• Mark One - One Way

    Reviewed by Corey H. Maass (igloomag.com)

    <b> Mark One </b> - One Way

    Mark One's One Way is one of the first full length grime albums that has received a lot of attention outside the UK. Grime, itself a sub-genre of UK Garage, has been getting a lot of attention in the UK and Europe, but I fear it'll pass America by as so many other styles. Too bad, as it perpetuates UK rap as something completely separate from the US as well as the harder, darker side of garage, like techstep or drill-n-bass was to drum-n-bass.

    This album features a slew of different takes on the grime feel, and stays largely instrumental, in my opinion, thankfully. The music tends to be trudging and dark, with a real attention to detail. When MC's rap over it, it obscures the music, and I'm listening for the production. The three tracks that do feature MC's are tasteful and well done, especially "Stand Up" with JSD. These were also the tracks that received a lot of radio play before the album release. Rightly so. They're good crossovers.

    Otherwise, the instrumental tracks range from boring to brilliant. A couple tracks, like "Blow," seem like good ideas that just don't come across. Others are grime anthems. "Bang Bang Boy" is hard but noisy, a little different from a typical grime minimalism. "Bring the Law" uses a sung hook, vocal samples and hard, hard beats to draw you in, and then constantly changes up to keep you on your toes.

    Mark One was a great choice for Planet-mu's first big grime release. He's got an intelligent style that fits well with the usual braindance releases from the label's collective.

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