The second half of the year began at Rinse FM's 15th Birthday at Matter which gave Boy Better Know the opportunity to cement their place as the top live act in the Grime Scene. You can download the audio here.
They smashed it to pieces again at the night in November
Events have been few and far between elsewhere, but Tempa T and P Money dominated the line ups of the smaller nights across the country slowly building up their fanbases. Hopefully next year there will be more opportunity to see a variety of acts live whether they are accommodated at Dubstep nights like Newham Generals and Badness or at the 'eclectic' nights that choose acts from Dubstep, Hip Hop, Funky and Grime.
Releases were strong, but as usual lackluster promotion and a lack of outlets doesn't allow the music to get the coverage it deserves. Big up the journalists still paying attention regardless of the funky and dubstep hype. A Grime show on 1xtra or Choice would help, but 1xtra chose to go with Dubstep & Electro shows, and Choice is lacking new names and new music.
Next year I would like to see more people pushing individual singles, across the year to build their profile instead of coming and going so fast with mixtapes, which requires longer recording time and larger investment. Lets stop doing going with what is a good look, and roll with what makes sense economically. Spending money on a video for a track with no release date planned is an epic fail. JME did this the best with 'Over Me'. Video released, track battered by the DJs for 6 weeks, then available on iTunes for 79p.
Here are a selection of key releases:
Roll Deep - Street Anthems - All the classic unreleased vocals, including Eskimo. Essential for anyone that has ever read this blog.
Terror Danjah - Hardrive Vol 1 & 2. 40 Tracks for 7.99. Some of the vocal work in the Grime scene is on this CD. Durrty Goodz - Reloadz, Griminal - Cant Be and Frisco - Big Man Ting are the ones to grab.
Target & Danny Weed - Aim High The Revolution - Great collection of work from the Roll Deep producers. Features from Devlin, Wiley, J2k, Shola Ama, Ghetts and more make this unmissable.
The only DJ to release a mixtape this year DJ Magic got really good coverage for putting together a CD full of unreleased material and exclusive freestyles. It was a good listen, hopefully more DJs go down this route next year, as I believe it is long overdue. Grime DJs need a revenue stream to keep them going as bookings are few and far between.
J Sweet - Earth 616 EP - Long overdue from J Sweet, I just hope he can make some sort of return next year. I am going to go and pay him a visit in the near future, hopefully he is still making these type of beats.
Royal T - 1UP or Shatap EP - This is the first producer that I feel like I had a part of their development. I heard over a year ago now, as he had been sending me tunes for a few months beforehand. As soon as I heard this, I knew it was the one. I aired it on my second Rinse FM show, and the feedback was immense. It went on to be a mainstay on radio sets until P Money gave it the official vocal.
P Money - Money Over Everyone - I was a fan of P Money on radio appearances alone. After all the MCs stopped turning up, P Money & Blacks kept it going Sunday Nights on JJs 1-3am practicing on beats that turned up on the CD. Money Over Everone's highlights are: Fruits & Veg, Left The Room, 1UP and Hot Ones are some of the best Grime vocals ever. Yes, ever.
Trim continued to push his mixtape campaign with Monkey Features, his second mixtape of the year. I prefer Soulfood 4 to this, but in general Trims material grows on me. Give me time on this one, I will enjoy it after a few more spins. Check his recent show with Plastician, showing he can still do incredible live sets.
Blackdowns has released two massive Durrty Goodz tracks this year, first Gutter Music (produced by Starkey) and Concrete Streets produced by himself. On the flip Goodz gets the Zomby treatment, which has been fun to mix I must say.
Big H - Street Crime UK - Big H was one of the most highly rated MCs without a CD until this year. Aided by clever virals like the 'This Is Bloodline' documentary and the overwhelming support on Grimeforum he made an impact with his return and debut CD. My personal favourite 'Hooligan' produced by Skepta is played deep into next year.
Newham Generals - Hard - I think this comes in at a close second for tune of the year. The reception for this track everywhere has been sick. They have been performing it effectively all year, I was surprised and happy to hear it done properly. It seems like this was more well received then the entire album, which is a shame, as it had some great tracks on there.
Joker - City Hopper / Output One Two - This release won't define the incredible year Joker has had. We know there is more to come with 'Tron' and his debut album awaiting a release. Hopefully a few other Grime producers can enjoy similar successes next year; touring the world, producing for big artists as well as still putting out quality solo material.
Terror Danjah - Gremlinz - I have been working closely with Terror in the last couple of months, and see this release as a turning point. Gone is the Terror Danjah that ran Aftershock records, developed artists and recorded tones of vocal music. Now focused on the instrumental form, next year sees releases on Hyperdub, Planet Mu and our new label Butterz and a return to DJing.
And finally Starkey - Ok Luv feat Badness only surfaced recently, but it is a great track. Taken off the forthcoming Starkey album "Ear Drums and Black Holes" it adds a different vibe to our sets. More music like this please Starkey!
I know there are tons of other releases but that is most of what I was really into that got released in the last 6 months.
Once again I believe overall it has been a great year for quality music, so we can go into 2010 with our heads up high, and await new music from all the top dogs!
Keep it Grimy
Grimetapes.com continues the 'Wheel' series with highlights of the classic pirate radio moments. to skip the blurb Download Here.
