Spending my formative years between Manchester and London, I've always seen dancehall as an underlying substance of the UK music scene. From Leeds to London, I've seen it mixed up in various sets and adored by a variety of crowds, even if it is an 'Ellie' from Blackpool wearing batty riders while getting over enthusiastic to Jigsy King. Then in the mid 00's — piggybacking off what was hot in London — it was always grim(e) up North.
A pair renown for championing both genres are Smutlee and Serocee (or SAS for short). Smutlee has been destroying dances for years with his cocktail mix of styles and tempos, including VIP dancehall reworks of grime instrumentals made exclusively for his sets. Although Smutlee had witnessed many a dancehall artist jumping on grime instrumentals in their time, they spotted a void in the market where a full EP dedicated to the genre fusion should be. So quite simply, they bridged that gap and Smutlee re-envisioned a few grime classics. To voice them, there was only one guy good enough for the job. Serocee. "We've known each other for years so when Smutlee decided he wanted to put vocals on one, it just made sense. We've always said we should collaborate at some point (plus Vybz Kartel & Aidonia weren't replying to Smutlee's emails) so he sent me a folder and within a week I'd voiced five of them."
Enter the debut self-titled EP from SAS — a four track re-jiggle of some the genres most recognisable sounds with Serocee on vocals including Roll Deep's "When I'm Ere" and of course "I Luv U". It's a musical collision that ticks all the right boxes, backed up by some big boy radio support from Toddla T, Heatwave, Seani B, Ras Kwame and Annie Nightingale. It's one you need to get your in crates for a for sure fire dancefloor filler on these long summer nights.
Check out the entire thing below, exclusively here on THUMP.
If you want to download the EP, head over to the duo's Bandcamp right now.