Chase & Status are one of the biggest electro acts in the world right now, and wether you like it or not, they completely deserve this accolade. Their records fly off the shelves, they’re able to pull in whoever they like to help out with them, they headline festivals all over the world, and let’s be honest their music is actually fucking sick. I reviewed Chase & Status’ second studio album No Idols, a while back and it was a solid release, their most recent Brand New Machine I’ve glanced over but haven’t fully sampled as of yet, leaving the other record left in their catalogue, their debut studio album- More Than Alot.
Genres as a whole have always needed a pioneer, a maverick, someone to drive the scene forward and back in the day, the UK electro scene was miles ahead of the rest of the world- Fatboy Slim, The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy, they all dominated the big beat/garage scene, giving birth to sounds that are still being recycled today, it’s what you call timeless. Years down the line to the present day, the quality has diminished, if not dried up a tad, leaving a sparse few of household names such as Sub Focus, Flux Pavillion, Calvin Harris, and Disclosure among others, some may argue Calvin Harris sells more records, some may argue that Disclosure make technically more intelligent music, but in my opinion Chase & Status exceeds them all, making them the ipso-facto pioneer of UK electro music right now.
Let’s take it back to where it all began, Chase & Status’ debut album More Than Alot was released on 13th October 2008, and I’m still yet to hear a better example of exciting electronic production incorporating what makes the UK scene as exciting as it is, blends of drum and bass, garage and dubstep all worm their way into the project flawlessly. The album flopped commercially, charting in at a measly 49 on the UK album charts, the singles didn’t do any better, despite the likes of Pieces having something of a cult status nowadays. And that’s why it’s such a classic album, listen to it now and you can see where everybody nowadays gets their inspirations from, the far-east samples on Eastern Jam, the 80s vibes draped across Running, and the hard-hitting vocal punches from Plan B on Pieces, and more and the make-up of everything following it.
Things don’t coincide with the drum/bass/dubstep aura of More Than Alot with the Kano featured Against All Odds, but like the rest of the album inspiring electro, the current UK rap scene should be looking at Against All Odds and crafting with this song in mind, rather than sounding like what Professor Green and Example have turned into. The gritty garage sound is omnipresent across the album with Street Life and Hurt You being the best examples of this, it stays true to the roots, yet pushes it forward to modern-day, shedding light on the genre to a more mainstream audience.
Then there are the gut-busting, hard-hitting, bass-booming electro behemoths- Smash TV and Eastern Jam, as well as the progressive, typically British Take Me Away and Is It Worth It. The album possesses everything to like from [ultimately] a drum and bass LP, but it’s more than just that, it’s soulful in areas like Digga’s guest spot, heavy rock-guitar riffs hold the key on Pieces, and old-style hip-hop makes numerous appearances. More Than Alot is like a compilation of everything the British underground music scene has to offer. You can see the album’s rub on even Chase & Status’ following albums- Pieces is in the same vein as Fool Yourself, Streetlife is the brainchild of the Cee-Lo Green featured Brixton Briefcase, and certain elements of Running and Can’t Get Enough echo present-day anthems Lost and Not Found and Count On Me.
In the six years that have passed since its release, I see it as integral to the scene as they come, they [near-enough] single-handedly own the UK dance/electro genre(s) and the only real rivals can only come from overseas, you can easily compare More Than Alot to the likes of Pendulum’s Hold Your Colour but still, More Than Alot will always come out on top.