Premiere: 404’s ‘Fearful’ makes use of the British Transport Police’s surveillance slogan
South London-based Mr. Mitch cuts a very interesting figure in grime at the moment. Fond of throwing out curve-balls, the most recent work posted on his sketchbook-like Soundcloud page includes the maximalist Superfreak and an edit of JME’s latest single Murking pitched down to a slanging 96 BPM swagger. His standout remix of Trim’s I Am last year showed a producer with his feet definitely in grime but with inspirations and aspirations that looked beyond a traditional template and Mr. Mitch’s growing popularity has warranted him a spot on the DJ bill at the latest instalment of Butterz & Hardrive party this weekend.
As the director of his own Gobstopper Records imprint and the founder of the popular producer battle site Beatfighter, Mr. Mitch is also an important part of the burgeoning scene with a vested interest in its future growth. With this in mind, I caught up with Mr. Mitch to ask him about his nebulous sound and his personal and professional musical ambitions.
What’s up Mr. Mitch. What have you been up to recently?
Recently I’ve been doing a lot of things – making beats as usual, running my producer battle website Beatfighter and sorting things out with my label.
Your first release was the grime instrumental EP ‘Fright Night’ back in 2010 but your sound is more versatile isn’t it? You released ‘Searching Volume 1: Venus’ tape earlier this year, and that’s like a suite of electronica musings on love.
Yeah, ‘Venus’ was a collection of tracks that I had made over a couple of years. It was stuff that I couldn’t really send to your typical grime DJ but I still wanted people to hear it. The way I put together the tracklist was to show the process of a relationship (from meeting, to break-ups and child birth). The track Milo/Jacob for example was a track that I made the day I found out I was having a son, it expressed exactly how I was feeling that day.
Could you say that there’s a split between your experiments on the ‘Venus’ tape and your grime production?
To be honest, everything I do I call grime. My main ambition is to change peoples perception of the genre and to show that it’s not just one dimensional. When I make music I just let whatever come out, I never force anything. Sometimes I make a track and think “Grime fans won’t like this” but then I also think “fuck it”. In the same way someone can say “I like dubstep but not that noisy stuff”, I want people to be have the ability to say “I like grime but only the smooth stuff”.
I also wanted to ask a question about American influences on grime and the diversity of the genre more generally. Your latest track Super Freak has a lot of contemporary hip-hop hallmark for example.
Yeah, I think every producer has their own different influences but I take stuff from a lot of places. Sometimes it will just be my interpretation of a particular sound. In grime at the moment there’s a lot of producers who have been creating that trap sound with their beats. Personally I’m a fan of it because it still sounds like a UK version of it. The more people take influence and inspiration from different sounds the more it can evolve in my opinion.
You also run your Gobstopper Records to release your own music but you’ve also had EPs from Moony and Deset and a new track coming up from Bloom. How did you decide to work with those guys and what are your future plans for the label?
When I started the label the only aim was to release good grime music and that aim hasn’t changed. I’ve been a fan of Deset and Moony for years as they were active posters on Grime Forum, but outside of the forum and a few select DJ’s they weren’t getting the attention I felt they deserved. Moony in particular had been putting out quality music as free downloads or EPs via his Bandcamp for a good while. When I heard I’m a UK G I snapped that one up straight away. Other people are realising how good he is now which is great. With Bloom I’d been listening to him for a while when he was initially doing some work with Rwina Records and we kept it touch sending by each other tunes and stuff. He posted up Quartz on his Soundcloud and it was just another one of those situations where I was like “I need to release this”. I’m really happy with how much love it’s been getting and there’s some crazy remixes from Starkey, Slackk and Artek that will be on the release.
As for future plans there will be a lot of the same, good grime music. Look out for EPs from myself and Moony and there’s also the Gobstopper t-Shirts and there’s plans in the pipeline for a whole collection of tee’s with different designers.
How does it feel working in grime at the moment, a lot’s been said about there being a growing scene but how do you feel personally as a producer and a label owner?
To me the scene is very healthy. There are a small number of us who are very passionate about the music and building up the scene, to me that’s all it takes. I’m even talking about people like the team behind [the newly refreshed and revamped] Grime Digital, a site set up to document grime releases, mixes, videos etc. I think it’s great that there are people creating things that bring professionalism to the scene as well as a sense of excitement. That was my aim with Beatfighter, I wanted to create a platform for producers to bring out the best in each other but also a place for listeners to hear new music and have a hand in what was released. Grime is only young, it has a lot of room for growth.