Ash The Author & Barry Manalog

Single Title - Cloud Riders/Extraterrestrial

Label - Certain Sound

Release Date 19/4/19

I had listened to Ash The Author’s 2017 album ‘Two Man Band’ but unfortunately I haven’t been lucky enough to catch him live although I have seen that he’s been making serious moves with a number of live sets and festivals on the UK Hip Hop circuit.


Plus some dope guest verses and appearances including a superb showcase of fast time rhyming on punch line laden ‘Ape Food’ with Mys Diggi on ‘Tip of Da Mysberg 3’ and personal favourite ‘Yeah’ produced by Ded Tebiase and taken from his album of dope beatscapes ‘Landspeed’.


This heavyweight single is the debut release from brand new label ‘Certain Sound’. It’s so refreshing to see that not only are there countless dope releases happening on the UK scene at the moment, this is the second Hip Hop label I have seen launched this year and if this 45 is anything to go by then ‘Certain Sound’ look set to pack a punch in the tour de force that is the UK Hip Hop scene in 2019.


‘Cloudriders’ goes straight in with an uber jazzy loop sitting underneath a heavy break wrapped up in some glowing moog type keys. Ash’s first verse lands with superb clarity, something about the timbre of his vocal makes it cut through the track with ease and every last syllable hangs off the beat in anticipation of the next.


This is without doubt helped along by an absolutely A1 job on the production and mastering which is some of the best I have heard on an independent release by a country mile.


The track features a strong hook with a nod to Tribe Called Quest and there’s a dope line which mentions De La Soul; you can hear that 90’s conscious influence coming through particularly on the cymbal driven jazzy break that drives the track forward. Despite the tip of the hat to the golden era this is unmistakably British Rap music with Ash’s expert vocal delivery setting off the loop like the perfect combination.


‘Extraterrestrial’ leads with a neck snapping break so brutal it is just absolutely crying out to be doubled up on the turntables. This grabbed my attention instantly; I was sold by the first bar! The track bubbles along with some nice notes in the background interspersed with some lovely chops on the break. Ash drops equal measures of bravado ‘you dig Ash like your diggin’ crates, I spit for the kids who live on the estates’ and nostalgia ‘this is just the start of it, old school flavour like 64 cartridges’.


DJ Chud peppers the remaining bars of the track with some nice cuts to finish off a stellar example of the bar that the UK Hip Hop movement is currently setting. Salute to the guys behind the Certain Sound camp for releasing this record which I know will be getting serious play time once my two copies drop through the letterbox.


Hit the links below to go cop the record while there are still limited copies available.