It seems MIA isn't the only one who has been putting on the pounds recently. I accidentally saw her protégé Afrikan Boy live last weekend and, by the looks of him, he's been busy scoffing creatine supplements but hasn't been doing the weights. I couldn't tell you a thing about his performance – I spent the entire time with my hands over my ears because his DJ insisted on turning up every knob on the mixer until the speakers were farting out almost deafening distortion. Judging by his Auto-Tuned monstrosity of a new single, "Lagos Town", I definitely didn't miss much.
In other news, Various Productions are working with a fellow African boy (man) called V.E.X., an 18-stone Luton bouncer of Kenyan descent who sounds uncannily like The Streets. In fact, he probably sounds more like The Streets than Mike Skinner currently does.
Various Productions feat. V.E.X., "Ramp"
Below is the duo's new single, "Trycycle", a demented yet enchanting dubstep number.
Various Productions, "Trycycle"
As I've pointed out before, Hyperdub is by far the most interesting and consistent dubstep label around, and they've proven this once again with their latest release, a split 12" between Joker and Dutch duo 2000F & JKamata. Surprisingly, the latter show up Joker with their fruity robofunk ballad, "You Don't Know What Love Is", which is surely the smoothest thing to come out of the Netherlands since Mistral.
2000F & JKamata, "You Don't Know What Love Is"
Recently, Hyperdub has been tippy toeing the narrow ravine between dubstep and funky. Kode9 has been experimenting around 130 BPM for awhile now, releasing a couple of dark funky-esque tunes with LD at the end of last year, and now the label has secured a forthcoming 12" from female dubstep-influenced funky producer Cooly G. More on that in the coming weeks.