Various Sound01: A Big Dada Sampler

Functioning as a primer for those who are unfamiliar with the product issued by Big Dada - Ninja Tune's hip-hop label - Sound01 does a nice job showing the eclectic approach to hip-hop the label has. Primarily consisting of UK hip-hop acts, the compilation showcases previously released efforts and some upcoming material. The inimitable gruff-voiced Roots Manuva brings the string-laden "Motion 5000," which first made noise over a year ago, while the much-respected Ty kicks things off with the jazzy "Break The Lock," from his recent album. These are among the most straight-ahead efforts, as the muddy sounds of Gamma, Mike Ladd's Infesticons project and the French content from TTC creatively pushes the envelope, but the Black Atlantic musings of Gamma and Mike Ladd's anti-jiggy manifesto are best understood within the context of the albums these tracks are taken from. The groove rather than the concept seems to be the driving force behind New Flesh (known previously as New Flesh For Old), though. Deftly balancing the experimental and melodic, their curious fusion of UK soul, ragga vocals and hip-hop sensibilities provides the highlight of the compilation, in the form of the track "Communicate," featuring Blackalicious's Gift of Gab. (Ninja Tune)