Mr. Williamz – Set The Standard

February 12, 2014

mrwilliamz-setthestandard-albumreview.jpgMr. Williamz is something of a throwback to the foundation days of dancehall. He deejays in a cool yet serious style similar to Super Cat and maintains a dapper dress sense in the gentleman rudeboy fashion.
Like the great deejays of old he grew up in the shadow of Jamaican sound systems – only returning to his London birthplace as a teen. There he began recording with friends asKool Kat before getting the attention of Necessary Mayhemproducer Curtis Lynch: releasing the majority of 45s for him while freelancing for others – such as Germany’s Jahtari, the USA’s Green Lion Crew and Scotland’s Mungo’s HiFi.

His live performances have taken him around the world but a proper longplayer with Curtis has been a long time coming. The closest we got was an EP titled Last Night released back in 2011. Now upon us, the album itself comprises 2 tracks from the EP plus 9 other singles and 4 new cuts – showcasing more of the dancehall side ofNecessary Mayhem’s productions.

Lynch’s music is deeply in thrall to late 80s Jamaica spliced with heavy jungle bass-lines and a defiantly robotic modern Pro Tools sound. Laser guns meet wheeling Studio 1 organs as machine gun digital snares crackle above dark sub 30 Hz “who feels it knows it” bottom end. Hypnotic yet never monotonous Mr. Williamz has one of those voices you can listen to for a whole album without getting bored. Refreshingly, he eschews autotune (the exception is hometown historical homage London which sounds as if some pitch correction was employed). While not a natural singer, his tone remains pleasing to the ear.

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