(Copyright © 2010 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Roska (2010) , 6.5/10

London-based DJ and producer Wayne Goodlitt, usually disguised under the moniker Roska, debuted with EPs and singles of techno and house for the dubsteb and garage generation: Elevated Levels (2008), The Climate Change (2008), Feeline/ Boxed In (2008), TWC (2009), an influential work of "tech house", In Your Handbag (2009), Squark (2009). He contributed to create the "UK funky" genre that blends electronic dance music of the 2000s (grime, garage, dubstep, breakcore) and African/Caribbean rhythms.

His first full-length, Roska (Rinse, 2010), was the first major statement of UK Funky since Geeneus' Volumes: One (2008). The nine-minute instrumental Tomorrow Is Today is the most ambitious piece of the album: minimalist chamber music for harsh hip-hoppish beat and staccato string patterns. Most of the rest is devoted to vocal tracks. A much more relaxed rhythm lulls the bouncy and symphonic Love 2 Nite, basically a soul ballad (with vocalist Jamie George). The better Wonderful Day (with the same vocalist) stages a propulsive house-like ascent to quasi-psychedelic heights while demoting the eloquent rigmarole to the status of looped sound effect. The title of Energy is misleading, as this song is hardly more than a tepid chill-out shuffle for tired dancers of a mid-1990s house club. Even that sounds overproduced compared with I Need Love, a hybrid of deep house and garage, that toys with mechanical loops of Anesha's vocals in a desolate electronic soundscape over a spartan beat that sounds like two sticks beaten together.
Other instrumentals include Squark, that boasts the best exploitation of African tribal polyrhythms, A close second is Hey Cutie, with its android moves of Afrobeat nonsense. The comic dubstep Time Stamp is disposable, but the dubby Messages sounds almost like an alien deconstruction of Giorgio Moroder's From Here to Eternity, a quasi-anthemic flow of disjointed and meaningless sound effects. By the same token, Burn In Flames crossfertilizes with synth-pop of the 1980s and delivers the most energetic beat of the album.
Just like with Geeneus' Volumes: One (2008), the album format detracts quite a bit from the ebullience of the genre.

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(Copyright © 2010 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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