Punk rock duo Slaves are no strangers to creating high tempo tracks, centred on garage riffs with a repetitive and latent drum beat, but their recent collaboration with Bob Vylan has seen their well-established sound mingle with the likes of grime. Up-and-coming rapper Vylan has remixed a track from Slaves’ 2019 EP, ‘The Velvet Ditch’, putting his own spin the already aggressive song ‘One More Day Won’t Hurt’.
Vylan has shortened the chord progression and added his own vocals to the track, along with a more prominent underlying shuffle beat which one might typically find in the work of hip hop artists. His gravelly lyrical interludes – which are somewhat reminiscent of Slowthai - appear in the run-up to the chorus, drawing greater focus to the track’s consideration of widespread substance abuse in small-town Britain. Lines such as ‘beard-up, geared-up / banging your chest / and that’ mark just how visible illicit drugs have become in society. Vylan does not shy away controversial lyrics, as seen in his recent release ‘We Live Here’ which attacks society’s racist preconceptions.
This remix is an odd mix of sounds to say the least. For any devout Slaves fans out there, this new take will ultimately come as a surprise as the grime beats, at times, are quite jarring when coupled with the frantic riffs commonplace in Slaves’ early work.
Both Slaves and Vylan are artists whose work pushes the boundaries of genre to its limits, and this track is no different. I’m just not quite sure if they’ve hit the right note this time round. It’ll be interesting, at least, to see whether these two decide to collab again in future.