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Border Crossing - Original Heads 03 / No Go Area 12" [RG Records]
Border Crossing
Tracklist:
1. Original Heads '03 ft. Rockwell:
Windows :: Real
2. NoGoArea ft. Usmaan:
Windows :: Real
The first release I remember from the Rolled Gold records label was the Streets aping Jack Allsop - Just Jack, but now the label is back with a much more thoroughbred and creditable product. Border Crossing are an eclectic 'family' of beat masters, producers, M.C.'s and DJs. Ten or sometimes more members have been honed into shape by a trio of producers and mixers; Seorais Graham; Paul Mulvey and Alex Angol.

This debut vinyl 12" single 'OriginalHeads03' b/w 'NoGoArea' is the first single from the forthcoming long player entitled Ominous. Track 1 on this release, 'OriginalHeads03' features Rockwell is a very chilled slice of old school beats. The simple reverberant "ghetto fabulous" horn riff, suggestive of TLC, which features in the intro and chorus' to the mellow rumbling bass line make for a smooth backing and coupled with the mellifluous US tones and words of Rockwell's rhymes, it all just adds to the lethargic vibe. The lyrics talk about the golden 'era of Hip Hop - '86 - '93 and reminisce about how good Hip Hop used to be. "Original heads are in the area, taken back to '93 - the era of the true M.C." 

On the reverse, 'NoGoArea' has a similarly laid back feeling. It is an oppressive, humid, steamy offering with Usmaan on M.C. duties. Hailing from South East London via the North of England, Usmaan somehow combines the sultry grooves of a New York City summer in the projects with his own typical vocal inflections. The backing music is similarly original, being largely based round a sampled bass sound which changes up in a roll with crash cymbals every 8 bars . Usmaan kick in with virtually no intro and is soon off on his descriptions of the underworld that is visible on his streets. Graphically descriptive, the picture painted is vivid and I had a video sequence running in my mind to accompany it. At the beginning of the chorus Usmaan receives a round of applause and during it a very lazy, breathy and bluesey sax reminscent of the Pink Panther blows a melancholy note or two. In the outro there is some equally sloppy cutting to fit the general vibe. I really rate Usmaan, and here he does not dissapoint delivering verses anyone would be proud of. On top of that he has such a unique accent, style, voice and flow I just want to hear more from him. 

To me, a totally unexpected release, but a good one never the less.

Released on RG Records Monday June 23rd 2003 

http://www.rgrmusic.com
tel: 020 7278 5698

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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