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Cooly G – Up In My Head review

Cooly G has become a phenomenon in the last year among fans of dubstep and UK Funky. She’s been winning over fans in droves with her heavy DJ sets, her Twitter account is prolific, as are her many excellent mixtapes, which she almost always provides sans easy-to-leach-from tracklists. All this off the back of a slim set of releases – last year’s essential Narst/Love Dub 12″ and a split release with Mala on Hyperdub 5.5 – as well as her own self-released Dub Organizer tunes. Finally though, there’s this incredible double A-Side release via Hyperdub which crystallizes the main reason Cooly G is the name on everyone’s lips – her beats.

The range covered by these tunes is one of the many things to love here. “Up In My Head” starts with a dreamy arrangement of chords, fed through different phasing effects and with a sparse string lead just creeping into the mélange of R&B-esque sounds. With a few casual snare taps, the beat is ushered in and despite keeping things off-kilter and not spoon feeding you with easy-to-read rhythms, she keeps you riveted to the spot with flat and loud kicks, buzz-delay hats and occasional pitch-rising sub-bass. Adding a lower octave to the breakdown increases the beautiful depth of the tune, while her chopped vocal chorus swims in and out of the mix to add to the delirium.

While there’s a warped-pop feel to “Up In My Head”, “Phat Si” (which debuted on Kode9’s DJ Kicks mix recently) is straight-up fire. With snares sequenced into a full-on funky rattle and hats sounding like knives, she filters the beat up subtly until letting fly with a huge processed siren-effect which brings the beats in with full force. It takes no prisoners, creating a devilish and dubby mood that gets added to with some brilliantly warped sine-tones and brutally low bass note development. Frankly it’s essential.

Oliver Keens