Grime has been lurking in the shadows of the UK since the early 2000's, its only in recent years that it's been getting the recognition it deserve's. These monthly grime articles will highlight all kinds of grime flavors from across the UK and further afield.
1. Baytrilla – Massive Irie feat Flirta D (Prizma Remix) - Flirta D has got one of the most recognisable and prolific flows in the game- no one can touch his experimental approach to spitting, so no one even tries. He is the only stand alone MC that spits in the style that he does, a hybrid of adlibs, heavy bars and what can only be described as some kind of beat-boxing technique. His whole vibe on this tune is outrageous, couple that with the ridiculous instrumental remix by Prizma and you’ve got an absolute winner with this track.
Prizma is a 21 year old producer from Carlisle who started producing at the age of 18 and hasn’t looked back. He creates dark UK bass driven grime & garage. He’s had various songs spun on Radar Radio with various people showing him love. He’s done an absolute madness on this remix incorporating a tough aggressive bassline with a skippy, stammered drum loop. The breakdowns cut away the drums and focus on Flirta’s lyrics. I proper rate this tune highly and I’m very excited to see what else Prizma and Flirta have got planned for 2017, make sure you check both Prizma and Flirta’s soundcloud here, and make sure you go out and buy the tune which has only just been released.
2. 9trane – H9at up – It's fairly hard to describe this track, you could say it’s a great remix, you could also say it’s a track all on its own, which includes various samples from the classic Roll Deep track ‘Heat up’. Either way, 9trane has crafted an absolute belter of a track with this one. It’s not often with a remix you can change the whole feeling and essence of a song but 9trane has done it with 'H9et Up'. It starts in the exact same way as the original Roll Deep track, then, on the drop, it all fades away and you hear the cock back of a gun, then momentarily from the depths comes an atmospheric bouncing bass that is so clean and full it just makes you want to move. Every so often various instruments and samples from the original Roll Deep tune creep back in. 9trane has executed this remix beautifully. Ever since I heard Jack Dat at Boiler Room a few months ago (where he dropped H9at up), I’ve been desperate to know who had made it, for me, its one of my favourite tunes of 2016.
Judging on this and the other tracks by 9trane I’m very excited to hear more from this producer, be sure to check out his soundcloud for more updates from him. Other songs to watch out for are ‘Knowledge’, Midnight Request 9ine and 9O.
3. Adam Mac – No More – Adam creates various types of grime, from bass-driven emotive bits to rough sounding grime instrumentals. I really appreciate the way he uses space within his productions and varied orchestral instruments with great outcomes. Spooky has played a lot of bits by him on different radio stations. He has also collaborated with fellow Grime producer ‘Dubzta’ both creating tunes between them and remixing each other’s songs.
He’s produced tracks for an array of grime MC’s. The most recent one was a tune called Heart & Soul which featured on Row D’s most recent mixtape. No More is a very chilled instrumental, it uses a melodic vocal sample before the drop and almost has elements of trap within the tune. I especially like the clang of the symbols every now and then which gives even more depth to the tune. You could easily use this type of music within a movie or on a movie soundtrack. I’m really looking forward to hearing more music from adam in 2017, Some other tunes to look out for from Mr Mac are ‘Till The End’, ‘Stones’ and ‘Artificial Intelligence’.
4. Mistakay – Good Lad – Mistakay has had one hell of a 2016. He’s been getting countless radio plays on a whole host of stations. One person who has really been pushing his sound is Sian Anderson on her Radio 1xtra show. He’s has an abundance of release’s with countless artists, PK, GHSTLY, Devilman and many more. His production style is so crisp and clean. There’s not a lot he cant do and I’m itching to hear what he’s got planned for 2017.
Good Lad is a very emotive track, the intro starts off quiet, gradually getting louder with a grungy guitar solo, it leads up to drop and then the classic trademark sample, ‘mista, mista, kay on production’ is spoken. The drop is a mixture of guitar strings and brass which creates an incredibly weighty sound. With companies such as ITV and Sony getting in touch with him, who knows what 2017 will bring for this young producer. Make sure you check his youtube page out and don’t forget to check for any forthcoming music on his soundcloud. Other tunes to check out by Mistakay are 2000andslew, 3310 and Vybez Kayshell.
5. Potentz – Ricky – Potentz is a self-proclaimed dubplate specialist and has had various music played on an eclectic mix of underground music platforms such as Kiss FM, Radio 1, Get Darker, Rinse FM by various influential grime artists. Spooky always has new grime bits by Potentz and is releasing his next E.P. which features the track 'Ricky' on Spooky's own Label ‘Ghost House Records’. Ricky starts of with a very crisp and dry drum loop, with the sample ‘RICKY’ and ‘WHAT HAPPENED TO RICKY’ spoken/screamed during the intro. There is definitely desperation in the vocal, which adds to the song in a chilling kind of way. When it drops just after the word RICKY is screamed there is a deep subby bass that is unleashed along side the drumloop. It almost has elements of dubstep within this tune, I think that’s part of the reason why I like it so much. It’s a proper skanker’s tune made for the slow steppas in the crowd. The slow bass twinned with the quick crisp drum loop compliment each other so well on this track. I am very excited for this tune and the whole E.P. to be released, and to see what Potentz cooks up for 2017. Look out for other tunes by him called ‘Man Cant Chat About Dubs’ and ‘North’.
