I had an interesting debate with a UK funky scene mover n shaker tother day about whether Roska was overrated simply due to his Rinse affiliation. Its true that he commands a lot of attention both inside and outside the scene, far more than funky pioneers Ill Blu, Champion, and even to a certain extent Crazy Cousins, and some of that spotlight has to come from the sheer strength of the Rinse brand. And I guess its fair to say that I wasnt personally feeling the jazzier vocal tracks that he put out on the recently released EP1, skirting as they did a little close to regressive broken beat noodling. However hits like Whats In Your Handbag and the recent jittering bomb that was Time Stamp have done more than enough to justify Roskas ever widening appeal, with or without the constant sets at Rinse raves. This new number, Squark is cut from the same minimal cloth as Time Stamp, and all the better for it. The beats are skeletal, deceptively simple and tribal in that they sound like war. They make a back drop for carnival whistles and a sound that Roska has handily termed a Squark, which is a pretty accurate description of its strangulated-digital-parrakeet cry. As with a lot of stuff coming out at the moment its hard to pinpoint this sparse club attack as funky, or as techno, or as houseit just sounds like inner city UK dance music, and is thrilling in both its relevance and its groove.

Ian Mcquaid