LIONROCK City Delirious (Concrete)
"City Delirious" is the second long-player by Lionrock, a.k.a. feted DJ Justin Robertson. And like his debut "An Instinct For Detection", its clear that theres an awful lot of innovation going on here. Robertson sucks in elements of ska, soul, rap, dub, film soundtracks and early electronic music and stitches them seamlessly together, once again ably assisted by rapper MC Buzz B.
There is much that is impressive here. Take the single "Rude Boy Rock", for example, which sounds like a Jamaican dancehall rocksteady classic subtly updated by sparing use of modern technology. "Amazing New Product" bubbles like Kraftwerk with MC Buzz B blankly intoning chilling, alienating lines about being in the wrong zone. Every track sounds as if deals of care and attention have been lavished on it, not in a meticulously programmed and polished sense, but as if to ensure that the end result sounds rootsy and right, that it has vibe and attitude.
Unfortunately, as with Lionrocks previous album, I cant say I like it much. Its the kind of album thats easy to admire but difficult to love. Perhaps deliberately, in view of its guiding concept (without wishing to accuse it of being a concept album, officer) of 90s urban paranoia, it sounds like it aint got no heart and soul. Maybe its because its so determinedly different to the kind of dance music Im familiar with, although its habit of incorporating different kinds of, sometimes alien, genres is no different to what Goldie has achieved on his latest album. Whatever, Im afraid that me and "City Delirious" didnt really get on, but dont let that put you off.