A few months ago we had the announcement that Wiley was retiring, but for someone as prolific as Wiley that was never going to be the full stiory. The legendary pioneer of Grime, one of the UK’s greatest musical mavericks, returns to the fray for what may be his last artist album and hits it in the kind of form which makes you hope he’ll be here forever.
Wiley aka Eskiboy introduces you to brand new album, "Playtime Is Over" with an ode to his new label, Big Dada and, more particularly their old school, punk rock 50/50 profit-split deals. As he explains, "this ain’t 2% after recoupment, blud".
02. Bow E3
The beat he chooses to impart this wisdom is vintage Wiley – a muscular, punishing boogie of competing synth lines, massive bass and dangerously sharp hi-hat slashes, the whole of which merges into the catchiest melody you’re likely to come across outside of a flashback to your worst Sunny D overdose. Packed full of brutal humour and bravado, Wiley reminds us that Grime has produced no more compelling presence than the Igloo Man – bar none.
Over, on Bow E3 Wiley hands production duties to Maniac while he does for his home borough what KRS did for South Bronx and NWA did for Compton. Maniac builds the whole beat around the kind of bass attack which makes you feel you’re being squashed by sci-fi elephants and Wiley does his Pearly King ting, leaving no one in any doubt as to exactly whose manor it is.
For those that don’t know, Wiley pioneered the sound that came to be called grime first with Pay As U Go Cartel, then with his crew Roll Deep Entourage and as a white label star, through which he refined the ice cold sound of eski-beat. His first album, "Treadin’ On Thin Ice" was released by XL and he produced and masterminded most of Roll Deep’s album. "In At The Deep End" (Relentless).
The two tracks included here are an exhilarating teaser for "Playtime Is Over," quite clearly the best album of Wiley’s career, showcasing an MC and producer with few peers and no master. He’s a lean, mean music machine. As the man himself puts it on "50/50", "I ain’t even eating pies anymore…".
The double A Side white label and download single is released on the 7th May. The Album "Playtime is Over" is due on 4th June with the lead single to follow.