Grime in 2010, how will it be remembered? For me it is most MCs starting the year wanting to be a pop star, and finishing the year saying 'Grime all day'. We literally went from Lethal B putting out electro house turkeys to saying 'Grime is back' in the space of 6 months, when he decided to embark on Pow 2011.
Wiley was part of 3 top 20s with dreadful pop music, but then has been constantly pumping out Grime tracks via his twitter. In the middle of this, we have a new generation of MCs that have come through in the time the established artists have been away who are going the total opposite direction. Intense flows, violent lyrics and choosing the rawest productions to a point it is nearly comical. They have been able to win over fans who want to put a middle finger to the indecision of the top boys whether they are Grime acts or not, and have quickly won over fans that want 'real grime' back.
I have been shocked this year at how very few real album projects have come out. Nothing from Skepta, Wiley, D Double E, Tempa T, P Money, Dot Rotten, Trim, Griminal, Mz Bratt, Durrty Goodz etc have had product, but nothing solid. In a way it is exciting because it leaves the door open for a flood of albums in 2011, but if you read my end of review of 2009, I expected that of 2010, so I would be naive to think that will happen. Hopefully when they land, they won't be plagued with the same tired concepts that have hurt Grime CDs for years. How great they are, Haters, Swagger, Money and Women.
Skepta has been the only artist this year that has made a genuine attempt to chart a Grime song. 'Cross My Heart' whether you like it or not, is a typical Skepta beat, and would get played on sets every week if it was just a instrumental track. The delivery is the same that he would use on Rinse FM or in a club, and I think he has come the closest to the happy medium, something that can fit into day time radio, without losing an edge on the production side.
I am still trying to work out why Grime acts find it so difficult to choose a song they want everyone to have, get it played by the top DJs, do a video and get it on iTunes within reasonable time. It is easier then ever, all you need is a Tunecore account, a video on youtube, a song and you are on your way. Gone are the days where people will tolerate waiting 4 months to get a track, those who do that with their best work will hurt as they will fail to capitalise on their hype time and time again until they learn how to effectively release.
JME had the formula right, you hear the tune, see the video and then you are able to buy four weeks later. Wiley experimented with an even tighter schedule. 'Radio Kid' was premiered on Logan Sama's radio show on Monday and released on Sunday. I think a lot more acts should think about that option first before they look at the 'easy way out' in a free download.
Onto my MC of 2010. P Money, who sums up for me, 'More with less'. He released no solo work this year, but featured on 'Ho Riddim' 'Slang Like This' and 'Sweet Shop' and saw his profile raise higher then ever. He can PA those tunes up and down the country alongside last years smashes 'Left The Room' and '1UP' and do full live sets with Grime & Dubstep DJs. He has shown he can do the big live shows, (him and Blacks at Rinse FMs 16th Birthday set with Plastician was massive), can do the lyrical war (does anyone disagree he ended Ghetts?) and he can do a track that isn't about how great his lyrics are or how cool he is (see Numb with Starkey).
Vinyl Releases have come back to the scene, I get asked all the time why I release records, and this is the last time I will say. I don't release vinyl to save vinyl, to bring back records in Grime nor do I think every DJ should be playing vinyl or anything of the sort. The industry standard way to release electronic music is vinyl and digital download. I want Butterz to get the Grime sound way outside our little bubble and I must adhere to the rules that everyone is playing by. On top of that I love physical product, CDs, merchandise and vinyl and I have collected tons of it over the years, and it would be a shame to just let that culture go. I started taking DJing seriously in 2008 so I never got to be part of that golden era of grime vinyl, but there is a generation that does want in, younger then me, and for as long as it is viable I will continue doing putting them out.
Having the physical product has helped our music spread to all over the USA, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and all over Europe and I don't think we could done that with just digital downloads. You would be shocked to know our vinyl revenue is a lot stronger then the digital, and we will work at balancing that out next year. Hopefully Hardrive, Oil Gang and No Hats No Hoods have the same view and will continue putting them out next year.
