Newest single from one of the original High Focus signings, Jam Baxter, speaks reams about the journey that the label and it’s starting line-up have been on. Baxter himself has possessed a grasp of ugly-beautiful metaphor and his own distinct approach to complicated stanzas since his first release. What’s telling about his recent slew of singles (‘Mask’ included) off the excellent Touching Scenes, is the way they evidence how somehow key artists and the label are yet again managing to take themselves to the next level of commercially viable while not selling out or dumbing down one bit.

Production values on the video for ‘Mask’ are impressive to say the least, from the camera work to the special effects to the casual hiring of a cameo from an established British actor. The fact that this budget has gone on a visual that epitomises what Baxter is about, says it all about the way HF and Baxter are growing in a way that will continue to maintain credibility.

Ridiculous features are becoming a high focus calling card and ‘Mask’ is no exception. Both guest spots here are sick. Symptomatic of the HF crew’s increasing flirtations with the grime scene, OG Rootz drops an ill final verse. The Rag’n’Bone Man feature says a lot too. There’s definitely something serendipitous about the timing of High Focus family continuing on the upward climb at a point where an early member who has done his time establishing himself as a big star (enough to do whatever he wants now) is stepping back into the fold and adding yet more strength to the team.

Exciting times ahead for the label and the scene at large.

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