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Mizz Beats – Are We The Dictators? review

Mizz Beats – the pop/hip-hop/R&B/dubstep producer who first burst on to the scene around ‘05 – has a pretty impressive history behind her. Already, the 24 year old, East London raised gyal (otherwise known as Iman Yanee Tonge-Grant) has collaborated with the likes of Wiley, Skepta, Lady Sovereign, Dizzee Rascal and Roots Manuva. Channeling a dubstep, grime and funkyhouse influenced sonic palette, full of 8bit computer game sounds, chiptune elements and the zeitgeist drawl of bass heavy urban funk, Mizz Beats is a serious force to reckon with. Following her debut solo 12” – “My World / The Jester” – on Mala’s Deep Medi Musik last year and before that, her collab with Silkie “Purple Love” in 2009, Mz B now steps up with a superb five track Are We The Dictators? EP on Floating Points and Alexander Nut’s Eglo imprint.

First up is funked up groove of “The Day Before Tomorrow” with its call to arms, loose, rolling drums and jazzed up, shimmying synths which provide a backdrop for the main tune which seems to slowly grow around these elements like a shoot sprouting from a seed. Classic 8bit bleepy melodic flourishes prevail in “Dirty Dishes”, up next, which has a slightly Ikonika-esque feel to it as well, as does “Sancturary”, in which Mizz Beats juxtaposes hefty drum kicks against simple repeated computer game tones. Evocatively entitled track “Sofa Beat” continues the journey onwards with fidgety melodies and computerized cheeps and chirrups punctuating the tune, before the EP closes with “2Bit Road”. It’s a superb finale as Mizz Beats tunes into a low slung groove with resplendent crackling intro, soulful jazz keys and reggae vocal calling “selassie” chopped up amongst the rattle of maracas and clipped beats. A diverse and genre-spanning EP.

Belinda Rowse