Son Raw’s on his king shit
In what’s becoming an annual tradition, independent Grime label Coyote Records released another volume of their Coyote Kings series this December, capping off another year exploring instrumental Grime in all its facets. Beyond collating contributions from the label’s rapidly growing roster however, Coyote Kings 2 also showcases a sharpened focus, zeroing in on a chilly, atmospheric take on instrumental Grime that’s intense without being aggressive, and atmospheric without being lightweight. In this special feature, we spoke to the producers behind the compilation, and asked them about the inspirations and ideas behind their tunes. G’wan den.
Chemist – Fall Back
This is about literally fighting a losing battle to be honest. Everyone’s dying everywhere and shit and it feels like nothing’s gonna change – that’s what inspired the track really.
Famous Eno – Puzzlebox Riddim
Back in 2003/2004, myself and legendary Irish DJ Simon F used to have these mammoth mix sessions back at his flat after being out on a mad one. We would be seated at the decks surrounded by piles of vinyl just mixing and getting fucked up for hours. Once he blew his nose on my t shirt rather than going to find a tissue! They were the puzzlebox sessions.
Nomis – Ice Cap
I guess inspiration for the track would be the time of year were in to be honest. I wanted it to sound cold and a bit haunting, which is what most winter evenings are like in South London. Also, there’s a big nod to the old with the bass sound I used (if anyone’s familiar), so I drew a bit of inspiration from the past and added my own twist too.
Rejig – Ice Xungle
It started with those synth swells from the very beginning, kind of translucent turquoise-green and those made me think of a jungle. Slices of jungle air had to go in next and then if you’re in the jungle, you need a sword or something to cut your way through, so there was the snare. Then the whole thing was off and running in that wonderful way that tracks get made sometimes, sounds triggering images and images dictating sounds in a cycle until suddenly the scene feels complete and the thing bangs. I see this as some unknown girl hero fighting her way through a half-frozen jungle in a Bio-Dome type thing, laughing to herself as she goes, which makes me laugh now that it’s typed out. But I’d be curious to hear what other people see too.
Sharp Veins – Pompelmo
Pompelmo was inspired by two things really: Wiley’s devil mix of East Connection’s “We’re Ready” and San Pellegrino Pompelmo, the chosen beverage of champions worldwide. The former influence led me to try out using melodies and little else to give my tune forward momentum. I didn’t even come close to touching the leanness of Wiley’s remix, but my efforts did leave me with some jumpy, effervescent melodies that sounded (and felt) alright on their own. I’m convinced that the warm character of these melodies stemmed from my consumption/overconsumption of San Pellegrino Pompelmo at the time. I must’ve had at least 18 when working on this tune alone, so there’s gotta be a connection there.
Spokes – Gassed Up
I wrote Gassed Up about 18 months ago – its probably the most personal track I’ve ever written in the sense that I found myself writing it as a tribute to a family member who had passed away not that long prior and making it was something of a cathartic moment for me. It’s not meant to a grandiose statement to them or any bollocks like that, but I’m glad that its finally seeing a release as the person meant a lot to me and I like the tune.
Strict Face – Taipan Showers
I have a tendency to come up with song titles off the cuff anywhere – dreams, places, people, events… Even if I whack 2-3 words that sound and look good together, it’ll definitely work as a song title. “Taipan Showers” was the result of the former: a dream I had sometime last year which was an imaginary Australian adventure-horror movie involving the namesake snakes ‘showering’ venom to unlucky adventurers who dared to search for rare relics and gold buried within the desert. I think the track itself reflects the title quite well, though I’ll admit the tune sounds a tad Middle Eastern (read: the female vocals) than I originally intended. An alternate POV is that the tune happens to be a soundtrack to an imaginary Hong Kong martial arts film, though I don’t think Hong Kong would have any Taipan snakes there. Same difference though, what with the snake/dragon imagery.
T_A_M – Graze Tha Trax
The track heavily samples a break from an Old Skool Unique 3 track called “Weight for the Bass (3 TON Mix) which I bought on a whim for 3 quid in the only record store left in Aberdeen. When I got it home and listened to it, I realised the track was one i’d heard in a Hessle Rinse show a year before and couldn’t ID. Basically in 2014, with the “drum track” being such a popular thing, I think this holds up and probably actually walks all over most new stuff in terms of the drum programming and sampling.
Underclass – Rinse Compressor
Basically I wrote Rinse Compressor as a result of Blackdown & Dusk dropping one of my previous tracks on Rinse. The inbuilt limiter they have on the output channel of the station meant that when a passage with no beats came in, the levels went hectic as the limiter couldn’t lock onto the dynamics without any beats playing. A weird thing happened where for a few bars the bass just crescendoed until it was the loudest thing ever heard on radio. After hearing that I wrote Rinse Compressor as a track specifically designed to fuck Rinse’s compressor.
Yamaneko – Tugboat (Otherworld Mix)
For me the Otherworld is a bit like when you wake up and the general essence of the world you’re used to is still there – your surroundings are recognisable, familiar and all that – but everything is all of a sudden devoid of brightness, colour and hope. The kind of escapism you’d rather escape from rather than to, if you know what I mean, but a necessary place all the same. You learn more from it, I think. Anyway that’s a bit gloomy, sorry, so quick shout outs to Daybreak dubs, Spa mineral water Needoo’s lamb chops, cats, Emma’s Mindmaze tune and Frontside Gardens for being among the many wicked things that stopped me getting too lost in the Otherworld this year. Balance mate.