Lotek Hi-Fi Mixed Blessings

That the founding member and principal beat-smith behind dubby London slow-burners Lotek Hi-Fi cut his teeth as live musical director and sometime producer for Roots Manuva should come as no surprise to anyone sampling the crews sound for the first time. It’s a fact that becomes immediately evident upon delving into the groups Mixed Blessings debut disc, with producer Wayne "Lotek” Bennett’s blend of deep, roots reggae influences and quirky, electronically textured hip-hop forming the easily recognisable sound that permeates the records. Each of the group’s three primary vocalists carries his own very distinct sound, with the booming baritone grit of Aurelius, Manuva-styled flow of Lotek and reggae/soul stylings of third member Wayne Paul combining to keep things constantly shifting throughout. Paul shines on the bass-heavy slow jam "Sticks and Stones,” while the Roots-y man himself makes an appearance on the bouncy club cut "Move Ya Thing.” This is a record made thick with the kind of distinct, bottom heavy, smoked out sound UK producers have so perfected over the years. (Big Dada)