Katy B Katy BOn a Mission
That’s the British for you: they’re capable of leaving us with records that reinvent genres and play with others, seemingly without effort, at an unusual age – 21, in this case. Kathleen Katie Brien, alias Katy B, focuses entirely on a vivid blend of UK funky, painted with generous strokes of house, showering us with easy and catchy melodies that sound as fresh an early morning shower in summer. “On A Mission”, is the debut album by Katy B, a post-adolescent who carries the groove inside her body and her mind – not so long ago, she graduated from the BRIT School, the place to study for restless aspiring artists. And if that weren’t enough, this excellent student’s CV, graduating with honours in sounds made in UK, isn’t exactly average. Her first bombshell, “Katy On A Mission”, released by the label run by acclaimed radio Rinse FM, a cascade of dubsteppery beats and basslines, was produced by the man with the best groomed afro on the scene, dubstep master Benga.
This hasn’t been her only stellar collaboration. A few years ago, Katy B also connected with Ms Dynamite, undisputable garage guru with whom she signs one of the best dance tracks of the last few months, “Lights On”, a perfect collaboration that extracts the essence of UK funky –with a brilliant Jamaican touch– capable of destroying any dancefloor. In fact, Skream himself has already dissected the tune in order to reshape it according to his particular vision of dubstep. Both tracks –plus another collaboration, “Perfect Stranger”, with Magnetic Man– have paved the way for the triumph of “On A Mission”.
The record adds nine more tracks that, though they’re not all as generous, turn “On A Mission” into a more than notable debut. And although beforehand it was assumed that it was going to be a record with UK funky written all over it in capital letters, there’s room for all kinds of sounds during the 55 minutes of its duration. There’s dubstep, like on “Easy Plis Me” or the somewhat lesser track “Go, Away”. “Movement” and “Hard To Get” are flirting with house, while tunes like “Disappear” make it clear that Kathleen could be a real mainstream radio pop queen.
The truth is that “On A Mission”, as a whole, is a peculiar record, an effort which, while featuring somewhat dirty and bastardised genres like grime, garage and UK funky, embraces every sound with feminine care and love. Though wild, the beats sound clear and clean like the first day of spring. And that places Katy B on that small Olympus of youngsters who have come to give that what’s established another twist.