DVA - 'Pretty Ugly'

Settling into abstract, synth-washed funky house

  • Release Date 19 Mar, 2012
  • Record Label Hyperdub
  • Fact Leon 'Scratcha DVA' Smart is also a Rinse FM host
7 / 10
Recent first-class Hyperdub releases by Cooly G and Terror Danjah have put the kibosh on all those crowbarred-in metaphors about industrial wastelands and night-bus riddims beloved of critics. ‘Pretty Ugly’ is another spear into cliché. It’s a sunnier, livelier, more psychedelic and lascivious territory that Leon Smart inhabits here, as he edges further from a grime past that saw him producing a track on Wiley’s ‘Playtime Is Over’ and settles into abstract, Kwaito-infused, synth-washed funky house.

There’s occasional crimes of flannel-wet schmaltz but mostly Smart is like an esoteric, London-based Dam-Funk with a fondness for chemically enhanced raving.

Chris Parkin

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