I remember hearing MJ Cole’s ‘Volcano Riddim’ and thinking that it was halfway to being an amazing tune, but that the jagged, processed strings and beats didn’t quite add up to a cohesive whole. Two years later, Plan B’s strings are full of the same foreboding, allied to a menacing, urban, state of the nation vocal, informed by the fallout from last year’s UK riots. (A staggering) 18 years ago, The Prodigy were also concerned with political matters affecting Britain’s youth, due to the Criminal Justice Act. The beats on ‘Ill Manors’ would have been right at home on ‘Music for the Jilted Generation’ and, coincidentally, The Prodigy have also remixed the track. Gone are the sweet, Smokey Robinson pastiches and polished blue-eyed soul; Strickland Banks may not be dead, but he’s definitely resting.
More music to love: