Given the length of his tooth, it’s a surprise that this is grime and jungle veteran D Double E’s first solo album. His inimitable delivery and legendary ad-libs - a simple “bud-a-bup-bup” or “it’s mwee, mwee” are usually enough to force a reload from the DJ - have seen him blaze a trail across the world’s stages and radio shows for the past 20 years, but he’s rarely committed his voice to more than the odd single or vocal feature here and there (Newham Generals’ 2009 debut album aside).
As a result, fans have been held in limbo between craving more recorded output and wondering whether if something ain’t broke that it might be better left unfixed. Thankfully, ‘Jackuum!’ (named after another beloved Dee ad-lib) is about as good a straight-up grime album as you could ask for in 2018.
Far from relying on former glories, the record includes ten new tracks (along with a smattering of top talents on feature duties). Double’s lyrical interplay with Skepta on ‘Nang’ provides a highlight, and newcomer AJ Tracey shines on ‘Natural Organic’. Album opener ‘Flatmate’ packs a huge Swifta Beater-produced punch, and - along with the rest of the album - will be delivering plenty of jackuums at student union raves for the rest of the year.
Words: Will Pritchard
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