Music Reviews

Artist: Talen
Title: Kingston Book
Format: 12"
Label: Mouthwatering (@)
Distributor: finetunes
Rated: *****
Kingston Book is the first of two “books” sealing the stylistic tunneling joining the Alps and the glorious Jamaica, built by the surprising Swiss dancehall collective Talen - a quartet made up two djs - Aunt One & Bux - and two producers Bobphonic and Uppernoise - , based in Winterthur, which exchanged musical particles with two authentic legends of the Jamaican scene, Sizzla and Cutty Ranks, for their debut release. The opening track on A-side should not be named but The Vibes with Sizzla’s roars targeting “undercover cops investigating music” and “fighting The Vibes” he usually likes and spreads, a stylish blend of electrified Ragga tunes and highly danceable Rock’n’roll stepping, close to that musical formula which recently seduced big names such as Fat Boy Slim, while on the same side the frightening sound of air raid alarms announces a very good version by another renowned leonine music maker coming from the Vienna scene, Herr Stefan Moerth aka Stereotyp, tailoring the track in a distinguishable way, which is quite easy-to-recognize if you’ve already heard something about this refined producer or something from his own Crunchtime label, generally featuring a dry hard-dub beating on sharp noises and obscure sub-basses.

On the flipside, it’s Cutty Ranks’ turn on the gun-firing mic spitting a sort of angry war hymn in the anguished Sniper Sniper, a track which from the stylistic viewpoint looks closer to The Bug and Razor X productions whose turgor has been swollen by heavy bass tones, buzzing synths and metallic kicks, setting the climax before the great remix by Markus Kienzl (Sofa Surfers) whose obsessive rushing rhythmical pattern sloping in miasmatic downbeat pulsations and razor-slashes are elements able to bring dub in a clubby dimension.

On the 12”, you’ll also find the codes to download the bonus tracks as well, among which my personal favorite is the atmospheric and rolling drum’n’bass Sniper Sniper remix by the Austrian crew Alien Entertainment, even if you’ll easily fall in love with the elegant dubstep variant by Dillon Dug, the stomping bonus remix by Markus Kienzl - this time with distorted brass and a venomous punk’n’roll drumming on evidence - and the Alternate Version of The Vibes - a balanced hybrid between analogue and digital with a catchy tribal drums’ crescendo and other thrilling improvements on the percussive set -.

A second book - the New York one , the American counterpart of the Jamaican one, propelled by the N.Y rappers Oddateee and Sensational- has already been issued. When you’ll listen to this one, it will be almost impossible to resist the temptation of ignoring it. I personally undersign the recommendation by Talen: I definitively won’t fight The Vibes of Talen! Bombaclat!

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