Dave East 'The Offering'/Black Rose (2014)

Nothing better than coming across a track that disrupts attempts at categorisation - meandering around in my head were thoughts looking for a system, trying to work our defining qualities of punk (music based on impact) or hip-hop and dub.

I had been thinking about the importance of the 'echo' in hip-hop; the way elements are brought to the front in a kind of call/response, to provide levity and humour - or contrast, commentary in any form - and that dub had something similar.

And how punk, or to be more accurate 90s 'post-punk' with its roots in 70s metal - bands like Black Sabbath - was all about the unity of sound, seeking out no space in terms of how the instruments worked together, broken (maybe) by a guitar solo - but only momentarily. 

But then there are hip-hop tracks like this; broken-up and fractured with all kinds of ironic or even funny contributions - samples that have no clear logic (to me), but also hitting you with such force it could never be called 'light' entertainment. 

Too much music, hip-hop or otherwise is far too earnest: too keen on spreading a single, unified message; both in terms of the lyrics and music. Here, what you have is a sense of the emcee's character/style; you sense the urgency of the delivery, but even after listening to it I don't understand it and that's fine with me.  

It reminds me of this track by Plan B 'Ill Manors' - but musically Dave East's track is much more radical in its approach. 

The other stand-out track for me on the Black Rose mixtape is 'Ghost' ... This is paradise-stuff, wonderfully strange.