Release Date. 19/01/12
Catalogue Number. BDDNL187
What is the true mark of the wayward genius of Wiley? Is it that, less than six months after the release of his last full album, 100% Publishing, he has another record all set for release? Is it that he has insisted that it is released on his birthday, Thursday January 19th 2012? Or that he initially refused to release a single from it? That he has made so much music that his fans will receive two CDs, the second with at least eight further tracks on it? Or even that one track on the album has no music (“Customs”)? No, it’s not any of these. It’s that we can say, without fear of contradiction (or without much fear), that Evolve Or Be Extinct is the best album (so far!) of this unique artist’s career. Dark, funny, wild and exhilarating, this is a record which shows just what Wiley is capable of when he forgets the minutiae of recording contracts and concentrates on the many weird and wonderful facets of his life…
So here is an album which covers topics from ordering a taxi, being stopped by immigration, to dancing on your own in your bedroom. It also delves into the psyche of Richard Cowie on tracks ranging from “Weirdo” (“I’m a weirdo but I’m not a bi-polar”) to “Miss You” and “Scar” (in reference to the cut on his face). While most of the music again comes from Wiley the latter track, along with “Money Man”, is produced by Mark Pritchard. Wiley himself turns in exemplary music throughout, from the hyped punk-grime of the title track, through the soca-swing of “Miss You” to the sparse drip-crunk of “This Is Just An Album”. And all that’s before you get to the bounce of singles “Link Up” and “Boom Blast”.
Wiley has never made a record which reveals so much of his character, his contradictions and inner workings, his humour as well as his anger. A short, sharp, brilliant album, it shows Wiley as more than Godfather to a scene and penner of occasional hits, but as an artist who continues to develop, refine and improve his vision even after ten turbulent years in the game. The evolution continues…
Head to the Wiley Store to pick up Snakes & Ladders on 2LP/CD formats. T-shirts designed by Ted's Draws and bundle packages are also available. See photos from the London Scala show on Big Dada Facebook.