The first carnival float is playing ‘No More’, a nicely souled out, percussive number that’ll put smiles on faces with its light keys and dreamy melody. ‘Move Aside’ follows, dropping low and ghetto with crunchy, street snippets and punchy vocals intoning ‘Sorted sorted’. With Bembe Segue at the mic and Seiji & Orin on drum programming, this is one of the bigger cuts on the album, and it really works live, proving DJs and producers can cut it in the flesh.
With Bembe Segue again on vocals (and she’s done a lot of broken beat tracks), ‘Redhanded’ is the first real broken number, and its tricky drums and sinister percussion will get you thinking about your steps on the floor. Meanwhile, ‘Consequences’ is a downtempo cut with cosmic samples and stardust keys. With Vula assisting Bembe at the mic and Kaidi Tatham on keyboards, ‘Consequences’ will spark with Sa-Ra and Platinum Pied Pipers fans rocking spots like Cielo mid-week.
With its grimed-up basslines, ‘It Don’t Work Like That’ is deep. Too intelligent and too genre-bending to rock the council estates, it’s one of the best tracks here. Vula takes full control of vocals, and she’s smooth, emotional and glitzy, while drum programming comes courtesy of Cliff Scott. My money is on Kenny Dope dropping this late, late in the evening.
Right, I’ve finished my jerk chicken just in time for ‘Happy Days’ – will The Fonz be busting some shapes to this? It’s a disco-tinged, baggy-jeaned entry with sultry vocals by Yolanda Quartey. This is a hands-in-the-air affair – I can hear it spinning early on, maybe at The End with Phil Asher or Domu at the decks.
Most edits here have seen the nine deep collective works in pairs or threes, but ‘Don’t Stop the Music’ pretty much involves everyone. With vocal chants over FX/samples and grungy basslines, it’s nice to hear Bugz having fun. Elsewhere the dancefloor friendly ‘Inna Row’ pushes us around with jumpy keys, juicy chords and uplifting vocals courtesy of Vanessa Freeman.
Bugz have ditched their earlier instrumentals in favour of song-based structures on this album, and ‘Worla Hurt’ is the pinnacle of it: a nice and slow nod to rhythm and blues. And when Sunday evening at the carnival draws to a close, The Fonz will have one more request: with its catchy video, ‘Booty La La’ crossed over big. This is not a new edit – its release a few months ago took the industry by surprise, introducing the Bugz collective and the broken beat scene to the charts.
On ‘Fabric 12’ Bugz in the Attic needed to push the boundaries more production-wise, and thankfully, ‘Back in the Dog House’ sounds tight. But this is more than just another album and another project to plug – these guys should be proud of their year-long project: the result is one of the summers most catchy, quick-footed and bouncy albums. Top marks also go to its stage crossover potential: this album will unwind live right up there with Booka Shade or the acts on 2020 Vision. Jiggy beats, souled out, grimed in, ‘Back in the Dog House’ will be replayed again and again on MySpace – it’s the sound of a London collective sounding too damn tuff to beat.