Saturday, 27 June 2009

Toddla T - Skanky Skanky (Sony/1965)

Known as the ‘Toddla’ because he was the young lad hanging around with older mates in the vibrant clubs and record shops of Sheffield in the early to mid 00’s and T has always been keen to stress the inspiration of the city and his musical guides. Toddla T’s music is the product of an all embracing music scene in Sheffield, typified by a sporadic club night called Kabal, where dancers from all walks of life got down to music played by three generations of the steel city’s DJs including T. It comes as no surprise that his music is therefore all embracing and reflects the mishmash of styles, cultures and creeds of so called ’urban’ Britain in its grooves, words and mannerisms, drawing in various guest lyricists and musicians. An astute businessman, T has managed to get in with ‘trendy’ indie media and radio shows, whilst managing to strike a deal with Sony, a residency at Fabric, do hundreds of DJ gigs and keep his underground kudos intact. Insightful and able to poke fun at himself and the music business with a wry Yorkshire humour, this is a very personal long player from T that has tunes to both rock the party and ’pop songs’. Highlights include the mouth watering Mr. Versatile vocalised Rice & Peas, Hervé and Serocee assisted banger Shake It and the gorgeous Better. It is inevitable that the current gushing hype surrounding T will die down, but this album shows that he has the talents to forge a career as a beat smith par excellence and it’s good to know that the Toddla still has his feet on the ground.

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