Dance culture, for as long as we can remember, is as much to do with what goes on in the inner cities and the suburbs as it does on the dance floor. The dance floor is responsible for the pure release of the music, but to take dance music to its true origin, you must go back to the streets (no pun intended). The culture isn’t about Ayia Napa and Ibiza, Cream and Ministry it’s about, just like any modern day music, the working class making records for the working class.
The Streets couldn’t have come at a better time. The charts are full of novelty dance/garage tunes who are tellin’ us about how there’s only ’21 seconds to go' and how they’re “luvin’ it, luvin’ it, luvin’ it”, to the point where dance culture as a whole is considered some sort of mainstream joke. The Streets rap about real-life, about sex, drugs, the dole, music and admittedly Playstations. Basically about the lives of the kids who buy UK garage records.
“Original pirate material, you’re listening to the streets,” Mike Skinner (the sole member of The Streets) raps, in a part Brummie part Brixton accent, during the opening beats of 'Has It Come To This?'. Already its clear as day that this isn’t your typical UK Garage tune. It doesn’t have the cheesey hooks or the novelty gimmicks of the two-step, which is clogging the charts and hogging the dancefloor. It’s just a hard and desperate attempt to save any credibility UK Garage has at the present. And it’s that good it almost pulls it off.
A truly refreshing release, and a remarkable debut, and one which has finally given me a little respect for two-step. Well nearly.
8Michael Clarke's Score