Recently, ish, Clash popped along to Xfm to cover a bunch of singles in a reviewing capacity. It was right fun. And our wingman on this critical breakdown was one dan le sac, the production 50% of the British hip-hop duo dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip.
We liked the cut of Mr le sac’s reviewing jib considerably. So, what with a bunch of new tracks ripe for review, and a new dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip album about to be released – ‘Repent, Replenish, Repeat’ is out via Sunday Best on October 7th – it made Perfect Sense to get the fellow in on Clash singles round up duty.
And sign up for service he duly did… Check out his words below the video for the pair’s new, Flux Pavilion-featuring single, ‘Gold Teeth’.
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Azealia Banks feat. Pharrell – ‘ATM Jam’
Do you know what, I had high hopes for this when I hit play. The beat is kinda dope, with that upfront choppy break I’ve always liked, and Pharrell has a style that rarely irritates me. But damn is this dull. The art of hip-hop is the ability to take a simple loop and keep interesting for three or four minutes, and ‘ATM Jam’ fails to do that. It feels like unfinished ideas hastily pushed together to make an unfinished track.
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Nelly feat. Nicki Minaj and Pharrell – ‘Get Like Me’
What on earth is going on in hip-hop these days? I understand that this is essentially pop music, but where did all the innovation go? Never been a fan of Nelly, if I’m honest, but at least his pop sounded new way back when. This smacks of a label going, “Who’s popular right now? Let’s get them on a record with Nelly and shift a few copies.” The logic is sound but it fails completely when the guest vocals feel like the where distractedly phoned in whilst Ms Minaj was watching EastEnders. Not for me.
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Yuck – ‘Middle Sea’
Now this is ace! I’m going to be the only man in the world who hears this, but there’s something in Yuck’s noise that reminds me of Manic Street Preachers – when they were good, of course, as comparing them to the Manics now would be very insulting. ‘Middle Sea’ reminds me of so many things – a touch of the Foo Fighters in their gentle moments, and Grandaddy lyrically – but these feel like genuine influences more than lazy plagiarism.
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Maxsta feat. Little Nikki – ‘Wanna Go’
This beat is a monster, with nods to jungle and big beat, and Maxsta rides it extremely well. I really like this but does it really need the reworking of Inner City’s ‘Good Life’? It’ll certainly get more radio play with it, but Maxsta could surely have carried this one his own.
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Daley – ‘Broken’
This might be the most horrific thing I’ve ever been forced to listen to. The boy can sing, but clearly can’t sell the bullshit lyrics. It’s tepid at its best. Whoever put this together, their brief was clearly, “Make Emeli Sandé’s ‘Heaven’, but, ya know, with a dude.” And they succeeded in this – they even gave him the same hair.
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Drake – ‘Wu-Tang Forever’
I take back everything I said about Daley above – this is now the most horrific thing I’ve ever been forced to listen to. Braggadocio hip-hop can be fun when you know the MC if just playing, but Drake truly believes that he is God’s gift to everything and everyone. Is he actually implying that he is the heir to the Wu-Tang throne? Douchebag. Well Drake, I would like to speak on behalf of humanity here and say, “Get to f*ck, and quickly.”
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Swim Deep – ‘Honey’
Okay, so I suspect that Swim Deep didn't write this song with 34-year-old electronic producers in mind, so maybe my opinion isn’t needed here. But this is alright – I wouldn't turn the radio off if it came on, but I doubt I’d actually hear it if it was playing. Swim Deep have the ability to write far more interesting songs than this, and their track ‘The Sea’ proves that, but this feels a touch lazy and somewhat bland. In short it is almost something good, but not quite.
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Find dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip online here. The pair tours as follows:
10th-11th - Workman's Club, Dublin
12th - Cyprus Avenue, Cork
14th - Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh
15th - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
16th - The Ruby Lounge, Manchester
17th - Komedia, Brighton
19th - The Exchange, Bristol
21st - The Garage, London
January/February 2014 dates available at the official website (link above).
Read more guest-written Singles Round Up columns on Clash, here.
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