Rinse Presents - Roska: 2
Through a series of iconic early releases in 2008 on his own Roska Kicks & Snares imprint, Roska originally made his name for his raw, gritty funky tracks. However, even at the time, when the funky scene at large seemed like a time-bomb just waiting to explode and take the mainstream by storm, he was doing something subtly different. Strongly rooted in Roska's history in grime, his music infused that genre's roughness and nervous energy with more sultry, swung rhythms, welding big, blocky melodies to a percussive house backbone. Rinse Presents - Roska: 2 is his most wide-reaching collection of music to date, reaching far beyond the confines of funky while still keeping his signature sonic flourishes intact. Rather than remaining locked to any one scene, Rinse Presents - Roska: 2 continues to show off Roska's development as an artist in his own right. Club-driven funky still remains at the heart of the music he makes -- it's immediately audible in opener "You Dun Kno's" springy, syncopated percussion and "Do You Like This," which finds Jamie George again joining Roska. But elsewhere on Rinse Presents - Roska: 2, he uses funky's lithe percussive patterns as a springboard to toy with other sounds. So the snare hits on "Memories" crack like gunshots, but they're lifted by a buoyant vocal from Ruby Goe, and "Eleven45" is a deliciously synthetic slice of computer funk. "OnRinseSinceZeroEight" is, in essence, a grime track at 130bpm, switching up regularly between halfstep rhythm and deadly four-to-the-floor. The twin spectres of grime and dubstep turn up throughout the record. Sweetie Irie's gruff turn on "Badman" is bolstered by seasick, descending synths. Mz. Bratt delivers a hyperkinetic MC performance on "Go," and "Spanner In The Works," a formidable collaboration with Swindle & Funtcase, is led by stringy funk chords reminiscent of the hyper-colored synth work of the Butterz crew.