Inside: Jakebob sheds some light on the creation of his debut album 'Titan'


An entire track created from one mind is a serious feat: there is a reason Jammz can win producer clashes on a Friday and be shelling on the mic the next Thursday on Rinse. On his debut album Titan, Leominster's Jakebob glides effortlessly from instrumental to vocal, shining a spotlight on both talents side-by-side. The Beat Boss 7 competitor has been churning out quality EP after quality EP, but this time we are treated to the long form with this twelve-tracker  out now on Brighton label Southpoint.

Kicking things off is "Wolf Whistle Dub", a self-produced, self-vocalled piece and a stumbling self-reflection of Jakebob’s last three years; lyrics of self-improvement and honesty as he glides over a sleepy riddim. “I was actually an MC first”, the young artist tells us. “I was doing hip hop and grime locally from 16. I didn’t get into producing tunes until I was 18”It’s clear from “Wolf Whistle Dub” that his hip hop heritage has many nods to grime in flow and format.

The intro gave us no warning of what’s to come. "Tip Top" is a collaboration with grime veteran Filthy Gears  and, in true Jakebob style, is a clash-ready weapon that will not show mercy. When asked about working with the Rugby-based super-producer, Jakebob explains: "That came about after Beat Boss. We were just chatting on Twitter and both wanted to work on tunes together. I've always really admired Filthy's workrate and tunes. We've got a couple bits in the works now.”

Tensions rise on "Outside" as horror show strings are layered to a dramatic effect. There have already been examples of Jakebob’s depth on this project, but this track adds a touch of class to the album  showing the control and maturity of an Impey or Gundam tune.

“I’ve always admired those who produce, MC and everything in between. I’ve looked up to a lot of people over the years, including Wiley, Skepta, Jme, Jammz and Blay Vision.”

The sound is stripped way back for "R Riddim", where the the use of space and silence is as impactful as kicks pounding on your chest. A real throwback 8-bar heater for a 2019 audience. Winding down for "Woki", the album takes a breather, replacing the sonic artillery with dub synths and the beats with soft jazz snares. This harks back to early DEEP MEDi releases on the dubbier side of things. The soundscape on "Freeze It Off" takes you to an early morning, as sleepy synths meander around and gather momentum – nonetheless keeping the energy low enough to convey a softly-spoken eski message.

If "Freeze It Off" sent you in a trance, then "Titan" is the slap across the face to wake you up. This aggy heater starts off with a tessellating vocal sample, which continues throughout. Footwork tracks spring to mind such as Addison Groove’s "Footcrab" or some Teklife productions which give "Titan" this slightly sped-up feeling. The second vocal track of the album, "Don’t Call", is up next. An old Nokia ringtone sets up a hip hop instrumental that is dissected brilliantly with the down-to-earth lyrics we have all come to love about Jakebob. This served as the lead single from the album, and the only album track that's not self-produced, with local friend and Chameleon Audio colleague Chemist RNS on the buttons.

"No Fear" is another shining example of the careful thought put into the sequencing of this album. The natural ebbs and flows of energy throughout have kept the project breathing, with each track a sudden change in pace. The track itself is—for want of a better word—a persy. The lower end is hollow, cold and relentless, providing an excellent bed for the brass and drums to sit on. A standout track in the release, and another great standard set by Jakebob.

The VIP of "Memories" is served up next, keeping the beefy high but providing a lighter side to Jakebob's production. Synths reminiscent of the likes of JT The Goon and B:Thorough bring out a more optimistic side of Jakebob than we are used to. "Darling" is a slow-motion grime banger that showcases a slightly trappier snare and a female vocal sample that hold things together for the slightly more tangential bass underneath.

Rounding off the album is the dreamlike "Heaven Is Beautiful". After a segment of heavyweight instrumentals, the winding down on this one feels like an apt goodbye to the project. There are piano melodies that feel like they are from old video games, there are simple drums executed wonderfully, and that's pretty much it  a very simple, yet very effective end to a showcase in production talent.

Titan is out now. Stream it in full below, and find Jakebob on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more updates.