mi Sensi (Retro Remix)", paying full tribute to Wayne Smith' seminal "Under Mi Sleng Teng" here over a wicked remix of King Jammy's - the riddim that started the whole new digital era of reggae - 'Sleng Teng', the first tune that can also be found on "Remakes ~ Come Again", this is followed by another tune from "Remakes ~ Come Again", South Rakkas Crew showing the pure genius of their approach in the "Get Mad Again (Big Fun Remix)" in which a (by South Rakkas Crew themselves) rebuilt version of Inner City's big 1988 Detroit techno chartbuster "Big Fun" is the foundation beneath New Kidz vocals and the even harder to imagine take on a Sesame Street song to learn counting "Twelve" featuring Stone Love's Geefus alongside Ninja Kid sharing pure dancehall vibes madness.
DJ Kid Foreigner's second tune on this EP (also taken from "Remakes ~ Come Again") is the flawless "Test Me Nuh" over a pumped up version of Winston Riley's classic 'Stalag' riddim. Sandy Smith solo tune is the great poppy "When The Dancehall Play" to which Geefus lends a live dancehall vibe with his encouragements. The last tune on this album is the biggest tune of them all, with T.O.K. in combination with South Rakkas Crew totally mashing it up with "Carry Feelings" as the tune is based the Jackson Five's "Can You Feel It" from 1980 and this is easily the best dancehall cover/mash-up ever for me. So even if you did get your copy of "Remakes ~ Come Again" (or are planning to do so January 2008) (and did not buy the vinyl version of this EP), there is no excuse not to buy this brilliant "Mix Up" as South Rakkas Crew prove they are the most innovative production outfit in today's dancehalls once more.