Saturday, 7 January 2012

The Urbanite UK Album of 2011 - On A Mission

"Are you from another world, I never met someone that looks like you"

It seems like we cannot go one year without having the UK charts dominated by graduates of Croydon's most famous institution, the Brit School for Performing Arts and Technology.  This year alone we had Rizzle Kicks break into the top ten, we had Jessie J hit number one and we had Adele monopolise album sales in the US and UK.

But in Katy B, we have an artist that has finally succeeded in establishing UK underground dance music as a force once again.  Along with the likes of Magnetic Man, Zinc and Nero, the South London born artist has brought dubstep music to commercial masses whilst still staying true to its core.

It's therefore no surprise that On A Mission tops our list.  The production, naturally provided by the guys that more or less discovered Katy B's talents, is UK dubstep at its very best; a mix of four to the floor house, half speed break-beats and thumping bass .  Nowhere is this particularly so then on Katy On A Mission, a Benga produced banger that has the most addictive bassline heard in a while.

But don't be mistaken into thinking that it is only the beats that make this tune, and album, so great.  Katy B is a talented lyricist and demonstrates this to devastating effect.  Interspersed with such powerful beats, the effect is that whether we are in our room or on the dancefloor, we can still feel the effects and emotions that she describes through her descriptive lyrical content:

"My limbs seem to move what the beat dictates for me, I push into the middle the sound becomes a part of me, taking me back to that sweet familiarity, making my adrenaline rise I feel the eyes on me"

This ability to paint every day raving scenarios that we can all relate to is what makes Katy B as an artist so appealing.  On the fantastic Lights On, featuring the return of Ms Dynamite, we find her on the dancefloor trying to get her last moves on before she gets kicked out ("while some others at the cloakroom, some others are at the door, we can keep on going in the middle of the floor").  On the catchy Easy Please Me she's getting chatted up at the bar by, basically, wastemen and on the melodramatic Go Away she's praying for her unsuccessful relationship to fail ("it'll end in tears when you carry out all my fears").

The highlight of the album is the Magnetic Man produced Perfect Stranger, a story of locking eyes with a stranger in the club and pursuing your interest.  The fast breakbeats, the minimalist intro, the bass in the chorus - all this is complimented perfectly by Katy B's beautiful voice and deep, sensual lyrics ("beautiful stranger how do you do, tell me is there something I can do for you")

With each and every track more or less following a similar formula, this is one of the most polished UK dance albums for a generation.  Katy B really is on a mission.

Choons to download: Perfect Stranger, Lights On, Easy Please Me, Katy On A Mission

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