[4 February 2008]
Anyone waiting for Soul Jazz Records to put a foot wrong might want to find something else to do. Singles compiles a stack of spirited 12” vinyl releases, most not previously available on CD, from dubstep producers such as Digital Mystikz, Skream and Kode 9, along with progressive artists like Rekid, Ladybug (The Bug), DJ Rupture and more. Dance music pioneers ESG are also part of this genre-rich mix of (it says here) dancehall, reggae, Italo-disco, baile funk, dubstep, German rock, post-punk, deep techno and house.
When China Mieville’s cult book King Rat is made into a film, all of these tracks are cold and hard enough to be on the soundtrack. Of course that compliment is also code for: the two disc set contains much that old-school dub fans will find impressive but not necessarily lovable. Make no mistake, this is a spanking release and some of us simply cannot get enough Kode 9, but Singles might not attract or retain the affection reserved for the swinging treasures found on the remarkable Soul Jazz series that began with 100% Dynamite. Then again, you could say that about most music.