With 2009’s debut, Skanky Skanky, Toddla T established himself as a prodigious talent. Two years on, the Sheffield producer is back with his second album, Watch Me Dance.
Recorded between Sheffield and Kingston in Jamaica, this dynamic has left it’s mark on the record, it sounds like a halfway house between two musical cultures. An affection for clattering beats and powerful basslines remains but it is only on the high energy ‘Badman Flu’ that jumpy dancehall/bass sound of his debut is fully revisited.
His time in Jamaica comes to the fore on two of the standout tracks, ‘Streets so Warm’ and ‘Fly’, where the vocal talents of Wayne Marshall and Ms Dynamite are fully realized. Elsewhere lead single ‘Take It Back’ hankers back to the pop-rave hits from the ’90s and ‘Lovely Girl’, ‘Body Good’ and ‘How Beautiful It Would Be’ continue the cheery summery vibes. Even when longstanding collaborator Roots Manuva lends his vocal talent to the title track, the upbeat is preferred to gruffness.
The biggest leap Toddla T has made is his ability to craft tunes with a foot in both camps, no longer is he solely concerned with battering the ears off you. This newly found eclecticism jumps between styles and tempos and is bound by a sense of fun and a willingness to embrace it. Watch Me Dance is a fun album reminding us of the summer we never had.