Deekline & Ed Solo step up with their debut LP, the insanely eclectic, genre-defying, zeitgeist-defining Bounce 'N' Shake. Some albums are for introspective listening, others for putting on in the background while you do the housework or homework. This one is for dropping on the turntables when you've just opened the doors on the hottest house party in town and need to get the evening started with a boom.
Rifling through booty bass, jungle, soul, breaks, dubstep, drumstep and drum 'n' bass with the kind of assurance one might expect from DJs who have sent bodies flying round the room at club venues across the globe for more than a decade, the UK production duo drop a no-nonsense selection of bass music anthems to get your hands in the air as the low-end frequencies move your derriere. This one is the very definition of all killer, no filler: a boisterous, brazen and occasionally barmy trip into the world according to Deekline & Ed Solo. An antidote to chin-stroking hipster beats that are about as likely to get anyone on the dancefloor as Jesus is to be elected the next president of Switzerland.
First up, balearic-tinged opener Gloria, featuring Christina Nicola,
is all girls' night out energy: the perfect summer sizzler to keep you warm as the nights draw in. Next, Top Cat drops in on the frenetic jungle-flavoured Bad Boys, freshening up the famous reggae classic with serious aplomb. The gorgeous Always, with Keats on vocals, ventures into atmospheric dubstep territory, while All Gravy sees Brighton rapper Darrison taking over the mic for a dubby rudeboy breakbeat roller. Recent single Reload is a balls-to-the-wall booty club stormer with the mighty Million Dan blowing up the place, while Hey Mr DJ sees Nicola back in the vocal booth for another satin-smooth, sexygirl anthem with mic support from Florida rapper Sporty-O.
The album's meaty mid-section belongs to Garla Osborn, who provides driving, confident vocals on the ravey, deep and atmospheric Take It, steps in for the legendary Dawn Penn on dubby drum 'n' bass party-starter No No No and finishes with the piano-fuelled breakbeat killer Hold Head. Sandwiched in between, Countdown shows off Deekline and Ed Solo's ability to flex garage-style with the badboy hype coming from legendary old skool 2-step MC combo Nu Jam.
Wipe the brow. Have yourself a glug of ice cold water, because after all that firepower in the space of just 10 songs, you definitely deserve a break from the fyah. What's that you say? We're only half way through. Okay deep breath and on to part two.
First up, Dancehall Tribute takes things in a deep and dubwise
direction, with the legendary Tenor Fly reminiscing over supremely
funky breakbeats on a track that recalls his chart-topping mid-90s
period with The Freestylers. Christina Nicola returns for the classy, lush dubstep number Weekend Lover, and there's more half-time roughness with rapper Hardy Hard sending down a p-funk flavoured vocal on the tough and rolling Ridin'. Million Dan, Kidd Money and MC Flipside combine forces for the garagey dub-house of Champion Number One, before Sweetsounds turns up to rock the mic on the synthy, disco-tinged Together. You Can Be My Night is a piano-fuelled d 'n' b roller with a heavy jump up influence, while I Like Girls, featuring Sporty-O and Vic Bynoe, is a straight-up electro breakbeat booty killer about the joys of dem ladeez. Blaze It Up, featuring Million Dan, sends ballearic guitar over fearsome d 'n' b beats and the dirtiest of basslines, while Gimme a Piece of that Booty, with vocals from the legendary Assault, is another roughhouse booty bass anthem.
Rounding out the album, City to City employs the vocal talents of
Darrison and Rubi Dan, blowing up the dancefloor with tearing jungle flavours for a track that takes no prisoners. Finally, Shake the Pressure (Martin Horger remix) sends us off into the night with a blinding tech-fuelled booty destroyer.
A spectacular achievement, and an album likely to join the pantheon of great dance music long players, Bounce and Shake is a rare beast in these times of throwaway singles, a 24-track double album that bears repeated listens and works just as well in the home as in the club.