Back in 2015 when Miss Red aka Israeli MC Sharon Stern dropped her debut mixtape, Murder, the world was set alight by her visceral vocal talent and chatta, demonstrating a true skill, integrity, and understanding of the core components of what makes the MC's role within dancehall, grime, and hip-hop such an essential form and force. Her unique style was soaked to the bone with an energy like no other. Now, three years later Miss Red turns in her debut album (following two sold out in a day/highly sought after singles for her Red label and Sounds Of The Universe's in-house imprint) released on The Bug’s justifiably hyped new label, PRESSURE, following the Flame 1 collaboration with Burial. K.O. has been produced solely by label head The Bug so you know it’s gonna be loaded to the brim with bone shattering bassbin pressure.
Having cut two of the most important and still caned heavily around these parts tracks for The Bug's much-loved Acid Ragga series back in the early 2010's, the eagle-eyed of you will have spotted Miss Red on 2014's Angel's & Devil's album. Yet for the past few years, Miss Red has kept herself in the shadows, quietly penning bars and perfecting her craft, appearing only to perform on record with Warp's Gaika and live in the dance alongside Flowdan, Daddy Freddy, Warrior Queen, and Riko Dan whilst on the road with The Bug. Yet the hunger for more from this MC has been fully worth the wait, as it's not until now that we can truly begin to grasp Miss Red's earth-moving power as a soundsystem smashing MC both on stage and on record.
What made her mixtape 'Murder' such an outstanding session was its A-list featured producers that took in the wide-ranging scope of Mark Pritchard, Mumdance and Andy Stott. Yet the decision to lock herself in the studio with only The Bug behind the dials for K.O. shows the extent of this pair's unique musical connection. Dissolving his most raw macro dub dancehall into a vast pool of slick black oil, Miss Red ignites with a mind-blowing array of vocal hooks and licks that will have you smashing the replay button time and time again.
This b2b feel gives the LP a true vitality that makes it not only flow from start to finish with the feeling of a truly great album (imagine a roughneck Maxinquaye with some seriously post-millennial paranoid tension dripping from the ceiling), it also arrives fully loaded with an armory of weapons and DJ dread cuts that make K.O. so sharp it will cut right through your shelves if you ever try to file it away. With The Bug on the buttons, he takes great care in making sure his beats 'n' bass never drown out Miss Red's bars, making sure her voice always takes the central place within the stage/dance.
Arriving at a time when instrumental dancehall riddims are truly flavour of the month, Miss Red stands with the very best pushing it fwd by expelling a knowledge and understanding and most importantly love of the sound that is absent from so many fly by night artists cashing in on this sound. If like us you have been subsumed by the recent scorchers from Principe, SKRS, STILL, Low Jack, and Equiknoxx, K.O. is your next obsession. This is an album that is sure to cause havoc and devastation for years to come, landing fully tooled up and bringing more heat than the sun, K.O. will see Miss Red sure to take her rightful place as queen of all the DJs, dancers and dancehall disciples.