Toddla T – Watch Me Dance: Agitated by Ross Orton & Pipes
Orton & Pipes are legendary figures on the Sheffield soundsystem circuit, and this remix project sees them deconstruct the populist ragga-meets-R'n'B-meets hip-hop of Toddla T's debut album. The approach is hardly innovative, but it is celebrated, and often devastatingly effective – Mad Professor's involving, dub-heavy reinterpretations of bands such as Massive Attack often pull out flavours and vibes only touched on in the originals, and the same process occurs here on tracks like opener Fly and the electro-skank of Watch Me Dub.
The more R'n'B / 2-step-based tracks such as Take It Back are slightly unimaginative refixes, and the slick, effects-heavy vocals suffer when placed in the weed-fug of dub sonics. Badder Man Runs manages to evoke mid-noughties breakbeat like Aquasky & Masterblaster, consequently sounding a touch dated. The heavier, dub-chamber atmosphere of later tracks like Faardaa and Heavy Girl are more successful. It's a mixed bag, but would make fine fodder for BBQs and summer parties, should the sun ever deign to appear. [Bram Gieben]