The idea of this Team Lambeth single is a tantalising one: dust down the kit used on their first two singles for Maeg, Strange Paradise/Slow Release and Leftie Raver, but add hair-metal guitar for some stratospheric euphoria. The Teamsters have not just endured but prospered since their 90s heyday by redeploying this familiar bag of signifiers – muscular beats, upfront synths and unusual leads – to reliable effect.
Kicking off with steady stream of knee-jerk synth-stabs which flare into a mêlée of sub-bass and guitar strutting pomposity. Den of a Thief is one effective and super-obvious, paean to dancing, rewinding the 90s exactingly.
All in Den of a Thief moves TL’s sound on from the menace-eyed to the swirly-eyed with a track that would unite crate-diggers with heady “acieeed” squelchers, guitar meat-eaters with millennial, vegan balearics. There are no superstar guests this time, no rappers , no weird, waif-like Norwegian singers… just a more-banging-than-average tune that speaks for itself.
The 00s bass heads return – with a trip to a Strange Paradise and its a heavy, heavy trip… threatening and electrically charged beats rule the day – b side – Slow Release gives you a chance to relax.
Few producers embody London’s complex relationship with the mainstream as fully as Team Lambeth. Whilst making an innately engaging and accessible noise, they still have a knack of creating a distinct unease with their canon, a menacing chirrup if you like. This menacing chirrup is the constant sub-text that restates the roots of ragga-house, grimey hip-hop and other super, slimey hyphenated sounds that persist in defining the capital.
From the outset Leftie Raver channels a pressure from the marshes of Hackney to the wetlands of Barnes via the backgarden views of the London Overground system.
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Maeg Music Catalogue