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Duke01 – Release the Kraken (EP, Self release)

May 30, 2011

In hip-hop, there are few artists who can command the stage with a live band as well as they can hold it down on record. However, The Roots have forged a reputation for exactly this and Notts’ own Duke01, along with hip-rock-funk-hop combo Papa La Bas, do the same.

Release The Kraken sees the former Non Thespian frontman clashing with production titan Dwyzak the Elevator for five tracks of quality local hip-hop. Clarence Boddicker sets the tone, with Duke01’s quick-fire raps supported by some live funky drums and guitars from PLB, as well as Dwyz’s scratches and the inviting “Here we gooooo” refrain. Dwyz then steps out from behind the decks to lyrically partner Duke01 on Delta Squad, along with fellow PLB member Suzi Ruthless. Things take a rockier turn for the title track, with action-movie guitars supplying the MC a platform to verbally wile out, as opposed to the more electronic Infinite Blast Radius, with the Duke supported by Suzi’s MIA-esque chorus and some Malcolm McLaren scratches. The synth-heavy Crashing Down closes the EP perfectly. The close musical relationship between Duke01 and Dwyz is evident. The raps have the old school vibe of Hijack or Blade, matched perfectly by an energetic live band and solid production.

Release the Kraken is available to download from duke01.bandcamp.com.

Originally published in LeftLion magazine Issue 40, April – May 2011.

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