Recommended: Sega Bodega – Song Dynasty EP

Glasgow-based Sega Bodega (who’s real name is the equally eye-catching Salvador Navarette) has been compiling quite the CV on the low. Making sense both geographically and musically, he counts Hudson Mohawke and Rustie as two of his greatest influences and his musical output straddles that same line between extra-melodic hip hop and other electronic based genres. A slew of impressive remixes on the likes of Lana Del Rey, Machinedrum and the aforementioned Rustie along with the odd original have made his Soundcloud page one to watch for the past few years. Of course, it’s not just us, the casual listener, who’ve been tuned in. Promoters and fellow artists alike are also well aware of what Sega Bodega’s bringing to the table and he’s been booked to play out alongside the likes of Lil Silva, Bondax and even Lil B. TYBG.

’34’, his debut EP which also came out on Week Of Wonders, had a particularly cinematic quality. Ebbing and flowing over its course, it ensured you were as as involved in the journey as its creator was. Song Dynasty sees Sega Bodega change tack. Per an interview with Clash: “I wouldn’t really consider this EP an actual EP. I don’t like when people start EPs straight away – I like intros and outros, and this one doesn’t have that. It’s more just for people to dance to, really.”. It will probably be labelled an EP for bureaucratic reasons but to all intents and purposes what we have here is a collection of four glistening, dancefloor ready tracks from the archives, primed for your enjoyment.

Stream: Sega Bodega – Stay Nervous (Week Of Wonders)

Song Dynasty is composed of three reworkings, all of which are based upon material which could be described as mainstream hits, along with one piece of original material. Opener “Security” is a take on crossover hit Heartbroken by T2 (featuring Jodie Aysha). Whereas the original sapped the majority of the emotion from the vocals, Sega Bodega builds around them carefully with more sensitivity and replaces the incomparable bassline that made the original so successful with wistful piano and strings. There’s still that moment of rapturous release when the chorus hits and we take the full force of thudding kicks, crashing claps and some slightly slower than machine gun hi hats. While all of the tracks featured on Song Dynasty operate either side of the line between chaos and calm, Sega Bodega original “Stay Nervous” is the embodiment of this. An unrelenting horn riff drives the chaos and gives the track a martial call to arms feel until the horns drop out and the melody is taken on by a much lighter synth. Make sure you keep an ear out for the wicked key change and glitchy percussion fills. The final track is a reworking of Fergie’s 2007 hit “Glamorous”. Somewhat thankfully unrecognisable from the original for the most part, due to the chopping and pitching of the vocals (although you’ll be pleased to note that the famous chant-along of the title remains). Short but sickly sweet, everything’s pearlescent without ever inducing the nausea that the original might have.

“Work” sees Sega Bodega take on Ciara and Missy Elliot’s song of the same name in what might well be the standout track of the lot. The first time the tension is built, as Missy growls the familiar “When the song comes on in the club, turn it up, turn it up, turn it up”, it’s all a façade and Ciara breaks into her first verse with the relative peace of harps and scattered, but not too intrusive, drums. Second time round the red mist descends and all hell breaks loose. Everything’s so intense, the percussion, the synth, the bass and it’s almost a relief when Ci Ci takes the stage again. What makes the track so enjoyable is how the difference between the two featured artists is both recognised and utilised. Just like in the original, Ciara remains sexy and sultry, whilst Missy is the driving force, barking out orders like the MC we’ve come to appreciate her as.

Stream: Sega Bodega – Security (Week Of Wonders)

Song Dynasty is out now on Week Of Wonders and available to buy here.

Matt Coombs