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Skiman – Afterdark (Mixtape, Elementz Productions)

February 15, 2011

Skiman’s second mixtape set steps into the realms of dubstep and grime. He sets out his stall with opening track Walk On, leading into the warning beeps of Star Wars-sampling single Darkside’s intro. This gives way to a bassline crushing enough to turn the Death Star into an Imperial trifle.

Skiman’s versatility really shines on this sophomore release; Too Hard sounds like Boy In Da Corner-era Dizzee. There are also hard, angsty bars over Lil Wayne’s Drop the World beat, which contrasts with the party-time punchlines he drops on club tune Mine. It’s like  listening to a track by Devlin followed by a Chipmunk chart hit – except Skiman makes these songs specifically his own. Sorry sees a guest turn from fellow Elementz collaborator and all-round Nottingham legend, Karizma, with Starkey’s dubby bassline and relentless string sample providing a beat different to Karizma’s usual offerings.

For the closing track Try Me, Skiman flips genres and goes straight hip-hop. This gem from producer Onra sounds like a fight between a mariachi band, the Trojan back catalogue and a Vietnamese phrase book. Awesome! Then, after just 25 minutes, your time’s up. Fast, fun, and definitely not forgettable, you’ll be left reeling from a mixtape crammed with finely chosen beats and even finer raps.

Available to download for free from The Elementz website, or check Skiman on MySpace.

Originally published in LeftLion magazine, Feb-Mar 2011.

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