Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Deekline & Ed Solo step up with their debut LP, the insanely eclectic,
genre-defying, zeitgeist-defining Bounce 'N' Shake. Some albums are
for introspective listening, others for putting on in the background
while you do the housework or homework. This one is for dropping on
the turntables when you've just opened the doors on the hottest house
party in town and need to get the evening started with a boom.

Rifling through booty bass, jungle, soul, breaks, dubstep, drumstep
and drum 'n' bass with the kind of assurance one might expect from DJs
who have sent bodies flying round the room at club venues across the
globe for more than a decade, the UK production duo drop a no-nonsense
selection of bass music anthems to get your hands in the air as the
low-end frequencies move your derriere. This one is the very
definition of all killer, no filler: a boisterous, brazen and
occasionally barmy trip into the world according to Deekline & Ed
Solo. An antidote to chin-stroking hipster beats that are about as
likely to get anyone on the dancefloor as Jesus is to be elected the
next president of Switzerland.

First up, balearic-tinged opener Gloria, featuring Christina Nicola,
is all girls' night out energy: the perfect summer sizzler to keep you
warm as the nights draw in. Next, Top Cat drops in on the frenetic
jungle-flavoured Bad Boys, freshening up the famous reggae classic
with serious aplomb. The gorgeous Always, with Keats on vocals,
ventures into atmospheric dubstep territory, while All Gravy sees
Brighton rapper Darrison taking over the mic for a dubby rudeboy
breakbeat roller. Recent single Reload is a balls-to-the-wall booty
club stormer with the mighty Million Dan blowing up the place, while
Hey Mr DJ sees Nicola back in the vocal booth for another
satin-smooth, sexygirl anthem with mic support from Florida rapper

The album's meaty mid-section belongs to Gala Osborn, who provides
driving, confident vocals on the ravey, deep and atmospheric Take It,
steps in for the legendary Dawn Penn on dubby drum 'n' bass
party-starter No No No and finishes with the piano-fuelled breakbeat
killer Hold Head. Sandwiched in between, Countdown shows off Deekline
and Ed Solo's ability to flex garage-style with the badboy hype coming
from legendary old skool 2-step MC combo Nu Jam.

Wipe the brow. Have yourself a glug of ice cold water, because after
all that firepower in the space of just 10 songs, you definitely
deserve a break from the fyah. What's that you say? We're only half
way through. Okay … deep breath and on to part two.

First up, Dancehall Tribute takes things in a deep and dubwise
direction, with the legendary Tenor Fly reminiscing over supremely
funky breakbeats on a track that recalls his chart-topping mid-90s
period with The Freestylers. Christina Nicola returns for the classy,
lush dubstep number Weekend Lover, and there's more half-time
roughness with rapper Hardy Hard sending down a p-funk flavoured vocal
on the tough and rolling Ridin'. Million Dan, Kidd Money and MC
Flipside combine forces for the garagey dub-house of Champion Number
One, before Sweetsounds turns up to rock the mic on the synthy,
disco-tinged Together. You Can Be My Night is a piano-fuelled d 'n' b
roller with a heavy jump up influence, while I Like Girls, featuring
Sporty-O and Vic Bynoe, is a straight-up electro breakbeat booty
killer about the joys of dem ladeez. Blaze It Up, featuring Million
Dan, sends ballearic guitar over fearsome d 'n' b beats and the
dirtiest of basslines, while Gimme a Piece of that Booty, with vocals
from the legendary Assault, is another roughhouse booty bass anthem.

Rounding out the album, City to City employs the vocal talents of
Darrison and Rubi Dan, blowing up the dancefloor with tearing jungle
flavours for a track that takes no prisoners. Finally, Shake the
Pressure (Martin Horger remix) sends us off into the night with a
blinding tech-fuelled booty destroyer.

A spectacular achievement, and an album likely to join the pantheon of
great dance music long players, Bounce and Shake is a rare beast in
these times of throwaway singles, a 21-track double album that bears
repeated listens and works just as well in the home as in the club.