Life At 140 #13

The latest grime releases, collected and rated...
Riko Dan

Aside from the surprise release of Riko Dan’s (pictured) long-awaited new mixtape, ‘Rise Of The Farda’, August saw a swathe of releases from some of grime’s brightest new instrumental talents.

Arctic, fresh from releasing his debut 12” through the Coyote imprint, issued his follow-up EP ‘Three Stripes’ with Liminal Sounds. Elsewhere, Wolverhampton-based production duo TC4 released their second EP, ‘6 Bills’, through Logan Sama’s Earth 616 label.

Perhaps the biggest success story, though, came in the form of Boofy & Lemzly Dale’s storming debut 12”, ‘Catch A Body’ / ‘Banshee’, a record that has received unanimous praise from a whole host of places since its release, including a more-than credible 9/10 in DJ Mag.

Self-released through their own Sector 7 Sounds imprint, the 12” has thrust Bristol’s already thriving grime circuit even further into the spotlight, and illuminated the pair’s undoubted flair for innovative 140.

Murlo, another of instrumental grime’s leading lights, has also been busy offering up his debut EP, ‘Adder’, via Unknown To The Unknown, as well as the collaborative single ‘Ariel’, alongside Famous Eno, for Mixpak. Murlo’s penchant for melodies has opened up a new aesthetic for the genre – one that others, most notably JT The Goon, are really starting to run with and develop.

On the MC front, as mentioned earlier, Riko Dan’s new mixtape was announced on August 28th with little promotion or fuss, a move that has to be looked on favourably.

True to form, he lets his music do the talking too, with ‘Rise Of The Farda’ portraying Riko at his fast-paced and fiery best – look out for an excellent vocal of classic dancehall riddim ‘Sleng Teng’.

Elsewhere, rising star Koder released his impressive debut mixtape ‘The Calm’ for free and D Power put out his full-length CD ‘Progress 2’. There was also decidedly mixed reaction to FGM, a collective co-ordinated by DJ Cameo including Kozzie, Maxsta and Scrufizzer, and their debut single ‘Win’.

On the airwaves, it has to be noted that promising young MC Novelist, also a hotly tipped up-and-coming producer, put in a series of impressive radio sets alongside Grandmixxer on Flex FM. He’s definitely one to keep an eye and ear on.

Events wise, August saw Butterz’s last Jamz dates go off with a bang whilst Boxed held its busiest night yet at Birthdays in Dalston, with a headline-stealing set from Mr Charizma. Both Boxed and Butterz have secured spots at Fabric in October and November respectively: Bloom and Spooky join the Boxed residents in Room Three on October 4th, and JME headlines with Butterz in Room Two on November 1st.

It’s great, too, that many of grime’s big names played Outlook Festival in Croatia, now a stand-out date on the calendar. Check Clash’s review of the event here

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Top Five Tracks Of The Month

Arctic – ‘Three Stripes’

The title track from his EP with Liminal Sounds is an absolute gem. Off-key beats and bleeps, fuzzy vocal samples and eski-led synths combine perfectly here.

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TC4 – ‘Latina Riddim’

A summery, flavourful banger from new EP ‘6 Bills’. Bold, fun and, well, a bit mad really, this is a refreshingly different instrumental cut. Listen to it here

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Boofy & Lemzly Dale – ‘Banshee’

I’ve picked ‘Catch A Body’ out elsewhere, but ‘Banshee’ is equally as tough. Stunningly raw, low-end grime full of the same moodiness that has defined the best of the genre’s most iconic instrumentals. Cold.

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Murlo & Famous Eno – ‘Ariel’ (Spooky remix)

Spooky is probably grime’s go-to remixer of choice and he doesn’t disappoint at all here, taking the dancehall flavours and rolling drums of the original and tearing them a new one. Relentless.

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Riko Dan – ‘Food For A While’

One of a number of standout tracks from ‘Rise Of The Farda’ that sees Riko dictate at an electric pace with a devastating flow. Decent hook, too.

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Words: Tomas Fraser
Photo: David Townhill (website)

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