DJ Spinn closed his previous EP for Hyperdub with the incredible "Dubby," a collaboration with his late live and studio partner DJ Rashad that opened with a smooth jazz sample, segued into a monstrous jungle break and then revealed a fired up Danny Brown spitting lines about footwork. It's been just over four years since then, but Spinn now returns to the label and picks up that quality level right where he left off. For me, Spinn is at his best (as was Rashad) when he works with old samples, usually taken from soul, jazz and so on, which is something we get plenty of on the Da Life EP.
"Knock A Patch Out" is the outlier in this respect, but it's still pretty killer. The synth line isn't too far from "French Kiss," and taken with the rattling drums and the titular vocal refrain, it creates a sense of itchy urgency only footwork can muster. We then hit the more musical numbers. "Sky Way," which features Spinn's Teklife associate DJ Manny, is pure P-Funk. "Make Her Hot" has a massive swirling chord sequence and a female vocal sample at its humid centre. "U Ain't Really Bout Dat Life," meanwhile, has a bit of a contemporary hip-hop feel thanks to its autotuned vocal, although the bassline is more rooted in '70s funk. Four footwork bangers from an in-form Spinn that simultaneously lets us reflect once more on Rashad's legacy? You can't ask for much more.
TracklistA1 Knock A Patch Out
A2 Knock A Patch Out (Clean)
B1 Sky Way feat. DJ Manny
B2 Make Her Hot
B3 U Ain't Really Bout Dat Life