Novelist and Mumdance’s fruitful partnership opens a new chapter in their 1 Sec EP released today, the date of MC Novelist’s 18th birthday. The unlikely duo had a breakout hit last year in ‘Take Time’, and this new collaboration is largely an extension of the sound they hit upon. Clanging, squelching drum machines and vintage synths lay a sparse path for the young south London MC to tread, leading a trail from the SE postcodes to the M25 as he shines a light on urban paranoia and bristling tension in his lyrics. Stepping back from the rave-ready exuberance of ‘Take Time’, Nov takes a calmer tone in ‘1 Sec’ with a matter of fact delivery that resonates perfectly with Mumdance’s distinctive outsider-techno-meets-deconstructed-grime.
There’s a heavy focus on ‘road’ talk- drugs, violence and simple machismo. But there’s no bragging or boasting, just observations of the streets he treads every day. The way the vocal delivery glides effortlessly over the unyielding beat betrays the pair’s intrinsic understanding of grime’s heart without paying mindless lip service. Abstract, propulsive rhythms and digital noises become the sounds of the street without impersonating them, lyrics skim across London’s collective stream of consciousness; a musically cubist portrait of street life from the observer and the outsider.