So there I was, beating a Range Rover from a red-light stop in the ol’ Honda when Bomfunk MC’s ‘Freestyler‘ hits the airwaves and I’m transported to 1999. Me, at ten years old, flailing my limbs around and attempting to rap, break and mimic the thickness of that Finnish, extended ‘yeahhh’ in truly pre-pubescent style. Failing. Was it back then, I questioned, throwing my peace signs up and the hell out of my driver window in the present, that the seeds of my love for dubstep were planted? Reflecting on the last decade of music, it seems that it must have been the Finnish duo that sparked my appreciation of the genre as, until names like Burial, Skream and Rusko started popping up in things towards then end of 2009, Prodigy were about as close as I got to the Croydon, South East London-born style.
That was until I heard Katy Brien’s ‘Katy On A Mission’ late last year. Born the same year as me (and thus, one has to assume, equally influenced by rock-rock-rock-rock-a-rockin the microphone), Katy B finished a degree in Popular Music (radical!) at the University of London only last year and released this as her first single almost simultaneously. Previously, she’d appeared as Baby Katy on a DJ NG track that, after some , featured on the 2008 Ministry of Sound ‘Clubber’s Guide’. More recently, she lent vocals to Count & Sinden‘s debut album on the track ‘‘. Obviously, finishing uni befits a step up into the big leagues and so, after apparently knocking back a couple of major label deals, she signed with Columbia and released this track on Rinse FM, a pirate station (more radical!) broadcasting out of London. Following the significantly radical trajectory of her short career to date, everybody liked the song. Accordingly, it went to #5 on the UK singles chart and #1 on the dance chart.
So does this girl with the most unassuming of countenances really deserve the kudos that has been showered on her by all but the most patently wack media, music and commercial organisations? Quite simply, yes. It’s not that Katy has the vocal chops to even get in the ring with The Firework-spurting-chested one. If anything, Katy has a not hugely memorable voice bar the capacity to manipulate her falsetto to chilling effect. Instead, ‘Katy On A Mission’ is such a success because Katy has connections. Produced by who has been plugging away at the dubstep movement since 2002, the track is a triumph of hard-hitting and compulsive bass that changes it up enough to evade the typical genre trap: repetition and boredom. ‘Katy On A Mission’ is expertly produced and makes for impressive listening. It feels good to remember dubstep.
Katy B – Katy On A Mission