This doesn’t sound like a debut EP. It swaggers on to the stereo, all confidence and brazen, ballsy entitlement like the drunken bastard child of King Tubby and the Dust Brothers. It’s a sophisticated rude boy, driving a Bentley through Saturday night Soho with the windows rolled down and the bass all the way up.

The opening track is titled Sitting By, but it might be the soundtrack to a drive-by. I am left feeling like a dirty voyeur, as second cut (“no need for”) Dealing With The Devil tests me further, urging caution as I glide into the moral and sonic abyss. The drums on Reasons to Live hit heavy and hard, and I am almost compelled to dance, but instead I sit, and drink in this dark carnival. Better Way continues comforting and unsettling, brooding and optimistic. The best track is saved for last – the enigmatically titled Who Knows. Part statement, part threat, part question, it’s the most aggressive song here, but still manages to be inviting. I can’t resist, diving in deeper to the subby, sumptuous soundworld.

Toe Jam has assembled here an able team of collaborators, and manipulates them deftly on his powerful rookie release. Where Rudimental descend into over-the-top happy, Toe Jam keeps it filthy, the trumpet underscoring the lingering mal-intent that lurks in the music. These are festival choons, and this EP is dressed for the summer. The best thing to do is light up a fat one, lay back, and sink deep into the Jams.


Dub Jam is available now:



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