Nextup: Rabit Ft. Riko Dan- Black Dragons

The nigh-on google proof Rabit here with the latest release from Glacial Sounds, a Dublin based grime/ bass imprint. Despite having been around for around a year and a half, the track is only now getting a release, with a fresh vocal from ex-Roll Deep MC Riko Dan and a video to boot.

The beat is certainly left field, but not shockingly fresh sounding after the success of Mumdance and others associated with Boxed et al. However, what at first seems to be an exercise in experimental grime rhythms underpinned by a system-testing sub reveals a satisfying melody after a few listens, the weighty, shifting texture of the synths demanding attention.

As for the vocal, Riko Dan similarly puts in a performance that grows on the listener, his confident flow marrying the old guard of grime with new. Much of the recent coverage of this track seems to gloss over Riko as any rent-a-yardie brought in to add a bit of authenticity to outsider grime- however this isn’t the case. Riko’s recent glut of bookings and collaborations are a well deserved recognition of one of Roll Deep’s most underrated MCs, often forgotten in the shadow of Flow Dan and previously God’s Gift. Capable of dominating a set over dancehall, old school, new school (his ‘Woo Riddim’ freestyle was one of the best) and now the new wave of experimental grime (see also his vocal of Mumdance’s ‘Take Time’) Riko is showing that a true veteran can move with the times and stay relevant without the help of Nazir Mazhar or ham-fisted clashes.

Release: 6.10.14

-Bert Coyle

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