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DVA – Natty review

Artist: DVA
Title: Natty
Label: Hyperdub
Genre: Dubstep/Grime
Format: 12″, Digital
Buy From: Juno Records, Juno Download

Scratcha DVA delivers his debut 12” for Hyperdub with “Natty,” taking dub step’s funky phenomenon  even further with two funky, yet tribal tunes.

This is a highly anticipated Hyperdub release. Having received plays from Kode 9 affiliates, Cooly G and Ikonika in addition to players like Oneman to Marcus Nasty and Jackmaster – expectations were high. The iconic label, perhaps sensing this, have even issued the record in a resplendent spot-gloss sleeve.

Known originally for his grime beats, DVA has been bubbling away just under the surface for a while now. It is his unique take on the funkier side of dub step that is getting him all the recognition now. Serving as an answer to all those who believe this new movement is a step in the wrong direction for the genre, this release showcases DVA adapting to the dynamic production levels of European house and techno and twisting them for a ruder, contemporary London-centric audience.

“Natty” is based around a heavily staggered snare-driven rhythm that gives the track its infectious off-centre, skippy nature. It is a slow, percussive trip that swaggers and staggers with tribal influences. It is a truly unique track, almost free from any other labelling whatsoever. “Ganja” however, is much simpler. It follows a 4/4 pulse but feels loose and rolls along to some jackin’ polyrhthms and loopy lead synth. Perhaps the better track for the dancefloor, “Ganja’s” catchy bassline merges perfectly DVA’s more minimal approach to funky dub step.

Hyperdub are always pushing dubstep, helping forge new sounds and different techniques. Even within the funky sound, the label’s output shows varying approaches. Through DVA, it shows a darker, more minimal take on the sound by splicing elements of house and techno into the genre.

Review: Tom Jones