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Album Review

by Dels

Big Dada

Review Date
12th August 2011
Reviewed by
Alistar Wickens

London-residing, Ipswich native, Dels is, musically and vocally, the bastard son of Roots Manuva and Dizzee Rascal - how they reproduced is a mystery but whether they should have done so is a resounding hell yeah.

This is Dels' first full length album, following on from some success with a couple of singles last year (the standout track from the album, Shapeshift, was the first single). He's crafted an album of stripped back, almost robotic, beats in the same vein as Roots Manuva, with a flow to rival Dizzee - it's that staccato, rapid fire, nasal-twinged MC-ing that hooks you on first listen, before the backing tracks laden with funk and oozing good times reel you in.

Dels manages to sound at once frantic and laid back, which suits his lyrical content. Where Roots Manuva has a serious tone, both in lyrics and in the depth of his voice, and Dizzee is, well, bonkers, Dels leans more to the light-hearted, at times almost to the point of surrealism. For most of the tracks, this approach works a treat, but on a couple of tracks, particularly where he tries to cover more serious subject matter, such as child abuse, it just doesn't gel.

With a background as a graphic designer, Dels seems to know where to add and subtract ideas to enhance what he's doing. There's no overcrowding of instrumentation, no attempt at building up layers of sound, and his voice is given plenty of space to bring the focus onto what, for his music, should be the most important aspect of the album - his voice. At the end of the day, that's what's going to draw people in I think; it's that distinctiveness of his vocal sound, and the fun he injects into his delivery first, with the music secondary. But it's that music that's going to keep people coming back to Gob, because this is, when taken as a whole, a fun and catchy album that makes you want to move to it.


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