6. Rapture 4D – Akimbo vip – Some people might not know but Scotland has got a thriving grime scene and it's growing from strength to strength- this is no thanks to Rapture and Gallus one, 2 heavy hitters in the grime world. Rapture's way of producing is very forward thinking and at such a young age it's remarkable how far he’s come within the grime scene. He featured on Mode FM’s beat boss 3 and impressed everyone at how versatile and unique his productions are.
Akimbo VIP is a wobbly tune with twists and turns running throughout it, the drop reminds me of some extra terrestrial vibe, the way the bassline jumps from high to low makes the track bounce in a dark, hypnotic way. 2017 is going to be a massive year for rapture, having been co-signed by Plastician, Spyro and countless other artists you just know this lad has got heaps more music in the locker. Make sure you follow his releases on soundcloud and some other songs to check out are Black Ice, Cherry Cloud and his unique remix of AJ Tracey’s ‘Buster Cannon’.
7. Skinzmann feat Traumatik, Dizzle Kid & Devilman – Pay me – I’ve been listening to Skinzmann and the whole of the Dark Elements family for years now, and to me, they still aren't getting the recognition they deserve. Hailing from Devon, England, Skinzmann creates a variety of hard-hitting, weighty underground music. From Grime and Dubstep to Bassline and Drum and Bass. His work rate is on a serious level and his productions are outrageously good. He featured on Mode FM’s Beat Boss 3 last year and got through to the final against Sir Pixalot, the dubs that he brought to the table within those clashes were some of the darkest I’d heard. 'Pay me' is a mixture of dark horns and rough lyrical bars. It starts off with a brassy intro with Traumatik spitting about Skinzmann and their work rate as a whole, then when it drops he starts rapping about other raw topics. Traumatik stands out from other MC’s because his style is so uncensored. Dizzle Kid adds grit to the song with his grizzly vocal style during the second verse and then Devilman adds authority at the end of the song with his incredibly recognisable style, the way he rhymes and comes at crazy angles within his verse really completes the tune. I cant wait to hear more from Skinzmann In the coming months and be sure to check his soundcloud out to keep up to date with all forthcoming releases.
8. Filthy Gears – Tizzy Gang – Filthy Gears is one producer who’s been working at a phenomenal speed this past year and a half, his work-rate has been unstoppable releasing tunes on nearly a weekly basis, each and everyone one of them at a very high standard with regards to its production. I first heard ‘Tizzy Gang’ on Sir Spyros grime show w/ Frisco and Footsie in July and I was instantly blown away by the force of the track. It starts off with a very haunting brass instrument, alongside that runs an eerie noise much like a slow siren in the distance. Then just as it's about to drop a sample says ‘Filthy Gears’ which is a definite trademark for this producer’s sound as he has that on a lot of his tunes. Brass and layered basslines encompass the whole of this song and create a serious feeling of deepness, couple that with a slow drum beat and you’ve got yourself a proper hard tune. He’s had music played on a variety of radio stations (Rinse FM, Radar, Mode and Radio 1Xtra etc) by some of the most prolific DJ’s in grime (Spooky, DJ Maximum, Spyro, Mak10, Logan Sama). I really think 2017 is going to be another massive year for this artist and I am very excited to see what other creations he cooks up for 2017.
9. Gallus One – Shotts – Gallus is a legend in the Scottish Grime scene and a very well respected producer in the UK scene too, people like Spooky, Sir Spyro, Jack Dat and Mak 10 all rate and play his music on a whole host of radio stations. I love Gallus One’s way of working and producing, he makes wicked refixes and dark, gripping instrumentals. Being one of the key members behind the infamous Scottish radio station ‘LVLZ RADIO, he’s cemented himself as a true pioneer of Scottish Grime.
Now I could have picked a number of tunes from Gallus Ones immense catalogue of music, however, I choose one of his more minimal instrumentals. The track, ‘Shotts’ uses quick stuttered high hats and a gruesome brass instrument that just echoes throughout the song. The cock back of a gun is executed so well before the main drop, this tune is very murky and almost bites at you when it drops, perfect for any MC to unleash hell on. I cant wait to see what Gallus and the rest of the Scottish scene have to offer in 2017, other tracks to check by Gallus are Still Dre, Fiver Skivers and Fighting with the missus.
10. Harry Rodger – The Watcher – I am a massive fan of the original tune, (Dr Dre – Watcher) as it was on one of the albums that I listened to constantly when I was younger. Because of my love for the original, I had some reservations about the fact that someone had indeed refixed such a classic, however, the moment I heard it I knew that this young producer had created an absolute killer refix with this one. The intro starts with a distant gunshot and some lyrics from the original building up to the drop, then when it drops it feels cleaned up, the lyrics fall back straight away. The timing on the drum beat running alongside the brass instrument works perfectly and feels effortless. I'm majorly impressed with this producers choice of tracks to refix and remix. Some of them are classics and are risky to attempt, but when he puts his classic Harry Rodger spin on them, they are given a new breath of fresh air. He’s a close friend with PK Brako and together with a few more people they run a record label/radio franchise/artist collective called Stella Beats.
Check it out below and don’t forget to keep up to date with what he’s releasing through his soundcloud. I’m really excited to hear more music from this young producer this year, be sure to listen to the other version of ‘Watcher’ with AJ Tracey’s vocal of ‘Hood Antics’ layered over the top of it.
Watch out for my interview with Nomine and Macabre Unit which should be live within a week. Peace.