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UK Runnings - Tricksta

UK Runnings
Tricksta
Track Listing
1.  UK RUNNINGS – “Volume One Intro”
2. WOLFTOWN COMMITTEE – “A So It Go”
3. DASS – “Freestyle”
4. VILLAINS – “UK Sound (Remix Feat. HIGH TIMEZ)”
5. BRIANTAX – “Birofunk”
6. UK RUNNINGS – “Interlude”
7. DADDY ASH, SKEME, CLASS A, SKINNYMAN, LATE, EASTBORN - “Spaghetti Junction”
8. CAFÉ RECORDINGS – “Freestyle #1”
9. CAFÉ RECORDINGS – “Freestyle #2”
10. MOORISH DELTA 7 – “Art Of Survival”
11. WOLFTOWN COMMITTEE – “Artform Technique (Remix)”
12. JUDGE DREDY – “Rollin”
13. UK RUNNINGS – “It’s All About Da Drops”
14. 57TH DYNASTY – “Break Free”
15. SHADOW CABINET – “Ghettoism”
16. PQ, LATE & SIZE8 – “UK Runnings”
17. B-SHARP – “Intro”
18. LATE – “Rago Freestyle”
19. LONGLASTIN & KELZ – “Dried Lips”
20. YOGI & MALIK– “Reminisce”
21. JHEST – “High Plains Drifter”
22. UK RUNNINGS – “Wolftown Drops”
23. RNDP – “Flames Of Fire”
24. FUGAZI CREW – “Mecca”
25. WOLFTOWN COMMITTEE – “WV1 (JT Remix)”
26. USMAN & CHRIS DA SKILL – “Strangaz”
27. PQ – “Sik Cyphers”
28. CASHINO (Feat. PARAGON & D’ BLACK) – “Many Of Us”
29. VICIOUS CIRCLE (Feat. CONMAN) – “Bwoy”
30. UK RUNNINGS – “It’s All About The Scottish Drops”
31. DEADLINE (Feat. CAPRICIOUZ) – “Fe De Gyal Dem”
32. SOCIAL MISTIS – “Roll With The Misfits (Remix)”
33. UK RUNNINGS – “Volume One Outro”

We have been hearing about this CDs development over the last few months and now finally it is ready and it has turned out to be a bit of a blinder. UK Runnings is a 33 joint UK hip-hop showcase featuring the cream of UK talent. It takes the form of a mixtape / radio show with Wolftown's Tricksta at the controls and behind the selection of tunes. He is admirably helped out by DJ Amo, but there is very little interference by way of misplaced scratching and most tracks are left to play being gently mixed or cut at the end. There are numerous exclusives and freestyles as with the best mixtapes or CDs as they have become and a big smattering of some of the hottest releases too. This CD just underlines the point of the strength and depth of talent throughout the whole of the UK and not just that which is centered in London. Apart from the obvious Wolftown connection, that is one of the great things about this CD, it isn't really cliquey with many acts getting to represent from Scotland, to Birmingham, to Derby, to South London and several other places in between. Apparently Tricksta had over 150 tracks to select from such was the support and although I don't know how he has whittled them down, but he did, and what you get is a mega compilation LP, and with all the different acts and styles the energy levels are kept right up there for the full duration.

Tricksta comments that, "This isn't a CD album release on Wolftown Recordings, in fact it isn't really a release. It's that underground mixed tape flavour that seems to be missing at the moment. I didn't wanna drop a cassette because of the drop in quality so I decided to put it on CD." He continued, "It's UK artist based with exclusive tracks and freestyles, upfront releases, unsigned and un-released tracks and some of those tracks that are underground anthems. It's not all about London artist too, it is a real reflection of the whole vibe that's going on in the UK."

The CD opens with an spoken intro describing the contents of the disc and its aims over a guitar backed track with a thumping beat. As with all Wolftown endevours they pack in plenty of their own material and quickly the mix moves onto Wolftown Comittee's A So It Go which features Jai Boo, the talented female from the Wolftown crew. We get two verses of this head nodder, before fellow Wolverhampton resident Dass takes over with the first of many freestyles. A quick Wolftown advert and then the origianl Wolftown crew the Villains' UK Sound Remix follows. The first non-Wolftown track is the Braintax Biro Funk track produced by C-Swing off his excellent LP. Next up Daddy Ash, Skeme, Class A, Skinnyman, Late and Eastborn (not Eastbourne as my CD says) all collaborate on the six minute long harpsichord riffed posse cut Spagetti Junction. The Cafe Recordings crew wreck the set next with Valu, P.A.C., Daddy Jaes and Thee Absent kicking a verses over a couple of of tasty beats.

