AU ABROAD

Lotek - International Rudeboy (2010 LP)

Lokek, also known as Wayne Lotek Bennett has recently released his freshest album, International Rudeboy. The album is infused with a rich and authentic range of reggae, dancehall, hip-hop, ska and dub sounds which is perfect for that long-awaited pool party this summer.

This versatile International Rudeboy is not new to the music game as he has released several albums and is an award winning producer, singer and songwriter from Melbourne. Originally from North London (of Jamaican-British background), this may explain the wealth of culture and mash up of genres and instruments which makes it such a satisfying album to groove to. Thus he has got that lyrical flow happening that indicates the lack of struggle to get his message across each song.

The first track, "Dreader Than Dread" (featuring Jimmy Screech) promptly launches with the instruments that produces a mash up of hip-hop, reggae and dub sounds to it, and then follows with "Rudest Dude" that has one of the catchiest choruses of the album. "Rudest Dude" transitions well into the third track "Still Splendid" featuring Roots Manuva, and has more of a hip-hop vibe. "The Hiatus" featuring RuCL and Mile High Dub are road trip essentials which seem to take you to places around the world – figuratively speaking.

After the warm-up songs of the album, the party can continue with "Sundance" (also featuring RuCL), and "Drink Triples, See Double, Act Single". For artists, music is an outlet and a form of self-expression and money is not necessarily the first thing on their mind at that point of time. However, an artist has a stomach to fill and needs a roof over his head too, and Lotek depicts this message through "Paid" (which features Ciecmate).

Everyone likes to have fun, and for many, Friday night and weekend drinks are part of the deal. But the after effect the next morning is the dreadful bit of all - "Never Gonna Drink Again" speaks for itself. The following track, "Time Makes Fools Of Us All" features Aussie hip-hop artists Dialectrix and Ozi Batla. Lotek takes you on another trip around the world with the title track "International Rudeboy", where he illustrates his musical journey from rejection to acceptance. Lotek intelligently ends the album with "Rudest Dub" which can simply loop back to the beginning of the album. Thus, it also has a good reggae and dub vibe to it.

It seems quite rare to come across an artist who has the capacity to prolifically integrate a variety of genres like Lotek has done. After listening to this album his work does not go unnoticed. Lotek, along with his sidekick Florelie have put in the hard yards to make this the polished gem that it is today.

Be sure to get to at least one of the gigs as you will lose all ability to sit still - no doubt!

Review score: 9/10