Son Raw is back in the U.S.S.R.

Not many club nights manage to attract attention outside of their home cities, particularly small, producer oriented ones. For all the hype around FWD and Low End Theory, theses were not (and are not) bacchanalian parties full of drug consumption and excess, they’re community run events by and for producers who want a chance to hear their music played for an appreciative crowd on a banging sound system. I have yet to attend Boxed in London (it’s going down in May) but the ethos is the same: good sound, good tunes, knowledgeable crowd, no frills. It seems simple, but the impact on the music and producers has been massive – a year since Boxed’s debut, the free Boxed Volume 1 collection reveals a breadth and depth of talent and ideas rivaling Los Angeles in 08 or Croydon in 05.

The 18 producers here cover a wide variety of stylistic terrain. There’s accelerated R&B flips by Prince Lazio, Finn and William Skeng. There’s Dullah Beatz’ and Trends bashing you over the head with full on bangers. There’s near-ambient experiments from Boxed founders Logos, and Slackk. Wu-Tang influence bleeds into work by JT the Goon and Shriekin’ Specialist. Mr Mitch somehow flips the Beach Boys into a nightmarish piss take on materialistic women and I’m still not sure how to describe Mumdance and Rabit’s Squarewave Shell Down. Boxed Volume 1 covers so much ground that it’s easy to forget just how many ideas didn’t make it: there’s entire strains of Jersey Club and deep Dubstep inspired Grime conspicuous by their absences here, and that’s no one’s fault. The movement has simply become too big for one single compilation to hold. Boxed Volume 1 may thus not be definitive, but it’s a hell of a strong introduction to a very exciting scene and at Free.99, perfectly priced for the curious to boot.

Mp3: Boxed – Volume 1

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