February 25, 2011

Sach O never got down with Nu-Rave. Too many stupid haircuts and glowsticks.

My infatuation with Grime continues unabated, to the degree where I can usually understand what the emcees are talking about now. Sure, the mainstream stuff is mostly horrid electro-house but the underground inhabits the fruitful melting pot of rave, rap and reggae that’s defined the best UK music since Jungle. It’s an obvious escape route for those roped-in by Dubstep’s energy but since turned off by the twin dead-ends of diluted indie-bass and heavy-metal brostep: bass music that hasn’t forgotten that aggression and groove are equally important.

I’ve run out of ways to praise Elijah & Skilliam’s Rinse show and Butterz label, twin pillars and center points of the scene’s new wave of talent, at least from my admittedly distant vantage point. Ignoring the insular sound-clash mentality and post-code specificity that’s occasionally limited Grime in the past, their dedication to pushing a producer-oriented sound and their focus on new talent has paid dividends with names like S-X, Swindle, TRC and Royal-T being one Resident Advisor feature away from the same kind of adulation that launched Joker, Guido and Gemmy a few years ago.

Royal-T in particular has absolutely dominated 2011 so far with a top-rated single in Orangeade, a stunning mix for Sonic-Router and a series of show-stealing remixes that constantly outrank the originals they stem from. His take on soul-singer Yasmin’s “On my Own” rescues the tune from its sub-Winehouse revivalism, transforming it into a dance floor anthem to be reckoned with. Ditto for his versions of Lethal B’s POW2011 and Wiley’s Showa Eski, rescuing the first from an average beat while reinforcing the latter’s 8-Bar nostalgia with the kind of loving flourishes born out of years listening to the man’s beats. Most impressively, he flips Random Impulse’s “Overload” from corporate-synergy rap-rock to high-speed rave rap as if it were nothing – no easy feet. A couple of those tunes are available for download, the rest are on the aformentioned Sonic Router mix. Those looking for fresh UK vibes are advised to get to downloading.

Download: Special Stage Mix (Sonic Router Mix 65) by Royal-T
Lethal Bizzle Feat. Allstars POW! 2011 (Royal-T Remix) FULL by Royal-T
Random Impulse – Overload (Royal-T Remix) by Royal-T
Wiley – It’s Wiley (Royal-T Remix) OUT SOON ON PRODIGAL ENT. by Royal-T
Yasmin – On My Own (Royal-T Remix) by itsYasmin