What's Left

King Rhythm

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What's Left Review

by Ned Raggett

King Rhythm himself is the DJ, his collaborator throughout the album as MC is Son of Nun, and between the two of them the goal, if their various statements are taken into account, is to combine drum'n'bass and hip-hop -- which is perhaps a bit quixotic-sounding to American ears. Still, in U.K. terms there's a stronger sense of division between the Jamaican-derived flow of jungle and the U.S.'s own development of the same impulse as rap, so while self-conscious experimentation is always tricky, What's Left is an enjoyable enough album. To be fair, Son of Nun comes across as much more of a dub/jungle vocalist than a rap MC despite the stated aims of the group, but he's a perfectly serviceable one; on songs like "Free, Aggravated Assault" he readily negotiates differing styles of delivery with ease to come up with a reasonable balance. He's riding along with the music most of the time instead of putting a specific stamp on it, but then again, the act is named after the DJ. And said DJ is adding a dollop of welcome spark to the mostly dead drum'n'bass template, whether it's the stuttering chop-ups of "Ciretose" (featuring King Rhythm on mic) or the squelching synth mania of "March Against the Duplicators," among others. The songs flow into each other without a break for air, and at only 45 minutes What's Left seems so much more punchy and immediate than more sprawling efforts -- something that only deserves praise. Special groan-worthy pun award goes to the song celebrating the joys of technology in helping put the music together, specifically by Apple. The title? "Steve's Job."

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