The reluctant Adventurer returns with a defining project, not just shaping the sound but the direction from here on.
First of all, shout out to Mikill Pane, I guess I’ve been sleeping on his craft, as he sums up the theme of the EP within this poetic display.
“I go home and start Thinking Out Loud..on some Ed Sheeran shit..”
With the Intro, titled En Dehors, French for ‘Outside’, also musically referring to a melody/line that needs to stand out, I’m already unravelling layers.
Outsiderism, it’s Manga on a mission, skipping over the beat effortlessly, with his self-belief at an all time high, “They call man a vet, and the youngers show respect, all because I earned it”. It’s towards the end where as you’re locked in to his flow, he brushes the canvas with nostalgia, as he takes it back, with the aggression in the flow. A little reminder if you were unaware of the levels. “Hol’tight Stryder, hol’tight the Ruff Sqwad”, the little edit at the end, further accentuating the classic Grime feel.
“Hol’tight Master Steps though!”
Never Been, plays on the biographical stance that this EP seems to project, it’s an assured level of self-confidence, bold and braggadocios but honest and witty, that’s been Manga from the get go. “Dem man are Jpegs..just silent stills”, it’s the third track in, and you can already appreciate the effort. I’m here wondering how he is SO overlooked, but can argue that him making it seem so effortless doesn’t help,“Nang then, I’m still nang now, ten years in and I’m firing still. Still, cah dem man know..it’s never been dat, humble yout, I ain’t never been gas..”. Leading to the standout single from the project, Different Pattern, it’s definitely Manga in his element, “No joke man, they can’t take man for meme”, sure the track is boasted with the big boy features of JME & President T, but that further proves his status, as he holds his own amongst them, not to mention a surprise verse from the tempo specialist, Mercston.
“I can see why they hatin’, cah I got the sauce, she got the juice..we hydrated”
My One/God Save The Queens, another example of Manga’s versatility, able to deliver Grime with substance. This ode to the one and our queens with no conformity to the sound or style fits perfectly within the project. Not many have been able to tackle the subject, let alone to this standard. It’s definitely important and required in today’s times, where our queens are often subjected to negativity.
“Fuck these skets, God save the Queens..”
I’m quite impressed with this project, I was expecting a follow up to his Reluctant Adventurer, but not to his degree, Manga’s evolution is beyond music, he’s taking lead, as track 6 shows, the first of the Outburst series, showcasing the young talent, Izzie Gibbs.
Today, most projects would have ended by now, but we’re listening to one of Grime’s unsung heroes, overshadowed by the ‘greaze’, his ability was often playing second to appearance, but then it was being judged by I guess what we could call competition, there has to be something to be a part of the legendary Roll Deep crew. Those that know, are well aware that Manga was ahead of the curve, and as someone who believes in the universe’s timing, this EP proves that notion. Manga maintains the consistency, “all right hair..like cassie in her prime”, he spits on Far Away. I have to praise producer Lewi B, who has assisted the versatility with these beats, and I would like to think is as underrated when it comes to “top boy” producers within our scene.
A journey of an EP thus far, you begin to hear the depth of the project, with the Grim Seekers featured, ‘Shell’, and it’s infectious hook, to the structure of the project, the Outburst series, next one up (Track 9), introducing to many, Nottingham’s Snowy. This Outburst series is like a project within the project, and while it shows Manga’s growth into a leader in this ting, there’s aspects of visionary and pioneer glimmering through. The more introspective Outburst holds the EP together as if a diamond being fitted within a diamond, it’s quality, innovative and that scale of creativity has been scarce in Grime of late, if ever present in the first place. Before you can even digest, you’re back to ‘vibezing’ to Never Invited and Slew, both which help elaborate Manga’s position, connecting the ol’ skool with the new, featuring Flowdan with Novelist, and P Money and Jamakabi, not to be taken for granted, as few can pull off such riddims.
I want to find a negative or a criticism in Outbursts From The Outskirts, but there really isn’t. The only thing I can say is that the quality of the project, I would love to have heard the likes of Rival, AJ Tracey and Wiley (for example), and possibly they would have helped garnered the adequate attention, but I’m hopeful for the follow up. Very few projects hold weight from the start to finish, and as you’re enjoying ‘Young’, featuring up and comer Jammz, you realise this does just that, not long before it fades out and the Outburst beat returns, to hear one of Manga’s most open verses, as he spits his truth, the authenticity has always been present, “I had to learn to let things go, can’t help the things that weren’t meant for me, I can’t spend my time looking back, ‘cos I miss things that I’m yet to see..”, but this time there’s and air of vulnerability that touches the soul.
“To anybody feels that they’re unheard, to everyone that feels they ain’t seen, don’t let your big heart get disheartened, don’t ever discard your dreams. To all my overlooked outsiders, all dem talented Kings and Queens, don’t let the fact that you were once lost makes you scared to take the lead, believe.”
There’s no need for me to say anything after that, Manga’s ability has been undeniable, but with such a new found energy and hunger, he connects with the listener beyond any trend or phase, and can only improve on this evolution and continue to progress further.
[If you’re looking to show support, or just know what’s cool, you can purchase the official merch, click on the image below and dat.]