Release Date: Jul 15, 2016
Record label: Tru Thoughts
East London's Marc Veira – aka Flowdan – has impeccable timing. A founding member of Wiley's Roll Deep crew, he's served as one of grime's most dedicated faces... but now his genre's back in the sun, and Disaster Piece (his label debut for TruThoughts) basks in that heat. Flowdan shows off exactly what we've been missing with foot-soldier metaphors, elastic scope and a serious talent for drama.
On the track ‘Grime’, Flowdan poses exactly that argument. “Only got time for the certified dons / From back in the day when Rinse was illegal,” he barks, taking shots at part-timers and bandwagon-jumpers over a Dexplicit production of jabbing strings and beats. If it was all such axe-grinding, ‘Disaster Piece’ might flag – but it has vision too.
As far as grime goes, Flowdan is about as old-school as they come. He was there as a part of Pay As U Go Cartel, back when grime was still garage, and he's a founding member of the seminal Roll Deep crew. And yet it's his ongoing collaboration with The Bug that's elevated his visibility, especially as one of the two MCs—and provider of the hook—on that producer's breakout dubstep hit "Skeng." You can hear Flowdan's distinctive, resonant rumble of a voice on lots of different releases, but Disaster Piece is only Flowdan's second album, following Original Dan in 2009 for Wiley's Eskibeat label and 2014's Hyperdub EP.The much-anticipated Disaster Piece is a mixed bag, its biggest, most distracting problem being backup singer Animai.
While a number of his peers as an original member of Roll Deep - namely Dizzee Rascal, Wiley, Skepta and Tinchy Stryder - have all straddled the line between what is considered underground and chart-focused, Flowdan has firmly remained a part of the former camp since the seminal grime crew’s formation in 2003. Outside of Roll Deep, his biggest success has come in the form of a guest vocal on The Bug’s dubstep classic ‘Skeng’ in 2007, on which he turns in a vital appearance, all menacing braggadocio and sharp flow. It’s fair to say that he has long been more of a team player than a distinctly solo artist with his first, and before now only, solo album only arriving in 2009 in the form of Original Dan, released via Wiley’s Eskibeat imprint.