Album Review: ShyOne / ‘Bedknobs & Boomkicks’ (DVA Music)


Mali Larrington-Nelson places bass pieces like she’s controlling a chess board, calling checkmate on an intuitive mixture of UK funky, dubstep and grime. Both out-there (it’d have to be with a title like that) and close to the streets so as to enable the underground cognoscenti to reclaim the space-shot sounds, the budding ShyOne is therefore perfect for bass-smith Scratcha DVA to get such a signing on his books.

The future calypso apocalypse “Black Widow” and the roughneck marching band “Lickle Rascal” are testimony to the album being quite loose-limbed yet following through with its punches. On more than one occasion you feel a bunch of emcees would happily crash into the rhythms, but you’re grateful that the instrumentalism lets you skank freely. “Speak Eazy” could actually do with a shot of the rash-mouthed, and “Amazon Swing” sounds undercooked, ported from a session messing around on a console when it doesn’t really have time to. The maximalist soul of “Spring Romance” however shows confidence, ability and that all important range in the producer’s casually fierce, occasionally tropical demeanour that always lets you lock onto the rhythm with very little fuss (“Pastel Requiem”).

Though making a quick exit, ShyOne bubbles with ideas, incisively playing to her own bass-bound rules as she challenges the bouncy with the primeval, the sleek and the hot-headedly choppy to gain in-demand status.

File under: Author, Kode 9, Scratcha DVA