Thursday, 20 May 2010
PRE-ORDER: LV ft. Josh Idehen - 38 EP [Keysound]
The three man production team, LV, have a sound all of their own; a subtle concoctive blend of digital dub and future thinking territories that’s caught the ears of A&Rs across the spectrum from Kode9’s Hyperdub to 2nd Drop and Untold’s Hemlock imprint. The 38 EP is a concept record for Dusk & Blackdown’s Keysound Recordings, that’s based around London’s 38 bus route that runs from Victoria station to Clapton Pond in Hackney. Harnessing the vocal collaborations of vocalist Josh Idehen, who takes on the persona of five separate passengers, spitting street poetry from their points of view the record sits somewhere between the urban dread and decay of Kode9 and Spaceape’s beat-less ‘Sine Of The Dub’ and a less post apocalyptic version of London Zoo by The Bug though LV fully carve a more human, free flowing niche that echoes the spoken word of Gil Scott-Heron as much as it does London’s bass continuum.
With its infectious dub bounce and flow ‘Lost’ is a highlight right from the off. The opening lines “It’s obvious you don’t get on with this metropolis” roll of Josh’s tongue with ease, seemingly taking cues from grime syllable patterns but with an altogether looser flow. The track plays off the tension between people trying to get on with the city and how it sometimes seems to be working against you. The dark brooding nature of ‘Early Mob’ with its nocturnal beats, sounds like something taken from Thomas Bangalter’s soundtrack to French revenge flick Irréversible only with a more dub-wise sensibility. With lyrics about rolling with your crew and feeling like you own the place, its full of nonchalant swagger and pent up aggression. It’s a raw, menacing ride. The beat on ‘Your Coat’ comes off like a hybrid of digital dub and deep house, with flowing melodies and rolling four to the floor kicks. It’s here Josh really lets loose, unleashing an unhinged tirade, its infectious as the beats shimmy for position against the bass tones.
The flip side to the 12” is more laid back; ‘Walk It’ rolls with a subtle head nodding dub vibe and free flowing rhyming over the lounge lizard rhodes pianochords and conga rhythms. ‘Face Of God’, with its live sounding dub bass plucks and R&B finger clicks punctuating the bittersweet soul of the airy pads and heartbeat percussion ends the EP with a blissful vibe, musically at least - the vocals deal with religious beliefs and free associations to do with life, death and judgement.
Keysound often explore the culture of London via its bass led excursions, Dusk & Blackdown’s own Margins Music album took the listener on a ride through the cutural fringes of the city and this EP feels like it follows on from that, representing LV’s micro cosm of the wider picture poignantly. LV and Josh Idehen bring the winding bus journey to life through their street bass novella echoing the city’s atmosphere and people painting a sonic picture with words and sound. LV’s productions are quite often creepers, getting under your skin slowly with their subtle vibes, but this EP might be their most realised, instant and engaging musical vision.
Words: James Balf
Catch LV at fabric on 18th June: