For me, patchy YouTube clips of Wiley mixing on a pair of Pioneers in his kitchen has to be May's grimy highlight. That aside, there were a slew of releases to mention, too.
'Grime 2.0' (Clash review) saw Big Dada and curator-in-chief Joe Muggs illuminate the new-found vibrancy of the genre's instrumental arm, with cuts from experimental newcomers like Inkke and Major Grave sitting side by side with those from more established stars like Darq E Freaker and Preditah. Thirty-five tracks long and pressed on limited-edition vinyl to boot, the compilation provides the most comprehensive snapshot of contemporary instrumental grime to date.
Elsewhere, Wolverhampton-based production duo TC4 were busy too, releasing their debut 12'' on Logan Sama's Earth 616 imprint, while Royal-T enjoyed his first outing of 2013 since his 'Rinse Presents' LP last summer. 'I Know You Want Me', a three-tracker also released via Rinse, features a storming collaborative effort with D.O.K, the 808-heavy 'Koopa Shell' and title-track I Know You Want Me, itself a certified dancefloor weapon.
Belfast-based grime sensation Bloom also released his first EP of the year, with the four-track 'Maze Temple' EP being one of the most anticipated collections of 2013 so far. Released on Visionist's Lost Codes imprint, it showcases one of the most exciting, utterly unique takes on grime you're ever likely to hear.
On the vocal front, Merky Ace's hotly-anticipated debut LP 'All Or Nothing' has taken precedence this month after it was released on May 27th via No Hats No Hoods. Gritty and honest but delivered as a real statement of intent, it highlights Merky's potential in a new light and gives tangible insight into just how good he can go on to be. Part two of his LP series, 'Play Your Position', will be out later in the year.
No Hats No Hoods also presided over the release of another of May's notable releases, Chronik's 'Deepest Darkest'. Typically greazy and complete with bold, at times comical, war-themed visuals, it continues a trend both label and artist have run with to great success in 2013.
Events wise, the release of 'Grime 2.0' played host to both a Boiler Room session and a slot on Just Jam with performances from a whole host of names who appear on the compilation. There was also a second installment of Butterz-curated night Jamz, this time fronted by Flava D and Boxed. The night, co-ordinated by Slackk, Mr Mitch, Oil Gang and Logos, went down a treat again, this time at Brixton's Plan B.
Looking ahead to June, the launch of Swindle's 'Do The Jazz' looks set to be one of the parties of the year so far.
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Tracks Of The Month
Breen - 'Channels'
Haunting offering from lauded newcomer Breen that does away with traditional notions of grime. Brilliant.
Merky Ace - 'Cutlass'
One of a number of great tracks from his LP. Greazy, reload-friendly lyrics underpinned by 808 gold from serial hit-maker Teddy.
TC4 - 'La La La La'
Warped, almost disjointed at times and full of effects, this is great experimental grime of a whole different nature. Super fresh.
Bloom - 'Maze Temple'
Unrelenting, heavyweight pressure from Bloom delivered in a way only he knows how. Stunning.
Royal-T - 'I Know You Want Me'
Unbelievable in the clubs and not far off being my favourite track of the year. What a bassline!
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Words: Tomas Fraser
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