• Virus Syndicate - The Work-Related Illness

    Reviewed by Aquarius (aquariusrecords.org)

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

    Boy do we love Grime!! But we're getting a bit frustrated at the relative dearth of grime stateside. We can only listen to our Dizzee Rascal and Wiley records so many times. Plus to be honest, as much as we dig those, we're sort of hankering for something a little more, well, you know, grime-y! Overseas, you got Kano, Lethal Bizzle, Lady Sovereign, More Fire Crew and loads more but it's taken forever for any of their records to make it over here. But in the meantime, we've got the debut from the Virus Syndicate, courtesy of Mike Paradinas' Planet Mu label. And it's a corker. The thing with grime is, well, it's sort of like drum and bass, you just gotta love the sound. We can't get enough of the super distorted classic ragga drum and bass. So much so that we could listen to that shit forever. And we're beginning to feel the same way about grime. It's sort of like hip hop sure, but the rhythm is this super repetitive, slurry, stuttering beat, a very clumsy funk, over and over, every song has the same general head nodding shuffle, with grimy fuzz synth bass lines, and then maddening, tongue twisting flow over the whole thing. Virus Syndicate take that formula and give it their own twist. Big fat beats, throbbing and hiccuping, haunting stabs of operatic vocals, fuzzed out synths, burbling booming system bass, all rocking that instantly recognizable grime rhythm, while the Syndicate spit bizarre marble mouthed rhymes, talking trash, a wildly confusional flow, catchy and soulful, occasionally slipping into some almost Jamaican style toasting. So fucking awesome.
    Also boasts some truly and brilliantly atrocious cover art (continued inside the cd booklet with a Virus Syndicate comic!).

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