2021 Sep 06     
2 Bit Thugs

For #3 in the series, label boss Neil Diablo steps up with a three-track EP

After fishing in international waters for Volumes 1 and 2 – both worth tracking down on Discogs – here we see the bossman himself taking full control with three tracks that are perfect for the Indian summer we’re currently experiencing. 

The A-side High Emotion Is a wonderfully laidback, midtempo Afrobeat/disco hybrid that manages to maintain maximum groove and “moveability” despite its relaxed vibe and tempo. Complex but perfectly succinct rhythms underpin ever-present guitar that sits nicely in the mix, along with some lovely slap bass manoeuvres and dubbed-out vocals that slowly but surely promote you from toe-tapper to thigh-slapper to dancefloor destroyer.

My personal favourite, though, is B1's Sex N Drugz. As enjoyable as the A-side is, here we have a more stripped-back affair with an sort of Super Mario Land-style melody and power ballad guitar breaks. This time round, it’s a deep constant bass with noticeably less slapping, and then of course there’s the lyrical subject matter, not to mention a brilliant bass solo in the outro. Not something you hear that often, let alone in the last 30 seconds of a track, and what a lovely surprise it was!

The final track We Can throws up somewhat of a quandary: it’s the highest tempo of the three by some stretch, but I’d argue possibly the least dancefloor-friendly. Don’t get me wrong, it still works, but it has more of a soft rock-cum-80s TV theme vibe to it, which I’m certainly not adverse to – it’s more the quality and funk of its predecessors that do for poor old B2. But it’s got crisp tight drums, female vocals, trumpets, a beauty of a drum break and some ace synth action, so by all means give it a go.

I genuinely can’t fault this release, it’s not only made it into the box, it’s also made it onto the iPod, and that’s high praise indeed.

Words: Iain Taylor

Release date: 30 August



Review Score: 9




Tags: Neil Diablo, Talking Drums, disco, cosmic disco, Afrobeat