Wiley Treddin' On Thin Ice

Comparisons to Mercury Prize winner Dizzee Rascal will inevitably crop up when discussing the music of another East London resident Wiley. Dizzee was once actually Wiley's protégé and a member of Wiley's Roll Deep Crew and standout track "Reasons" obliquely addresses their apparently strained relationship. Wiley's sound, while also influenced by found computer sounds, is less abrasive and favours bass-fuelled romps familiar to anyone who has experienced UK pirate radio. Wiley terms his sound "eski beat” and sneers at attempts to pigeonhole it as two-step, urban or garage in his rapid-fire flow on the rollicking mission statement "Wot Do You Call It?" Wiley's not caught up in his self-produced beats though. As the title suggests, Wiley is constantly engaged in a battle with self-doubt. On "Goin' Mad" he discloses he has "too much on me plate" he uses the music to coax himself out of his slump, showing off his production chops, with clinical pacing. While the talk surrounding this record may centre around what section to file it under, the more compelling definition taking place is the Wiley's ultimately endearing motivational struggle to assert himself against the ironically cold and harsh soundscapes he has created. (XL)