7: Then He
9: Burn It Up
11: Hip Hop
Listen - Real Media
12: 4 In The Morning
13: Hit And Run
14: Queen Star
16: My People
The crew are based in Hackney and have been writing together for a
few years now. They are Martin Searle, Tim Nicholson, Allan Searle and Andrew
Searle. Martin is the main man behind the beats and Tim has a very musical ear,
but they are keen to emphasize that it is a collective and all four contribute a
great deal. The tracks on this CD are Hip Hop, but they also write Drum and
Bass, House and Garage.
This album was recorded with a New York Artist called Malik who I'm guessing
also goes by the name of Culture Freedon. The meeting was apparently a funny
one. Detrimental had a set on Kool FM and are still close to many of the
stations DJ's. Malik was in London promoting his work and appeared on DJ Jinx's
Show. A few days later he came to the Detrimental studio and a track called
Untouchable was written. Both parties were so happy with the outcome that they
decided to write a few more tracks and two months later the album was finished.
They have been working on some other bits too. They are currently in the studio
with Skribla and Diablo and are shortly to be working with Klashnikoff (Terrafirma). This collective has produced a quality set of tracks which not only ably demonstrate their quality and skills, but also shows their determination and professionalism in order to bring their project to this stage. The aural element is all there - the tracks are simply heavy. Modern production techniques are utilised to the fullest, there is little sampling here, but the tracks still have a thump and a
edginess that I feel is required. The synths and
sound boxes get a real working over and the resultant product has a great deal of depth and doesn't feel
plasticy or cheap and some tracks which go for this production style can.
There isn't any flossing on here, serious topics are dissected and expounded in an uplifting way.
The whole LP opens with the uniquely titled Twerkulate which has female
backings and should pump in a club as so many of these tracks should especially
when you consider these guys other musical influences. Skills has all the
electronica you need from the backing. I can visualise many of the lights in the
studio flashing away while this one was in playback. The track has element of
something from early Midi Rain or the GTI / Kickin era of dance music. It is of
course totally Hip Hopified and the addition of Malik's vocals make the title of
Skills more than valid. The tempo slows and what I originally thought was a
bridge turns out to be the next track Distortion. There is a similar auditory
experience, but the heavy synths simply back up the lyrics which I think you'll
agree relate to more than simply referencing the choice of instrumentation. The distortion is all
the rubbish in peoples lives that forces them away from the straight and narrow. Tracks like
Focus continue with the intelligence and break this down in great
detail and with the high synth accompaniment the final effect is quite compelling.
Apart from teaching the listener there is clever wordplay and lots of using the
same rhyming 'eee' sound to end the majority of the lines.
Track number 5 is a real fat head nodder with its Xylophonic rhythm. Opening
with some crackle I thought this would be the first track with retro Hip Hop
production, but it was just a rouse. Detrimental are
definitely UK in production terms, probably borrowing a lot more from Drum and
Bass, House and Garage than you might expect. Regardless the guys have their own
sound and have their sequencing locked down. Before I was sure I was fussing
about the American accent of the MC, but as it was confirmed that he actually is
American I had to drop this worry. Then I thought why can't these dudes hook up
beats for UK MCs. Mailk has skills and
therefore should be heard over these fat beats. In fact the MC, Malik is confident in his delivery enough to drop track 6 accapella
style. As for the second bit of the argument, well, as mentioned before that is
in the pipeline and if it is anything like this it should be ultra fat.
Track 7 Then He opens with some smooth acoustic type guitar, but this is
quickly pushed aside by some whispered chanting, which rises in intensity until
the verse bursts in. Whilst initially the tack starts off with a tale of gun play which no doubt is a growing problem in many areas of London,
it soon picks up to be a personal exploration of what someone can miss out on in not reaching their full potential by being taken too soon.
Track 8, He's Untouchable takes the track strictly up-tempo for a rowdy composition which no doubt was designed with club play in mind.
The track is intense and has a touch of the UK Hardcore sound to it and more of
he Bizarre Inc. / Scientist type sound alluded to before.
Track 9, Burn It Up continues the fast pace and for me has bit of an old skool Chubb Rock feel or something like that.
Probably it is more the case that I associate any high tempo with my youth, that is
probably more likely.
Track 10 is the first Skit before they launch into a laid back more Spoken type delivery a la Gil Scott Heron of track 11,
Hip Hop in which Malik breaks down his early experiences of Hip Hop which basically started back with the Sugarhill Gang. All the biggest names get name checked and this just shows how much love for the genre
Malik has, having lived it for so long.
Following this is a another fast track 4 In The Morning which should be a real breakers anthem. With their use of instrumentation there is a feeling of Electro about this and like practically all the other tracks it has such a groove you'll suddenly realise you are nodding your head
pretty violently without even realising.
Track 14 is more of a sloppy love track in which the MC waxes lyrical about his love for his
Queen Star, a type of track first brought to us by LL Cool J and his I Need Love track. Since then RnB has rather stolen most of this subject matter, but this has all the cheesy elements including the riff and ragga chatted chorus. Despite the above, which some could take the wrong way the tack is surprisingly listenable and partly amusing, which I'm sure wasn't the intention.
To finalise with a demonstration of the crew's versatility we even have a full
on Reggae track and a more R'n B track with a soulful singer who unfortunately I
There is little these guys need to do to be the finished product music wise, there is a nice variety of styles and tempos including some tasty singing on the opening and final track, but at the same time the collection of tracks has a distinct feel as well. But beyond the music I don't know what these guys have to offer. Visuals and a design element are missing and greater background information is always needed to get a greater insight into a group. To some extent the music and the lyrical content speak for themselves, but never the less budding acts need to make themselves as accessible as possible and need to help people to help them. Look out for Detrimental in your area
'cos these guys are ready to blow.