Plastic Little – Welcome To The Jang House (Virgin)

Charlie Ashcroft | Friday, 29 August 2008

Plastic Little – Welcome To The Jang House (Virgin)

After some support slots with Jay-Z and a bunch of European festival dates including Glastonbury, Wireless and Get Loaded In The Park, Plastic Little is all set to release this compilation of sorts here in the UK, bringing together a collection of the more celebrated material from their 'She's Mature' LP era and juxtaposing it with a few newbies to keep their more established fans turned on.

Welcome To The Jang House is yet another decent reminder for the listener of the ways in which the ever-malleable hip-hop genre can draw from a whole host of recent trends and still sound bold and fresh.

It becomes clear fairly quickly on this album that there is a substantial amount of enterprise and creativity at play, as well as the necessary variety to prevent Plastic Little from being dismissed as just another bunch of guys who come across as what the dirtier, more boisterous cousins of Spank Rock might sound like.

'Boyz' develops from a gently howling 8-bit intro into a deep minefield of crazed percussion, vocoders and in-your-face rhymes. Meanwhile, 'Cheap Thrills' sounds perfectly primed to be an instant club anthem, with its recycling of the main refrain from Jacko's 'Thriller' and electro-house pace combining to give the various raps on show an altogether different feel.

With Plastic Little, there's always a sense of fun lurking at the core of their songcraft, irrespective of how much naughtiness and (in some instances) unadulterated filth there may be on the surface of tracks like 'Brooklyn', 'Driz Hollerin'' and the ominously-titled 'Cum Quick'.

Musically, the frequent changes of context are refreshing, even if the lads don't always manage to pull off such dramatic shifts in backdrop with consistent quality. It should be noted that when they do adopt a slightly more old-skool slant (on the likes of 'Hola Plastique' and 'Crambodia'), the approach still results in large-scale anthems, fit for any party needing to go off.

It's not just the beats and wordplay of The Cool Kids and Flobots pushing hip-hop forward at the moment - don't rule out this lot blasting their way through the rap scene before the year is out either.

Rating: 4/5