The indomitable Wiley has just dropped arguably his finest album to date. The gestalt '100% Publishing' is completely Wiley's: produced, vocalled and recorded by the godfather of Grime, and surely his most confidently varied set to date, too. Much of the lyrics and humour may only be decipherable to Londoners or Grime heads, but the fact that the production is pretty much solid and endearing throughout (unlike some other Wiley albums) means that they'll sink in over time due to the play-it-again factor. Like any great or unique art, its surreal nuances and introspective quirks will be revealed in due course.
We're instantly drawn to his more avant Grime beats, like the soured-synth bounce of the title track, the clownish 'Boom Boom Da Da', most definitely the nutty drum-rolling 'I Just Woke Up' and the piano-lead slowfast sophistication of 'Wise Man and his Words', but equally the slower, R&B-juiced joints like 'Talk About Life' and the breathlessly delivered 'Yonge Street (1,178 miles long)' prove his production chops are as dextrous as his syntax.
Without compromising his individual stance, the balance of pop-worthy, road-ready beats and scintillating lyricism may prove to be his most subversive and successful to date. But, judging from the cover, he couldn't give a f*ck, and you've got to applaud that.
Notions of place and displacement feature strongly in the works of Fatima Al Qadiri. The Brooklyn-based producer refers to her debut full-length as a “virtual road trip through ‘imagined China,’” refracting the skewed manner in which Asian motifs have sunk into Western pop culture.