Imagy by Bryan Young
Previous to this April, you were more likely to catch Bushido tracks in Rinse and NTS playlists than you were to actually have a chance to get your hands on them. One offs for Liminal Sounds and LuckyMe were the rare entries into the physical book while original tracks and bootlegs were peppered into radio and DJ sets by a number of influential DJs from Glasgow, Bushido’s current home, and beyond. That was until this April when Astral Black dropped Grandmaster Cash, Bushido’s official debut and a statement release that will surely go down as one of the year’s most played out. Having flirted with everything from cut up 8 bar to languorous dembow productions in the past, Grandmaster Cash brings what were previously abstracted reference points into a cohesive whole, full of bouncy bashment energy, meditated bass weight and driving club percussion. With the rap-minded Astral Black outfit behind the release, Bushido’s crossover potential is fervently harnessed on the debut and slick digital dancehall, sino-grime and elastic Jersey club all feel comfortable in the release’s glassy confines.
While it might have taken a few years for the first release to become reality, it’s hard not to eagerly anticipate more material from the Glaswegian, especially after hearing new material peppered into his Astral Plane mix. Often falling into the between space of several established sounds, Bushido’s tracks feel comfortably at home when paired with the likes of Copout, Ahadadream and Murlo, a dancehall-informed bounce that often comes out twisted into unforeseen shapes. And while it’s probably unfair to hassle Bushido for another release already, it’s hard not to feel the electricity of new material when running through a mix like this.