Son Raw’s Vocal Grime Wrap-Up

Son Raw returns with the vocal grime wrap-up.
By    February 22, 2016

nico lindsay

Son Raw! slid past the DMs, straight to the text messages.”

Lamont & Nico Lindsay are in The Field

Reducing my vocal grime wrap up to one release this month, but what a release! Keysound is a label you can count on for left turns and the unexpected: they’re dropping a Deep Tech 12’’ next month, but I’ve always had a soft spot for their take on vocal grime. Whereas most scene labels go straight to the bangers, Dusk & Blackdown have released meditative missives from Trim over Chinese instrumentation, Durty Doogz over early Starkey, conscious-minded Roll Deep sinogrime and ‘nuff yard music. They’re probably the only imprint able to put out Riko tunes in his Roll Deep era AND over blackened 130BPM rollage.

In the Field, a collaboration between Lamont and MC Nico Lindsay plays fast and loose with the same elements that made the above tracks successful: it doesn’t try to be a banger, it keeps things dark, and the bars are clever, wordy, and London-centric.

Re-introducing this sort of left-field emceeing feels like the natural next step after the label introduced producers like Wen, Parris, Mumdance, and Beneath. The track (along with A-side “Death Slide,” almost as strong) opens a whole field of possibilities for UK rhyming. The 130BPM space gives emcees even more room to twist and turn words, while the looser, swinging percussion almost naturally pushes the vocals into less rigid territory. It’s a potent alternative to Eski-homages that stick too close to grime’s original formula.

As for Nico Lindsay himself, I’d keep an eye on him. The top radio session on his Soundcloud is over South-African Gqom, so this exploration of slower, darker tempos hopefully isn’t a one off…

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