Artist: DJ Format
Album: Music For The Mature B-Boy
Rating: 7 / 10
Reviewer: A to the L
It’s been a long time coming, but finally DJ Format’s long player has arrived, with the Brighton beatsmith hoping to capitalise on the initial buzz created by his first couple of singles. At only eleven tracks deep its obvious that Format is going for quality over quantity, with his blend of warm 70’s funk samples producing large portions of feelgood vibes which should appeal to those who jock Jurassic 5 and PUTS.
Things kick off with the first couple of singles. ‘Ill Culinary Behavior’ features Canadian MC Abdominal on microphone duty as Format lays down an organ heavy funk track. As the title suggests its chockfull of kitchen similes, and cooking references, with Ab dropping “explosions of flavour” all over the track. I must admit that when I first peeped the 12″, I wasn’t really feeling this cut much, but it has grown on me over time. ‘We Know Something You Don’t Know’ however was marked down as a banger from day one. This one features Charli 2na and Akil from Jurassic 5, who sound comfortably at home over this Cut Chemist / Numark-esque track. Its all Format’s own work however, from the sharp piano stabs to the superb way the strings kick in at the end – and its dope.
Next up is the first of the instrumental cuts. ‘Last Bongo In Brighton’ is a crazily hyper relative of Michael Viner’s Incredible Bongo Band, but despite its frantic pace it really needs a little more added to it, to make it a cut worthy of returning to. Elsewhere on the instrumental tip, ‘Here Comes The Fuzz’ features a disgustingly distorted bassline, and familiar drum loop, with smatterings of Hammond organ flying in and out of the mix at regular intervals; while the remix of ‘English Lesson’ features lifts from 70’s English comedy flicks and more of those blasted bongos mixed in a Hawaii 5-0 steelo. Its the genius of ‘Little Bit Of Soul’ that stands out though – a dreamily mellow cut, that ambles along at its own pace until the dark strings kick in to give it a more emotional feel. As the Stax-influenced soul hook kicks in to push it over the edge though, you can’t help admiring the amount of digging that has went in to making this joint. Props to Format.
As far as the other vocal tracks go, its worth checking for ‘B-Boy Code Part 2’ where guest Fatski drops a nice little ode to the old school over Format’s ever changing beats; and ‘Vicious Battle Raps’ where Abdominal pops up again in over another 100 miles per hour beat, displaying an almost Big Daddy Kane type flow. But the standout is ‘Charity Shop Soundclash’ where Format hooks up with fellow Brighton heads, Aspects, providing them with a sparkling piano loop to drop some absolutely nuts gems on.
Its another impressive notch on the UK’s belt. A quality artist, dropping an impressive album that deserves your hard earned. The only drawbacks are the large proportion of the album given over to instrumentals – those who like their lyrics may not be best pleased. For the rest though – do try to check this out. Its worth it.