Champion - Prince Jammy/Hydra
The last couple of years have been big for Champion. Having emerged from the underground as one of the brightest lights in the nascent, now hybridised UK Funky/Grime club scene, unleashing killer jams like 'Crystal Meth' on Butterz, along with releases on Roska's Kicks & Snares label, the forming of his own highly promising Formula Records imprint, the securing of a contract with Shy FX's Digital Soundboy and a high profile collaboration with Terror Danjah for Hyperdub, Champion has marked himself out as one to watch in the ever changing and evolving landscape that is, as Simon Reynold's first called it, the Hardcore Continuum – a specific strain of UK dance music and culture that emerged from the British rave scene of the late 80s, 90s and beyond.
Formula's first white label and Champion's first release of 2013 comes in the shape of a muscular two track 12" that brings together the drum led, bashment edged, dub infused UK Funky banger of 'Hydra' - with its dry, conga and bongo lines entangling themselves to great effect with shuffled shakers and hats, a rude, key changing, hollowed out, pitch stacked bassline and spring loaded reggae bubbles - and the more grime tinged and experimental 'Prince Jammy', a hefty 4x4, snare driven tune, which implores you to "play this record as frequently as possible."
Although 'Hydra', a track that is now over a year old, unsurprisingly plays out almost like a Champion by numbers tune - its enveloping syncopated bassline and snappy, push and pull drum work, working in conjunction to create an addictive, well-constructed groove that is sure to get even the most cynical of clubbers away from stroking their beards near the bass bins and into the throng of flailing, gyrating bodies that make up your typical dancefloor - the more recently fabricated 'Prince Jammy' hints at the evolution and slightly new direction the auspicious producer may be taking in the near future.