9 Dec 2022
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Oakley Grenell - EP Review: Style Dem Ripe

18 Nov 2020 // A review by Gareth Heta
Oakley Grenell caps off 2020 with a wicked dancefloor-oriented EP showcasing a range of vocalists over bouncy, bass-fuelled tunes with a trademark reggae flair. A few years in the making, it’s another solid addition to an already impressive discography.

The title track Style Dem Ripe is an impressive opener with Deadly Hunta providing authentic dancehall vocals, a wicked clap-heavy build-up rising into a funky, syncopated drop. Chant Down Babylon places horns and off-stroke guitar plucks over a spooky synthline with Ashka delivering down-pitched Babylon vocals.

OG steps up on remix duties for NZ producers Shottaz on the anthemic Chimbambaira, bringing claps and chunky kicks for a real fusion of African influences, with Zimbabwe artist Nutty O laying down a patois-heavy summertime flow. Frenemy showcases NZ’s queen of dancehall reggae Rubi Du who spits fire over a stomping riddim and cheeky synths.

Rounding things out, Wacklaa spins a tongue-in-cheek tale of a wayward girlfriend on Oh My God, a fun tune with a bouncy beat that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Closer Serious Time, released as a single earlier in the year (read my review here), is the most contemplative tune on the collection, with its message about humanity’s capacity to bounce back from tragedy, wrapped in a skank-inducing beat and carried by Rayhjah45’s soulful voice.

Production across the board is tight and punchy with all elements sitting nicely in the mix, and while it’s geared more towards the dancefloor, this is a set of songs that would roll out nicely on some car speakers cruising through a summer evening.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Oakley Grenell

Oakley Grenell's debut Jungle Jazz CD release titled 'Jaded' has been in stores since April 2002 under the name OG. The EP was released on Oakley's own Central Records.

Highlights since the release have been:

- A nomination for the Most Promising New Act for the 2002 BNet New Zealand Music Awards.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Oakley Grenell

Releases

Buss Dance EP
Year: 2022
Type: EP
Strictly Niceness
Year: 2021
Type: EP
Style Dem Ripe
Year: 2020
Type: EP
The Deep
Year: 2014
Type: Album
Moving On
Year: 2008
Type: EP
Departure Lounge Live
Year: 2005
Type: Album
Uncharted
Year: 2003
Type: Album
Jaded
Year: 2002
Type: Album

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