Following two lengthy EPs – Heavy This Year in 2013 and Diskodub in 2014 – come Taiwan MC’s debut album Cool & Deadly, an eleven track set produced by Chinese Man Records flirting with reggae, dancehall, dubstep, ska and, in particular, hip-hop.
The first five cuts are superb and Taiwan MC, together with a number of collaborators, spit lyrics over fierce hip-hop-fused reggae beats. The infectious Your Lovin’ – featuring the honey-voiced Anouk Aita – and the tongue twisting Dem a Wonder are particularly tasty.
From there on the album gets more diverse with Taiwan MC exploring other styles with great result. Bubblin’, also with Anouk Raita on vocals, comes with nice tempo-changes, Wobble Ballad kicks in a brutally wobbling bass line complemented by blazing horns and a lonesome trumpet, and the bouncy and Major Lazer-influenced Catalina, the first single off the album. This cut could put any dancefloor on fire.
Entertaining, creative and innovative. This album never gets boring or dull.