The Infesticons - Bedford Park (Big Dada)

A hip-hop record with a tribal feel and a lot of enthusiasm.

Released Apr 21st, 2010 via Big Dada / By John Paiva
The Infesticons - Bedford Park (Big Dada) The Infesticons’ Bedford Park is a hip hop record gone mad. Legendary underground producer Mike Ladd lends both his creativity behind the desk and vocals to this truly absorbing album. Meant as the last instalment in a ‘concept trilogy’, you’d be right to back away in fear of self-indulgent story-telling, but if you did, you’d be missing out on an absolute gem.

Although studded with some through and through hip hop winners like ‘Bomb Anthem’, Bedford Park shines brightest with tracks like opener ‘Blockin’ Door Anthem’ and first single ‘Kick Anthem’. Ladd disregards the automated emotionless beats of the present day scene and injects live, aggressive drum sets filled with breakdowns featuring African interludes, giving the tracks a tribal feel.

Egged on by the rock’n’roll rhythms, fuzzy post-punk guitar riffs enter the fray, with rollicking basslines to accompany them. Unafraid of mixing things up, Ladd freely throws in discordant riffs from dusty old Korgs and trumpet fanfares (straight out of a 70s Kung-Fu flick) which blow the choruses into the stratosphere.

The guest vocalists on the record; ranging from the ragga-melodies of No Surrender’s Seraphim to the grimey Birmingham rhymes of Juice Aleem, complement each other well. However it’s Ladd who steals the show with his abrasive hollering; peaking above the clatters, bleeps and synthesised bass lines and giving the record a real sense of soul.

When the album breaks for a respite on tracks like ‘Forever Anthem’ and ‘Word Sin Anthem’, the flat electronic beats and programmed synths, tend to dull the mind, however these are quickly over and Ladd is always more than happy to turn the volume up to 11 and let the rock’n'roll live on.

This is a record which buzzes with soul and enthusiasm and, apart from a couple of mediocre tracks, is relentlessly inventive from the chaotic start to the ethereal end.