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PR: @RootsManuva's Banana Skank EP January 22nd
Posted by Steve Juon at Friday, November 30th, 2012 at 9:00AM :: Email this article :: Print this article

PR: Roots Manuva's Banana Skank EP January 22nd

Courtesy Trevor @ Score.

The one and only Rodney Smith aka Roots Manuva returns to the fray with a four track EP displaying a perfect balance between stripped back lyrical goodness and dancefloor crunchiness. The last track on Mr Manuva's acclaimed 2011 album, 4everevolution, "Banana Skank" is here reimagined by WAFA as a hyperkinetic club smasher, all intricate changes of direction and emphasis, but without losing any of the original's joyful reggae pulse. Not be outdone, Smith links up his own sequel to the original, a kind of motoric good trip/bad trip which reminds you yet again what a uniquely talented producer he is. "Party Time" and "Natural" reinforce the point, showcasing the stripped back, icy productions Manuva has been making at his secret Tottenham base over the last year or so. He is joined on both tracks by long time Banana Klan collaborator Kope and together the two trade lines and verses in the best traditions of hip hop, their voices (and imaginations) bouncing off each other in an intertwining stream of consciousness that almost demands to be read across both tracks.

One of the true pioneers of Black British music, as well as one of its greatest, most maverick talents, Roots Manuva is currently working on a new album, writing an opera, developing a comic book, penning an autobiography and looking after his kids.

"Contemplative yet hugely enjoyable... gritty yet gently humorous... hugely impressive" - The Times 4/5
"His best album yet" - The Sunday Times
"Everything on this album seems to burst with brilliant vitality" - Metro, 5/5, Album of the Week
"Still in peak form, voicing socially aware hip hop and outre electro-disco, all with an eloquence which often eludes the newer generation" - The Daily Telegraph
"Intense, cutting and clever, this is an album that unfolds at blistering pace. Roots Manuva just keeps on delivering. Here's to another decade." - Drowned In Sound, 8/10
"Smith seems... to have hit the richest creative vein of his accomplished career. This outstanding longplayer is, by some distance, his best yet... It's a pure... joy to hear British hip hop's most original and inspiring voice hitting his peak" - Garry Mulholland, BBC Music, 9/10
"An album that's contemplative, insightful and filled with a beleaguered sense of the hard-scrabble nature of contemporary life" - The Guardian, 4/5
"Proggy electronic wizardry, warped R&B and sleekly produced, astute socio-political commentary" - NME
"Filled with classic lines and insights aplenty" - Music Week
"Combining introspective lyrics with off-beat production to infectious effect" - Shortlist
"Not many albums this year will be as jaw-droppingly good" - Loud & Quiet, 9/10
"Might be his best yet... a capitivating album with bass at its heart." - Mixmag, 4/5
"Ups the stakes with boundary-stretching pop... he's certainly never sounded so sharp" - Q, 4/5
"Urgently inventive, ranging over dark future-bass, disco soul, dubby soundscaping, dancehall, doo-wop and deep house" - Time Out, 4/5
"A tidy summation of Roots' myriad moods, it plays almost like a greatest hits set, skittering with casual genius" - Mojo, 4/5
"A fully rounded work that takes its author beyond the urban music ghetto into something more accomplished" - Observer, This Season's 10 Biggest Album Releases
"An almighty album" - Artrocker, 5/5
"Here's a real national treasure" - Loaded, 4.5/5
"The best UK hip hop artist ever" - Daily Star
"He's still going his own singular way... another excellent album" - Evening Standard
"A more approachable album than any of his previous LPs... infinitely funky and incorrigibly danceable" - The Fly
"An album for ravers, vybzers and thinkers" - RWD
"Sucks you in like a black hole of immense, funkified gravity... very fine" - The Skinny, 4/5

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