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?