Hyponik

Slugabed rockin u

Slugabed – ‘Dangerous’ (Ninja Tune / White Label)

Ninja Tune’s resident synth monkey Greg Feldwick successfully combines bit-crushed space-funk with a keen sense of fun, and the rapid nature of his Ninja Tune work over the last year or so has thrown up such gems as the impressive ‘Moonbeam Rider’ EP and the arpeggiated, video game-hop of ‘Sun Too Bright Turn It Off’ from last year. Now Feldwick gets his Slugabed mask out the box once again to drop an official ‘bootleg’ collection of some typically eclectic odds and ends.

Centred on a characteristically bouncy remix of the Busta Rhymes classic ‘Dangerous’ – the Flip Mode man sounding right at home over semi-dancehall rhythms and expressive synth work – this latest releas is like a weird kind of audio business card for the Slugabed manifesto. Feldwick has precedent with hip-hop remixes (see previous reworkings of Pharoahe Monch or his take on Manuva’s ‘Witness (1 Hope)’ from the Ninja Tune XX, Vol.2 collection), a discipline that appears to have fallen out of fashion with many producers today. This Busta refit shows the art is still alive and well.

The title track – charitably described as “Featuring Leon Ware”, with the soul man’s chopped up vocal samples sprinkled liberally throughout – slows the tempo to a swagged out strut, a melodic bassline carrying the usual synth layers and Ware’s pleas to “keep rockin’”.

‘Say’ is an interesting selection: a rare remix of a hip-hop instrumental from Lootpack member Kankick. Feldman takes the dusty, crate-dug boom-bap of the original and reconceptualises it as an 808-led, ‘80s synth bounce (the full title Feldman gives the track as ‘Say (Slugabed Ruined It)’, an unnecessarily self- deprecating account, but one that shows his appreciation of the original).

There’s nothing new on show here, and ‘Dangerous’ serves primarily as a gap-filler for Slugabed fans awaiting a full length from this exciting beat-tweaker. Taken purely on face value however, the release is further confirmation that Ninja Tune have yet another huge talent on their hands.

Tom Quickfall

‘Dangerous’ is out now as a white label release on Ninja Tune.