Another Midlands section to the CD opens with Moorish Delta 7's grim tale The Art Of Survival which preceeds Wolftown Comitte's Artform Technique Remix which sounds real nice with its orchestral sweep and next up is deep voiced, Jamacian influenced Judge Dreddy and his Rollin' track. Apart from the Intro, next we are hit with the second of only four or five non-tracks, the UK Runnings Drops over a remix of Karl Hinds' Don Gramma beat. Brixton's 57th Dynasty deliver their Break Free track which is a bit jumbled production wise with everything, singing, ragga chatting, rapping and extra instrumentation all thrown in, however the lyrics are pretty deep. Another dodgy mix is covered with a radio style announcement and fellow Londoners the Shadow Cabinet follow with a much more classical Hip Hop track Ghettoism, which features a well sampled and looped break with deliberate and clear lyrical delivery. For the synth laden UK Runnings special PQ opens with a great high energy verse where he should be taking more breats than he does. Late follows and then Size 8 who both try to continue using the same hyper flow. Dalston's B-Sharp then brings us his Intro and Late delivers his literally Rago freestyle over an extremely bouncy beat which features what sounds like the syncopated plinks from the old game Pong. Longlastin & Kelz from Bristol keep the bouncy dance vibe moving with s Dried Lips. Deby's Y ogi & Malik then mellow things out a bit with their melancholic tales of Reminiscence.

Jehst's tremendous High Plains Drifter is included in the mix next, but unfortunately is pitched up somewhat, giving Jehst a rather high pitched voice. The track is never the less a real groove and I'm glad it is on there. Additionally an embarrassing mistake is made by these rap promoters as they get the H in the wrong place, ironically for the very tune where that lyric features. After a few more drops the emotional Flames Of Fire from RNDP leads us into the Fugazi Rum Crew and their Mecca track with the Adam F beat pattern and play on KRS 1's Wha dada ding in the chorus. Never far from the Wolftown origins of the CD, an exclusive, but poorly mixed down, JT remix of the Wolftown Comittee's WV1. Yorkshire's Usmaan and Chris Da Skill come next and add their own flavor to the mix with their unique sounding voices and their Strangaz tune. 

Next in the mix South London's PQ returns with his Sik Cyphers, but we ar only treated to 1 verse. A few years ago it would have been impossible to imagine getting all the way to the 28th track to find an authentic American accent impersonator, but that is what we have with Ca$hino. Still he is accompanied by the very opinionated Rap 6ft3 of the Paragon crew and D'Black to temper this. Throughout this track we hear bits of the next one - Vicious Circle featuriing Conman's Bwoy. A good enough track, but there is a bit too much of a pre-disposition to Wolftown acts to either make this fully representational or independent of the label as a true mixtape would be. The next set of shouts are produed by Riz who managesto get Woodchoppa Dojo mentioned about 10 times. Continuing the tour round the country Tricksta takes us back to Birmingham for Deadline featuring Corrupt Village's Capriciouz for their Fe De Gyal Dem. Crudely cut in is the 32nd and penultimate track a remix of the Solcial Misfits' Roll With The Misfits. To wind up this marathon which easily passes Tricksta graps the mic to do his compare but and big up a few more of the people who helped make this happen and a few of the main players in the scene.

Tricksta is hoping with this release to support and help grow the whole of the UK Hip Hop market. The more exposure he can bring, and the more eyes he can open to the diversity we have here can only be good and will ultimately reap its own rewards. Tricksta underlines this point when he states, "This underground flavour will hopefully encourage people to bust freestyles and or drop exclusive tracks for this mixed CD, as it will have a full 'indusrty' mail-out as well as hitting the street hard. You'll be able to get it from http://www.suspectpackages.com and http://www.darkncoldhiphop.com as well as ordering direct from the Wolftown website real soon and of course through RAGO Magazine..."

If you get the chance be sure to pick up this CD. It is a good representation of the UK scene as a snapshot in time and is great value for the price. Overall the sound quality is consistent, only a couple of times does the volume drop unexpectedly. This is apparently destined to be a series, so keep checking for Volume 2 when it drops. Artists wishing to submit tracks in the future should send CDR's and ACCAPELLA DROPS to the address below:

Check Out Tricksta on the web: www.wolftown.co.uk
Wolftown Recordings, PO Box 1668, Wolverhampton, England, WV1 4ST
Email: info@wolftown.co.uk :: Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 1902 564 795
 
Intro Early Doors:
1979-1985
False Dawn:
1985-1990
Underground Years:
1990-1995
The Renaissance:
1995- 2000
The Future:
2000 & Beyond
Artists &
Discographies

 
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