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Def Tex review Mr Scruff: link
Def Tex get ready for their next release

Def Tex review Mr Scruff

By Def Tex MC Anthropologist
Mr Scruff was full of praise for Norwich hip-hop veterans Def Tex during his interview with BBC Norfolk, so we decided to get their verdict on the Scruffy One's new offering, Keep It Solid Steel: Part One. MC Anthropologist delivers his thoughts.


For those in the dark, Solid Steel started out as a radio show on London's GLR, now known as BBC London.

Picture: Def Tex's Anthropologist
Def Tex's Anthropologist

It's the brain child of the legendary Coldcut boys, who started out producing for Lisa Stansfield and Yazz and then went on to form the Ninja Tune record label, which is home to many ground-breaking artists - Mr Scruff included.

The roots

Their show is an eclectic mix of sounds where you can expect to hear anything from cutting-edge dance music to the roots of where it came from: jazz, soul, reggae and many funky obscurities from back in the day!

What you are also guaranteed is a guest mix spot where many a legend has stepped up and flexed their fingers on the turntables with the only demand being to make it good.

So this is where the Scruffy One steps in with his latest blend of tunes which define his tally of years rocking clubs up and down the land.

Scruffy's history

Keep It Solid Steel: Part One is a delve into Mr Scruff's roots, going back to when he started out as a bedroom DJ and leading us up to where he's now at - a major player on the world club scene.

Graphic: Mr Scruff's CD cover.
Mr Scruff's new cheeky little number

There are so many tunes here which take me back to my youth and have got me
reminiscing about the first time I heard them.

Just Ice's Going Way Back, Chocolate Milk's ever soulful Time Machine, Arsonists' Flashback and Eryka Badu's Back In The Day sum up that exact feeling, showing Mr Scruff's creative ability beyond just mixing tunes together.

Quirky treats

Hip-hop is out in force on the first part of the compilation but it's not just a hardcore onslaught: there are lots of soulful and quirky treats blended in to make the musical balance right.

The mix slides into funky territory next with the wonderfully quirky Impressions by The Peddlers, which was recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Spaghetti Head's Funky Axe - both are a must for breakbeat fiends.

I also have to mention Sweetie Pie by Stone Alliance, which has been a fave of mine since I was a teenager with its infectious sax and drum 'n' bass groove, which will get any tired head bobbing!

Hip-hop fest

Picture: Mr Scruff.
Mr Scruff looking a bit gruff

Things then go back to a heavy hip-hop fest with classic jams fusing into modern day UK tracks from Microdisiacs and Border Crossing, which gives a nod to British hip-hop legend Roots Manuva and his killer classic, Witness.

Before things get set to explode into infinity we are treated to some electronic madness from Tipper and Prefuge 73 and then on to two cult classics: the first being Soul II Soul's anthemic Fairplay and then ending beautifully with Pharaoh Saunders' jazz dance monster You've Got To Have Freedom, which sums things up in the best way possible.

Mr Scruff goes beyond what most people think of as a DJ, and instead offers them what they should expect from all these so-called superstar industry players. He reminds us that it's all just about the music!

last updated: 19/11/04
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