'Big Dada are still pushing things forward'
Before Big Dada, there were labels set up by tribes of pygmies earning more hip-hop props than anything based in the UK. But thanks to Will Ashon’s efforts, his Ninja Tune offshoot is not only a platform for the British urban underground but also attracts some of the most progressive wordsmiths and beat-scientists in the whole world. It’s all here for posterity on this glorious 2-CD retrospective – everything from Ty’s suave London soul, TTC’s French-flavoured electro grooves and California’s Busdriver, who can rap faster than most people can think. And let’s not forget Roots Manuva’s epochal 2001 hit ‘Witness (1 Hope)’, which ensures immortality. The older cuts might sound slightly dated, but that’s proof Big Dada are still pushing things forward in a way that Mike Skinner can only dream of.