To anyone with grime on their radar, Logan Sama needs no introduction.
From his early days as a pirate radio DJ, to his spell as the curator of the underground on his late night Kiss FM show, he has been a constant presence on the airwaves, as well as mashing up DJ sets all over the world. In his own words, he has never sought to become a "Disco Dave" DJ and has always stuck to what he loved, so it came as no surprise to see his persistence and passion rewarded with the opportunity to curate his very own edition of the legendary FABRICLIVE series.
Clocking in at just over 70 minutes long, Logan's compilation features no fewer than 24 brand new beats which help demonstrate the rude health in which the instrumental side of the genre currently finds itself. "I went to the producers that I've been playing over my career, some new guns, some foundation names," he says, speaking to Clash. "I managed to get 24 of them to make me something bespoke for this project and I'm very happy with the selection".
And as for MCs... there are 66 in total over the 70 minutes, including some of the scene's top boys such as Wiley, Ghetts, D Double E and P Money, cult favourites like Roachee, Manga, Prince Rapid and President T, as well as a hefty amount of emerging talent. "There's a great spectrum of talent on here," Logan explains, "I reached out to all the MCs I have been supporting recently and I think 66 is a good total to hear back from".
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Among these 66, some of the stand-out performances come from young, up-and-coming artists. Of these, East London spitter Jammz is currently enjoying the brightest spell, having just returned from a ludicrously successful Outlook Festival, and with 'London Living', his collaboration with Plastician, currently killing the airwaves.
Jammz contributed three verses and an instrumental to the project, but he didn't take much convincing. "[It was] definitely a privilege, man" nods Jammz, "when you think about the magnitude of the project and the audience that it's going out to, you then realise that everybody on the CD is actually an ambassador of what we do".
Another London MC who is demonstrating massive potential is AJ Tracey, who saw his standing rise rapidly following the release of his EP, 'The Front'. "It felt good, like I deserved it," AJ details, "I've put in a lot of work and I feel like this really establishes me as a household name in the scene".
As far as his contribution goes, AJ describes it as "a mix of signature bars, and fresh bars especially for Logez". It's not just London that's represented in the mix, however, with MCs from all over the UK lending Logan a few 16s. Around ten minutes in, Swindon x Bristol MC Grim Sickers storms the set with his Black Bin Bag Him bars which, since first featuring on Lord of the Mics V, have quickly become a modern classic. "Being asked by Logan made me feel like I was getting to the level I want to be at," asserts Grim, "I thought I'd give him a classic bar and a brand new one to even it out".
While Nottingham natives Snowy and Mez are two of the youngest MCs to feature on the compilation, and will have grown up listening to many of the big names that they now find themselves alongside. "Big up Logan every time," says Mez, "I felt very honoured to be selected". "I grew up listening to Logan on Kiss Kube so I was like boom, my time!" Snowy adds, "it took a lot of hard work to get where I am today, and being featured on this shows real progress".
Logan is full of praise for the new wave of grime MCs, and is enjoying watching them grow in a scene which is at the strongest it's been for a while. "They're a great bunch. They're getting back to the roots of grime," he nods, "they are around in a time when there is much less pressure on them to conform and they can just stick to doing what they love; they aren't being pushed down mainstream avenues that want to change their sound".
That's not to say that Logan has forgotten about the older names in the scene, "I'm just as excited to hear a brand new name shell down a set as I am to hear a known artist come back and show all the detractors that they can still kill a Grime verse," he finishes, "so just watch the scene! It's popping over here."
If you'd like to hear more from the MCs we've mentioned, then be sure to give them a follow on Twitter...
Words: Paul Gibbins
Fabric release the compilation on September 25th, and you can pre-order it here.