One of the things I really love about ‘urban’ music is that it routinely manages to get stuff into the top ten that would be considered avant-garde if produced by your average indie band. Even with more mainstream artists such as Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, Dizzee Rascal or even the rather obnoxious will.i.am, there always seems to be a genuine desire to innovate. And not just for its own sake – it still has to make you want to dance.
With superb production from Chew Fu, Wiley’s Take That was something of a comeback: bold, exciting and full of intent. But what makes it special – and strange – is the (initially jarring) ‘angry buzzing fly’ sound that’s pasted all over it. When I first heard it, I thought it was great but perhaps a little too random, as if it was just thrown in to give the record an extra edge. But it soon made perfect sense; fitting into, and exaggerating, the song’s intense energy.
And even (especially) out of the context of the song – that moment at 2:25 – it’s pretty bloody thrilling. Like I said, I’m always impressed that this kind of thing is so easily sold to a mass audience. A mass audience, no less, that your average, dreary indie hipster would normally sneer at.