MIS-TEEQ – “Roll On”

You’d have thought the current Asian-samples vogue in hip-hop would have been something UK producers picked up on quick and did well, given that “Get Ur Freak On”, “Addicted”, “Ugly” et al. sound like bhangra with buffed-up commercial edge. But British pop is still looking West. “Roll On” (cars not deodorants, pity) is billed as a “Rishi Rich BhangraHop Edit” but for two-and-a-half minutes it’s three London girls who just about add up to one Janet Jackson. Mis-Teeq have charisma to spare but at first they’re floundering a bit here, with a track that never quite gets going, a track whose flickery, fluttery top-end bleeps never mesh with an uninspired beat.

And then something happens. What it sounds like is that Rishi Rich walks into the studio after a tea break, finds the recording already started, hears the backing, thinks, “Fuck that“, presses a button, and the real track starts. The girls begin MC-singing, the bleeps suddenly make absolute sense, and the beat switches up to a slinky, assured Timba-tabla stroll. At the end, just as the song fades, a whole new riff jitters in, vanishing immediately into the land of might-have-been. Its first half pleasant filler, its second half delightful, “Roll On” is frustrating, infuriating even, but addictive too.