With the sweetest of sounds coming from the speakers of the Ticket Arena office it would be mighty selfish of us to keep them to ourselves, so we thought we’d let you in on what our staff use to soundtrack a hard day’s work. Now a weekly feature with the intent of bringing your attention to wonderful new sounds every Tuesday, our Album Of The Week looks at releases from the best in the game, whether fresh new acts about to hit the big time or established artists reminding the world of their continued talent. Simply put, it’s just the best in new music that we think you should hear.
It can only be expected that a man with an extensive list of friends that also happen to be some of the best current emcees in the world will have them be part of his twenty two track feature length album The Plug - and luckily for grime fans, that’s exactly what Charlie Sloth did. The figurehead of BBC 1Xtra showcases his mixing and selecting skills while inviting some of the biggest acts to offer their vocal talents to verses. A versatile album, with a number of genres and styles completing a display of Sloth’s numerous influences and favoured sounds.
Elements of reggae peek through in album book-end ‘Walk Away’ which features Konshens and Donae’o, as well as ‘Pull Up On You’ which offers the voice of Lola Rae, and Jamaican resident Sean Kingston gives off island vibes in collaboration with Lady Leshurr and Spice for ‘What I Can Do’. Charlie’s staple of grime is heard throughout, as his beats in tracks ‘Kendrick Lamar’ with Cadet, ‘Running’ with Abra Cadabra and Ghetts, ‘UPS’ with Fredo and ‘Wake Up’ with Giggs are dirty and cold and stereotypically what differentiates rap and hip hop from the heavier grime genre. Special mentions to some of the tracks as ‘#FameGame’ in collab with Bugzy Malone not only includes bars on point, but also reworks the riff from Cutting Crew’s 80s power ballad ‘Died In Your Arms Tonight’, which shouldn’t work, but does, and guest vocals from scouse emcee Aystar in ‘Therapy’ adds a social commentary about working class and the graft that goes into making it in the music industry - a clever move from Charlie, as not only does the Liverpudlian accent make the track more poignant, but giving this voice a platform does exactly what the single details and gets the harsh vocals into the mainstream.
Charlie Sloth heads out to showcase live renditions of the album at Leeds O2 Academy on Thursday 28th September, he’ll be joined by Giggs and Abra Cadabra - who also feature on the album - at this year’s Warehouse Project on Friday 13th October.