Dot Rotten: ‘Throwback Music’ – Review


‘Throwback Music’ is the most recent project from London based MC & renowned musician Dot Rotten. Dot represents the stage in-between struggling off Grime music & reaching commercial success. Other Grime acts who have ended up in a realm of wealth such as Wiley, Skepta, or even Dizzee Rascal all changed their styles significantly to broaden their mass appeal. Dot has not “sold out” as it were, if anything this album represents his feelings as a Grime artist and musician towards commercialising. 

Dot really takes us back to his earlier work under the alias “Young Dot.” Rough choppy Grime instrumentals layer all over the mixtape in no particular order, this adds a certain charm, bringing nostalgic memories of Grime music when it was at its supposed height.  The entire project runs to an extensive length, consisting of many tempo changes throughout changing the momentum. The general instrumental range includes Trap influences all the way through more UK acoustic sounds.

We a see a return to his original more aggressive vocal cadence which he was first credited for in tracks such as ‘Make It Double’, featuring Prez Peterelli. In general the structure of each track on the album is good, original ideas poke out from every corner although they are sometimes lost through the overpowering sound of auto-tuned vocals. There is no problem using auto-tuned vocals and despite wide belief, a lot of artists who have become successful using this method do actually possess strong vocal capabilities, it is more preference to the producer; auto-tuned vocals make a good accompaniment to Electronic sounding Grime music for instance.

The tape is hosted by 1Xtra’s DJ Cameo, which at first is at first quite pleasing but the constant conversation during each transition soon becomes tiring. This is one of the reasons the tape definitely possess an Americanised swing. The general structure of most songs as I mentioned earlier seem to be based around early trap music. 808 Drums & pulsating sub notes topped with auto-tuned or sung vocals. Again there is no problem with doing this as Dot does add his own element to it and has been known for his singing over chorus blocks in the past.

The highlight of the whole project seems to be the features, primarily Ice Kid’s guest appearances. The most inspiring track on the whole album is ‘Back Up’, which features Ice Kid. This track really gives us a blast from the past from both Mc’s. It features back to back vocal structure which is interpreted very well over the rapidness of the instrumental.  Other features include Prez Petrelli, Podgy Figures, John Wayne & F.A; all new names as far as Dot Rotten’s usual features go.

Overall; quite a satisfying project to listen from start to finish. The album is entitled ‘Throwback Music’, which seems to represent what he wanted to achieve with the project in general.  For all grime fans this will be quite a nostalgic and pleasing listen.

Download the project for free here!


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