Roots Manuva Meets Wrongtom: Duppy Writer

Roots Manuva Meets Wrongtom: Duppy Writer (Big Dada CD/MP3/WAV/2xLP)

There’s a bit of a buzz about this right now and rightly so. I’ve previously bigged up Wrongtom on here for his much missed Resonance FM show with Mr Trick and his awesome sleng tengy Tinie Tempah refix.

He’s now turned his hands to Roots Manuva’s back catalogue, mixing it up in a raggamuffin style. Which is great news for me as I’ve always loved Roots Manuva’s lyrics and flow but often found his beats a bit… I dunno… too clever, maybe? Hip hop isn’t my main thing (as I guess is obvious) and UK hip hop has largely passed me by…

“Duppy Writer” is a brilliantly executed project – Wrongtom’s production varies between swingy mid 80s digikal style and more classic rootsy business. And boy, he knows what he’s doing. You’ll find no bland “festival reggae” or stiff techno flourishes here. In fact the whole album works as a kick in the pants to all the bedroom producers out there churning out generic dub tunes whether they be UK roots or dubstep.

Calling this a remix project is doing it a disservice – it’s a complete overhaul which stands as an accomplished UK reggae MC album in its own right. It’s one of the few new albums to get me excited this year, the other being the King Midas Sound one, but for entirely different reasons (“Duppy” is exuberant where KMS is introspective, in fact they function like opposite sides of the same coin, maybe.)

Best tracks to investigate: “Rebuff” with proper cross-fading digi bass soundsystem madness, the soulful “Jah Warriors” with its moody keyboard line, and “Chin Up” which has me skanking around the flat whilst trying to write this.

The album comes wrapped up in a full colour cover by Tony McDermott (who did all those great Scientist covers for Greensleeves, and who I have a brief piece about in the current issue of The Wire magazine).

Duppy Writer is released tomorrow – and there are a couple of launch events inna local style:

“Come and meet the Ghost writer behind all the Roots Manuva Classics.Rodney’s dead twin from Duppy Land will be haunting East London 2-6pm. Can’t stay long he has to get back to being dead.”

Or to put it another way, Roots and friends will be celebrating the release of the record by taking over the shop Pelicans & Parrots at 40 Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, N16 7XJ; 2-6pm; Monday 6th September!

A mixture of instore, pop-up shop and chaotic mess, come through, listen, smile, buy something and get it signed. Should be fun…

Roll up, roll up for a Rootical extravaganza. To celebrate both the release of Roots Manuva meets Wrongtom’s ‘Duppy Writer,’ and the birthday of Roots Manuva himself, Big Dada is throwing a party on the 9th September.

There’ll be all kinds of great music from Roots and Wrongtom, the legendary Don Letts and the debonair Ricky Ranking, as well as first rate record playing from Photomachine. It all takes place at a newish venue called the Alibi, which, we’re assured by them that know, is the place to be. It’s free to get in, but there are only 100 or so places (strictly on a first come, first served basis), so get there early to guarantee entry.

[added later]


Roots Manuva

Roots Manuva alongside Wrongtom

Roots Manuva alongside Wrongtom

Kevin Martin watches Don Letts

Kevin Martin watches Don Letts