Friday, July 31st, 2009

Toddla T – Shake It

Sheffield dancehall twiddler makes friends…


Michaelangelo Matos: Wow — a dawn-over-the-horizon bridge in the middle of the bubbliest groove I think I’ve heard all year. It’s a little late in coming, but this is my ideal summer jam.

Richard Swales: Bored out of my skull, I needed something to really cheer me up and this has done the job. If it looked like we were actually going to have a summer at some point I’d tip this for great things. Good clean fun.

Martin Skidmore: Some people are making comparisons to Basement Jaxx, and if you imagine them as less slick fans of ragga, you might get something like this. It is low on polish, but its beats are hugely infectious, and I like the MCing too. I suspect it is probably too rough in sound quality to really blow up, but I hope I’m wrong.

Martin Kavka: Is there anything to justify this song’s appeal over and above the fact that “shake it” rhymes with “naked”?

Ian Mathers: I already thought the vocals and those twinned keyboard figures that percolate through “Shake It” were overly busy to the point of annoyance, but then Toddla T has to prove my point by throwing in a totally unexpected and lovely middle eight that tosses in some fake strings. They sound great under the drums, and if they’d been any more than window dressing this might actually have been interesting.

Hillary Brown: Sometimes it’s this simple: some sounds I want to hear over and over again. Others I don’t. The piano bit, for example, is cute and falls into the former category. Repeated rhyming of “shake it” and “naked,” though, not so much.

John Seroff: Friendly, but solidly unremarkable.

Anthony Miccio: I rarely hear dancehall where the vocals, keyboards and beats connect equally – usually one of the ingredients is sluggish or overbearing. But, as this song makes me suspect, maybe I need to listen to more dancehall.

Alex Macpherson: It’s easy to be suspicious of a skinny white boy beloved of the fashion press making dancehall-not-dancehall – right up until you hear Toddla T’s music, that is, because the easy-going way that he synthesises British club and street culture is too glorious to resist. Supple and loose-limbed, a carnival vibe and le French touch casually commingle on “Shake It”, those cascading drums and ragga toasting sounding completely at home with gorgeous filter house synths and an unexpected, deliciously dreamy piano break.

Chuck Eddy: This electro-dancehall silliness is more fun than a barrel of crumpets, but not as fun as the Toddla T press release online that places him in the great Sheffield tradition of not only ABC and Cabaret Voltaire but also the Fat Truckers and Chicken Legs Weaver — neither of whom I heard of before, but now I kind of want to hear.

3 Responses to “Toddla T – Shake It”

  1. Highly recommend the album Skanky Skanky, btw! More MCing, pop choruses and dutty grooves than “Shake It” would indicate; particular favourites are Tinchy Stryder going hard on “Safe” and Siobhan Gallagher’s sinuous turn on “Butter Me Up”.

  2. ^ 2nd this to the hilt. ‘Soundtape Killin’ is a real fave and Mr V is my favourite person in the whole world right about now.

    The synth hook on this reminds me of part of the piano hook on Beatmasters/Betty Boo ‘I Can’t Dance…’ from 20 years ago – that plus it’s general old skool rave vibe make it more fun for me than e.g. recent Pitbull.

  3. In fact, “Skanky Skanky” is free to listen to on Spotify here: