A wildly infectious set from cosmic rappers New Flesh, tracing that fine line between danceability and music for the anoraks. New Flesh’s combination of freestyling street rap, dancehall, dub, reggae and drum n’ bass makes for a hugely idiosyncratic listening experience, marking them out as some of the truly individual rap voices of recent times. And with guests ranging from Ty and Roots Manuva to members of Blackalicious and Antipop Consortium, you know you’re in for something out of the ordinary.
What’s truly impressive about this release isn’t the fact that it’s so fundamentally eclectic with regards to its sources, its almost militant genre-defiance — but the fact that they actually pull it off successfully, that it succeeds in making any sense at all. And even more, that they’ve made a brave, paradigm-shifting statement out of it without the slightest trace of a compromise in sight.
This uniqueness, this complete irreverence toward any set rules, comes across in the lyrics as well, in which they combine harsh reflections on social issues with a sense of fun, and metalinguistic reflections on rap as an art form with jokes about their own incredulity. And, best of all, it makes sense. New Flesh’s Understanding does exactly what it says on the cover, and it’s a lesson you don’t want to be without.
Big Dada Records: http://www.bigdada.com