Roots Manuva

Big Dada

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“Not only one of Britain’s greatest musical artists, but one of the greatest lyricists full stop, Roots Manuva is back with a dazzling new album, Bleeds. Past collaborations with everyone from Gorillaz to the Maccabees to Leftfield to Coldcut to the Cinematic Orchestra, Rodney Smith’s influence can be heard right across the musical landscape. Now, with his sixth studio album, he has made his most concise and focussed record to date, his most emotionally affecting and powerful release since his breakthrough, Run Come Save Me.

Drawing upon production assistance from young British producer, Fred, together with musical heavyweights Four Tet, Adrian Sherwood and Switch’s new production team, With You, the title of the record is, in the man’s own words, an “egocentric jest of daring to do things in the tradition of Jesus: I’m ready to bleed for the artform.” It is, of course, also a reference to the way in which genres, in the sonic world of Roots Manuva, have a tendency to bleed into one another, so that hip hop, reggae, techno, funk, neo-classical, all blend together to create “liquid soul, the blood, the bleeds that paint infinite sacred wonders in our dreams and unfold in our day-to-day.”

One of the true pioneers and originals of British music, any album from Roots Manuva is an event. When it’s as good as Bleeds it’s one of the musical events of the year. Both genre-defying and deeply rooted in what he describes as “the culture of Bass and Verb,” the record innovates and consolidates in equal measure. Rodney Smith describes himself as “a British Black musical Mark Rothko” and Bleeds is another masterpiece from this abstract wordsmith.” - Big Dada

"Ever since Roots Manuva’s first foray into UK hip-hop in the mid-'90s, he’s been celebrated for what he isn't as much as what he is. When the 43-year-old (real name Rodney Smith) released 2001's lauded second album ‘Run Come Save Me’, its inspired mash of patois, homespun whimsy and dub rhythms could hardly have been less like Diddy, Ja Rule or the other American rap giants surrounding him. Smith has certainly battled personal demons in his time (his management attempted to have him sectioned a decade or so ago) and sixth album 'Bleeds' is often weighty, but sounds consistently alive, and inimitably Roots Manuva. ..

'Bleeds' is disarmingly lush: opener 'Hard Bastards' might be an exasperated lament for a British un-derclass cast adrift, but those strings which kick it off sure sound posh. 'Don't Breathe Out' (“The poor don't relax/The poor do the funky soul clap ... turn Jesus black”) toys with an unusually com-mercial, '60s soul-esque motif. Most lavish of all is 'I Know Your Face': powered by keening cellos and cascading harpsichords, any hint of Roots' cheekily British frivolity seems very far away, despite it be-ing in evidence as recently as the previous song ('One Thing', which proclaims “the geezer called Jesus is the leader of a gang”). And while this could have added up to more gravitas than his personality can handle, it's impressive. To borrow one of his old album titles, this is awfully deep." - NME



Item description:


Roots Manuva




Big Dada


Vinyl, LP, Album



Release Date:



Hip Hop


UK Hip-Hop

Catalog No: