Scratch Perverts Watch The Ride Review

Released 2007.  

BBC Review

Their scratch and quick-mix technique certainly sets the benchmark high for those to...

Lewis Dene 2007

From the label that gave us the acclaimed Pulp Fusion, Lifestyles and Gold Digging titles comes a new DJ mix series with an ethos to showcase the finest DJ talent able to ply their trade across a multitude of styles. Of course this blueprint is a tried-and-tested one, and this 'new' series doesn’t cover ground that’s not been covered before. Although in their favour, Harmless, with a decade’s worth of expertise, certainly are leaders at marketing and repackaging, particularly in funk, soul and jazzy breaks circles.

Prime Cuts, Tony Vegas and Plus One, aka the Scratch Perverts, open the series with a mix brimming with humour, entertainment, and most importantly amazing DJ turntablism skills. Their scratch and quick-mix technique certainly sets the benchmark high for those to follow.

Like the label, the mix-masters have been forging reputations since the mid-‘90s, with a brace of World DMC Team titles and an assortment of mix awards to their name. Their live show is legendary (not least when they consisted of up to eight members) and on CD their skills are equally as impressive as they work their way through an array of leftfield dance cuts by the Chemical Brothers (“Rize Up”), Spank Rock (“Bump”) and their own tech-etched “Drop”.

Blending hip hop techniques with raw bass-heavy dance beats and wordy rhymes, the SP’s-style is as refreshing as the Sabres, Weatherall and Primal Scream were to an earlier generation. Musically Watch The Ride initially rides a distinctly ‘70s funk-fuelled groove, even though the likes of Mark Ronson, Pharoahe Monch and Roots Manuva are every much from the now.

Although midway in things start of change - for the better or worse is purely subjective depending on your mindset - as the tempos are hijacked by drum ‘n’ bass; a genre that features heavily in their DJ sets. (As recording artists they have also collaborated with Ed Rush and Optical.)

With influences as varied as Kool Herc and Dillinja, it’s not surprising that the Scratch Perverts describe their style of hip-hop as “a celebration of all kinds of music just by its very nature”. Indeed the varied and kaleidoscopic sonic textures will not be to everyone’s liking, and may have some reaching for the eject button when the beats start climbing.

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