An enormously creative return from the soundsystem legend...

British DJ Shy FX just dropped his latest mix tape 'Raggamuffin Soundtape' and boy, is it packed. With 15 staggering tracks ‘Raggamuffin Soundtape’ is miraculously opened by the short but sweet ‘Intro.’ Progressing in electronic glitches, this ten second snack introduces the album with immediate speculation of what’s to come. 

Second track ‘Call Me’ features soothing vocal delivery from the R&B/soul singer Maverick Sabre. Chopped and screwed in tropical house beats, this cut exceeds our expectations as the follow up of the opening teaser. Although mixed with next to no lyrics, Maverick’s nonchalant vocal technique glides us through the vibrant house bop.

Summer vibe ‘Carnival Culture’ opens with classical string and pipe arrangements as it remasters Shy FX’s jungle phenomenon ‘Original Nuttah.’ Track-listed as another short cut, ‘Carnival Culture’ has a fruity vibe that quickly chops into spoken word from FX. Returning grime legend Ghetts links with alternative rapper Kojey Records on one of the albums most popular tracks ‘Bad After We.’ Having already dropped this song earlier in the month, Shy FX fans went wild when they heard about his Ghetts feature, but went wilder when they heard the cut.

Title track ‘Raggamuffin’ features Mr. Dz steadily judders ride-along, hook-ridden lyrics. Contrasting this are the rhythmically and lyrically nonchalant cuts, such as ‘Rudeboy lovesong,’ and ‘Badboy Business.’ ‘Rudeboy Lovesong’ loops a footwork of tranquil, mechanic beats, and is complimented further by a vocal feature from Cara Delevigne. ‘Badboy Business’ however fluctuates in vibrant, vocal techniques; the tame delivery from singer Kate Stewart is blended fluently with speed-rap lyrics from Mr. Williamz – exhilarating a fiery adrenaline.

‘Raggamuffin Soundtape’ as a mixtape is many things to say the least, a concoction of eclectic sounds, this piece explores psychedelic bass lines, with a touch of grime, a splash of soul and jungle-meets-house beats. Shy FX’s first full-produced mixtape in 15 years, ‘Raggamuffin…’ is a clear representation of the artists growth.

The penultimate track opens with a distorted, guitar reverb sounding like Mexican standoff music fitting of a Spaghetti Western. As the prominent plucks on bass progress with depth, tempo and volume - a spin of sturdy drum ‘n’n bass takes over. 15 years, 15 artists, and 15 tracks deep, ‘Raggamuffin Soundtape’ concludes with the short but sweet ten second ‘Outro.’ A superb album of militant double drops, poetic lyrics, and fruitful reggaeton.

8/10

Words: Laviea Thomas

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