Ten producers who are a key part of a new wave in the much loved but much maligned genre.
Grime music exploded out of London’s bits in the early 2000s at such a dizzying pace it seemed to flag halfway through the decade. Nebulous, yet thrillingly direct, part of grime’s appeal is what lead to its mid-decade dry-patch, with misdirected energies and major label concessions crippling the scene before it could really establish itself. After the dip, though, the tide seemed to turn as new labels, promoters and musicians returned to the sound with an awareness of its previous failings and huge enthusiasm for the still-evolving sound. Without wanting to either over-historicize the past or exaggerate the present, we’ve selected ten of the varied producers who are helping to lead the charge in the resurgence of grime today.
Darq E Freaker
Darq E Freaker produced Next Hype for Tempa T all the way back in 2009 and, earned himself a early hit. The drums and metallic bass are definitely grime, but it’s the soulful, organ that really set him apart, providing the psychedelic bridge that push his productions into the stratosphere. His new single, Blueberry with the American rapper and noted grime fan Danny Brown is a triumph.
Preditah’s mastery of minimalism saw him craft an four-track EP out of the leanest of bases. With a canned “woah” and one of the best producer watermarks around, February’s ‘Circles EP’ revolved around a simple, well-worked formula and had the space and subtlety you don’t hear much of in grime. His latest work on JME’s Murking introduces new weapons to his arsenal but keeps all of the vital incisiveness.
An American influence on British music is inevitable and, amongst producers today, it is probably clearest in Faze Miyake. East London born and affiliated with South London’s Family Tree collective, Faze Miyake’s raw, husky sound fuses hip-hop pomp with grime’s directness to devastating effect. With two EPs already up on his Bandcamp, an official Instrumental CD is set for a release in the next few months.
Known and loved for making skeletal funky that sounds like grime, Champion properly threw his hat into the ring when a single with the label Butterz was confirmed. The first result Crystal Meth is a cold breathless rush and, though we can only offer a clip here, it goes without saying that full version will be quite something.
The Woo Riddim quietly took over grime when it was released in 2010. The track was named “woo” because of the reaction it got in the studio and the seeming ease with which the beat drops is probably one of the primary reasons the young Wolverampton producer earned a major label publishing deal soon after. S-X has been a little bit more low key since then but Bricks last year inspires the same awe and a new EP on the way is a very exciting prospect.
Southampton-based producer Royal-T’s hard and fast grime is a joy to hear and his first really big track, Orangeade, was a whirring, dance-floor ready anthem. There is also a lighter side to his work and garage is a big influence. Royal-T is a new owner of a weekly Rinse slot and has already released a double single Inside the Ride/Cool Down with the station’s label.
First came onto radar with his remix of Trim’s I Am, Mr. Mitch has been known to experiment but still remains an active grime producer. Difficult to pin down but ever exciting, his last four Soundcloud uploads alone showcase minimalist jams, a Clipse re-work and pummeling grime hitters like this one recently ripped from Dusk and Blackdown’s Rinse FM show.
Not really a new name, P Jam returned to grime after a four year hiatus with ‘Anger Management’ in 2011, an instrumental release of an old D Double E track, and also caused waves with Arizona Skyz – a much sought after track combining a stuttering, spacey introduction with a grimy tug at the drop. Arizona Skyz finally looks set for a full release on Terror Danjah’s upcoming Hardrive Records compilation and P-Jam has also set up his own Beatcamp imprint also as an outlet for more.
Another old head, Teddy Music was known as Silencer when he first started making grime and blew with the still Youtub’d World War 4 from back in ’08. His album ‘Grime (The Compilation)’ was released in January of this year and the sheer strength of the features from the likes of Skepta, P Money and the Newham Generals showed he’s still the got the clout.
A member of the Family Tree collective, Splurt Diablo’s dark sound has similarities with Faze Miyake’s in terms of directness but it is far more open. With a horror movie name and sound, the prolific Diablo is a growing presence and a freestyle favourite.