Tuesday, 19 August 2008

WILEY: It's Only Right


Charging over city-sweeping Indian polyphonic orchestral lines like roughshod freight trains, “It’s Only Right” reminds me heavily of Chris and Dudu’s Blue Notes towards the end of the sixties – the hitherto unreleased Chris McGregor Septet 1969 recording Up To Earth, wherein the likes of Evan Parker, John Surman and even Danny Thompson manage to find common ground with the regulars - has recently been issued on CD for useful comparison purposes – with its mixture of collective noise and unique blend of rage and humour. Its rapid fire list of “only”s is like a supercharged equivalent of Scritti’s “Lions After Slumber” as skittle beats bowl over and under their vocal throws. Guest rappers Brazen and Flowdan take turns – or, more properly, solos – as the others riff vocally behind them. Its temperature steadily rises until Flowdan’s explosive barrage, as fearsome as his contributions to London Zoo, where the urgency of their delivery becomes life-enabling and he rants excitingly about their being “soldiers” bringing the track to a shrieking climax – again, I think of Shepp’s similar tactics with his crowning solo on “Mama Too Tight.” Fearlessly omitting “Wearing My Rolex,” Grime Wave entrances with its collusions of wit and rebellion and, at this late stage, Eskibeat wins us back again and grime is, for those of us who have quietly kept a discreet eye on its progress, once more vital.

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