Reviewed by Brainwashed
Now that his grime project Virus Syndicate has been getting decent attention, the re-branded MRK1 leaves those emcee cohorts behind this time around, save for a sparse appearance on "The Underworld" by Poet Shado who appeared on the crew's surprising 2005 album The Work Related Illness. This allows Foster to cater to his dubstep fan base while also challenging them with exciting permutations of the evolving sound. Heavy hitters such as the previously released "Slope" and "Grit" fit perfectly with the head-nodding tempos that define this scene, yet Foster's work is typically a cut above to begin with. So it is no surprise that the Eastern vibes and tablas of "Trip Down The Nile" resonate with a particularly shimmering gloss encasing its soft bassy center. "Devils & Angels" blasts open the gates of heaven and hell for a halfstep war of filthy synths and some of the toughest, tightest drums ever.
Copyright Laws truly excels when drawing upon the artist's Jamaican influences. "Dr. Rudeboy" is a raw slab of amen-flecked breakstep with a gratuitously used DJ sample, while the stunning "Sensi Skank" rolls itself up in a next level steppers’ groove adapted from the roots reggae template. Of course, "I Got Too" takes this entire set into the fucking stratosphere, thanks to the vocal duties undertaken by the one-and-only Sizzla. In this paean to the stickiest of the icky, the Rastafarian megastar shouts down Babylon while obsessively extolling the sacramental virtues of the herb, all while caught up in a haze of haunting tones and bowel-threatening low-end rumbles.
In a bizarre twist, due to HMV's alleged shelving constraints for the holidays, Copyright Laws appeared in American record stores months before the anticipated February 2007 release in the United Kingdom. Antithetical to the status quo, its premature delivery to this market inadvertently acknowledged the global nature of what just a few years ago was a predominantly local sound. This should translate to a potential audience more receptive to the fantastic Copyright Laws than One Way, his debut as Mark One. Foster has made significant leaps and bounds here, and there's no telling what he might drop next.
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- Phthalocyanine - 25 Tracks Fer 1 Track
- Leafcutter John - Concourse E.E.P.
- Luke Vibert - '95-'99
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- Jega - Spectrum
- Horse Opera - 3 Cornered Room
- Capitol K - Island Row