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Dizzee Rascal
Don't Gas Me EP Denzil Bell , September 19th, 2018 11:21

The veteran continues his rich run of recent form with a brilliant blend of bassline, garage and grime

On his new EP Don't Gas Me, Dizzee Rascal has taken it back to the roots. Comprised of a variety of bass sounds, from bassline to garage and grime, it’s reminiscent of his breakout album, Boy In da Corner.

It was the year 2003 that he dropped his debut and when it came, it was like an atomic bomb of genres that had never been heard before. Following this, he released the mostly self-produced Showtime and Maths+English, before veering of into the pop world, where he managed to achieve five Number Ones since his ascendancy to the mainstream. But this was to the dismay of his core fanbase, who just wanted him to return back to the experimental flair he displayed on Boy in da Corner.

Slowly but surely, we saw the landscape of British music start to change, with artists like Skepta releasing a seminal grime album in 2016 and then Stormzy following suit in 2017. All this noise awoke the dormant beast in Dizzee Rascal and inspired him to drop another gem in the form of Raskit last year.

The project brought things back to Dizzee's beginnings, as he finally went back to co-producing, fusing grime sonics with 808 heavy trap sounds; the very mixture which brought him critical acclaim on his first effort. Thankfully, his roll didn't stop there. Coming off the the back of Raskit, he has gifted us with this new EP Don't Gas Me.

The tape only has 5 tracks, yet he manages to pack an array of flavours into the hot pot of UK bass sounds. We have bassline anthems such as project intro 'Don't Gas Me' and the soul glazed 'Patterning Vibez', which Afronaut Zu blesses with super smooth vocals. He then brings it back to the foundation on 'Quality', which is is layered with those classic garage backing vocals, sitting atop a dub-face inducing bass. Following this, two of grime’s stalwarts (Dizzee Rascal & Skepta) collide on 'Money Right', where Skepta brings a Memphis-soaked production, allowing Dizzee to ride the beat with his authentically British flow.

The penultimate cut is 'Spin Ya' and it is appropriately named, as Dizzee proceeds to completely dismantle the grime instrumental, along with the track's features P Money and C Cane. Overall the tape serves as a reminder that Dizzee Rascal has still got it; whether it comes to flow, bars or production. But that's just the easy part. The challenge was to balance the different styles that he included in the project.

It’s easy to forget that the veteran has been in the scene for over 15 years, and on Don’t Gas Me this experience shines bright.