RIKOPRESS_FINAL4

Son Raw caress the gun like gyal.

Rabit’s Black Dragons was so far ahead of its time when it dropped that he can release a vocal version over a year and a half later and still have it sound fresh out the box. That’s no easy feat – the instrumental Grime scene coalescing around nights like Boxed and labels like Glacial Sound has advanced at a startling pace since then, leaving no room for second-hand Eskimo rip offs or Slew Dem imitations. Black Dragons hints at Wiley’s early work, but Rabit’s synths and sound design are no knock-offs – they take the original scene’s squarewaves as a starting point before imbuing them with a chilliness and a texture unattainable in FruityLoops’ 03 iteration, moving things forward. Since then, he’s gone on towards more ambient and experimental sounds, but hearing this tune in a new light proves he was ahead of the curve all along.

Then there’s Riko Dan. While his Bug-assisted brother may get a bit more limelight, Riko’s quietly been building quite a catalog of his own, collaborating on big singles by names like Terror Danjah, Mumdance, and Wen. While Grime has always been careful not to lean too heavily on either its Jamaican or American antecedents, Riko’s yardman flow is an immediate draw and his tendency to vocal the deepest, darkest riddims separates it from trancehall’s current obsession with chart pop. Let’s hope he keeps those producers’ numbers handy because a full length project drawing on the weirder and darker side of Grime’s new wave would be an immediate must buy. Riko over Visionist? Riko over Dullah? The possibilities are endless.

Buy:
MP3: Rabit featuring Riko Dan – Black Dragons

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