Available on: Bingo Bass CD/2×12″ / Bingo Bass 12″
A UK icon in his own right, drum’n’bass legend and breakstep garage pioneer DJ Zinc late last year released Crack House, the second EP on his new Bingo Bass label – a modern take on his Bingo Beats imprint that released so many turn-of-the-decade garage classics.
The first distinction between the Bingo Bass sound – spearheaded by Crack House – and Bingo Beats is the speed of these tracks. Inspired by the house revival that’s flooded London’s underground in recent years, the majority of Crack House rolls close to a steady 130bpm, the EP closing on a slower refix of Zinc’s classic ‘138 Trek’, retitled ‘128 Trek’.
Old time Zinc fans will instantly be drawn to ‘Blunt Edge’, which begins with a thumping drum beat intro and quickly breaks into a classic, rhythmically pulsating Zinc bassline. ‘Number 1 Girls’, a collaboration with dubstep afro warrior Benga ignites carnival vibes with additional vocals from Sweetie Irie, while ‘Pimp my Ride’, ‘Horrible’ and ‘Nu Sound’ are also highlights. It’s ‘Killa Sound’ though, a collaboration with grime vocalist No Lay – best known for ‘Unorthodox Daughter’, her contribution to seminal grime comp Run the Road – that shows off Zinc’s new direction best; her voice sitting perfectly with the track’s relentless synthetic basslines.
Benga also contributes to the new Wile Out EP, collaborating with Zinc on the smokey bassline chugger ‘My DJ’; Ms Dynamite contributing sporadic vocals. Meanwhile Crack House’s ‘Blunt Edge’ returns, recast with a more memorable vocal from Dynamite as A-side ‘Wile Out’. Effectively a sequel to ‘Get Low’, her vocal of Geeneus’s ‘Crackish’, it’s another deadly appearance from UK garage’s first lady, sounding sweet and spitting hard in equal measures.
Overall both are welcome EPs from Zinc, equally effective on the dancefloor, the car or at home. They get better each time, so hats off to you Zinc, you’ve created a new legion of crack addicts.