This month's headlines rightfully belong to Boy Better Know, who beat off competition from Major Lazer, Annie Mac and Magnetic Man to win the recent Red Bull Culture Clash at Wembley Arena, an astonishing achievement given the pedigree of the other acts involved. A notable mention must also go to Butterz after the fourth installment of the now cult Butterz x Hardrive nights at Cable on November 10th - highlights included Swindle playing the keyboard live mid-set and EZ being the best DJ on planet earth.
Release wise, the news that No Hats No Hoods would be releasing a full-length Ruff Sqwad compilation has had even the most cynical of grime fans purring. 'White Label Classics', featuring 22 of Ruff Sqwad's most iconic instrumentals, will be available to buy from December 10th. November also saw two releases from increasingly influential stateside label Slit Jockey, with Mr Mitch's excellent 'Mind Machine' and the second volume of the label's compilation series 'Choice Cuts', featuring tracks from J Beatz, Moony and Sheffield's DS1, both earning praise. Looking forward, December will see new EPs from scene heavyweights Spooky and Preditah.
On the MC front, C4 is all set to release the much-anticipated 'OoRITE 2' on November 26th, whilst Footsie premiered his new single 'Spookfest' featuring guest verses from JME, Jammer, D Double E, P Money and Chronik. In the clubs, Royal T and Merky Ace's 'Music Please' continues to do the business.
Top 5 Tracks of the Month:
Mr Mitch - Bethlem Royal
One for consistently pushing grime's boundaries, Mr Mitch turns to hip-hop for inspiration on Bethlem Royal in typically pleasing fashion.
Footsie featuring JME, D Double E, Jammer, P Money and Chronik
Monstrous instrumental vocalled by a stellar cast of some of the genre's best.
Moony - Too Jazzy
Typically busy, futuristic grime from ever-consistent talent Moony.
AUDIO: Preview via Beatport: http://www.beatport.com/track/too-jazzy-original-mix/3900336
Spooky - Playground
Out next month but too good to leave out - iconic.
Shiftee & Badman Shark - EKG Riddim
Bruising 8-bar chaos in full flow - instrumental grime at it's rawest.
Words by Tomas Fraser