Following a star vocal turn on Mumdance's Take Time, Novelist shows off production chops almost as polished as his MC skills on this instrumental EP. Sniper is four tracks long but trades in a surprising range of atmospheres. Best of all is the title track, which can be mapped on the same continuum as Slackk's recent sinogrime offshoots. Novelist peppers the core swirling melody with a clatter of gunshots, each one as sharply defined as his bars, the clash between silky synth and smashing percussion building the tension until it gets too much to bear and the track is cut off. "Christmas Riddim" is more conventional, an elastic 8-bar rhythm with a hint of underlying menace, although "Messy" is anything but. It has a colourful splash of rubbery synths that give it the energy of a sugar-fuelled kid let loose in an arcade. "Meee 2 Remix" is another high-octane tune whose hyperactive melody whizzes all over the place, with cracking snares giving the whole thing weight without detracting from its manic momentum. It'd be easy to lump Novelist in with instrumental grime's current upstarts, but if anything I'm reminded of another artist whose knack for making grime beats is matched by his talent as an MC. True, these may be early days to be making Wiley comparisons, but Sniper suggests Novelist might be headed in that direction.




Christmas Riddim

Mee 2 Remix



Label: Oil Gang

Cataloegue Number: OILGANG 008