Mancunian hero DJ Nipper returns to his earliest musical loves
Regular iDJ readers will remember that late last year we had an interview with returning Manchester rave legend DJ Nipper, in which he discussed how he's restarting his DJ and production career after battling with drug addiction and bipolar disorder. And now the first (full-length) fruits of his labours have emerged...
One thing we should get clear from the start: if you're hoping for a trip to 1991 Memory Lane, white gloves and all, this album won't be what you're looking for. But it's worth checking all the same as, rather than revisiting raves gone by, Nipper explores his first musical loves: soul, funk and hip-hop.
Album opener I Luv U Baby sets the tone, all looped, blunted beats, soaring strings and some sultry female umms and ahhs. I Dig U, with its looped female vocal sample, sprightly piano and lolloping bassline comes next, followed first by the hazy, lazy The Mood and then by Tell Me I Don't Love Her, which owes a debt of inspiration to Nipper's self-confessed musical hero J-Dilla. From Above then takes us into slightly different territory: with its sampled soul vox, blissy, Balearic feel and nagging piano chords, it wouldn't sound out of place on a Nang nu-disco comp. Elsewhere, Keep Keepin' is similar in feel to early Soul II Soul, while Don't Stop No places an actual Caron Wheeler vocal sample atop a slo-mo bassline and haunting, floaty atmospherics. Love Fine sees 70s 'quiet storm' soul and backpacker hip-hop collide, and album closer No Need 2 Worry sees us back in the same lo-fi, dusty place we came in.
It's an album that's aimed at home listening rather than the dancefloor, and as such the simple, loop-based approach means one or two tracks do out-stay their welcome a little. All the same, if laidback vibes laced heavily with authentic soul are what you're looking for, this aptly-titled long-player is one to check.
Words: Russell Deeks
Release date: Out now
DJ Nipper is returning to the UK for six months in December. For old skool, tech-house, breakbeat, funk, soul and scratch DJ bookings contact email@example.com
Review Score: 8