Rating: I never thought I’d have had to wait until nearly the end of the year to give a hip-hop LP full marks, nor that this year’s most convincing b-boy document so far would have come out of Darlington. Still – I never expected some pikey to try and have my wallet off me as I walked away from the cash machine the other night either – but as my old Lau Gar instructor used to say – you just never know. Boldly titled, featuring co-production from The Voodoo Guru (plus Evil Ed and Royce Rolls on a couple of tracks) Audio Revolution contains twenty-one tracks (including skits) and is, (as one of those skits points out) very fresh. Assembling a motley crew of talents from both sides of the pond (and Japan – in the form of DJ Kentaro) Delight the ‘Scratch Assassin’ spends an hour thoroughly rampaging through hip-hop’s history and sub-genres in a cut and paste, scratch-filled b-boy frenzy.
Things kick off with the aptly titled The Brief sampling George Martin commenting ‘My brief was I could use any sound I wanted to…’ from which point onwards K Delight clearly used pretty much any sound he wanted to. Both sides of his early autumn single are on here – the downtempo Audio Revolution featuring the talents of U.S. MCs Skitz The Gemini and Shinobi Stalin (which is the first track proper, on the LP) and the furious breaks and cuts of Wildstyle Dream which disinters the Incredible Bongo band’s Apache Break for the millionth time yet still manages to reinvigorate it while Chrome reflects (somewhat energetically) on his lengthy involvement in the hip-hop scene. Skitz and Stalin return on Forever Hip Hop where the arrangement finds space for both slide guitar and an electro beat. DJ Kentaro puts in his tuppence on The Real Thing and it turns out to be a healthy instrumental investment as cinematic strings vie with a welter of breaks and scratches. Granted, not every guest on here is British but Audio Revolution certainly finds a sizeable amount of heavyweight UK hip-hop suspects popping by. Two more to add to the list are Lewis Parker on Return of the Jedis and Koaste in triumphant cheeky rhyme-mode on Teenagers From Outer Space where Delight supplies an almost tech-house b-line. Anyone who hasn’t had their fill of turntablism recently may find themselves sated by DJ posse cut Scratch Club while Nomadee vehicle Street Soul will appeal to those who tire of the b-boy pyrotechnics and are looking for their comedown slice of breakbeat action.
Of course that doesn’t cover half the tracks on here in any sort of detail – but that’s why you get audio links right? This has got range and quality that doesn’t falter once during its entire length – for further proof check the eleven minute epic album closer The Life and Times of a Scratch Machine. With Audio Revolution ‘K-Dilla’ is most definitely on the cut. As your funky attorney, I advise you to go and get yourself a copy.
Out now on Playing Around Records.