Boomkat Product Review:
Lady Lykez' second EP once again matches her with Scratchclart, who supports her energetic wordplay with subtly fierce hybridized UK gqom and dancehall bumps. Future shit, fully - rolls harder than a teenager chewing a mouthful of Dutch pills.
2019's "Muhammad Ali EP" was one of that year's best club deployments, introducing North London's Lady Lykez to Hyperdub after a run of popular YouTube hits. A well-respected MC, Lykez was already notorious for being the first woman to clash with a male MC on Lord of the Mics, and her debut EP only increased her currency as she added the finishing touches to a slew of Scratcha's startling "DRMTRK" beats.
"Woza EP" is the next chapter in the story, and yet again gives Lady Lykez room to extoll her personality over a slew of genre-bursting exoskeletons from Scratchclart. On the title track - that means "come on" in isiZulu - she grabs an assist from South African rapper Toya Delazy, whose "Afrorave vol.1" is an essential spin if you missed it last year. Scratcha's beat is similarly geographically positioned, using South African gqom sounds to hit against plasticated dancehall prangs and his unmistakably grimy fwd motion.
But it's Lykez and Delazy's back and forth that has us reeling. It speaks to the brazen spirit of London's underground right now: there's spiky wordplay in the verses from Lykez and an urgent chorus from Delazy that augments the beat with an extra rhythmic thrust. 'Killa Bee' is almost as mindboggling, boasting a brain-rewiring insectoid buzz from Scratchclart and a solo vocal performance from Lady Lykez that's so acrobatic it's almost exhausting. When 'Pull Down' arrives - all downtempo dancehall sleaze with sufficiently blue lyrical twerks - it's a well-placed breather.
Bristol's DJ Polo helps out on the amapiano-inspired 'Bully Dem', maybe the EP's most neon-lit moment sporting a lithe, Autotune-bothered chorus from Lykez that channels Kingston's chop sound thru Katlehong, and Trim pops up on 'Shapez' to run us out. "Woza EP" is another impressive move from Lady Lykez and Scratchclart, and some of the most dynamic dance music we've heard out of the UK in a second.