Thursday, April 17, 2008

The latest from Olympic East London

"All I've ever done is say Bow E3, rude boy, and you know that..."

Yep, all that is good and holy rather compels us to mention Eskiboy's latest treasure trove. We'd been waiting a few months for a new Wiley mix CD, an unusual sensation (no doubt he's been partly preoccupied by Rolex sweep shenanigans): but the outcome is neither the heavily-trailed "£10 an Hour" volume one, the not-unhyped "Tunnel Vision" volume seven that was allegedly on the blocks months ago, the apparently on-way Roll Deep opus nor even "Grime Wave", which we understand is imminent-ish. Instead, it's something called "Umbrella" (volume one, naturellement).

Oddly, while it's a rush-release job (the tracklisting on the back of the CD is markedly different from the one on the insert, meaning you can work out what tracks were dropped or moved), most of them are actually of less-than-instant vintage - part of that 2006 revival we've been banging on about, no doubt. So "Umbrella Volume 1" is a mish-mash of family favourites (the ace "Taliban", the saccharine "Daddy's Little Girl" - later spun into "Playtime Is Over's" "Baby Girl" - and the tonking, Scorcher-produced "Class of '07", extracted from the "Thunder Power" mixtape), worthy curios (the shining "Big Time Veteran" collab with fellow Roll Deeper Riko, "God's Gift War Dub", a typical double-header of street menace and blitz humour as it's the turn of Riko's mate GG to be mocked by the Eskiboy, and an anthemic sino-grime thing called "Spirit of Da Beat", also on Bless Beats' new Eskibeat CD, that begs to be a single if it hasn't been already), and Wiley productions for other MCs, the most impressively tight being Mega Montana's "Whoa". So "Umbrella" isn't really new, but regardless of the filler, it's still worth getting for what's killer: if you can listen to "Bazooka Freestyle" or "Class of '07" and not be inspired either to smile or to dance, there may be no hope for you.