Here are a selection of records that came out in the second half of 2010 that are all available to buy via Chemical records. You can grab the Butterz stuff on Verybutterz.co.uk
Vectra, JJ & Wiley - Rinse FM 7/11/2010
Logan Sama with OGz - Kiss FM 19/11/2010
Logan Sama with JME, D Double E & Footsie 5/10/2010
JJ & Wiley Rinse FM 4/9/2010
JJ & P Money Rinse FM 25/8/2010
Some of my favourite videos
This is my last ever blog on this site, I feel it's inappropriate for what Butterz has developed into. We started out as a interview based blog back in 2007, interviewing people that didn't normally get the shine elsewhere: producers and Djs. That ethic continued into 2008, and I got seriously into DJing and debuted on Rinse FM in November. Up until early 2010 I balanced showcasing Skilliam & Is show with blogs about the grime scene, frustrations, new ideas and interviews.
2010 came and we started a label, so time wasn't on my side to write about the scene that I love anymore outside of publications, and it just became a more label focused site as the days went by, so I have decided to build a new one, fit for purpose to launch in the new year, and leave the Grime blogging behind. If you visit the Butterz.co.uk domain now, you have a micro version of what I want our final site to look like, mobile blogging, profiles on the artists, uStream section and space for our releases.
Hopefully I will still be given the opportunity from time to time to write in other places about my thoughts on the scene, but going forward I want to focus on DJing and building up the label and the artists I am helping come through.
So until our new site is built catch us on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook for regular updates on our releases, Rinse FM shows and live sets..
Hope to see you in a club one day going mad to Grime
More info on the Facebook page
Where are you from where did the TRC name came from and what would you say was the first tune that got you noticed?
Im 21, from West Midlands, been producing since I was 17 now. My name is actually my little brothers name backwards (CRT) he makes beats as well. The first tune I made that probably got me noticed was a bassline track called Break Up VIP.
At the time when there were bassline remixes and compilations everywhere your name used to pop up a lot, since those have slowed down whats your relationship been like with the genre? Are you still making it are people raving to it? People from outside the midlands dont really understand it.
I still produce bassline and I always will. Since things have slowed down I've had time to concentrate on a lot of stuff I made from earlier that never really got spotted (Oo Aa Ee..) as a lot of my tunes that are out now I made when I was 17/18. Bassline comes more from up North then anything and was massive in most cities further up the map such as Leeds, Sheffield, Leceister etc and it takes time to get your head round it. I think people need to go on an adventure to one of the raves to see what impact it really has.
So when you where making tracks like Oo Aa Ee where you giving them to both bassline & grime DJs? or did you keep both sides of your production separate? That tune to me is like a bassline & grime hybrid
I made a lot of my bassline songs off the back of my grime instrumentals, especially that tune. I kind of kept them seperate but when I was younger found it hard to try get into grime so I became half hearted and just made the tunes for fun.
Did the lack of motivation come from not being able to work with the MCs or lack of support from the bigger DJs?
Both really, it seemed people were really stubborn and didn't want to listen to what I had to offer, its only when I got a name in bassline did people want to hear my stuff, and all people wanted to hear was bassline, so I just sat on my grime for a while. The only person that played 'Oo Aa Ee' from when I exported it out of reason was DVA and that was in 2006/2007.
Now that has changed what are you making in the present day? And whose music would make up a TRC DJ set at the moment?
Still bassline, grime and dubstep, keeping the dubstep hush for a while though. I'd say my favourite producers at the moment are probably Virgo, Mr Figz, Burgaboy, Benga + Skream, Joker, Champion, Rusko, Paleface, DJ Q, EK9, Teddy and Terror, and Spyro when ever he makes something.
Your using quite a few singers on your music which nobody else seems to be doing at the moment! Do you want to talk about the tunes you have, and the plans for them?
