Roots Manuva - Slime and Reason

Alex Skinner 30/08/2008

Rating: 4/5

Roots produces the type of music that you can drive around pretending to own a 1.2 Corsa with a stick-on spoiler and stupidly large wheels.

Rodney 'Roots Manuva' Smith returns in most consistent, dazzling form with his fourth album 'Slime and Reason' where he pulls another rabbit from his diverse hat.

Dripping in gold dust, the package creates a place where dub exchanges ideas with electronica, then contemplates raga-funk thoughts all mingling in a gospel-fashioned hip-hop room.

Avoiding the generic, Roots taps into unique sounds allowing individuality to fully flourish. This album will bring him more success with 'Again and Again' as it provides a raga styled anthem. The Raga-dub beats are a fresh, free wheeling, marvel of sound that bellows out loudly hitting you for six immediately.

In particular 'Do Nah Bodda Mi' throws together a carnival style that gets you moving (can be dangerous whilst driving). 'Kick Up Ya Foot' has more of an electronic edge that slashes you whilst the rhythmic beats take hold to, well, kick up your foot.

Showing range and impact 'Buff Nuff' shows the album's depth in more of a stomping, bass-ridden short track with beats-a-plenty. I don't know what it means but hey, it's a slice of electro-funk that fits.

If you are not used to Roots Manuva, Rodney's lyrics could find you wandering into the unknown. Some songs may seem self-centered and sometimes drag like a rambunctious kitten on some new curtains. Most of the time he remains vocally realistic. Lyrically, Rodney never forgets his background and where he has come from. This is to be admired.

The production values shine throughout as the diverse sounds work, so much so it is dazzling. A great, funked up package. Roots 'Rodney Smith' Manuva creates a fearless sound that is exciting, honest and soulful.