Following on from the UKG/junglist flex of his two Basic Rhythm albums for Type Anthoney Hart's new hardcore continuum Hi Tek project East Man debuts on Planet Mu with Red, White & Zero. A proper ed rush mix of grime, dancehall, techno and of course a strong drum & bass influence overlaid with the mic skills and street-level chatta of MC's Saint P, Darkos Strife, Killa P, Irah, Eklipse, Lyrical Strally & Kwam.
Minus say The Bug, what other artists can you name who have released razor sharp grime trax and future-proofed dancehall junglist via bleep 'n' bass destroyers (ARC16) whilst also having a strong knowledge of speaker shredding noise and suffocating drones? This understanding of the hidden cross-genre connections within the work of artists such as Coil, Jonny L, Vybz Kartel & Kate Bush is at the core of the East Man sound. Twinned with an extensive passion for the sounds of all things that fall within the hardcore continuum is the key element to what makes East Man's music such a powerful and impact heavy force.
Where his Basic Rhythm records were something like an imagined signal pick up of two different pirate radio stations at a cross signal b2b, El-B smashing it on a 2000 tip while his contemporaries Parris, Logos and Mickey Pierce pushing it hard into the future. Red, White & Zero is undoubtedly out and out a no-messin' about grime record. One that sees each MC perfectly bring their own identity to the front of the block heavy beats, yet the feeling of collaboration between MC and producer is one of an entirely equal mixture. The album unfolds like the very best, now classic grime radio rips with each MC in harmony with East Man's grid structure tones, themselves providing a perfect ground zero for this very vivid form of right here and now realism that is expressed within each verse and bar.
This album is unmistakably a very serious portrayal of Hart's background within the working-class culture of the hardcore continuum, set to show many of its followers the next step forward while maintaining the prole art threat stance that is a central component and predominant driving force of both Hart's music and the scene as a whole.