The 'Royal Rumble' EP is the latest offering from London-based trio, Funkystepz. Having forged a notable reputation for their vibrant, colourful productions over the last 18 months, (culminating in label giants Hyperdub signing their last two EP releases), Royal Rumble seems to concern itself more with showcasing a grittier sound. Although 'Warrior' and 'Class A' are more typical of their genre-blurring funky / house cuts, both 'Jigga' and 'Royal Rumble' in particular could quite easily find their way onto a Terror Danjah release. Cliche Michael Buffer sample aside, Royal Rumble is every bit grime built for the dance floor and although renowned for their funky edge, they are equally as good at curating stripped down, unforgiving, bass-laden 140 cuts.
That's not to say the EP is representative of any specific change in outlook however. Warrior is a smooth, groove-laden funky number that builds seamlessly before erupting into life whilst Class A delivers as a refined, charismatic house joint that twists and turns in and out of a series of crashing drops. Both are in line with more 'traditional' Funkystepz efforts.
All in all, Royal Rumble is a refreshingly versatile 4-track offering that should only enhance their reputation as funky's chief standard bearers, although on a personal level, their grimy inclinations are just as encouraging.
Royal Rumble is due for release on April 2nd via in-house imprint, F.L.Y (Forever Live Young).Funkystepz - Royal Rumble EP [April 2nd 2012] by Funkystepzuk