For those who don’t know, MC Fats was one of the most important voices from the early days of jungle, drum ‘n’ bass and beyond. His voice is known the globe over (even if you don’t realize it — Bailey’s Dreamscape mix CD anyone?) and everyone within the DnB community was completely gutted when it was made known that Fats could no longer perform or contribute to the scene he helped birth, due to a below-the-knee amputation caused by complications stemming from his type one diabetes.
The DnB scene in the UK, was quick to act, offering its condolences in the form of a series of EPs and LPs to commemorate his legacy — with the tunes, the promo campaign and all the other stuff that happens to make a release public being donated for free under the proviso that all proceeds generated went towards Fats’ ongoing care. We Gotcha LP 1 is the third installment of the We Gotcha series (a telling title in itself), following on from two well-received EPs. It features productions from; XRS, Bailey, Crix, Eveson, John B, A Sides (the man spearheading the project), Cleveland Watkiss, Emery, Semi Sense, Umiko, Will Miles, Alix Perez, HLZ, DJ Chef, Quadrant, Kid Hopps, DJ SS, Break, Die and Squarewave.
The list of collaborators for the entire project reads like a who’s who of DnB, with big guns like Hype, Zinc, Chase and Status, Dom and Roland, Calibre, S.P.Y and London Elektricity all residing on the ‘U Understand Me Music’ project roster on top of the people already mentioned.
As you would expect from one of the jungalist scene’s most revered MCs, the breadth of styles on show is expansive. There is something for everyone on this LP: liquid, tech, jungle, minimal and more cozying up alongside each other, held together by Fat’s sanguine vocal delivery.
The Bailey-produced “For the Love” combines sexual, organic instrumentation with Fats on a longing, loving tip, sax solos and a walking jungle bassline. John B combines ripping modern reese bassline, classic jungle fills and lush atmospheric pads. A-Sides’ contributions range from the pseudo-jazzy, strange stylings of “Don’t you Worry”, in collaboration with Cleveland Watkiss, through to the hard, mentalist Objekt vibes of Czekki’s remix of “Crazy” and the extremely sick Cabin Fever remix of “Rebel Roser”.
Alix Perez turns in a dark, tech-step referencing banger entitled “Soul Seeker” whilst Will Miles’s “The Last Breath” is a bouncy, bass-music infused minimal jam that will sound badass on a big rig. Quadrant’s ragga-permeated, bass-riddled, old-school jump-up banger, in collaboration with Kid Hopps and Iris, is a definite LP highlight for me.
Fats slays every number he has been blessed with and glues the entire thing together like a tube of Loctite. It’s no surprise that this is one of the most hotly anticipated DnB tomes this year. The production is top-notch, the selection almost flawless — with maybe a bit too much focus given to liquid at the beginning. Fat’s imitable vocal styling compliments the tunes as only a seasoned, rave-friendly MC would do. Highly recommended.