The success of The Streets here in America took me completely by surprise. Original Pirate Material was a huge success in the UK and rightfully so. It was a distinctly British audio affair. Coming up in the UK Garage scene and toasting about life as a young white male in England, Original Pirate Material captured a moment in time for a particular group of people in a particular scene in another country far away.
But anglophiles here in America found something special about it and 100,000 copies sold and a year later, The Streets’ Mike Skinner returns with this internet-exclusive EP release. Eight tracks including four remixes of previous material, this EP really sort of cleans the house for Skinner and it would be hard to imagine these tracks weren’t culled from the same sessions that produced Original Pirate Material. The new tracks are largely misses. Two of the four new tracks are based on an instrumental entitled "Streets Score" which are tepid and try for an introspective sound that comes off as forced. The EP’s title track is the hit here with a skittering garage drum pattern and a string sample that highlights what made the original album so special.
The remixes are surprisingly enjoyable new takes on The Streets previous material. Garage Boy of the Day, Dizzee Rascal, and Roll Deep remix the single “Let’s Push Things Forward” to nice effect, but my personal favorite is the hardcore jump-up drum and bass of Mr. Figit’s “Don’t Mug Yourself” remix. Sounding like Urban Takeover from years back, the thick basslines and Skinner’s raps are the perfect combination.