UK producer Cooly G (a.k.a. Merissa Campbell) is an interesting figure. At this point, she's almost inextricably tied to UK funky, even though her sound has always been weirder and more sultry than that of her big-tune-chasing counterparts. When her Dub Organizer EPs began to surface in 2008 and 2009, the low-slung house rhythms and sultry vibes easily made Cooly G one of the most exciting new artists in the UK scene. (After all, we did put her on the cover of XLR8R and made her a centerpiece of our first big UK funky feature.) Yet as the last two years have gone by, the flow of new Cooly G tunes has slowed significantly, leaving many to wonder if the producer still has the proverbial "it." With the release of new single "Landscapes" b/w "It's Serious," it appears that the answer, at least for now, is a pretty solid yes.
Interestingly enough, the single is Cooly G's first collaborative release, and she's enlisted a couple of heavy hitters to assist with the production. On the a-side, fellow London-based producer Simbad guests, yet the sexy, slow-burning tune is more or less classic Cooly G, perhaps with a little extra polish. The drums shuffle and snap, but the song revolves around its smoothly spacey synths and Campbell's soulfully cooed vocals. It's the kind of track that's as suitable for soundtracking a makeout session on the couch as it is serving as a potent piece of a refined late-night DJ set.
Things get a tad rougher on the flip side, as Baltimore house maestro Karzima steps in to lay down some of his signature percussive architecture on "It's Serious." The drums are layered and complex, but retain a straightforward groove and mesh nicely with the song's simple bassline and warbling synth bits. Apart from a few ghostly whispers, Cooly's vocal chords sit this one out, but the track's spotless drum work keeps things more than compelling, as the song's runtime of less than four minutes almost seems too short.