Available on: DVA 12″
If upon awakening the first thing your ears thirst for is a fresh dose of UK funky and grime, then you’ll already be acquainted with Leon ‘Scratcha DVA’ Smart. Scratcha is the joke dropping host of the newly legit Rinse FM’s breakfast show, a morning disc jockey whose way with a sharp quip is as fresh as the tunes he pushes.
Despite his persona as class clown, Scratcha makes seriously hot, often downright odd dance music. He’s been solidly building a name for himself through a series of well-received 12” singles, including the ‘Natty’ / ‘Ganja’ release on Kode9’s Hyperdub label, which has turned numerous dance floors upside down since emerging earlier this year.
His latest release, the New World Order EP is a snapshot of where his particular spin on all things grimey and funky is currently heading. His own productions here – ‘New World Order’ and ‘Schizophrenic’ – take the UKF template and propel it into the dark side, the first track a bold statement of intent, with its stop-start rhythm dismembered by a depth charge of a bassline. It spirals in an off-kilter manner but with enough of a buzzing backbone to hold it together. ‘Schizophrenic’ is similarly urgent, and idiosyncratic enough to suggest Scratcha’s musical brain is wired a different way to many of his peers.
On Scratcha’s Twitter, he describes himself as “the short borderline fat black guy looking strange”. Strange perhaps, but this only makes him a more exciting prospect for 2010. Keep your ears on him.