Lotek Hi-Fi (Mini Album)
Lotek Hi-Fi (Mini Album)
(CD/LP) Big Dada BD061, 2003-11-10
LoTek Hifi, c'est Wayne Bennett (qui a produit des tracks pour Roots Manuva) et 3 chanteurs, nous vous les avions déjà présentés dans le Big Dada special #1 (Saounds, Juin 2003). Rappelez-vous: il nous avait fait forte impression sur la compile "Extra Yard" avec son "Fire" malaxant hip hop reggae et ragga avec une originalité discernable. Il avait ensuite enfumé les dancefloors des sous-sols anglais avec son "Ram Dancehall" hybride ragga-reggae-hip hop-classique ralenti. Il débarque aujourd'hui avec un mini-album de 30 minutes où il fait étalage de tous ses talents, en attendant le véritable album prévu pour l'année prochaine. Et histoire que vous ne passiez pas à côté du mini-album, il vous propose un mégamix de ses 9 titres, alliant reggae et ragga et hip hop tordu à coups de ska et de dub dans ta face, pour le moins "différent". C'est quand même bien pratique le mp3.
Note : 4/5
Download Lotek Hi-Fi Album Mini Mix MP3
01 Voodoo Boogaloo
02 Lo-Fi Rocka
03 Different Style
05 Inner Storm
06 Under My Bed
07 Ah You Dat
08 Hey Yeh Yeh
09 See it Coming
Press Release :
We've never liked the term "urban" at Big Dada – it stinks of euphemism, of limits, of Yankee doodle desperation, as if the most important thing about the music is that it isn't "Country". What's wrong with "Black Music"? What are we trying to hide?
Take Lotek HiFi. On this eponomously-titled mini-album, they cover all kinds of styles, mash up genres with very little respect for anything except that all important quality, freshness. And that they have in abundance. How would you describe it? Reggae made by hip hop producers? UK bashment? The Specials on a weed bender? They certainly have more in common with acts like Heartless Crew and Massive Attack than they do with P Diddy. From the weed-paranoia blues of "Inner Storm" through the 2Tone keys on "Voodoo Boogaloo," the off-centre brass of "Ah You Dat," the electro-bashy of "Hey Yeh Yeh", the ragga-disco of "Percolator," the Manuva-esque skank of "LoFi Rocka" and the warm dub beauty of "See It Coming," it's hard to imagine a more varied set spread over just thirty minutes.
And the collision of styles and ideas is a reflection of exactly where the quartet have come from, a natural extension of their backgrounds, rather than something contrived in the back rooms of a record company.
Wayne 'Lotek' Bennett is the ultimate studio nut. He left school as soon as he could and trained and began working at Rollover in London, where he quickly found himself working in sessions by everyone from Leftfield to Peter Andre. But his first love was hip hop and,he soon found himself inducted into the ranks of North London's most notorious rap collective. With them, he released tapes and records, organised parties and played his part in keeping hip hop in the UK going in the midst of a drought. He came to the attention of Roots Manuva, who asked him to contribute a couple of tracks to what would become his debut album, "Brand New Second Hand". The musical relationship grew and, as well as contributing two of the standouts on Manuva's follow-up, "Run Come Save Me," Wayne was asked to act as Musical Director for the Roots Manuva live show. It was while dealing with this that Bennett became certain he was ready to step out on his own and began piecing together the band which would become Lotek HiFi.
His first recruit was Earl J. Still only 19, Jordan Bailey is the son of Jamaican dancehall legend Jack Radics. Radics, best known over here for his involvement with Chaka Demus & Pliers' hit "Twist & Shout," has a huge reputation in Jamaica, where he has been a major player for the best part of twenty five years. However, he lived in London in the early eighties and it was here that his son was born. Earl J certainly knows how to draw upon this legacy, rhyming with consummate ease and style at any speed and on any rhythm and adding a hip hop head's love of content to the toaster's flavour.
Next came Wayne Paul, sometime black cockney football casual, raver and possessor of one of the finest reggae/street-soul singing voices this country has ever produced. Wayne Paul made a reputation for himself in the mid-nineties with his "Take The Train" release on Sound Of Money, which was played by the likes of Trevor Nelson, Jazzie B and Willber Wilberforce and eventually ended up on the first Fat City "Mystic Brew" compilation. Unfortunately for Paul, his personal life descended into a degree of chaos just as his professional life was about to take off. His triumphant return came on Roots Manuva's "Revolution 5" (from "Dub Come Save Me") and, as a central strand of the Lotek HiFi sound, he is determined to make up for lost time...
The last member to join the group was Aurelius. Possessor of one of the most remarkable voices you're likely to come across, deeper than a coal mine, Aurelius is also a proficient clarinet player (check him on "Ah U Dat"). He also typifies something about young MCs from in and around the capital. As well as knowing his hip hop he actually made his reputation MCing live first at drum & bass events and later at uk garage nights. All of which gives him a flexibility and open outlook which should be the envy of the narrow-minded.
So there you have it, a mini-album taster of what Lotek HiFi can do, thirty minutes of all killer, no filler. An album like albums used to be made, sold to the general public at a ridiculous price. And this is just a warm up –next year's full release, "Mixed Blessings" will make good on all the promise shown. For now it's just Lotek HiFi...