Boomkat Product Review:
Just as ITV struggle to fill one channel but carry on pumping out new airwave clutter regardless, there is a tendency within the music industry for artists (and £££-labels) to over-estimate their own worth and bestow the public with off-cut/b-side/unheard projects that we could have all lived without. Thankfully Roots Manuva is no such shitehawk, and following the astonishing aural-blast that was 'Awfully Deep' Rodney Smith has collated some odds and sods that he couldn't squeeze on that release as well as some remixes/reinterpretations - the result being 'Alternately Deep'. Cohesive and thrillingly essential, Manuva asserts his status as king of the Brit Hop jungle with a collection of tracks that would be most people's A-grade first choice - opening with the electro-fed 'No Love' and it's lolloping lyrical litany, Smith comes across like a brimstone preacher (where self-pity replaces religious piety) decrying "nobody got no love for Smith, their ain't no love ain't no justice". Elsewhere, 'Seat Yourself' is given a begrimed make-over that recalls the shady-tech of the Miami-boys more paranoia-stained missives, 'Things We Do' and it's couplet of "Cut down on the chicken wing/Tidy my flat 'cos it's disgusting" comes closer to The Smiths dissection of Britain than Little Mr Lairy Mike Skinner ever will, whilst 'Colossal Insight' is given a seething Grime seeing-to thanks to the AK-Layrnx of Jammer. Astute, self-aware and possessed with a lyrical acumen which buttresses the propulsive production to perfection, 'Alternately Deep' proves that when you're this talented the creative tap is hard to switch off. Awfully good.