Skip to main content
A Magazine for Sheffield

Slew Face Value

An impressive talent and years of experience in the UK underground give Slew the foundations to craft a solid mixtape.

Released: 27 October 2023
Face Value

There’s an essence running through this project that extends throughout Slew’s work. At his debut show at Bermondsey Social Club, he was wearing Brain Dead, Loewe, Veilance and Nike TNs. He performed with no interruption between tracks, no enhancements and with only the instrumental underneath his live vocals. There was no room for uncertainty – everything was taken at face value. It was a demonstration of quality.

That darkened venue is where a mixtape like this is at home. Its performer’s voice has a strained, grimy inflection that forces you to listen, and its eleven tracks box the listener in. The intro, ‘Number 1’, does away with everything the musician did before this mixtape, all of which seems delicate in comparison. Here Slew has shed all desire to fit in, and his solid grasp of his own idiosyncrasies is the tape’s greatest success.

Face Value is a gauge to measure which of Slew’s approaches resonate. The artist helped craft the tape’s beats, but his delivery forces instrumentals of different shapes to fit him rather than the other way round. ‘Friendly’ and ‘Feet Up’ are musically diverse and fed through a raw Slew filter, but the lasting moments that separate him from his contemporaries are the likes of ‘No More (Family Sh*t)’, ‘Stand Up’, ‘December’ and ‘Now or Never’. These are tracks you won’t find from other artists, which is why they were lead singles.

Slew’s originality and determination stand beside a gift for music-making. His abilities are banging against the walls here, and there’s no doubt this significant British talent will flourish and take up every inch of the space only he can fill.