Flowdan – ‘Serious Business’ EP [Hyperdub]

Excellent solo plate from Flowdan (Flow Dan?) here, released on Hyperdub last month, continuing on with the label’s stunning ten year anniversary releases. It couldn’t be more aptly named, as there’s not a phone-in moment on Serious Business, just proper badman MC work from one of the scene’s finest mic men, instantly recognisable from his dark and menacing tones.

We mostly love Flowdan from the countless bass / dubstep / grime / jungle raves that he’d appear at all over London. As a live MC, few comers to the game can keep up with his standard, and most importantly no one sounds like him. We won’t patronise the matter by saying that he’s captured the same energy and and vibes that make him so great live, but he has definitely stepped up for his best solo working in the studio to date.

Having guested on the classics such as ‘Skeng’ and ‘Jah War’ we probably shouldn’t be surprised by how hard the EP bangs, but precedent of MCs falling over at this hurdle suggests that we should. Flowdan’s not done it this time alone mind you, with Coki, Footsie, The Bug and Masro offering up the beats for him to work over. Armed with the right instrumentals to meet the mode, he’s got at least one system weapon on each side and something insightful as well, making up a killer vinyl four-tracker.

First spotted on the Hyperdub 10.1 compilation came ‘Ambush’, the Footsie produced opener to the EP that sets the darkened tone. Flowdan’s natural vibe with lyrics, making it all sound so easy, slots in perfectly to the computer-driven bitsy instrumental. The pairing couldn’t be a better fit, maintaining the raw grime-edge with Flowdan’s lyrical work moving in tandem with Footsie’s spooked synths and beat workings makes it accessible to those outside the genre too.

Not a bad track on here, but the proper large moment on the record comes with the closing track. Even at just under three minutes in length the Masro produced ‘No Gyal Tune’ is an instant anthem. More than a decent throwback to the aggression that made grime a calling card for so many venues to avoid, it’s equally a polished version of Flowdan’s live vibes, absolutely slaying the system.

Check the press release below and two of the favourites from the drop. Big ups Hyperdub and the legend Flowdan. It’s been a while since something in this vein moved us like this, get on it.

via Hyperdub
Roll Deep founding member Flowdan links with Hyperdub for a much needed solo EP. The East London MC enlists some serious production power, including Kevin Martin aka The Bug, Newham Generals’ Footsie, Digital Mystikz’ Coki & Masro. Footsie provides trapped-out opener ‘Ambush’, which Flowdan picks apart with his usual precision. ‘People Power’, a call to arms produced by The Bug, marks another classic hook up between the two, while Coki’s frantic ‘F About’ threatens to overload on colossal synths and tough talk. The standout, however, is ‘No Gyal Tune’, a paranoiac Masro production that Flowdan dismantles with renewed vigour.