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][RoLL DeeP][

Roll Deep - the East London crew who brought you Dizzee Rascal and Wiley - have finally stepped out of the shadows with a debut album of their own. And In At The Deep End is a record which is going to surprise a lot of people. Anyone who's heard the current white label EP - especially the superb "Let It Out" (also featured on the 679 compilation Run The Road), with it's uplifting house piano supplied by producer Danny Weed - knows there's more to Roll Deep than the brutal, stripped-down sounds with which the word Grime is normally associated. But no-one knew quite how much more.
"We can see why it would be surprising to other people", says Weed's co-producer Target, of the unexpected blend of soulful vocals and Ernie Isley-style guitar heroics that characterises the album's first couple of tracks, "but to us it makes perfect sense. Although we come under that Grime title, we've grown up listening to every kind of music, and it's only natural for that to come through in the records we make ourselves".
It's not just the r'n'b influence from Wiley's dad's old Angela Winbush and Evelyn Champagne King records that's taking Roll Deep's music in a new direction. There's the rolling thunder accordion sound of underground smash "When I'm 'Ere", which might have come direct from a late-eighties Bhangra jam. The impossibly catchy "Shake A Leg" – “You know what'd be handy? A little glass of brandy/ Dance with your grandma, I’ll be dancing with your auntie” – brings an exotic taste of salsa to the table. And then there's the reformed playa's anthem “The Good Girl”, with a sophisticated hip-hop production that's more Kanye West than Stratford Rex.
Did Roll Deep deliberately set out to change the game? "We didn't make a conscious decision to go against everything everyone else was doing", Target explains, "we just went into the studio. This track got made, that track got made, and before we knew it the album was ready. No-one said 'this ain't grime'. It was only when we listened to the record all the way through that we realised there were a few pop tunes on there".
When Relentless records heard this track and others like it, the label which gave a home to both Joss Stone and So Solid Crew knew it had a new sensation on its hands. Blending the former’s soulful warmth with the uncensored street knowledge of the rough-neck South London Garage dons who gave the world “21 Seconds”, Roll Deep offer discerning listeners the best of both worlds.
With Flow Dan, Breeze, Riko, Trim, Brazen, Jet Le, and Scratchy leading the charge on the mic, Carnage and Maximum on the turntables, and beats by Danny Weed, Target and Wiley (who chips in with the odd vocal too) In At The Deep End is a Grime satellite tracking system that’s bristling with new directions.
"There's no manual saying what we can and can't do", insists founder member Flow Dan, "It's like saying 'What's a hip hop tune?’ When it first started, it was all one style, but now a hip-hop beat can be anything. And the same thing's happening with Grime. But this time it’s not an American thing - it's something with a proper British accent that really represents where we're from".
In At The Deep End sets the bar high, for Roll Deep’s future, as well as the competition’s. “If we earn some proper money,” Target grins, “we’ll pay for an orchestra to come in, like Dr Dre does… We love music so much there’s something wrong with us”.

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