30 June 2008
IT TAKES TWO
The eighties nostalgia continues unabated at Gutter HQ. So now I've been dusting off the 'Pop Rap' elpees - the kinda records that dropped-off the critical map eons ago, but which, I'm sure, exerted more influence than we care to remember. So who's prepared to stand-up and be counted as fans of early Salt 'N Pepa, Cookie Crew, L'Trimm etc? (I always liked the female rappers best). But then of course there's Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, who cut possibly my favourite Hip Hop hit "It Takes Two", which is still the definitive example of the JB samplin' "Whoo! Yeh!" vocal loop. The subsequent album is admittedly a bit of a mixed-bag. In fact most of side 1 is a bit dodgy, but side 2 is rockin'. Opening with their other big hit "Get On The Dancefloor", which like Todd Terry's stuff from that period, has that big proto-rave riff running though it. "Keep It Going" feels particularly prescient, revolving around a big dirty Amen break, nagging spooked-out guitar note lifted from the intro to ESG's "UFO", and vocals that gradually slide from standard US rap delivery to Jamaican soundsystem patois, like it's anticipating Shut Up and Dance and Jungle (and let's not forget that SUAD always claimed their music was 'fast hip hop', rather than rave). I hear so many future-echoes in this music...surely it had a subliminal effect on all those British B-Boys turned Ravers..?