Yeah I have got a lot of vocals I did earlier this year, I've got a tune about to come out now called 'Drive Me' with Miss Fire. We did some stuff earlier on this year just to try and get people back used to the vocals and stuff. Its all about making tunes for girls, where ever girls go men follow so you hit both crowds. I also had a track come out called into you with one of my old friends Teresa. I've got some more vocals to come out with my singer Ruth as well and hope to work with more singers over the next few months.
Is that what your overall working towards kinda juss getting out a few singles to get your name popping or is there an overall project like a ep or mixtape coming?
I haven't really got a masterplan, the plan is just to make good music right now that people enjoy and love. I love making grime and bassline, and as long as people are jumping around or the tunes are getting wheels on sets I'm happy. I'm just trying to get as much out there as I can, but spread it out over time rather then flood peoples ears so they don't know what to listen to. Its kind of hard to juggle bassline and grime as well, as both listeners are stubborn to each others taste.
I'll eventually start working on a mixtape, the time isn't right yet, people get one gleam of hype and think 'Yes, do a mixtape with about 50 tunes so everyone knows me', where as I'd rather just keep coming out bits and bobs one by one until my names on everyones lips and they actually want to hear a mixtape.
Can you give us an early tip on some producers from the Midlands we should be looking out for in the near future?
My little brother CRT! He's too sick for his age better then most out there! Only just turned 17 he's on his grime. EK9, dubstep is ridiculous, already done some bits and bobs with Sukh Knight when he was round these sides. Mr Figz, RnG is absolutely nuts. Avirex & Hectic! Bassline producers, few I've been working with, Lil Stepz and Jack Swagger, they put out two new tunes last week which got massive feedback and theres youtube vids for those (TRCMusicTV).. I dont even need to say watch out but you all know my homie S-X, theres too many to list to be honest so much talent round here stretching from Birms to Wolves to Notts to lesta its madness. Flush UK Media and Stay Fresh, 2 big labels from the midlands you need to keep your eyes on. Flush have got so much going on right now, too many flush raw videos, Bassboy has a release coming out in a few weeks so look him up too.
Watch out for more TRC on Butterz in the future hopefully...
Since Wiley dropped his epic Zip Files it was unclear on what is next move would be. For the last month or so he has been literally living on uStream, traveling up and down the country, recording, buying trainers and screaming at his manager on the phone.
Essential listening is his Rinse FM set recently with JJ, his first since December and he was sounding 10x better then he was then. Some amazing new beats played as well, but the likes of Deeco, Blizzard, DJ Q and Wiley himself.
One of my personal highlights from his now defunct Ustream show is one of the few instances he actually saved the footage. It calls for unity among the top acts in the scene.
The plot thickens, the label is run by 17 and 18 year old Quann and Louis both active users on the Grime Forum, and I briefly spoke with Quann about this amazing coming together.
What are both of your backgrounds, where are you from, how long have you been into the music?
I am from Skegness and Louis is from Peterborough, we have both been into Grime for a long time, I picked up from around "Tredding On Thin Ice" times in 2004.
How did you come together to start up Launchpad?
Me and Louis met via commenting on Wiley's Facebook, and both planned to go to Wiley's Electric Boogaloo video. Louis didn't make it in the end, but we came up with the idea to online to start up a label to shed some light on unheard characters, hence the name Launchpad.
We kept in contact with Wiley because Louis is a motions designer for Roll Deep & SBTV. After Wiley decided to delete his Twitter & Ustream accounts he phoned Louis asking if he wanted to release a track this weekend to see if the Grime fans would buy it. We got the distribution sorted that night and Logan premiered it for us on Monday.
Going forward have the plans for the label entirely changed now that you have such a high profile start? Would you use the premiering on Monday, for sale on Sunday formula again?
We are both going to University soon, so we are going to see how this goes, we know normally things take ages to come out, so it will be a fresh air to get something out quickly. We have approached a few other artists, but it is best not to say anything until things are all confirmed. (You would only have to wait a week to get the track anyway!)
