Last year's Duppy Writer, a choice reworking of thirteen Roots Manuva tracks by sometime Hard-Fi tour DJ and talented London producer Wrongtom helped to plug the gap between Manuva's 2008 release Slime and Reason and this latest offering, as well as setting a new benchmark for dubtastic remix albums (heads up for Easy Star All-Stars).

Despite accumulating four decent studio albums, three remix albums, a MOBO and guest slots on tracks by Gorillaz, Mr Scruff and Leftfield in just over ten years, as well as seeing single 'Witness (1 Hope)' from second album Run Come Save Me secure a place in UK hip-hop history, the seemingly reticent Rodney 'Roots Manuva' Smith has rarely stood in the spotlight for long.

There is, of course, rhyme and reason behind this decade long game of hide and seek besides an irregular release schedule or lack of airplay.

Roots Manuva's unique blend of Jamaican soundsystem culture, British points of reference, fascination with bass laden music, along with an experimental, if not slightly eccentric approach stands him apart from other artists. While Roots Manuva's output may not be wholly commercially friendly or even massively danceable at times, like slightly younger contemporaries Soweto Kinch or Speech Debelle, he does what the hell he likes on record...and it works well, if you can tune into the clash of influences and originality that the London born wordsmith often presents in his music.

Continuing the theme of no theme, 4everevolution is paradoxically typical Roots Manuva, dodging between classification as a UK hip-hop, digital dancehall or electro-funk record as bar room choruses, electro glitch sounds, 8 bit samples and throw-it-all-in Dutch Pot sensibilities lean towards gruff and gritty street sound in one track before wandering off towards upbeat and Brit-rap with a pop undertone in another.

There was probably ample opportunity for Roots Manuva to cash in some favours and roll out collaborations with any number of respected UK artists on this album, however in the spirit of these times of hardship, appearances are limited to half of Skunk Anansie appearing on the epic but short “Skid Valley” and a healthy slice of inward investment on a handful of tracks in the shape of Big Dada and Banana Klan associates like new talent Elan Tamara and veteran MCs Daddy Kope, Ricky Ranking and Spikey T.

Confusingly, a version of 'Watch Me Dance', the bouncing radio-friendly track which lends its name to the recent album by Sheffield hot-shot DJ and producer-for-hire Toddla T, appears on 4everevolution too. Originally penned by Roots Manuva, it fits nicely between the Brit-hop by numbers of 'Who Goes There' and the dark down-tempo paranoia of 'Revelation'.

'Beyond This World' and 'Crow Bars' do sound dated, though instrumentally and vocally, the beats, bass, samples, flow and wordplay that make up 'Wha' Mek', 'Go Champ' and 'The Path' more than compensate. Further in, 'In The Throes Of It' and 'Noddy' lock down Roots Manuva's style best, if such a thing were possible; a beat that could sit on a Beck, Tricky or Outkast production, mournful half-sung vocals, sombre monotone rhyming and a smooth pulsing bassline that carries the track along beautifully.

It might have taken a while for him to get back into the swing of things, but in the strength of this record, Roots Manuva is still a musical force to be reckoned with, capable of delivering a sonic surprise or two. Hopefully a Wrongtom remix album isn't too far away, but for now, vive le 4everevolution.