As grime said goodbye to 2013, there was still a flurry of activity to get through in December.
Boofy’s debut outing for Tumble Audio, ‘Nank’, finally saw release, as did Spooky’s (pictured) iconic dubplate ‘Pulse 007’, a beastly rework of Youngstar’s seminal riddim ‘Pulse X’, put out at short notice on in-house imprint Ghost House.
Elsewhere, still on Ghost House, Spooky’s ‘Rude Activity’ EP, featuring label alumni Moony, Trends and DJ Myrikal, also made the headlines, while promising instrumental talent Zha self-released his four-track ‘Jackie Chan’ EP and Rude Kid offered up six bass-heavy jams as part of his ‘Flippin Hell’ EP.
Coyote Records were also busy, bringing their year to a close with 10-track compilation ‘Coyote Kings’. And in the spirit of Christmas, a slew of producers chose to wrap up tracks to giveaway for free: honourable mentions go to Faze Miyake, who put out five of his most sought after dubs, including 808 smashers ‘Gunpowder’ and ‘Powers’, and to Murlo and Bristol grime hub Crazylegs, who offered up his rework of the Ashanti’s ‘Movies’. Glacial Sound and Rabit were also clearly in festive mood, deciding to give away his stunning edit of Kelly Rowland’s ‘Dirty Laundry’ for free too.
On the MC front, December saw the release of two of the most eagerly anticipated mixtapes for years: Big H’s legendary ‘Fire & Smoke’ and Terminator’s ‘Darkside Pioneer’. With rumours persisting and fans still optimistic, news of their respective releases was met with fevered excitement, even overshadowing Lord Of The Mics V at times over the Christmas period.
That said, Jammer’s iconic mic clash series still enjoyed huge success, the compilation peaking at number 11 in the official UK charts and proving that the art of clashing is still a cornerstone of grime culture in the process. Elsewhere, on a more experimental note, Slix, Dirty Danger and Roachee joined forces with hotly tipped production unit Future Brown on the icy cold ‘World’s Mine’, which is set to feature on their debut LP.
Wiley, still fresh from re-signing to Big Dada, was also keen to end the year on a productive tip with the release of ‘F*ck It’, the latest in a line of singles taken from forthcoming album ‘Snakes And Ladders’.
In events news, Christmas parties galore in the capital saw Slackk and DJ Q go b2b at Local Action x Unknown To The Unknown’s festive knees up with Novelist on mic duties, whilst Logan Sama and Plastician were guests at the year’s final instalment of Jamz. Elsewhere, Boxed were granted room two space at The Troxy to welcome in the new year, alongside nationwide party heavyweights Dollop.
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Top Five Tracks Of The Month…
Spooky – ‘Pulse 007’
Much sought-after dub of seminal riddim ‘Pulse X’ that Spooky’s been slaying with raves for years. Iconic.
Future Brown feat. Prince Rapid, Dirty Danger & Roachee – ‘World’s Mine’
A surprise feature on Future Brown’s debut LP sees Ruff Sqwad’s finest step up to deliver the goods. Ice cold.
Wiley – ‘F*ck It’
Now back to his virtuoso best at Big Dada, ‘F*ck It’ sees Wiley tackle some serious 808 bass pressure with textbook ease. Vintage eski boy.
Aaliyah – ‘Are You That Somebody’ (DJ Milktray Edit)
R&B edits are all the rage in grime at the moment, but none quite master it like Milktray and this is one of his best yet. Refix gold.
Zha – ‘Fall To The Side’
Gully 8-bar goodness from Zha, taken from his recent ‘Jackie Chan’ EP. A staple in Slackk’s sets for a while, this is ready made for the floor. Weapon.
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Words: Tomas Fraser (Twitter)