Monday, April 6, 2009

Grime: It's a UK thing!

So now that everyone's on that Dubstep tip, it seems that Grime, its over-saturated, unruly older sister has gone by the wayside. Why is that?

The last Grime album I remember getting any mainstream airtime was when the WIRE went nuts over Trim's most recent mixtape, Soul Food Vol. 3... There was the Kano mixtape before that, and then there's Dizzee's most recent album, but is that even Grime? Sure, there's a feedback loop, and you can hear the characteristic, syncopated, ruff-n-tuff qualities in international Hip-Hop and electronica, à la Buraka Som Sistema, or in the drrty Street-Bass sounds of American producers like Starkey, but where has all the Grime gone?

I remember getting GrimeWave in 2007, a spectacular full-length mix CD put together by the incredible UK DJ Semtex, and thinking, "Fuck, I can't wait to see where this genre goes."

ANYWAYS, I was doing a bit of search-engine trickery to search out full-quality, 320 kbps Grime singles that I could spin in a Dubstep set, and I was so lucky to have stumbled upon a free EP of REALLY spectacular Grime instrumentals from The Grime Forum, which, up until now, I had no idea existed.

I promise to get back to the academia in a bit, but for now I just have to hook you kids up with the link to this download, which I simply cannot believe is free. I mean, these beats are absolutely FYRE. The first track from producer Prov, is a classical-sampling tour-de-force. He samples (or has some ridiculous midi string patches and was able to synthesize) a string part that sounds like some serious fucking triumphant shit you'd here during a good-pirate versus bad-pirate epic showdown, but it's got this thugged-out sliding bassline (think EDit or Glitch Mob) that's making me rock my shoulders like a fucking lunatic.

I couldn't even believe it. Each of the producers on this EP take sampling in a really interesting direction, deftly using short string and piano samples from classical and jazz tracks, in much the same way as East Coast Underground Hip-Hop did it in the late 90's and early 00's (think Mr. Lif, Virtuoso, Akrobatik), fitting them alongside crunk beats with 16th-note high-hats, BIG kick drums, and punch-y, in-your-face snare samples.

The third track on the album is all-parts future thug, with disgusting wah-wah bass lines, far-off industrial samples, and big fat raved out arpeggios à la early Skream and Benga.

It was apparently released after a contest in 2008, in which the forum called for productions from UK amateurs, and they released a four-track EP that's off the motherfucking walls.


I hope to hear some of you Boston DJs spinning this in sets next time I get out to see some of you gig wit' it. Enjoy!

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