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Urban masterclass is the sound of summer

rudimental home (Black Butter Records)

Since last year's powerhouse, chart-topping Feel The Love – a masterclass in urban hyperactivity and carnal urgency – this debut has been hotly anticipated.

It doesn't disappoint. After a winter of misery, it heralds summer in the city with wild abandon and a hint of the poignancy that's sometimes experienced when sunrise bathes empty streets in quiet optimism.


With a creative regime not dissimilar to the 1980s' collective Soul II Soul, Rudimental are a four-man crew with production and songwriting skills. Piers Agget and Kesi Dryden moved to London when they'd graduated from university in Leeds. Soon they began working with bass player Amir Amor and DJ Locksmith.

At first, their style of slapping trumpets on jungle beats and adding guitar solos to liquid deep house caused some concern in music circles. But not on the dancefloor.

Hackney is their home turf these days, and it's in their studio that the work gets done, mixing'n'matchin', scratchin', bangin', laying down beats and melodies that are impossible to resist.

Like Soul II Soul, Rudimental call in other artists to sing their songs. Last year, they persuaded Emeli Sande to drop by. I'll bet she's glad she did.


The Scottish star has never sounded as vibrant as she does on More Than Anything, a claustrophobic pleading that negates anything on her own record-breaking album.

Summer chills are guaranteed as Sande explodes, "If I could trust, don't you think that I'd let you touch me? Teach me to love..."

She's has never sounded as confident as she does on Free, a track that sounds like a wicked, modern Bill Withers' pop gospel jam. "Maybe something's wrong with me, but at least I'm free," growls Emeli.

John Newman, the 22-year-old Yorkshire soulman who voiced Feel The Love, digs even deeper on Not Giving In – a track that careers like a stolen car through a series of roadblocks.

Rudimental's knack of echoing the sounds and glitches of vintage classics, from Darryl Pandy to Jamie Principle, help their cause. A bright future seems assured. HHHHI