Cooly G – Playin' Me
Merrisa 'Cooly G' Campbell's assured, slick productions effortlessly capture the sound of 'funky' – the post-dubstep scene which has embraced elements of vocal house, classic techno, soca and minimal dubstep – and translate it into a satisfying LP. Both producer and vocalist, Campbell's approach for the most part eschews any naff pop pandering in favour of chopped, echoing vocals and smooth, complex electronic arrangements.
There's a healthy dose of darkness in her lyrics and music: Good Times is a brooding, reverb-drenched gloom cookie, while opener He Said I Said is a pitch-dark take on R&B reminiscent of Rodney Jerkins. A more dancefloor-led approach dominates elsewhere: the two-step flavours and luscious bubbling synths of What The World Needs Now recalls first-wave Tempa producer Horsepower Productions, while the soca rhythms of It's Serious could cause some serious outbreaks of shimmying. It's not all perfect – Sunshine's washed-out skank falls flat, and her cover of Coldplay's Trouble, while inventive, is probably worth skirting over. Overall though, Playin' Me is a strong, dynamic listen from a young producer with heaps of artistic courage and ability.