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A Magazine for Sheffield

Various Artists BTR 5th Anniversary

Local lads Bad Taste Records have proven to be one of the breakout successes of the Sheffield label circuit. What started five years ago as a stable for resident producers and MCs, getting together to create grime and hip hop with a distinctive South Yorkshire brogue, has now spread its tentacles into the realms of house and garage and has a roster that spans both sides of the Atlantic.

For their fifth anniversary Bad Taste have unearthed two volumes of previously unreleased material, with a few choice cuts from the vaults thrown in as well. It’s a case of revisiting their roots on Volume One, as stalwart spitters Trellion, Sniff and Rawkid all plug in their mics over a string of woozy, sluggish beats, the latter combining to electric effect with Coco on the Darkstorm-produced ‘Mind Like Water’, a pairing of fluid grime bars with a softly lilting beat that harks back to classic era 90s hip hop.

While Volume One provides the audio roach paper for firing up a late night spliff, Volume Two concentrates on what’s made you earn it. Walter Ego’s blustering coalition of breaks and house on ‘Motherfuckers’ kicks off proceedings, before London producer Itoa tackles ‘Oops’ by Tweet, holding his own in a fairly saturated market. Timbah digs his grime-covered heels into the classic Seven Samurai score on ‘Return of the Samurai’, while Squarehead gives one of the label’s New York associates Tony Quattro a slick rubdown on his remix of ‘Doubt’.

It’s a strong two volumes from the birthday boys and should serve as a trusty almanac for anyone who’s traced Bad Taste’s journey over the past five years, as well as a healthy introduction to those just arriving.

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