London-based DJ and producer Wrongtom has teamed up with fellow Londoner and jungle MC and hype man Deemas J for the 13 track album In East London, a set paying homage to the culture and sound that first got them both hooked on reggae back in the 80’s.
In East London follows Wrongtom’s successful Roots Manuva re-rub album Duppy Writer and is loaded with early to mid 80’s dancehall and dub vibes. Wrongtom borrows, grabs and steals respectfully from old time reggae heroes, but at the same time he gives each track his trademarked style.
The vintage feel with bouncy and bumping bass is apparent throughout the album and is spiced with samples and good humor, both lyrically and musically.
Because In East London is much of a party starter, even though it has its fair share of minor key moments and reflective social commentaries, such as Riot Ting and Crime Times, two tracks steeped in the surroundings of the album’s creation having been mostly recorded in the far reaches of the East End in the shadow of the Olympics and the vocals laid down in the wake of 2011’s riots.
Deemas J is a skilled and versatile performer, and he obviously handles dub poetry, singing and Tippa Irie-styled fast chatting. Just check East London, Suzy Hangs Out and the single Jump + Rock + Move.
The overriding upbeat, celebratory tone of the album suits the Tony McDermott illustrated cover sleeve nicely. Historically he was responsible for the look of legendary reggae and dancehall label Greensleeves, and his famous cartoon covers is today synonymous with dub records by Scientist and Mad Professor in the early 80’s.
Wrongtom and Deemas J have glanced at 80’s London and Kingston, but with their own contemporary sound it sounds fresh and brand new.