Kingdom (NYC)
Dreama


4.0
excellent

Review

by Deviant STAFF
November 24th, 2011 | 20 replies | 5,124 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Fashionable label Night Slugs finally gets its 2011 feather in the cap with Kingdom's follow up to the acclaimed That Mystic

2011 has been a quiet year of sorts for trail blazing imprint Night Slugs, in stark contrast to the slew of jaw dropping releases that solidified their presence in the UK bass scene last year. Both co-founders Bok Bok and L-Vis 1990 have kept the label’s output rate up to a considerable level, along with help from regulars Egyptrixx and Jam City, but it seems as if Night Slugs has been going through a much needed period of rest and reassessment in the wake of their daylight robbery takeover that saw them ending up on the tips of just about everyone’s tongue. And while the label’s roster were by no means the first to gravitate towards the urban battleground of swaggerish US hip hop, their unified assault was perhaps the most solidified effort within the genre, one that’s since given rise to a host of imitators intent on fusing their own paranoid and stammering takes on more grime heavy garage joints.

Kingdom’s debut release for the imprint, That Mystic, was a release borne out of leading by example, but one that ended up rising to the top of the pile as perhaps the most rewarding of all of the labels releases, one that perfectly exemplified the violent and bruised marriage of 2-step percussion with the backseat bass of hip hop. Dreama follows in much the same direction, as he attempts to craft apocalyptic anthems out of the sonic collision, wrapping his damaged and warped garage beats around devastating amounts of east coast hip hop influence. And while Dreama is perhaps a touch less dangerous than anything off of That Mystic, the more subtle and emotive nuances end up only accentuating his broken dance floor fillers.

‘Let You No’s’ recent inclusion on Bok Bok’s FACT mix was a small yet significant watershed moment for that compilation, delicately sliding in unassumingly into the fray with its bombastic bass and winding synth trails. Here it’s lost none of that magic appeal, slipping back and forth from thunderous half-stepper to hypnotizing r&b jam; and while pitch shifted vocal samples border on the cliche, here they form yet another foundation for the track to bounce off, they accentuate rather than simply existing as another piece in the jumbled puzzle. ‘Stalker Ha’ tones down the aggressiveness a few notches and trades in the booming hip hop for more fashionable house, riding the beat over a John Carpenter Halloween-esque piano line that inadvertently sends the track into far more sinister territory than That Mystic’s title track wallowed in.

The release suffers at the hands of the title track however, not so much in quality but in energy as the wayward forward momentum takes a detour at the hands of a much more laid back approach. It’s conceptually inventive, riding a fine line between hip hop arrogance and dreamy retro funk stylings, with its heartbeat a groove laden timpani that slowly pops along at its own leisurely pace. ‘Hood By Air Theme’ ups the ante and attempts for a touch more ambiguity than the previous tracks, squeezing its tight and syncopated rhythm into a claustrophobic grip of footwork inspired 808 snares and tom hits. It’s a dirty and sleazy excursion into packed to the rafters dancefloors, where the audience seems to move as one unified entity, joined together in sweaty unison riding wave after wave of crushing euphoria. He even throws a curveball into the mix when the beat suddenly drops out and is replaced by a rather sinister Madonna(!) vocal sample that ends up sounding eerily haunting amidst the dense reverie the track’s been slowly building towards. And while that might not sound like a great deal on paper, it shows Kingdom’s continued evolution, how he always seems to be challenging, always willing and looking for ways to pull the rug out from beneath us. It's a satisfying conclusion to the eerily decadent nightmare beat making we've come to expect from the artist, and Dreama is just another example of his technical acumen.



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user ratings (9)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2011



30295 Comments


Let You No: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTOoI14g34s&feature=related
Stalker Ha: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14jV5I9ctZI
Dreama: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLS6EeKVYPE
Hood By Air Theme: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvxNMV-Nrfw&feature=related

Digging: L'Orange - The Orchid Days

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2011



7011 Comments


Deviant, aside from single-handedly keeping the site's Staff review section constantly circulating, your constant writing has also brought about noticeable improvement in your style; you're writing better and better these days.

Keep it up.

Digging: Caleb McAlpine - All Things New

Restrikted
November 24th 2011



1889 Comments


Seems like my writing is getting worse and worse as I continue to write reviews.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2011



7011 Comments


I know that feeling well.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 24th 2011



23642 Comments


haha shut up Irving. take that bullshit modesty elsewhere.

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

Rev
November 24th 2011



9291 Comments


this is awesome, great review Dev. I'm really enjoying this label's output


How's the mix coming along, btw?

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2011



7011 Comments


Haha, Aids, I was being honest! My prose as of late has barely risen above the serviceable, and Deviant's recent added flair has only served to remind me of that. Gotta try and keep up - somehow!

cvlts
November 24th 2011



8917 Comments


dont burn out haha

Digging: Pedro the Lion - It's Hard To Find A Friend

Manic_
November 24th 2011



447 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

shouldn't this be Kingdom [US]?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2011



30295 Comments


Waiting on the change

struth
November 24th 2011



435 Comments


worst time to be capped. this looks amazing.

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
November 25th 2011



6920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Gotta disagree on the issue with the title track. I think that track fucking rules and is actually a
welcome change of pace. Maybe it's from listening to all these Night Slugs releases lately that are
consistently up-beat, or just that I love his swirly synths (probably not the right description but
idk what else to call them) that make up the majority of the melody in that song.

I can definitely see where you're coming from but when the percussion drops out for just the snaps
and then enters again is one of my favorite parts of the EP and I really just dug it from the
beginning regardless of any momentum changes. I also love that he's dropping huge vocal tracks with
just over a minute left in the EP on Hood By Air Theme.

Great review though. I'm happy you did this- hopefully this grabs some attention on here (and gets
some more ratings above 3).

Adash
November 25th 2011



1356 Comments


Let U No is a ludicrous tune. Too much

Ending
November 25th 2011



1861 Comments


You've gotta slow down Dev, so many reviews. >.>

eternium
November 27th 2011



16209 Comments


There's like ten different bands named Kingdom.

Digging: Thou - Heathen

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
November 29th 2011



1588 Comments


Deviant, aside from single-handedly keeping the site's Staff review section constantly circulating, your constant writing has also brought about noticeable improvement in your style; you're writing better and better these days.

Must be pulling for a pay rise the bastard.

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2012



6920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Saw Kastle live tonight and he dropped Let You No along with some other Night Slugs stuff, some Rustie, Blawan, and tons of other sweet shit. Let You No was unbelievable on the system - not something I ever thought I'd hear properly in my state.

Adash
February 25th 2012



1356 Comments


Kastle - fuckin' A

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2012



30295 Comments


http://www.factmag.com/2012/07/30/kingdom-shares-74-minutes-of-new-exclusives-on-inaugural-fadefm-mix/

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
July 31st 2012



6920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fuck yeah!



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