Life At 140 #15

Grime scenes, one month at a time…
J Beatz

Tomas Fraser with the latest…

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In the wake of September’s ironically uniting war dub fortnight, a producer clash that drew interest from virtually every corner of the world, the creative juices were really flowing throughout October. Amid the usual hustle and bustle, grime felt as together and alive as it has done for quite some time.

Release wise, a barnstorming instrumental EP from Sorrow caught everyone off guard, as did P Jam’s four-track ‘Spaz Out’ EP for Sheffield grime hub Project Allout.

Promising 8-bar maestro J Beatz (pictured) was also busy putting finishing touches to his ‘Wave Down’ EP, again released on in-house imprint Crown Jules, whilst Flava D compiled all her war dub efforts as an EP, now available directly from her bandcamp (link).

Bristol’s OH91, championed by many as one to watch for some time, also finally made his debut on wax in October with his EP ‘Stealth’, while Oil Gang, after issues with pressing, finally released the ‘Coolie Joyride’ remixes EP, featuring killer reworks by Samename, Trends, Sir Pixalot and Murlo. Trends was also busy himself too, compiling a ‘Green Forest’ remixes EP for his Mean Streets imprint – expect 8-bar wizardry from Masro, Spooky, Hi5Ghost, Zha and Mystry.

On the MC front, October’s headlines were taken in full by Merky Ace’s ‘Play Your Position’, the follow-up LP to ‘All Or Nothing’, which was released back in May. Full of the same grit and raw aggression that made the first record such a triumph, it further cements Merky’s reputation as the genre’s best young MC and features an excellent collaborative track with Canadian protégé Tre Mission

Elsewhere, Wiley’s comeback trail with Big Dada continued apace with the latest in a line of pre-album singles, ‘And Again’, featuring veteran mic-man Gods Gift, whilst work on a fifth edition of Jammer’s now legendary institution, Lord Of The Mics, began in earnest. In November, new EPs from both Big Narstie and P Money are in the offing.

As for events, instrumentally charged night Boxed enjoyed a brilliant debut at Fabric as they tore apart Room 3 for the evening with Irish new grime champion Bloom on headline-stealing form. On the radio, killer sets from Slackk and Novelist on NTS and Spyro alongside young bloods The Square on Rinse FM are both worth looking back over.

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Top Five Tracks Of The Month…

Merky Ace feat. Tre Mission – ‘Plugged In’
Best of the lot from new album ‘Play Your Position’ sees Merky and Tre Mission flowing at their best over a hardbody 808 Faze Miyake special. Effortlessly greazy.

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P Jam – ‘Spaz Out’
Gully, distorted synths, bold basslines and bags of dancefloor energy, all meticulously engineered – vintage P Jam.

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J Beatz – ‘Wave Down’
Typically bullish and rude, although less in the way we’ve come to expect from young talent J Beatz as he breaks his more familiar 8-bar blueprint.

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Sorrow – ‘Rate That Tune’
Taken from his ‘Warring’ EP, this is instrumental grime at its hardest – reminiscent of Saga’s debut for Lost Codes. Absolutely lethal.

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Wiley feat. Gods Gift – ‘And Again’
Another month, another Wiley smash, this time alongside E3 vet Gods Gift. One for the clubs.

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Words: Tomas Fraser

Clash’s Pop Issue doesn’t really go grime. But it’s here, if you’re interested

On a more relevant tip: read our interview with Megaman on the return of So Solid Crew

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