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the herbaliser - Take London
The funk-soled brothers Jake Wherry and Ollie Teeba are back with a new full-length album (further bolstered by a bonus disc for initial copies) on Ninja Tune that firmly establishes them as decade long stalwarts of the UK hip-hop scene. Having more than hinted at their direction on 'Something Wicked...', 'Take London' is a Quincy Jones-inspired trawl through the wah-wah wired end of Deep hip hop stylings, opening (properly) on 'Nah'maen Nah'm Sayin' where Jean Grae appropriates a flow reminiscent of Kool Keith for her vocal contribution. With a tarmac lolloping beat and all manner of 1970's cop-show flourishes (taken to a thrilling conclusion on 'Geddim'!!'), 'Nah'mean Nah'm Sayin' very much sets the agenda for the first half of the album and is followed up by the delicate 'Song For Mary'; wherein David Axelrod gymnastics are Parr boiled down to a breezy, mid tempo instrumental. Back to the vocal cuts, 'Generals' is a spasming chunk of rough hewn hip-hop that collides somewhere above Pharaoh Monch and Roots Manuvah as Trap Clappa, Cheech Narinam Daddy Mills, A.K., MacGuyver and Jean Grae duke it out, whilst 'Failure's No Option' calls on Sherwood's very own Cappo for some East Midlands accents. Claustrophobic and decidedly smokey, 'Failure's...' marks a change in mood that is more than matched by Roots Manuva's soulful and covertly threatening rhymes on 'Lord, Lord' ("Lord, Lord, will you help me going on I can't even remember where I'm from"), whilst the Katerine inflected 'Serge' is a Gaelic styled ode to old dirty Gainsbourg.