The prolific collective of Funkystepz keep the flame ablaze for UK Funky with the highly anticipated release of their Royal Rumble EP. After two solid efforts (Fuller and Trouble) on Hyperdub and slew of remix work they return to their own label, F.L.Y, to to showcase 4 unadulterated cuts of UK Funky with a twist.
Opener ‘Warriror’ floats over a percussive drum loop with whirring synths and some gospel-esque piano key stabs. Using squelching basslines sparingly allows room for the track build at it’s own pace and it’s a roller that can fit it to both radio and club sets with ease.
‘Class A’ really takes things up a notch, this time leaning towards a 4/4 time signature and incorporating keys more akin to continental House but Funkystepz still make the sound their own. The playful chords are what really make this one stand out and with the onset of more dread-laden tones as the track progresses, it’s definitely one of their most accomplished efforts to date.
Using a big chunk of the Timbaland-produced ‘Jigga What’ by Jay-Z the aptly title ‘Jigga’ is dramatic as much as it is off the wall. The undeniable traces of Timbaland’s beat patterns are responsible for a great groove but the track is taken to an emotive peak with delayed synths and the inclusion of ravey chords really shakes the directions whole track up.
Title cut ‘Royal Rumble’ finishes off the EP with an intro that promises an euphoric drop but instead we’re treated to an onslaught of doubled up drums and intricate synth play. The guttural basslines work perfectly in tandem with the percussive beat pattern and temperamental melodies, making it one unpredictable trip full of twists and turns that make for a rough ride throughout.