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8 out of 10
Before popping this CD into my car this morning, I wasn't really sure what to expect. Skreintax are a duo combining Skrein and Dr Syntax - two artists I'd never heard of before, and so upon hearing "Breathe" for the first time, I was more than pleasantly surprised. It's a beautifully laidback and almost soulful single. Reminiscent of anything from Groove Armada's "Vertigo", it's the type of track you could picture yourself listening to in a trendy riverside wine bar - chilled, a little jazzy, but nothing to intrusive. Graziella's fabulous voice adds a touch of class to the proceedings and the otherwise dodgy lyrics that creep into the verses occasionally, but this really is a great late-summer song.
B-side, "Reach" loses the laidback and chilled themes of "Breathe". There is a far more defined beat, and the rap is far more prominent. However, it's still not brash or abrasive - it's fantastic. The recurring guitar riff is almost haunting, and again, Graziella's vocals add an extra layer to this almost anthemic sound.
Fans of the likes of Flobots, Plan B or Saul Williams are likely to fall in love with this duo, but there's also a wider appeal in that both tracks are so cleverly crafted, that it's impossible not to notice such a truly great sound.
1. Breathe ft. Graziella (Radio Edit)
2. Reach ft. Graziella (Radio Edit)
3. Breathe ft. Graziella (Dirty Edit)
4. Reach ft. Graziella (Dirty Edit)