Ed West & RTKal
Ed West & RTKal met through the Unit 137 studio and Sound System family and found themselves forming a natural and creative recording partnership, resulting in “The Frass EP”, a four-tracker whose tangling of roots and forward-looking fusion of ideas made it the perfect addition to Sharp And Ready – the platform for the New Wave of Sound System Culture on Tru Thoughts records.
Out November 2015, “The Frass EP” sees RTKal giving an authoritative performance, showing off the humour, wordplay and rhythmic versatility that make him one of the UK’s standout rappers and have seen his recent solo ‘Skunk Rock’ mixtape release burning a trail from Complex to Grime Culture to BBC Radio 1/1Xtra. Also stepping up to the mic across the EP’s backdrop of Reggae- and Dub-laced Bashment, Dubstep, Grime and Hip hop, are Toddla T’s right-hand man Serocee and the one and only Jimmy Screech of label-mates Ghost Writerz.
RTKal has always captured attention, drawing on his Jamaican and British heritage and love of heavy bass and hip hop to spin witty, gritty and compelling stories. He has been a regular on the radio since his mid-teens, with features including an early Fire in the Booth session for Charlie Sloth on BBC 1Xtra (which has had 50,000+ YouTube hits and counting), repeat airplay from MistaJam and many others, and a recent Toddla T session. His prodigious talent and wealth of experience hasalso seen him snapped up as a collaborator over the years by the likes of Don Letts, Skinnyman and Foreign Beggars.
As the drummer in The Drop, Ed West became accustomed to playing internationally to crowds of thousands – not least, opening up the Lion’s Den arena at Boomtown Fair – and has been championed by everyone from Rodigan (including in a BBC Radio 1 soundclash with Gilles Peterson) to the Junglist Network. Diverse influences – from DJ Shadow to King Tubby via ?uestlove, Jimi Hendrix and Mark Pritchard – inform his work, and he has played sessions for the likes of Nick Manasseh as well as getting to live out every drummer’s dream: making up a rhythm section with Dennis Bovell on bass. Moving ever deeper into the world of production, credits including remix work for now-label-mate Quantic and an EP with Parly B (Reggae Roast) have kept him busy en route to this latest project with RTKal.
With the energy and musical chemistry between these two rising stars, both veterans of the Sound System scene, we have on our hands the soundtrack to a monumental session.