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Album review: Ollie Teeba ‘Short Order’

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By: Matt Innes

 

Good hip hop isn’t dead, it’s just getting harder to find.

That’s the message coming loud and clear from Ollie Teeba (of The Herbaliser and Soundsci) on his debut record, ‘Short Order’. The English DJ/producer has created a superbly crafted album which encapsulates a growing nostalgia among hip hop lovers for the definitive sound of the 90s. Using a meticulously-curated library of samples and working with an impressive stable of international collaborators, Ollie is keeping alive the dying art of sampling, a hip hop form he considers an endangered species.

The album opens with the aptly titled ‘F*kin’ Up The Music’ featuring Ghettosocks, an upbeat track punctuated with funky brass and the Canadian rapper’s trademark flow and style. As the needle pushes over to track two, ‘For The Kids’, Ollie’s sampling mastery comes to light with the sounds of a classroom, introducing a lesson in beats from Jean Grae. The rest of Side A maintains this pace and form, with tracks like ‘Ender’, and dialling in a West Coast vibe on ‘Eargasms’. As you flip the record over to Side B make no mistake, these ain’t no B-sides tacked on the end as a careless afterthought. The audio gold keeps coming with ‘Mimic’ featuring EvOn The Music Bully, and the explosive ‘High Voltage’, a definite party track featuring More Or Les. Ollie’s mates from Soundsci jump in for the very chilled ‘S.O.S.’ before rounding out with ‘As The World Turns’ with Teenburger, serving as the perfect closer for an album which is a veritable treasure trove of samples for the true crate diggers out there.

Spanning a creative period of over ten years, ‘Short Order’ combines all the best bits of funk, soul, jazz and hip hop into an irresistible sonic feast. With this record, Ollie has created not only a time capsule of a bygone era in hip hop but also a collection of songs which exude his definitive style and the skills he has honed and sharpened over the course of his career.

Read more about Ollie Teeba here.

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