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"100% Publishing"

Wiley – 100% Publishing
22 June 2011, 09:00 Written by Christian Adofo

“ I would stand outside. At night… if there were foxes and feed them chicken bones” one Richard Cowie’s act as the urban Steve Irwin explaining “another” absence from the video to 2008’s numbing Wearing My Rolex video shoot. Temperamental, Engaging and Contentious. Terms that are at one with the “Godfather of Grime” whose had an extended liaison with the charts and is using his self-administered Freedom Pass (hey he’s idiosyncratic and I like wasabi on my bacon) to resume proceedings on a new LP.

100% Publishing is Wiley’s second release on Big Dada after 2007’s Playtime Is Over and following the acrimonious management relationship, offloading a gluttonous realm of free tracks via the now infamous ZIP FILES on Twitter last summer and releasing War Dubs against fellow MC’s. This album has the E3 native (that’s the postcode for Bow in East London for those uninitiated) taking full reign on the beats, bars and mastering flying free without impromptu turbulence as the self- explanatory air of the heading suggests.

‘His Royal Grimeness’ is in candid mode from the off, the intro ‘Information Age’ providing a well-worn interpretation on all matters from fast food to religion (“Some days I’m asking God / but the Internet is quicker) encompassing the digital trajectory to a threadbare percussive backbeat. The title track is a paean to the scene with Wiley bringing the energy to the synth swirl and reserved bass hallmarks of a classic eski-beat but it feels warmer than ever. “This year I’m gonna go pop / But I don’t mean idol” - professing his industrious endeavour to continue thrusting bona fide merits of the Grime genre beyond the concrete jungle confines of Blighty and metamorphose into a superstar in one fell swoop.

‘Boom Boom Da Na’ and ‘Your Intuition’ are both witty and hard-hitting. The former revolves around a well-known circus theme refurb with stinging kick snares and pulsating tech synths. Whilst, the latter has him regally confirming his street sovereignty “Are you mad? / About Wiley’s resting! / Lead the way and don’t follow none that’s testing” Forthright and comprehensive assessment of the “new wave” coming ashore. Recent release ‘Numbers In Action’ is probably his most minimal production of recent time and the accompanying visuals provide weight to Wiley as an innovator in the underground.

Pensive respite on the LP comes via ‘Wise Man And His Words’ and ‘Talk About Life’ . Sombre and absorbed, the piano solo from Donnie Darko seamlessly interpolates with a silky bassline for a polished finish. Though ‘Talk About Life’ has the sole (unnamed) collaborator crooning over a Latin – enthused beat on the hook, it doesn’t detract from frank commentary on well publicised material and sounds like a mature foil to ‘Be Yourself’ from Da 2nd Phaze.

As the latter region/half of 100% Publishing begins to wind down, a possible ode to the femme fatale of apples in ‘Pink Lady’ is a blend of calculated claps and pitchbending progressions immersed in alluring doo wop sensibilities. Toronto inspired ’Yonge Street (1,178 Miles Long)’ is laced with further bullish bravado to a less cowbell heavy instrumental parallel of Cali Swag District’s Teach Me How To Dougie, yet it doesn’t dive anywhere near Atlantis on this track.

Seven albums deep into solo waters and the precursor to another collaborative LP due for release next month, 100% Publishing manifests the aura of an astute and dare I say wily character. There are moments which hark back to the undiluted darker roots of his earlier discography whilst his flow is as refined as ever (with the odd recycled 16 or two).

You could query eternally as to why Wiley’s career hasn’t progressed in the popular cauldron like his former pupils Tinchy and Dizzee. Ambi Guity is the name of his long lost twin and this sibling has a steely resolve to the underground akin to the staunchest of umbilical cords. However, Wiley remains one of the UK’s compelling showmen even if the proletariat till can’t gage him in his egocentric entirety.

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