February 15, 2017

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Son Raw’s on the wheels of…pretty sure CDJs are plastic.

For this month’s grime wrap, I’m doing it a bit different—this is column comes with a mix of various tunes across the genres I’m interested in these days: grime, weird 130 rollage, dancehall, gqom, footwork and funky. Frankly, the mix was meant for a Montreal audience given that I’ve essentially become a hermit who refuses to go out to either attend or perform until the city’s wretched French techno phase comes to an end. But hey, all in all I think it’s a sick hour of dark music so why not post it here and write about 5 new tunes.


1. Tinashe – Company [RCA]
2. Blackdown – Keysound Anthem (8Bar Mix) [Keysound]
3. DJ Lag – Ghost on the loose [Goon Club Allstars]
4. Beneath –Illusion [Keysound]
5. Roska – We Come Correct [RKS]
6. Citizen Boy – Ghetto Mafia [Qgom Oh!]
7. Pinch ft Riko – Big Slug [Tectonic]
8. Wallwork & TSVR ft Nico Lindsay – Facts [Black Acre]
9. Poirier – Pal Mal (Murder He Wrote Remix) [???]
10. Mavado – Weh dem a Do [VP Records]
11. Young Thug – Swizz Beats [300 Ent]
12. Migos – Get Right Witcha [300 Ent]
13. Rae Sremmurd – Rock a Party [Ear Drummers]
14. Yamaneko – Rushing the Ice Palace [Local Action]
15. Trends & Boylan – Norman Bates [Oil Gang]
16. Youngstarr – Bongo (Gundam Remix) [Not on Label]
17. Youngstarr – Bongo (Hi5Ghost Remix) [White Peach]
18. DJ Sinclair – Ricky [Keysound]
19. Grandmixxer – Era [Bandcamp]
20. Wiley – Laptop [CTA Records]
21. The Square – Defeat us [No Hats No Hoods]
22. YGG – Side By Side [Amy Becker]
23. Sir Spyro ft Teddy BruckShot, Lady Chan & Killa P – Topper Top [Deep Medi]
24. Boylan – What Remix [Dubplate]
25. Spokes – Who Knows What [Dubplate]
26. DJ Q – Sonic [Local Action]
27. Spooky – Fiesta [Oil Gang]
28. Trends vs Busy Signal – Go Down (Remix) [Hardrive]
29. Elf Kid – Reload That [Bandcamp]
30. No Good & Jiggie – Goombay [Luke Records]
31. DJ Earl – Let’s Work [Teklife]
32. DJ Taye – Move Out [Hyperdub]
33. Equiknoxx – A Rabbit Spoke to Me [DDS]
34. JLin – The Escape of the Blvck Rvbbxt [Planet Mu]
35. Quarta330 – Lotus Flower [Hyperdub]
36. Mavado – Progress [MBR]

Blackdown– “Keysound Anthem (8 Bar Mix”

Since the end of dubstep, Keysound has doggedly refused to commit to a genre or brand its sound. It’s an admirable approach, and it means I keep coming back to the label in times when mass-adopted rhythmic combinations run out of steam, because they’re always trying something new. For Keysound Anthem, label co-owner Blackdown worked out four different variations on a sample, stretching it out to cover all of his influences from ambient dread on the Feverish Weightless Mix to intricate club mutations on the Techno rollage Mix. Perhaps predictably however, I was most drawn to the 8Bar mix—grime functionalism re-configured as a roller. It sounds pretty good sandwiched between Tinashe and DJ Lag too.

Trends Vs. Busy Signal– “Go Down”

Terror Danjah’s recently relaunched Hardrive label has made a mission out of re-emphasizing grime’s dancehall roots, and I’m all aboard that train. The genre (and UK emceeing in general) has lurched towards trappier climes recently, so hopefully their Dancehall Grime Starter Pack can serve as catch-up material for newcomers drawn in by Section Boyz. There’s a ton of A1 remixes here, from Terror’s take on Buju’s “Champion” to a manic flip on Chronixx’s 2016 conscious anthem “Sell My Gun,” and given the tempo difference between dancehall and grime, the effect is a manic, almost hardcore take on the already ruckus originals. For this mix though, I chose Trends’ take on Busy Signal, ’cause that horn chop is just too perfect.

Elf Kid – “Reload That”

Elf Kid naturally emerged as The Square’s de-facto frontman since Nov’s departure, and he’s taken full advantage of the opportunity, developing a commanding mic presence and a distinctive high energy style. On “Reload That,” he goes one step further, teaming up with The Corners to sample Malian desert-punk group Songhoy Blues for a pan-African anthem. Content wise, it’s all a bit wide eyed, but it bangs in the rave and seeing him bruck out in Ethiopia for the video shoot makes it all worth it. Amidst all the Afrobeat mutations going on in London right now, this one stands out, drawing from a completely different part of the continent for a very different effect.

DJ Taye Move Out EP

No one wants to say it, but Footwork’s been in a bit of a holding pattern since DJ Rashad’s tragic and untimely passing. That’s not to be unexpected—the man was not only the genre’s ambassador but also its conceptual leader, and in his absence Footwork has had to wait for its next generation to reach his level. DJ Taye’s Move Out shows that the wait is paying off: this is next level astral music that takes the Double Cup formula but sends it even further out into space, reaching unknown destinations. Maybe an LP’s soon to come?

JLin – “Escape of the Blvck Rxbbit (Feat. Avril Stormy Unger)”

Jlin meanwhile, seems to have left Footwork’s genre confines entirely here, which is no surprise considering her Dark Energy album was already far left of everything else in the scene. Her live set was easily my favorite Mutek performance last year, and it was pretty obvious that everything was in place for her continued evolution into a truly idiosyncratic artist. If “Blvck Rxbbit” hints at what’s to come, we’re all in for a treat this year.

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