A few months back at Cardiff Arts Institute we had both Swarms and Kowton on the same night for a Crack Launch Party. I ended up filling in between them briefly for just 1 track, pretty much reaching for the nearest disc I could find. As Swarms had finished their excellent set somewhere in the 140bpm region that happened to be an excessively heavy Dubstep track. I’m pretty sure I remember a distinct look of disdain on Kowton’s face as he cut the track dead and dropped down the bpm by about 25 with some of the slowest House I’d heard played out in a while (and then proceeded to play a blinding set).
This was in the summer and I remember feeling that the latest generation of UK producers to fully embrace House were definitely leaving their largely mid 130 pasts far behind them and taking a shift further and further down in tempo. This proved all too true last night when Simpson (who incidentally also happens to be Kowton’s house mate) kicked off the Behling + Simpson set in Undertone with their soul warming remix of Crazy P’s ‘Changes’, a shuffling House track that weighs in somewhere under 110bpm.
The duo seemed like an interesting booking for the Obey night, although to be honest I’ve probably not been to enough of them to comment. Either way it certainly proved to be a good one. I’ve had both of the fellas at my nights before but under different guises and this is a fairly new excursion for them, with just one proper release on Futureboogie and a couple of remixes / bootlegs doing the rounds. On the strength of what’s out there already and their set last night though, I’d say it’s a welcome paradigm shift for both. Tune of the night for me has to be their re-edit of Julio Bashmore’s ‘Father Father’ which if I’m honest does far more justice to the vocals (laid down beautifully by Javeon McCarthy aka Shadz from Central Spillz) than the original.
If this is all a little too warm and fluffy for you then perhaps I should mention that half way through the set Barry Town’s finest, Skamma turned up to add a little personal MCing over the top. Although more used to a diet of Hip-hop, Grime and Dubstep, fiend and he merrily freestyled away to me until fellow Squid Ninja rapper Ral Duke was forced to make a sharp yet amusing exit.
Which of course gives me the opportunity to post up this mixtape from Skamma alongside cohorts Joe Blow and Stagga. Be warned, it’s dope as hell but it ain’t pretty.