Promising stateside imprint Slit Jockey has been pushing cutting edge grime since 2005 and their latest release is a testament to their intricate knowledge of the UK underground climate. Having released records from in house producers Dev 79, El Carcinero and the impeccably talented Starkey, whom himself has made decent impressions on Butterz, Slit Jockey are not shy at nurturing new talent, as well as creating new avenues for the more established. J Sweet, esteemed grime veteran, is a firm advocate having released twice with the label, whilst emerging gems Numan and most recently Mella Dee, one half of lauded garage / house duo Mista Men, have both been recruited.
Their latest release comes from the latter, with Mella Dee's 'Don't Be Nesh' EP taking Slit Jockey's catalog to an impressive 25 records in a little under 7 years. The EP itself is a fresh as could be expected with Mella Dee demonstrating all the right credentials, uniting the traditional 8 bar sound with his own distinct palette to great effect.
Opener 'Don't Be Nesh' is a bold, archetypal grime instrumental with a strong bass line and gritty, sinister sampling throughout that sets the tone well for what is to come. Second track V.I.P, is more dance floor friendly, with seasoned vet Slick Don providing a welcome, catchy vocal that echos Jammer's 'Back to the 90s' somewhat. Gritty (South Yorks) switches up yet again, a track more representative of the early Eski sound whilst Pie & Peas is more current and experimental in the Starkey sense - innovative but still identifiable within the ever expanding grime bracket. The EP is rounded off by the punchy V.I.P instrumental which sounds equally as fresh without Slick Don's vocal.
In essence then, Don't Be Nesh ticks all the boxes required to warrant it being a a more than competent grime EP and certainly highlights Mella Dee's considerable talent and versatility on the buttons. There is scope for refinement, but all the signs are in place to suggest Mella could be the next breakthrough producer from outside of London if granted the right exposure. As for Slit Jockey, they deserve huge credit for giving emerging artists a much needed platform. Top marks all round.
Don't Be Nesh is set for release on May 14th and will be available to purchase from all good digital outlets.
Twitter: @MistaMen // @SlitJockey
Slit Jockey Records: http://slitjockey.com/