November 18, 2014

LCTRAX011

Son Raw needs more hours in the day

Try as I might, I haven’t been able to cover every single Grime release that’s come out over the past few months, so I’m bringing back the wrap up in a desperate attempt to catch up on some great music that didn’t get posted about due to a combination of my day job, Ableton addiction and crippling Kush habit. I sacrifice my lifestyle so you don’t have to.

First up, Lost Codes veteran Saga returns with Flight Risk, his sophomore EP. What I like most about Saga’s music is that it’s ruthlessly efficient. While many producers muck about with overwrought concepts or spoil the sauce in an attempt to be more musical, Saga’s tunes are the best kind of dance music: stark, heavy and made for DJs. Every single tune on Flight Risk is tailor made for a set, and you can draw a direct line from the original school’s darkside productions to tracks like Grains and Witch Slap. Which isn’t to say the EP is an old school pastiche, the production quality is pure 2014 expansiveness, and the title track’s atmospheric side practically qualifies it for film-scoring duties. An action thriller with a dark Grime soundtrack? I’d watch it.

From stark and cinematic we head over to the warm and sensual. November also sees the return of Kid D who’s previously produced for names like Wiley among others. Holding the scene down in the late 2000s when instrumental Grime wasn’t receiving attention, he’s been slightly overlooked amidst the genre’s recent revival, something his No Hats No Hoods released Rhythm and Grime EP is sure to correct. Updating the chipmunk soul sound popular in both New York and London 10 years ago, tracks like Ghetto Queen and Don’t Forget are instant winners, fitting comfortably with recent “Wifey” riddims by Finn, Milktray, Gundam and Inkke. The EP’s other two tracks meanwhile sound like practically nothing else out there right now – the clossest thing that comes to mind are Kromestar’s old Iron Soul tracks. A welcome return to form by an original don.

Grime’s vinyl-only side hurts my soul – and by soul I mean my wallet. Mostly because a 7£ single can quickly add up to 30$ with shipping on this side of the Atlantic. 9 times out of 10, that ain’t happening homies. That said, if you’re going to spend your money on one piece of wax this month, make like I did and get Weightless Volume 1. The debut release by Mumdance and Logos’ new label, the EP compiles near-ambient tracks by the duo along with Strict Face, Inkke, Rabit, Murlo, and Dark0. Combining Wiley’s Devil Mix concept to chill out room vibes, it’s an experimental record in the best sense, asking “what if?” and following that path to its logical conclusion. Every track’s a winner, but Into the Catacombs is the one to pay special attention to: a three way collaboration between Mumdance, Rabit and Logos straight into the depths of darkness.

Finally, on the Bandcamp tip, Aberdeen’s T_A_M’s Raijen/Fujin EP goes for all of the above, throwing darkness, weightlessness, and high tempos into the mix. Whether experimenting with Footwork tempos, sampling acid house divas or removing the beats entirely, there’s a strong push towards extremes throughout the release: you get the sense T_A_M wouldn’t know the middle of the road if he were driving on it. For my money, Gracenaught is the pick of the litter, a high speed slice of darkness that’s equal part Grime and Rave and that pretty much sounds like what I imagine Scotland to be like. An under the radar bubbler.

Catch you next month with our year-end special.

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