Release Date. 12/09/11
Catalogue Number. BDDNL191
It might surprise casual observers of Wiley's rollercoaster career that he is, in fact, a textbook workaholic. In fact, his reputation for unpredictability is intrinsically linked to this; he's happier in the studio than he is anywhere else, and as such, he doesn't like to be anywhere else. Whilst this might be bad news for those wanting to help promote the music Wiley makes, it's good news if you like hearing new music from him. All of this is by way of explaining that the main part of a brand new Wiley album is in the bag, and pending disasters, will be released on Big Dada in the coming months. The album is entitled Evolve or be Extinct.
"Link Up" is the first single from the new full length, and sees Wiley at his lighthearted best, creating a summer anthem dedicated to meetings with the opposite sex. Funny, honest and catchy as hell, it shows a side of Wiley we perhaps don't see enough of. Unless you happen to be a link, of course. The track is produced by Nana Rogues, a new Wiley protege, and the package comes complete with a remix from Alex D (another new Wiley protege).
If 100% Publishing was fiercely 'inner' in its self-analysis of both Wiley and the genre he wants to flourish, Evolve or be Extinct turns his inimitable gaze to the outer. The album deals with everything from dancing in private to London sociology via a taxi rank through how it feels to cheat, and what to do about Christmas. The production turns outward too, with a couple of big name producers thrown in amongst some of the new talent Wiley tirelessly brings through from the British underground. The album sounds curiously good natured in intention, even if it hasn't compromised Wiley's trademark razor sharpness in insight and delivery.
One thing is certain: it's already sounding like yet another step forward creatively, and another career highpoint. Long live Wiley, and here's hoping there's no disasters.
Head to the Wiley Store to pick up Snakes & Ladders on 2LP/CD formats. T-shirts designed by Ted's Draws and bundle packages are also available. See photos from the London Scala show on Big Dada Facebook.