"Supa-con-dupa", as Roots Manuva so eloquently summarises at the start of this thunderous single. Forget Lewis vs Holyfield, this wades into the ring with the confident menace of Ali, Tyson and Liston all rolled into one, steps right up to you, nose to nose, and whips your legs away with the first smash of its titanic beat. Whup, and there it is.
'Dusted' is not so much the highlight of Leftfield's disappointing recent 'Rhythm & Stealth' album as the giant upon whose back the rest of the undernourished songs ride to safety. And no wonder. Once Neil Barnes and Paul Daley had polished this off they probably had to take it easy on the studio equipment (as well as their ears) for the rest of the sessions because of the fearsome pounding administered by themselves and South London rapper Roots Manuva during 'Dusted''s recording.
One question, though, that perhaps only Leftfield can answer. This reviewer has spent a long day listening to records on the same stereo in the same room on the same setting. When 'Dusted''s turn came the volume and depth of sound increased ten-fold. Where the bass had previously buzzed, it now shudders. They fixed the NME stereo with bass. How?
Maybe Roots Manuva knew the answer when during the song's galactic intro he asked us to remember that this style is not free. This style is expensive.
Single Of the Week
review by Ted Kessler (nicked from 'New Musical Express', dated 20 November 1999)