Ollie Teeba – Short Order

Ollie Teeba joins a stellar line-up alongside Mr.Thing and the legendary Norman Jay M.B.E. to celebrate Slowdown Sounds 3rd Birthday in Leeds at Mint in Leeds on 30th October.

[button link=”http://www.ticketarena.co.uk/events/Slowdown-Sound-1/” color=”red” size=”xlarge” type=”” shape=”” target=”_blank” title=”” gradient_colors=”|” gradient_hover_colors=”|” accent_color=”” accent_hover_color=”” bevel_color=”” border_width=”1px” shadow=”” icon=”” icon_divider=”yes” icon_position=”left” modal=”” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ alignment=”center” class=”” id=””]BUT Tickets – Norman Jay MBE / Mr Thing / Ollie Teeba (Herbaliser) Slowdown Sounds 3rd B’day Funk & Soul Party[/button]

Words by: Zak Avery


In real life, I spend my time buying and selling what has become known as “craft beer”. It’s an exciting time to be in beer, but there is a tension between brewers celebrating their creativity by reviving old European styles (salty sour smoked beer with seaweed – I’m not making this up) versus making beers that are so juicy and drinkable that you want to just bang down a few pints.

So asked to review an album by Ollie Teeba, one founding half of the funked-up, blunted hip hop heads that are The Herbaliser, I was worried that in the decade since I’d last moved in earnest on the dancefloor, things might have changed on Planet Teeba.

Happily, while this album is a celebration of creativity, it is not an audio version of a pint of tzatziki sour. From the get go, the beats are solid, the rhymes are simultaneously on point and languid, weaving in and out of the bass, the boom, the bap. It’s comes as no surprise that the making of this album spanned 10 years, because it has a pretty timeless feel.

It’s a fairly mixed bag of styles, and yet there isn’t one track here that doesn’t reward repeated plays. This is mainly down to the sheer quality of the MCs, every one of them bringing a different flavour, stories and styles tumbling endlessly. Sure, you can grimace at the pussy joke, and the homophobia behind the statement that two dicks don’t mix, but hey, that’s hip hop – if you listen long enough, you’ll find something to take offence at.

“For The Kids” featuring Jean Grae comes across like a DJ Premier production, simultaneously sparse and lush, with the lyrics casually delivered and yet somehow so demanding of your attention that I just kept rewinding this one. And while you wouldn’t expect every track to be a rewind, half of these are dense enough to listen too a couple of times on the bounce.

From the album opener “F*kin’ Up The Music” ft. Ghettosocks, which comes across as funky as Blackalicious having a stab at a cover of Saturday Night Fever, to the monumental album closer “As The World Turns” ft. Teenburger (never heard of ’em, but it comes across like a Latyrx track), this is an album that I’ll keep coming back to, and I’d recommend some of the tracks as essential. In fact, “As The World Turns” is SUCH a track that it makes you want to be in the room when it was recorded. At the end of it, the MCs will have smashed their mics down, hi-fived everyone and then moonwalked out of the studio and off into space.