Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Sound Of Rum - Balance

Assured debut album from UK rap's latest flag bearers.

UK rap has come a long way in the last 20 years. In the late 80's it seemed we were only capable of stylistically copying our US cousins, whereas now UK rap would appear to have the upper hand, steadfastly refusing to go down the gangsta bling dead-end that neuters a lot of rap coming out of America at the moment. The success of the likes of Plan B, Dizzy Rascal et al proves that these days we're actually pretty good at it.

Enter Sound Of Rum with their ambitious, intelligent, and hugely entertaining brand of British hip-hop. Fronted by rapper Kate Tempest, who thankfully steers clear of the kind of braggadocio that is the downfall of many of her male counterparts. Instead she favours social observation with compassionate world-view, along with a love of classic literature and Greek mythology. (Track titles include “Icarus” and “Prometheus”.) She's definitely someone with something to say and a unique way of saying it.

The music is pretty neat too; the band's playing faultless throughout and anything but formulaic. Ranging in style from laid-back and jazzy, through break-beat drum and bass grooves, to experimental guitars. Their sound coming together in the crucible of London's squat party scene. They have a sound all of their own, worth checking out.