Another 1993 single. 7 years is a weird timespan in pop: I’d suggest that nothing recorded at a given time will have the slightest influence seven years on. It’s too late to react against, far too late to build on, but too early to canonise or reassess. So D-Generation (who were a footnote of a footnote even then) come at us out of time, cut loose from the recession-era fears that fuelled their dystopia dub.

Their music is basic and bleak, gritted-teeth skanking rhythms and icy, well-picked samples. A grotesque snatch of Proms-y pomp, a cockney sneer, church bells, and at the centre of it all a plummy voice, cracking: “Merrie England? Lutes and flutes and chase-me-round-the-maypole? Phoney baloney! It never was merry! It never was merry!” Severance from its original context doesn’t hurt this music at all: in fact it enhances it, makes D-Generation say things about the country’s deeper state, things which don’t depend on having the Tories in Downing Street or an economy in trouble. This England is an old, wasted place, sick inside but too tired and weak to shake the old poisons off, eating itself from within. “Rotting Hill” is a pinpoint map of heritage Britain: corrupted and featureless.

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