Yungun- The Essance

May 27th, 2004

As with most UK hip-hop CD's, this 15 track collection pulls together the most popular of its artists 12" records alongside a few skits and a couple of exclusives. What's different about this from most UK hip-hop CD's, is that the skits are good and the product doesn't feel like a cut and paste job, glued together messily with little thought on track orders and such. It plays like an album of original material. The biggest selling point is the range of different vibes on here. There's party numbers such as 'Push' and 'The Art of Celebration', lady commentary on 'Liquid Love' and The Big Idea', societal observations such as those found on 'What Eye See Part 2' featuring Devise and 'City Breaks' and pure rawness such as 'Spit Fire' featuring Terra Firma's Kyza Smirnoff. More so, the diversity of subject matter, tempo and all together vibe is balanced. You aren't thrown onto a rollercoaster carriage of high and low points. It's a smooth tram ride by Blackpool pleasure beach, but with a sky that includes a Sun and water that's blue and not brown. Production highlights are the baby making beats of 'Liquid Love' by Harry Love which seems as soulful as it gets and the head nodding sounds of 'Dancing Shoes' by Mr Thing, a track destined to get a crowd rowdy. Whilst the material by many artists of late seems consciously within a box or niche, YunGun has erased any signs of ruler drawn barriers to present an appetite satisfying cake of many layers, sure to cater to the many types of UK hip-hop fan.