It’s hardly revealing a state secret to say that Wiley is a man of many contradictions, and in this spirit we offer you a new 12” from his album, Evolve Or Be Extinct, from which we’ve already released four 1Xtra-playlisted singles (“Link Up,” “Boom Blast,” Evolve Or Be Extinct / I’m Skanking” and “Only Human”) but not his recent first UK Number One, “Heat Wave.” Furthermore, this single is the antithesis of “Heatwave” in almost every respect, representing as it does Wiley’s last reaction to a brush with mainstream acceptance.
In 2008, after the huge success of “Wearing My Rolex,” Wiley skipped off a tour in Australia and instead hung out with Mark Pritchard for a couple of weeks, recording in his studio. The results were “Scar” and “Money Man,” two low-slung, loping pieces of electronic nastiness from the Warp-signed mastermind of projects as diverse as his Harmonic 313 guise and his work as Africa Hitech. Wiley, meanwhile, freed from the straitjacket of trying to rap in a way acceptable to the higher powers of playlist, allows his thoughts to run free, making unlikely connections and strange juxtapositions – the most natural street surrealist since Sal Dali.
For this 12”, as well as offering up the original instrumentals, Pritchard has hooked up a Harmonic 313 remix of “Money Man” that pays homage to the early roots of grime (and in particular, Wiley’s own Eski productions) while losing none of his own muscular futurism.