Star Slinger: One of UK Hip Hop’s best kept secrets?

Any fans of UK dance music might recognise this burgeoning producer and beatsmith by his Government name – Darren Williams – because Mr. Williams, although now known amongst the cool kids as Star Slinger, had released two dance 12” vinyl records as at 2007 to relative success.

Thankfully, dance music became quite limited and constraining to the musician/producer (boring if you like) and he re-discovered the widely varied and eclectic vinyl-collection he had been unscrupulously building up for quite a few years. You see, Darren Williams is also an avid record-store visitor and collector of Vinyl and in April of 2010, Star Slinger – the beat tapes producer was born.

Originally from Nottingham, now residing in Manchester, Star Slinger is a Hip Hop producer who makes instrumental Hip Hop or “beats” as we would call them but that’s not even the half of it, he is arguably one of the best and most innovative new artists of 2010 and certainly 2011. This accolade in itself is well long overdue as he has been making music since the tender age of 14 and you can hear from the precision and perfection in his music that he is certainly NOT a newbie to this.

The other notable thing that you can hear in his music is the influence of legends such as J. Dilla, Pete Rock and DJ Shadow have on his music. Comparisons with the late great Dilla in particular might be inescapable but although they both use similar techniques, none more notable than side chain compression, Star Slinger certainly brings something new and something different to the table.

His debut album as Star Slinger, 2010’s beat tape, Volume 1 is 11 tracks of pure sampling and mixing heaven. He takes ’80s & ’90s Soul, Funk, Disco, Hip Hop, Reggae and R&B records and completely turn them on their head to create this perplexing, ingenious and innovative new body of music or in much simpler terms, he takes your favourite records, slows them down, chops them up, takes fragments of those songs and expands upon them rather beautifully. In fact, he creates something completely different, something amazing, some kind of beautiful futuristic music for your listening pleasures from those “short samples”.

His forthcoming sophomore album Volume 2 is in the works already and with tracks such as ‘Long Time’, ‘May I Walk With You’ (which samples Life Without Buildings’ ‘Lean Over’) and ‘Slow and Wet’ all rumoured to be on the album, it’s safe to say that Star Slinger has another epic album on his hands.

Before that however, Star Slinger recently released a FREE 6-track Beats EP titled Rogue Cho Pa to hold us over and my first thought upon hearing the new EP was “music this good shouldn’t even be given away for free.”

This EP is and will probably be one of the best things I’ve heard in 2011 and to think that this is what Mr. Williams allegedly has sitting around collecting dust.

‘So much Soul, so much Funk and a tantalising bassline that will have you snapping your neck and your face all scrunched up as you listen to this goodness’ is how I’d describe Rogue Cho Pa in a few words.

Rogue Cho Pa EP by Star Slinger

As an added side-project if you will, Star Slinger is also working with emerging Canada-based rapper/producer Emay (more on him in coming weeks) and San Francisco’s Blackbird Blackbird (all collectively known as Seeing Suge, a named formed from one of UK rapper Giggs’ lyrics) on an amazing collaborative album aptly titled Collaborations that will knock your socks off.

The first single from that project, ‘Breaking’ sees Star Slinger sampling Memoryhouse’s ‘Lately’ (how?), Blackbird Blackbird frontman Mikey Sanders adding hauntingly lush background vocals and Emay laying down some deep and thought-provoking lyrics about “breaking up with a part of” himself. This is that good good music.

What else can I say? The kid is a genius.

Star Slinger will be embarking on a US/Canada tour through out February and March so if you want to check out what all the hype is about, please do check out the full listing of tour dates on his Myspace page and definitely go out and see him when he plays at a city near you.

If you want more music from Star Slinger in addition to the download links below, please go to his Soundcloud and Bandcamp pages, you will NOT be disappointed.

Star Slinger – Volume 1 (iTunes)

Star Slinger – Volume 1 (Free)
Star Slinger – Rogue Cho Pa (FreEP)
Seeing Suge – Breaking (Free)

Star Slinger online: Official Website / Twitter / Facebook / MySpace / Soundcloud / Bandcamp

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