Sunday, 3 June 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #203 - Azealia Banks, "1991 EP"

The title of the EP would be enough to grab my interest alone. Even more so when Azealia sounds like a character from The Fresh Prince. This also has "212" on it, which I already know I like. So maybe I shouldn't listen to it. Naw, it's going in!

Dense like hardwood with a real flavour of Nineties House, that's the title track. It has a sleek and rugged tumble that moves forwards and backwards at the same time. The spirit of the fractal wasn't just in the dreadlocked quarter of dance music, it was in the champagne-sipping necks of the woods as well that went spinning out on random genome strains of disco-tech. Azealia's vocals almost burble rather than flow, sneers always at the lips with "bitch", "nigga" and "cunt" spat out regularly. Also mentioning "a sip of Baileys": drinks never quite move the same in different cultures, do they? There's the coke-tinged aspirational sheen of UK Garage as well. Against all these odds, I like it.

"Van Vouge" has a stuttering spiral of House keys and more Tourettes as AB looks to grind her opposition at the local nitespot into irrelevance. And there's a weird spoken bit at the end, laughing at meeting people from the Hood who claim to have given up smoking blunts and now drink white wine not Hennessey. "212" has a more poppy feel in the voice and the whoosh of the keyboards, more than Flat Eric; but the lyrics are still pretty fierce. "I guess that cunt gettin' eaten" - Britney doesn't seem to have turned up to the same game, eh?

"Liquorice" is sizzling with that early House/techno crossover energy, stacking up with storey after storey of agitated, overloaded little circuits. Stabbing fingers and tinkling 808 drums and easy-going bass bloops. Mighty sounds. There's even a quiet little "Ooh, yeah" as in Rob Base It Takes Two. Dip me in and call me Todd. Lyrically, she's being a bit flirtier but still acidic.

Every tune is a collection of putdowns to people in clubs. I reckon that much be the stage her career has reached. Might not like her if I met her; but the production is mega.

Rating: Classic House Cat Fight Getting out of Hand

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