Sunday, 10 April 2011

Vinyl and Digital Reviews: Flore and Shunda K

Artist: Flore
Title: La Folie Des Glandeurs EP
Label: Botchit & Scarper

Botchit and Scarper have picked out five artists to remix Flore’s debut album, ‘RAW’, and create new life out of an already successful release - on the dancefloors as well as the mainstream. On transformation duties, Lawgiverz, I.D, Jason Sparks, Albert, and Dodge Vyrus set about with dubstep, electro, tropical and rave.

Both I.D and Dodge Vyrus take on ‘Pum Pum Gal’, first getting a wobbling bass monster makeover, slicing old skool rave synth stabs with ragga, breaks, hints of Major Lazer, and an addictive, if yet simple, melody from I.D. An astoundingly busy track for attention deficit dancers, it throws down more weight and plays on the pace of the vocal delivery. Dubstep wobbles prevail with a darker edge when Dodge steps in, cutting, slicing and time-stretching the vocals of Joyce Muniz and Thai Stylee. It’s formulaic but it does have a certain hook, with upbeat and bouncy carnivale aspects of the original lifted off, and re-focused on the meaty bass of the original.

Lawgiverz takes a leaf out of Modeselektor discography and the dubstep handbooks to create the glitchy, low-slung bass from ‘La Folie des Glandeurs’ featuring French rappers Les Gourmets, but it suffers from a lack of direction, or at least could do with more breakdowns to hold interest. New kid on the block, Albert turns out a vastly different remix of ‘The Overnighters with his ‘Winter Depression’ 2-step / future garage leaving the original fast-paced electronica ride on a far off land. It’s definitely more of a dark night’s fare, and despite its laidback approach, the beats strike with intent. The remix series closes with Jason Sparks’ remix of ‘La Folie...'; a soft beginning breeds the spawn of funky electronica and hip-hop, taking the original’s underlying bass melody and bringing it to the fore.

Release date: 11th April 2011

Artist: Shunda K
Title: 'The Most Wanted'
Label: Fanatic Records

There have been fewer female rappers rivalling the traditionally male-dominated genre in recent years, with greater moves towards soaring vocals and softer edges and a declined output from the likes of Missy Elliott. There’s also fewer gay rappers, and Shunda K presents both of these attributes with lyrical talents in high demand, after striking out on her own from a successful career with Yo! Majesty. She has run amok on the collabs for this 20 track LP - entitled ‘The Most Wanted’ - enlisting the beats and voices of almost 30 artists. Shunda delivers a defiant confidence in her lyrics, titling songs ‘I’m Da Best (feat Shon B)’, ‘Here I Am To Save The World (feat. Cindy Wonderful’, and of course ‘The Most Wanted’, wrapping electronica, bouncy 2-step, hip-hop, bass drones, baltimore, deep synths and even lamenting horns around witty, funny, and straight to the point vocals. There’s flashes of Outkast (My Light feat. Tan), Money Mark (Rock & Roll feat. Raspberry Cocaine), Peaches (who she recently supported on tour), and The Neptunes (Action feat. Shon B and Flyy Git), but the emphasis is on electro-rap carried by a varied delivery of Shunda’s lyrics.

You can’t help but smile when she demands “gimme gimme gimme gimme gimme your kitty kitty kitty kitty kitty” on ‘CONTACT (feat. Ms. Tedra)’ just for it’s use as a rhythmic device, and I believe she’s come close to touting gabba-hop with the speedy ‘Who’s Gona Stop Us Now (feat. Raspberry Cocaine)’. The LP traverses old and nu skool territory, and affirms the idea that you don’t need to be male or effectuate a gruff tone to slam down hard or explicit lyrics. Fans of Shunda will delight at the length of the album, but this could have been a punchier aural experience for new listeners if split into a shorter album and teasing EP; especially if you want to get your head around the issues she spits - including gender, equality, sexuality, and religion. ‘The Most Wanted’ shines on a range of scenes with plenty of industry support, and looks set to seep into the 2011 summer schedules. Whether you’re ready or not, Shunda K is back with a lot to say.

Release date: June 2011 (UK)

Available to buy:

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