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Thursday, Aug 05 2010 | 11:51 Buy this now at GoodToGo (B2B)

Ollie ‘Skream’ Jones is on a major roll. The 25 year old Croydon DJ, producer and original dubstepper had the festival anthem of last year with his “Let’s Get Ravey” remix of La Roux’s “In For The Kill”; he’s just been featured on the cover of NME with his Magnetic Man co-stars Benga and Artwork (not to mention the covers of DJ and Mixmag) and as we speak, he is all over Radio 1 with the lead track from his second solo album, “Outside The Box”.

The tune in question, “Listenin To The Records On My Wall”, is the perfect introduction to why Skream’s current level of success is just the beginning. It’s a joyful, ragingly energetic celebration of the last quarter decade of British street music, inspired by the hardcore and jungle records used by his older brother Hijak who was part of Grooverider’s Internatty Crew. It’s also a brilliant pop record that makes perfect sense to everyone who grew up surrounded by the breaks and beats of the 1990s – and to those who didn’t.

This, however, is not a revival record. A natural born modernist, Skream has selected 14 tracks that cover hip hop (“8-Bit Baby”, with LA rapper Murs from Living Legends), bass-wobbling dubstep (the self-explanatory “Wibbler”), dreamy electronica (“Perferated”), a dark and tribal track with La Roux, and a strong dose of euphoric jungle on “The Epic Last Tune”; a track that is inadvisable to listen to whilst driving – unless you want another six points on your licence.

“Outside The Box” is the sound of an artist who is ready to take his considerable talents to a wider audience without compromising any of the raw, hedonistic, emotional, lose-yourself madness that has made him literally legendary to the hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Take “Where You Should Be” a song which features singer and songwriter Sam Frank. “I don’t think I’ll ever be sick of that track. I’ve easily listened to it 500 times. It’s not fundamentally for the dancefloor.” There’s the 8-bit computer game inspiration of “CPU”; the Daft Punk styled vocals of “How Real” featuring Freckles; the tuff but soothing heart-beat of “Fields Of Emotion” and the Jocelyn Brown-sampling “I Love The Way”, which sees the first lady of disco pitched right down (“she sounds well mannish”) and which you might have heard at Skream’s massive festival sets at Pukkelpop, Glastonbury or Roskilde, where he and Benga began their crowd-surfing habit.

Towards the end of the album, there are moments that point in a whole new direction, like “Reflections”, a tune written with talented drum ‘n’ bass heads dBridge and Instra:mental. “It’s opened my eyes to a whole new way of working. I was playing the bass, and they were programming drums and playing the pads and strings. I was used to sitting in front of a screen.” And then there’s “Song For Lenny”, a sad and very personal musical dedication to a lost friend.

Album aside, life’s busy for Oliver Jones. He’s back DJing after taking some time out at the start of the year, switching up his DJ sets to include 4/4, techno, garage and grime and, most weeks, hosting his Rinse FM show – now alongside Benga – where listeners get to hear new tunes and Skream and Benga’s inimitable banter. There will be another “Skreamizm EP” later in the year, as well as the highly anticipated “Magnetic Man” album and live shows. It’s going to a big summer, inside and outside the box.


01. Perferated
02. 8 Bit Baby feat. Murs
03. CPU
04. Where You Should Be feat. Sam Frank
05. How Real feat. Freckles
06. Fields Of Emotion
07. I Love The Way
08. Listenin’ To The Records On My Wall
09. Wibbler
10. Metamorphosis
11. Finally feat. La Roux
12. Reflections feat. dBridge & Instra:mental
13. A Song For Lenny
14. The Epic Last Song

The album SkreamOutside The Box” (Tempa) is going to be released August 13, 2010.

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