Eski boy, Grime legend, the one who spat the only decent verse on Pay as u Go Cartel’s ‘Champagne Dance’, A List and Roll Deep impresario and err amongst other things, special guest at Sweet 16 parties, Wiley returns this time on the Big Dada label with a definite change of style and sound.
The single ‘Numbers in Action’ is backed up by three remixes, first we tackle the Wiley produced original, the difference to his previous material is marked by an old skool electro vibe to it. The hand clap beat and interspersed synths take you back in the day to the block in the mid-80s where battles were conducted with spines on mats, not knives and gats (that’s what we all like to think anyway). Wiley’s flow is as solid as ever, whilst lyrics aren’t about much in particular, it doesn’t matter, the production, the voice and the flow go perfectly together alongside a catchy hook. This is a party tune without the big production behind it; expect this to be rinsed at the next dance you go to.
Next up it’s a remix from Sticky, a producer his press people tell us that Wiley describes as “the don”. Well that may the case, and as good as the beat may be I don’t feel that it suits the original Wiley vocal. The production keeps the old skool feel going, but still I feel that this beat would have been suited to another emcee on it, or with Wiley spitting something different on it. Not taking anything away from the production, I just don’t feel the styles merge well.
We then move on to a Toddska (Toddla T and Roska) remix. Again on a 80s electro tip, this is by far the weakest track on the single, it doesn’t feature Wiley’s vocals on it, just excerpts of him spitting. It doesn’t do a lot for me, maybe because I’m a lyric head but it just feels like filler material.
The final remix is from Z Dot and it livens up the tempo with a more grime orientated remix still maintains the use of hand claps and syths to keep the electro sound of the package going. Whilst not as good as the original, it’s definitely close to it as this remix suits Wiley’s flow the best out of the three.
There’s also a video included in the package which is cleverly worked, featuring no less than 32 Wiley’s (which makes a change given his record for turning up to video shoots) that’s worth checking too.
He never really went away, but with this single, Wiley’s back and big with it. His LP ‘100% Publishing’ is out on 4th July and with this introduction of this new sound it’ll be interesting to see what the results on the LP are.