What has it been like working with Wiley?
We suggested October for the release and he said this Sunday or not at all, he stressed that, so we had to make it happen. Maybe there will be stuff in the future, neither of us our tied to each other.
Quann had to shoot off, but look out for him and Louis - Launchpad Records
Wiley - Radio Kid is out this Sunday
Finally our value pack EP 'Quality Street' is out now featuring a track each from Terror Danjah, SRC, Royal T and Mr Mitch. You can buy that here or here now, vinyl will be begin surfacing towards the end of the week.
We also done a very short run on some Butterz T Shirts, you can buy them over here, they are going pretty quickly, and we are not going to do them again for a while, so grab em up, free shipping and you get a free mixtape with it.
I have been furiously uploading music forthcoming from the label over on our Youtube channel recently, so check them out below, there is a lot to look forward to.
'Hardstrumentals' is Terror Danjahs 2nd free download of late following 'Shock To The System'
Terror Danjah - Creepy Crawler RIP
There's more to come
Will be opening up FWD>> on the 19th of August at Plastic People, which coincidently is Skilliam's Birthday, and is the next time you can catch us in London until... FWD v Rinse on 10th September alongside an all-star cast. Tickets are for sale now here.
Featuring Trim & Scratchy!
The first six months of this year will be remembered for acts from this scene enjoying chart success. Number ones for Tinie Tempah with Pass Out & Frisky and Roll Deep with Good Times, Chipmunk consistently in the top 40 and Skepta achieving a top 40 in Bad Boy and a top 20 in Rescue Me. Congratulations to them for achieving that, but that is not why I am here, we are to focus on the quality Grime.
New talent like J Beatz, M.I.K, Teeza and SX will find it difficult to do good sales even if they have the most popular tune in the scene. Unless their tunes get picked up by DJs and labels from outisde as has happened to SRC and Swindle they will struggle to sell.
I'm worried about the new generation of MCs coming through, still no real music from much hyped Griminal and Ice Kid, no solo work from Double S, no stand out tunes from Scrufizzer, Maveric and a few other Grime kids that have been expected to deliver since as far back as late 2006. It is such a shame that outlets to promote music are so few and far between, but I hope they pull their socks up in the second half as they are extremely talented and the future of the scene is in their hands.
One of the Grime kids that has managed to put out a 20 track mixtape, a video and cause a bunch of hype is Maxsta.
The Maxtape has an allstar production cast in Danny Weed, Target, Bless Beats, Swindle, Terror Danjah and Nocturnal and hearing a fresh voice over quality beats is really refreshing. Maxsta is very honest about the politics of the scene, in a humorous way openly saying who he has been 'parred' by and outing his own personal set backs. Unlike the names I mentioned previously he continuously reiterates his love and dedication to Grime music, when in this day and age people won't even call themselves a Grime MC is something I rate. This is on album level for me, and for an independent 17 year old it is a tremendous achievement. Tracks to check : Second Chance, Bait Face and Talent featuring Wiley.
Rossi B & Lucas 'E10 Riddim' had to get a mention, a track that we have been playing out all year, getting a stellar reaction all round. It is out now Vinyl & Digital on Planet Mu.
Trim continued his regular mixtape releases with 'Trim City'. I just wish he would make one great tune and push it as a single, he is such a good MC, and picks good beats, so please make it happen! Check out James Blake reworking Trim here.
Skepta's first mixtape, featuring new and classic material including 'Stupid' and 'UFO' which I have wanted for years.
JME continued pushing quality singles in 'Sidetracked' and 'CD Is Dead' and released the vocal parts for producers to remix resulting in thousands of versions up on youtube now. I'm looking forward to his new album 'Blam!' which will hopefully see a release this year.
Jammer's debut album 'Jahmanji' is out now on Big Dada, aside from 10 Man Roll check out 'Bad Mind People' alongside Newham Generals. Hopefully they knock out a video for that as well.
