Hint Daily Intake Review

Album. Released 2012.  

BBC Review

The British producer means business on this third long-play set of low frequencies.

Matthew Bennett 2012

Jonathan James has turned a corner. For years this man, known as Hint, has been furtively tinkering away on the down-tempo musical slopes where one may find Mr Scruff, Alice Russell, The Herbaliser and Quantic happily grazing. Yet his third album, Daily Intake, seems to have fallen in with a younger, rougher crowd who’ve insisted he shift the emphasis from the soulful vocal licks usually associated with Tru Thoughts onto a grinding urban energy. The results abduct your attention and bundle it into the back of an exhilarating joyride across 15 years of bass culture.

Right from the start, Hint means business. The sirens of the opener Crash and Burn set the tone as Natalie Storm wags her finger and raps, "This is a Waaarning!" From here there’s no getting off the ride.

The next three cuts quickly amass a break-neck pace. Lock the Door hears Zed Bias roll up some heavy slabs of bass as the trip gets smoky before we spill past the smouldering ghost of last summer’s riots on Watch the Media. Here, Edinburgh MC Profisee bobs across seething frequencies to call for sense and intelligence against a backdrop of street violence, injustice and a lack of governmental transparency, which ignited 2011’s torching of English cities. Equally nostalgic, however clearly less political, is the low-hertz growl of Tape Packs: an ode to the bulging plastic cases of rave and garage cassettes from yester-decade.

Aside from galvanising his sound, Hint has roped in some serious US rap talent. Aliens Enter features T-Fly, a slinky female voice possessed by the same skippy tone as Herbaliser’s MC What? What?, and she goes on to spit strange stories on Peter and I, a fantasy day spent with Spiderman. Josie Stingray and 1-O.A.K. from the Honor Roll Crew ride Hint’s bass brilliantly, adding some West Coast American flavour over two vibrant vocal strolls.

With tempos wildly burning at both extremities, enough club bangers mingling with the flagship vocal tracks, Daily Intake is a vital supplement to your collection. It’ll give existing fans a jab in the arm whilst winning over a new audience whose appetite for nu-jazz or Brighton’s and Bristol’s broken and big beats might be in need of sating. Converts and fanatics, unite.

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