“Gunchester” crew rap brutal-and-British lyrics over techno rhythms

  • Virus Syndicate - The Work-Related Illness

    Reviewed by Simon Reynolds (Blender)

    <b> Virus Syndicate </b> - The Work-Related Illness

    Although grime is undoubtedly the U.K.’s answer to hip-hop, the scene has been overwhelmingly concentrated in London. But now, with the emergence of crews like Manchester’s Virus Syndicate, this brash genre is spreading to other multiracial towns across Britain and finally becoming a truly national sound. No one would accuse rappers JSD, Nika D and Goldfinger of dramatically expanding grime’s thematic range. But their North-of-England accents give the same-old-same-old (dissing other MCs, humiliating girls, celebrating their own skills) a refreshingly different flow. And Mark One’s abrasively futuristic production, all colon-spasm bass and migraine-twinge synth, is consistently arresting. Ironically, the most exciting tune is the most quaint-sounding: the old skool, rave-flavored “Major List MCs” has the madcap fairground feel of vintage Prodigy.

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