Over the past 6 months the Newham Generals have been previewing their forthcoming material and it is sounding great. 'Im A General' is taken from the 'Bag Of Greeze' EP, 'Street Fighter' is out on July 26th and we have been promised a D Double E EP. I look forward to hearing more.
Are You Ready? The album is out now, as well as the Jack Daniels and Electric Vinyls, which include bonus tracks 'Best Crawler' & 'Screwdriver' between them.
Watch out for his 'Hypnotize' EP which should be dropping next month on iTunes.
Terror Danjah has been just as prolific getting four releases in the last 6 months out via Hyperdub, Planet Mu and Butterz. There is more to come with releases on his own label alongside D.O.K, Reinforced EP via Rwina, Air Bubble Remixes via Butterz and ending the year on an album with Hyperdub.
Joker has continued DJing all over the world, making some crazy music and working with Terror Danjah, & Swindle.. Tron one of the biggest tunes in both the Dubstep & Grime scenes came out on limited etched vinyl.
One of the producers I predicted greatness for this year was SRC, he now is living up to it with two EPs out at the moment and appreciation a lot further then the Grime scene. He has come through will pretty much no support from any big Grime DJs, but is continuing to make the music, I wish more artists and producers had that kind of spirit.
Teddy continued his style that has worked for the past couple of years with G.Tank on a full 15 track instrumental CD. Wiley & JME also put out their classic beats as part of the Avalanche Music Series.
Spooky took care of the first release on new label 'Oil Gang' with the Murderer EP, and 'Spartan' is shaping up to be one of the tunes of the year.
Swindle is another person I tipped to watch out for this year. He had one of the tunes of the year so far in 'Airmiles' and is currently working the DJ, hosting a monthly show on 1xtra and finishing his debut album.
Guido is more associated with the Dubstep scene like his Bristol partner Joker, but most of the tracks on this album I'd consider Grime, just his own angle on it. If you haven't check out 'Mad Sax' and 'You Do It Right'
Grime Forum Awards Party
Grime Forum is now approaching its third year online and this year we were lucky enough to have a party for it, and some actual awards for the winners of our yearly online polls. If you missed it, it went down like this..
Wiley decided to release 190 tracks online this week to start a fresh. I don't think anyone else in the music world would do something like this, but that is what legends are made of. Here is a quick comment from The Guardian and a radio interview explaining his motives behind it. There are some real gems in there in '123 Lets Go' and 'MC Pon 141'.
No Hats No Trainers
BBC2 on Saturday afternoons brought us No Hats No Trainers the first program on terrestrial TV dedicated to 'Urban' culture. It featured a healthy amount of Grime talent, so hopefully it gets a second series so these acts can take advantage of this exposure.
Check out JME & Tempz / Skitz Beatz and the Series Montage on Youtube.
Just Jam takes place every Wednesday night at The Alibi and is halfway between a radio show and a tv show featuring artists and DJs that people can watch on Ustream or live at the club. A great concept, and it is in its early stages, but hopefully continues throughout the winter. You can watch it live on Dontwatchthat.tv
Other notable Ustreamers: Ghetts /JME /Swindle /Skepta /Butterz /Mz Bratt
Woo Riddim Mixtape
Logan Sama - Still Keepin It Grimy
Logan Sama - Chosen Ones
BBK & OGz Live @ FWD v Rinse
Butterz Mixes: '01012010' / 'Fact Mag:135' / 'Something Very Epic'
Grime Forum Archives are here, if you are new to this music!
You can now find most of the scenes finest DJs on Mixcloud : Butterz, Terror Danjah, Spyro, Vectra, Teddy, JJ, Oil Gang, Logan Sama, Spooky and Grime Forum
- The younger MCs really get their act together and get making some good quality Grime music
- More producers get their music up for digital download quicker, on iTunes and Bandcamp
- Logan Sama gets back two hours
- No Hats No Trainers gets a second series
- Some kind of Ruff Squad release perhaps
- An attempt at charting a Grime single from one of the top acts?