Hint s third album Daily Intake , out 19th March 2012, sees this highly respected underground producer, remixer and DJ working with incredible vocal talent from around the World; mashing up dancehall, hip hop, UK house and bass music influences to create a flowing yet constantly surprising album, which is a scintillating record for dancefloors and headphone moments alike. Album opener Crash And Burn featuring Natalie Storm is the lead single, released as a limited edition upfront double A-side 10,backed with Aliens Enter feat. T-Fly, in January. Hint s take on current UK house mixed with Jamaican dancehall, Crash And Burn characterises the album s sense of being both weighty and a lot of fun. Through serious and thought-provoking lyrics, Jamaican talent Storm proves that not every club banger has to be all about partying. Hint (Jonathan James to his Ma), says, Natalie picked up on the mood of the track and used the energy to talk passionately about injustices in the World. An early promo has been met with immense support, with confirmed radio play including Rob da Bank on BBC Radio 1. Daily Intake features a handful of uniquely talented vocalists, with women heavily outnumbering men; while this bias was not intentional, it has a striking effect, and in Hint s words, So much of the UK underground scene can be too male-dominated, so I feel that bringing in some super talented female voices to the mix adds a new dimension. Prodigious teenager T-Fly is from Austin, TX, and is Hint s most momentous discovery since a pre-Kicks Rizzle featured on his last album. Aliens Enter grew from a killer beat that Hint had made but could not pinpoint the right vocalist... that is, until Tru Thoughts A&R Robert Luis came back from SXSW 2011 raving about a young female MC he d seen in a showcase for the Austin Hip Hop Cipher, a charitable community project that helps young performers explore and express their talents. The buzz was as intense as T-Fly performed that show, and Luis knowing that Hint was looking for someone to perfect this track was in the right place at the right time. Daily Intake is a new beginning for Hint that sees him consciously moving away from the more downtempo elements of his two previous long-players to reconnect with his passion for party music, from jungle to dancehall to house and contemporary hip hop. Everything, right down to the album s darkly striking artwork, represents this new vibe of freshness with an edge. Doing a number of acclaimed remixes in recent months for the likes of Lanu, Stac and Maddslinky as well as his lauded rework of MJ Cole and Wiley has helped him hone his style. With building radio support across the BBC, RBMA, Rinse FM and elsewhere; international DJ bookings galore; plus an exciting new custom control-based Ableton Live set, in which he brings together live mixes with special guest PAs; the foundations are laid for Hint to break through in 2012.
Jonathan James has turned a corner. For years this man, known as Hint, has been furtively tinkering away on the down-tempo musical slopes where one may find Mr Scruff, Alice Russell, The Herbaliser and Quantic happily grazing. Yet his third album, Daily Intake, seems to have fallen in with a younger, rougher crowd who’ve insisted he shift the emphasis from the soulful vocal licks usually associated with Tru Thoughts onto a grinding urban energy. The results abduct your attention and bundle it into the back of an exhilarating joyride across 15 years of bass culture.
Right from the start Hint means business. The sirens of the opener Crash and Burn set the tone as Natalie Storm wags her finger and raps, "This is a Waaarning!" From here there’s no getting off the ride. The next three cuts quickly amass a break-neck pace. Lock the Door hears Zed Bias roll up some heavy slabs of bass as the trip gets smoky before we spill past the smouldering ghost of last summer’s riots on Watch the Media. Here, Edinburgh MC Profisee bobs across seething frequencies to call for sense and intelligence against a backdrop of street violence, injustice and a lack of governmental transparency, which ignited 2011’s torching of English cities. Equally nostalgic, however clearly less political, is the low-hertz growl of Tape Packs: an ode to the bulging plastic cases of rave and garage cassettes from yester-decade.
Aside from galvanising his sound, Hint has roped in some serious US rap talent. Aliens Enter features T-Fly, a slinky female voice possessed by the same skippy tone as Herbaliser’s MC What? What?, and she goes on to spit strange stories on Peter and I, a fantasy day spent with Spiderman. Josie Stingray and 1-O.A.K. from the Honor Roll Crew ride Hint’s bass brilliantly, adding some West Coast American flavours over two vibrant vocal strolls.
With tempos wildly burning at both extremities, enough club bangers mingling with the flagship vocal tracks, Daily Intake is a vital supplement to your collection. It’ll give existing fans a jab in the arm whilst winning over a new audience whose appetite for nu-jazz or Brighton’s and Bristol’s broken and big beats might be in need of sating. Converts and fanatics, unite.
Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window