Labrinth, come in! Appearing on the scene as the beat making genius behind Tinie Tempah’s “Pass Out“ and soon after “Frisky”, 22 year old Labrinth has finally dropped his much anticipated debut album. After a year and a half of waiting since “Let The Sun Shine” and the Devlin assisted track “Up In Flames” here comes the reign of Labrinth and Electronic Earth.
After putting Tinie on the map (twice), Lab went on to work with some of the UK’s finest upcoming urban acts including Wretch 32, Yasmin and Professor Green, before making his own transition from producer to solo artist. Labrinth isn’t shy when it comes to mashing up and flirting with the boundaries of multiple genres, his sound is so unique, it’s a fusion of electronic pop fused with elements of dubstep, house, drum n’bass and floor shaking basslines. Following his 2010 debut “Let The Sun Shine”, Labrinth hid away from the limelight for a while sparking rumours he was a one hit wonder, but instead he went away to work on a number of producing projects including the Children In Need 2010 charity single “Teardrop”. When he returned he took the industry by storm, with the floor shaking tune, “Earthquake”.
His third single entitled “Last Time” cemented Labrinth’s skills and proved his worth before running a remix competition and picking the winner to have their version included on the single’s remix EP. Popular dance/dubstep duo Knife Party also compiled a rendition of the track and it was included on the album before sparking up remixes of “Earthquake” by Noisia and even a vocal remix known as “The All Stars Remix”. This remix began with the following words before Kano, Wretch 32, Tinie Tempah and Busta Rhymes drop their respective verses.
“Ladies and gentlemen, gathered before you are five of the finest wordsmiths known to mankind.”
Signed to SyCo (Simon Cowell’s record label) it’s not surprising several of the tracks on the album are geared for commercial success but it is a refreshing break from the surplus David Guetta-esque beats currently overpopulating our airwaves. Labrinth bravely samples the Charles Wright classic, “Express Yourself”, giving it a freshly modernised sound without tarnishing the original. With a retro sounding cover, a bit of jazz, swing and a few trumpets, Lab funks up the track and gives the 1993 track a kick.
However, club hits are not Lab’s only speciality; he talks about real issues and shows his love for his Hackney roots on “Sweet Riot”, referencing the Tottenham riots by saying:
“We rise against the machine and take what’s rightfully ours, the moshpit generation”
The undisputable best part of album is the only other feature on the album, which is a beautiful, romantic piano ballad with Emeli Sandé titled “Beneath Your Beautiful”, which finally showcases his voice without the aid of auto-tune.
Considering Lab has produced for so many artists, it seems strange that he collaborated with so few artists on the ten track album. Overall, it’s a fantastic debut album, which has given the music industry hope that not all tracks have to sound like Pitbull or Red One productions. Labrinth has rapidly become a pioneer of experimenting in new beat per minute ranges creating his trademark sound for Ms Dynamite, Devlin, Professor Green, Wretch 32, Yasmin and of course Tinie Tempah, so it’ll be interesting to see who he adds to the list next. Usher? Cheryl Cole? Jessie J? We’ll have to wait and see!