Mella Dee – Ruff Cut EP (Forefront Recordings)(Stream)
One half of the prolific duo Mista Men, Mella Dee, steps up for his second EP of 2012 following up the recent CTRL EP on Coyote Records. Having already had a slew of releases under the Mista Men guise with production partner Woozee (on labels such as Unknown To The Unknown, Cheap Thrills and Greenmoney); his work has been revered by the likes of Mosca, Blackdown, Beneath and B Traits. The Ruffcut EP sees the Doncaster-based producer exemplify his skills as a solo producer touching upon House, Garage and even Grime territory for a snapshot of his own personal influences.
With an intro that contains audio from Grime MC Crazy Titch’s infamous cab driver incident; ‘Gassed’ is a fierce bass-led track with heavy claps and hi-hats that are counter-acted with some playful synth work. Whilst on the surface the track seem rigid and stern the variety of percussive elements make it more than suitable for dancefloor outings.
‘Fazed’ has all the bump and swing reminiscent of UK Garage in it’s heyday. Slightly more raucous than it’s pre-2000 predecessors it carries the signature groove and dexterity that have been a focal point of Mella Dee’s solo productions to date. The Ruffcut EP is rounded off by ‘In The Bits,’ a sultry cut that shuffles with propulsive drum programming and is the closest to a fully-fledged House cut out of all three tracks. With this solo EP Mella Dee manages to stay close to his Garage roots without being limited by traditional genre conventions, manipulated his work into something that is a refreshing account of the state of play in 2012.