Appearances from Roachee, Trim, Tempa T, K Dot, Dizzee, Wiley, JME, D Double E, Shizzle, HYPER!, Riko, Slicks, Jendor, Big H, Footsie, Monkey!, Terminator and more capture the energy you will find very rarely on the airwaves today.
Radio has been strange this year, there have been periods of time when MCs turn up every week, then nothing for weeks on end. Earlier on in the year when P Money & Blacks were turning up 2 or 3 times a week to Vectra, Smallz and JJs shows it boosted their fan base to culminate in the epic set on Logans show for the release of 'Money Over Everyone'.
Like with everything else Wiley does, people follow after he sets the tone, and his recent return to Rinse FM has motivated Brazen, Scratchy, Flow Dan, J2K, Manga, Trim, and more people to turn up more often. Nowhere near enough MCs are doing radio, just to have BBK & Roll Deep MCs all the time isn't allowing enough talent to develop. Even the names I have just mentioned, they were all there back in the day. Where are the new names? Hopefully next year the younger MC's like Maxsta will be making regular radio appearances, whether its alongside the established MCs or with new talent.
Hopefully 2010 will be more consistent in terms of radio appearances from the top flight talent, and the new names be given a chance to shine. It is difficult to be put on the massive spotlight of Logan's Show without months of live practice. People are still not using the podcast or uStream format to their advantage, if you cannot get on Rinse or another big station, you need to be utilizing the technology to spread your music. Grimedaily isn't the only way to be heard!
Swindle is one of the most promising producers I have come across since I started the Rinse FM show. He was our guest back in February and his stand out track was 'Swaggeristic'. At the time he was focused on working with artists, and I pressured him to experiment just making instrumental music to see what he came up with. 5 months later, I get a new bunch of Swindle tracks in my inbox. And the track now known as 'Air Miles' along with 'Sidechain Remix' are going to help Swindle make a massive impact in 2010.
The first time I came across your name was on Terror Danjahs 'Zumpi Hunter' Remix when Maximum played it on a Boy Better Know studio set in 2007. It was admired by many and only just released this year on Planet Mu. How did that come about, and are there any more plans for Terror & Swindle collaborations?
Me & Terror will always work side by side, future collaborations are inevitable! We been speaking about producing a whole album together, plus there's a Swindle remix of 'Sidechain' so watch out for all that!
I think producer collaboration has been missing for the last few years, is there someone that you would like to do a track with? I think you and Joker need to do one. You could give a track like 'Purple City' some lengman funk!
Joker for definite, we've actually spoken about doing it for ages! I like to work in studio rather then online, so when the times right we may get to work! Also planning stuff with Rude Kid and Wizzy Wow. Gotta get something done with Rapid!!!
I think since then we have seen a lot more acts around us hit the charts in a serious way, so hunger levels have gone up! I know for sure at some point in my career I'm looking for a top 10 at least!!
Who haven't you worked with yet that you would like to do tracks with?
Rapid! its difficult because Ive worked with a lot of people! Scorcher is bringing heat!
With artists that you have previously worked with like Chipmunk achieving massive commercial success do you feel under pressure to make music that could chart? Do you have productions on any mainstream albums coming out next year?
I've submitted beats for Tinie Tempah, Ghetts, Bratt, but no I don't feel pressure, I don't make music to be under pressure. Having the chart success would be great but I'm not going to force it, I think that's were some artists go wrong!
Any plans to get into DJing to help spread your sound?
Its definitely on the cards! We will have to see where next year takes me! At the moment I don't own decks, but was thinking of investing!
What other producers are you rating at the moment? I saw on twitter that you were doing an All star producer tune, is that still going to happen?
Yea that is on its way, me, Terror Danjah, Wizzy Wow, its sounding crazy I hope to put out a couple of all star producer tracks! Producers in UK making noise at the moment for me are: Calvin Harris, Chase n Status and Mark Ronson.
You have spoken about trying to accommodate all of your influences and styles onto an album project, how difficult do you think it will be to make an album like that?
Its very difficult, which is why I've divided up into E.P's 'Who Said Funk?' is out Feb 2010 this is a five vocal track take on 'funky house' this has nothing to do with my next E.P that has hard hitting instrumentals such as 'Air Miles' and 'Sidechain Remix' I am not yet in a position where I could put these all on the same album! The audiences I feel are too different!
'No More' has seen your sound go 'funky'. What has been the reception from that audience? What are your thoughts about the scene in general?
Reception has been great, we were garage track of the week on Radio 1, Pioneers Power Play on Kiss, Bookings, Specials are all new things! The scene in general I think has diversity within itself, with a lot of MC dominated tracks on one side, soulful vocals on the other, and hard instrumentals there as well it will be interesting to see which of those corners will have the longest run!
What would be an ideal 2010 for you? You have a lot of directions you could take!
As long as I'm still able to put my music out and people appreciate it like this year ill be happy, anything else over that will be down to the work I put in!
Any big ups?
Terror Danjah, A.L, Nadia Suliman, Marvel, Every DJ that has EVER played me!, 2Tone Entertainment, Lioness, Mercston
Check Swindle's Discography here and on Twitter here.