London Camden Monarch

Our rating:

They think it's great. Soon, you will too.

Nobody here is having as much fun as Hedrock keyboard mangler Declan McLaughlin. It’s impossible: in his head he’s playing some crazed NYC superclub, and [I]everyone[/I] is there, and they’re all going mad.

So what that the reality is nowhere near as exciting? Hedrock Valley Beats – three Irishmen with a mission to revive and reshape the big-beat bonanza – aren’t going to constrict their sonic vision just because they’re in dank Camden playing to people with no rhythm. If you’re not prepared to have a good time, their mash-up of breaks and sloganeering samples exclaims, then we’ll have one for you.

And they proceed to bounce and punch the air as beats are broken down and built up, stretched and distorted over Kevin Fox‘s rattling bass, while decknician Frankie Kane lays over the funk snippets, and the spectre of the Lo-Fi’s in all their frenetic death-disco glory is conjured. The Hedrock boys got their first break supporting Bentley Rhythm Ace, and if they sometimes begin to slip towards that less appetizing, barmy grin’n’sirens frippery of their mentors, they at least keep such burblings short and sweet.

For the most part – as with their forthcoming single ‘Coming Thru (My Stereo)’ – this is one long, seamless blast of electro-house-hip-hop, a dumber, less esoteric Chemical Brothers, a stripped-down Fatboy breakbeat riot. They think it’s great. Soon, you will too.