Review by Sophie Bastow-Dorman
Metropolis Studios, London 16/09/11
I’ve been to what feels like hundreds gigs in a range of venues from dirty, gritty underground clubs to bold and beautiful stadiums. Each venue offers a unique experience but nothing quite compares to watching a band play through the windows of a recording studio to you, a couple of technicians, the camera crew and their management team.
I was lucky enough to sit alongside the On Track… with SEAT crew and Metropolis studio technicians to watch upcoming British rap/hip-hop act Rizzle Kicks. They nervously recorded four tracks (including a cover) directly to vinyl in one take for the second series of the Channel 4 programme. On Track returned to screens on Wednesday (28th) at half past midnight with an episode focused around London-born singer Example.
Whether they have been fully recorded, mixed or mastered, the most incredible artists and producers have created many famous albums at Metropolis Studios. The list is massive and includes classics like: The Verve’s Urban Hymns, The Stone Roses’ The Second Coming, Queen’s Made In Heaven & Innuendo, The Libertines’ second self-titled album, and the wonderful Grammy Award winning Back To Black by Amy Winehouse.
Rizzle Kicks joined these legendary acts and left their sound echoing through the halls of Metropolis. I didn’t really know what to expect from the act, who shot to stardom earlier this year with their second single Down with the Trumpets, but they were an absolute blast. Oozing all of the courage of a well-established act whilst still having the humble attitude of kids who are new to the scene. They bounced in front of the cameras, performing their songs with confidence before shooting back into the mixing room asking their manager if “that was alright boss”. The only difference with this recording is it *had* to be alright, as they were recording directly to vinyl in one 17-minute session, all imperfections included.
Their music is inspired by a mish-mash of different styles, which makes it stand out from the many other British rap acts dominating the charts at the moment. The blare of trumpets in some of their songs makes it feel almost like a jazz record, with elements of blues creeping in alongside funk-inspired bass lines.
Catch their episode on 12th October at half past midnight on Channel 4 – the tracks and videos will be available to watch and download for free from the SEAT Music Facebook page as of 13th October, but for now you can download and watch all of the latest episodes. To keep up with the On Track and discover the other acts taking part, follow their Facebook page.