Short Back and Sides, A Dot, 27 Feb 2012, Amped Up Music
South London polymath Ashley Charles, aka Amplify Dot aka A Dot, takes time out from spinning the plates of 1) running her own record label 2) running a clothing line 3) running her own PR company to serve up her first EP Short Back and Sides (Amped Up).
The EP is, as befits an artist with as much energy and diverse interests as A Dot, a mixed plate. Cold cuts of grime sit next to inflected beats and hooky pop. A Dot’s lyrical skill keeps the record together: she is the flavour that runs through this varied platter.
A Dot isn’t afraid of social commentary, hitting out at the inevitable fall of a girl fulfilling society’s low expectations for her in the dark, gutting, ‘The Story of Laura Jane’. Stand-out track ‘Showdown’ sees A Dot spitting, ‘I get a bit dark yeah/I get a bit ethnic’, which she swiftly rhymes with ‘Nesquik’, typical of her style, nous and low-bubbling humour – take an idea to a cutting edge and then flip it in a witty way. She sounds like the Johnny Rotten of her generation.
Where the EP fails to quite hit the mark is when A Dot attempts lighter moments. ‘The Highway’ feels confused and misses the high-speed thrills that A Dot seems to have hoped for. However, EP closer ‘Rock the Mic’ is a gift, featuring some of the brightest female MCs that the UK scene has to offer (Baby Blue, Lioness, RoxXxan, Mz Bratt & Lady Leshurr).
Accomplished, slick, and gut-punchingly distinctive, this is an impressive debut from a sure-fire talent. A Dot says that this EP is an eight track ‘snapshot’ of what she’s working on. the girls are can’t wait for the full picture.