Champion – ‘Prince Jammy’/’Hydra Island’ (Formula)

It’s only been a little under two years since Champion‘s debut funky foray into the world of electronic music was harnessed by Terror Danjah’s Hardrive imprint, but given the rapidity of his success since, you’d almost be hard pushed to believe it. Now fronting his own label in the shape of Formula Records and a recent signee to both Hyperdub and Digital Sound Boy, as well as remaining a regular with grime staple Butterz, Champion’s fluidity has marked him out as a producer of an exceptional calibre.

2013’s first release comes in the form of a weighty two-track 12” for Formula that unites typical funky rhythms with more contemporary, thick-edged bass styles. ‘Hydra Island’, a track Champion has been beginning sets with for over a year, is certainly the funkier of the two – indeed, there are succinct echos of 2011 hit ‘Lighter’ – but it still packs more dancefloor punch than the majority of tunes you’ll hear this year.

On the flip, ‘Prince Jammy’ is a much tougher cut, one that represents a transition in style that Champion has worked into his productions over the last year in particular. I remember first hearing it at Butterz’ 2nd birthday knees up last March and feeling initially a little perplexed by the shift, but it’s easy to forget that this a producer more than willing to experiment – just look at last year’s grime smash ‘Crystal Meth’. That said, Prince Jammy is by no means an entirely alien cut, it just happens to land somewhere more in-line with the likes of producers like Redlight and Dismantle. And that is certainly no bad thing.

Tomas Fraser

‘Hydra Island’/’Prince Jammy’ will be released April 27th on vinyl format only