Rather than a single artist, Dr. Meaker is a group hailing from Bristol who deal in the style of D&B that I love – the melodic soulful stuff with exquisite samples, in contrast to the dark, moody fare that makes club managers start looking for the nearest doorman. I hammered their ‘Music Of The Night’ heavily on my OX105FM show (Saturdays 6-8pm) earlier in the year. They’ve now come with ‘Fighter’ in a similar musical vein, which has a variety of versions. The Unreal Mix is the one I’ve been dealing with. Highly recommended for fans of imaginative, boundary-pushing tuneage. 

There have been some highly creative pairings in underground hip-hop in the past few years; Chubb Rock & Wordsmith, Edo G & Masta Ace, KRS One and Bumpy Knuckles. More recently, Nas & Damian Marley and Jay-Z & Kanye West have taken up the format, though with mixed-quality results! The latest affiliation sees fellow Californian MCs Murs and Fashawn join forces for a volume entitled ‘This Generation’. It’s full of creative lyricism over impactive beats of the type that keeps the true essence of the art form alive, with the final track ‘The Other side’ as a real highlight.

In the same way that Mary J Blige’s current cover of Arrested Development’s ‘People Everyday’ might be cited as pointless by some, certain techno purists may feel the same about JNO’s new reworking of Inner City’s 1988 evergreen ‘Good Life’. It does have its merits, though, the contemporary production style making what was always a great song sound fresh for these times, and opening up its appeal to those too young to remember it from first time around.

Missy Elliott has announced her return to the game with the single ‘9th Inning’, as announced in the last column. She appears to be jumping back on the cameo duties for which she was always known, too, cropping up on the track ‘Mixtape’ by Lyrica Anderson. She’s a new artist signed to Timbaland’s Mosley Music Group label, hence the Missy connection, and the song is a laid-back organic head-nodder of the type that’s now quite rare. A useful antidote to the abrasive electronic sound that still sadly dominates!


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