DJ Proper and Grand Lordmaster Uber Thugs

This pair of twelve-inch singles released from London label Evil Genius gives a good indication that the underground hip-hop scene in the UK is alive and well. Krash Slaughta has been making a name for himself in Glasgow with his blend of funk, hip-hop and reggae, and all of these components make appearances through the handful of tracks that appear on Scratching A Living. Accompanied with a Rasta MC, "The Rasta James Bond" makes good on its title and blends a brilliant cinematic-sounding guitar riff with a crash of horns to produce a lush hip-hop spy theme. If the MC isn't your cup of tea, thankfully there's an instrumental that shines much brighter and sits alongside some of the Herbaliser's patented chase themes. Being a UK DMC finalist, it's no surprise that this EP is also filled nicely with loads of scratch trickery from Slaughta to accompany his already great production skills. Even better than their Evil Genius counterpart are the lush cuts strung together by DJ Proper and Grand Lordmaster. The duo paint an atmospheric hip-hop backdrop with their opening track "Uber Thugs," with the tempo dropping a notch and drops of lush strings and soothing vocal samples. The pair seem guided more to the jazz side of hip-hop, with more piano and flute in their tracks, and this creates a more soothing sound that's much easier to get lost in, with loops that you'll have jammed in your head for days. The EP ends on a super-funked cut with a mean bass line drifting along with crashing drum rolls, dated synthesisers and a dreamy "sweet and sexy" vocal sample. Definitely a pair of DJs to be on the look out to emerge from the UK hip-hop scene. (Evil Genius)