Mentor Roska is one of the leading producers in this new London scene that looks to Brazilian, Caribbean, and African sounds for inspiration (with a hefty slice of UK grime and dubstep in the mix too). It's raw, energetic, and—to my ears—the most exciting thing happening in dance music right now.
"Feeline (VIP Mix)" is funky like a panther stalking through the twilight. It's what happens when you take party music and pass it through a filter of urban gloom. Powered by a hiccuping rhythm that stomps for two beats and wiggles for two more, the groove to "Feeline" is like dubstep with a sex drive or broken beat with a Desert Eagle in its jeans. Roska decorates this basic chassis with Brazilian whistles and ravey stabs but these carnival trappings can't conceal the menace at the core of the tune. It's the strongest thing on this EP and one of the most striking tracks on the scene right now. Fellow dance music critic Tim Finney has described it as the "Destiny" of funky house.
"Pyramids" has a similar rhythm, but is complemented by a string riff that gives it a happier, more upbeat feel. Like 8bar grime it goes in cycles, periodically lifting the energy up a notch and then taking it down again. Unlike "Feeline," though, this feels like an example of the genre rather than a highlight.
Finally, "Do You Believe in Love" is the closest to traditional US house, with a bongo-driven 4/4 beat and "if you believe in love" vocal snippets. The groove doesn't stand still, oscillating restlessly around a perky flute riff. Again, this is a solid piece of production and I can imagine it getting a lot of play in London, but if you're new to the genre this isn't the track that's going to convince you of its merits. For that, you know exactly where to go.