Review: Chimpo – Out an Bad EP
The big Manchester monkey man Chimpo has released his new EP ‘Out an Bad’ exclusively through the Exit Records website, allowing listeners a pre-release copy of the label’s 52nd release!
Chimpo is someone in the scene who is impossible to pin down. He’s a producer, DJ and an MC, and his style in each reflects his variability. Universally respected by his home town of Manchester, as well as the rest of the UK, he has played and produced everything from hip hop and D&B to dubstep and grime. His notable tracks include his link up with Dub Phizix for ‘Buzzin’, ‘Headtop’ with Enei and the 140bpm slammer ‘Blowfish’.
His latest EP feels like it incorporates all of these elements, coming together to form a new realisation of his sound. The genre defying madness of ‘Blowfish’ has been reenergised up to 170bpm, producing a very relevant and well executed Drum & Bass EP that demonstrates why the scene never loses interest. The characteristics of grime, dubstep, hip hop, D&B and trap are merged to a form a five track EP that’s sure to tear up dance floors with its brutal energy and innovative style.
The first track of the A side is a pure-breed dancefloor destroyer. Named ‘Restless Leg Syndrome’, its punishing sub and simple instrumentation delivers enough raw energy to have ravers flying out their limbs in all directions. Unrelenting bass kicks are set against a clap and cheer, but mostly the drums are kept minimal, allowing the cut up vocals to fire the rhythm and drive the track.
The second of the A side, ‘Haymaker’, is similar in raw power but the opposite in composition. Far more stripped back than ‘RLS’, it manages to deliver an equally weighty sound with half of the leg work. A single heavy synth hit leads each phrase, which remains open and atmospheric, being driven forward by a powerful sub line.
The B side begins with the title track ‘Out an Bad’, the only to feature Chimpo stepping up to the mic and unleashing his heavy weight rhymes. The tracks plays out D&B instrumentation in an unforgiving hip hop beat with Chimpo’s signature style falling harmoniously on top. The true skill of the track is shown in the second verse, repeating his punching rhymes over the bare bones of the original beat, showing how easily Chimpo can deliver a stand out track that works equally well listened to at home or in a club.
The last 2 tracks are link ups with Fixate, a producer who’s highly original ‘giraffe-step’ releases ‘Pum Pum’ and ‘System Malfunction’ have earned him praise for creating a style all his own. This madness clearly rubbed off on Chimpo, because on an EP full to the brim with innovative style and brutal energy, ‘Bun It’ and ‘Dumb’ are the rudest of the lot. ‘Bun It’ features Fixate’s signature high calibre vocal cuts over a bouncing dancehall rhythm, creating an industrial strength dancefloor ruiner. ‘Dumb’ enthuses D&B energy with a trap beat, and despite being more minimal than its counterpart, its the maddest track of the EP. The easiest way to describe it is ‘bubbly’, though only a proper listen will do it justice.