closing date: 5 Jul 2012
London-based DJ and producer Roska releases Rinse Presents: Roska 2, the full-length follow up to 2010's Rinse Presents: Roska, on 28th May.
Through a series of iconic early releases in 2008 through his own Roska Kicks & Snares imprint, Roska originally made his name for his raw, gritty funky tracks. However, even at the time, when the funky scene at large seemed like a timebomb just waiting to explode and take the mainstream by storm, he was doing something subtly different. Strongly rooted in Roska's history in grime, his music infused that genre's roughness and nervous energy with more sultry, swung rhythms, welding big, blocky melodies to a percussive house backbone.
In the few years since then, the funky scene has drained out of the clubs and many of its originators have started making and playing different sounds. However,Roska's music has continued to explore its own world, developing into something deeply individual across a series of releases through labels like Rinse and Numbers, collaborations with dubstep explorers Untold and Pinch and remixes for artists as diverse as Maverick Sabre, Four Tet and Redlight. 2010's Rinse Presents: Roska showed off the range of his sound, with vocal anthems like the Jamie George-featuring 'Wonderful Day' sitting comfortably alongside unique, wild club tracks like 'Squark' and 'Hey Cutie'.
Rinse Presents: Roska 2 picks up where that full-length and his recent EP for Rinse, Jackpot, left off. His most wide-reaching collection of music to date, it reaches far beyond the confines of funky while still keeping his signature sonic flourishes intact. "Over the last 2 years, I've been playing alongside dubstep, grime, other genres, and it's given my sound a different edge," he says of Rinse Presents: Roska 2's broad vision. "I've found my sound, and I'm just going with it and following the flow, rather than sticking to a specific genre now. It doesn't make sense to do that any more."
So rather than remaining locked to any one scene, Rinse Presents: Roska 2 continues to show off Roska's development as an artist in his own right. Club-driven funky still remains at the heart of the music he makes - it's immediately audible in opener 'You Dun Kno's springy, syncopated percussion and 'Do You Like This', which finds Jamie George again joining Roska for a sequel to 'Wonderful Day'. "They're club tracks," he says. "That's where I've been most of the time in the last year, and that's what I want to reflect in the tracks as well."
But elsewhere on Rinse Presents: Roska 2, he uses funky's lithe percussive patterns as a springboard to toy with other sounds. So the snare hits on Memories crack like gunshots, but they're lifted by a buoyant vocal from Ruby Goe, and 'Eleven45' is a deliciously synthetic slice of computer funk. 'OnRinseSinceZeroEight' is, in essence, a grime track at 130bpm, switching up regularly between halfstep rhythm and deadly four-to-the-floor. The twin spectres of grime and dubstep turn up throughout the record. Sweetie Irie's gruff turn on 'Badman' is bolstered by seasick descending synths. Mz. Bratt's delivers a hyperkinetic MC performance on 'Go', and 'Spanner In The Works', a formidable collaboration with Swindle & Funtcase, is led by stringy funk chords reminiscent of the hypercoloured synth work of the Butterz crew. Twisting other genres' characteristics to suit his own vision, although Roska's sound might have shifted since his early days, Rinse Presents: Roska 2shows off an approach that's just as idiosyncratic as ever.
Rinse Presents: Roska 2 is released 28th May 2012
You can catch Roska every Tuesday 7pm-9pm on Rinse FM 106.8 FM London and www.rinse.fm http://www.rinse.fm
Rinse Presents: Roska 2 - Tracklistling
01/ You Dun Kno
02/ Memories ft. Ruby Goe
04/ Do You Like This feat. Jamie George
05/ The Oracle
07/ Badman feat. Sweetie Irie
09/ Go feat. Mz bratt
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