Review: Punishing dubstep pressure from Footsie here in his controversial and incendiary "1 Spliff" on Braindead Entertainment. Pungent grime lyrics are spat over the most enormous of Noisia-esque basslines, whilst smashing snares and rippling bass dominate with quirky vocal riff laid over the top for the full effect. The accompanying cut "Duppy Mekka" is a rather different beast with lilting, dub-influenced intro with grimy bass and shimmying keys before dropping into a filthy dubstepping monster with bleepy synth work and rumbling subs!
Review: Simple but crucially effective; "1 Spliff" takes a miniscule sample hit from Billy Boyo, pitches it up and loops it for maximum rabble-rousing. Soft enough to give Newham General Footsie the full floor but clever enough to keep the groove moving, it's a textbook lesson in how grime can be very groovy. "Duppy Mekka" opens as a much deeper, classically dubbed affair before dropping into shiny metallic alien bass and trap-style horn work. One climax-track and one bare instrumental work-out - two examples of Footsie at his finest.
Review: Best know for his work as one half of Newham Generals, Footsie is nevertheless a strong grime producer in his own right, as this compilation of his work from 2004-2006 demonstrates. The sheer amount of material (22 tracks) can be quite overwhelming, but they all ooze quality; from the dark, dubby, square wave stepper of "Scars" which kicks things off, through the frantic strings and squelch of "Back To '95), the exotic tones and stop-start mechanics of "Dats Normal" and the frankly killer "Showerman Time", this compilation comes highly recommended.
Review: Not just one of the most enduring MCs in the grime game, Footsie peddles a fine line of studio material, and if you picked up last year's King Original albums, you'll already know this. Creative, subversive and unpredictable, they embody grime's original spirit through and through. The third volume in the series continues this vein of form as he jumps from stunning euphoria ("Bubblers") to cosmic and warped ("Exodus"), to outrageous drama ("Bombaclart") to swampy paranoia ("Very Alarming") with ease and character. 100 per cent original, Footsie really is the King.
Review: Now over the years, Footsie has rightly become known as an outright legend with grime in the UK, both through his work alongside D Double E at Newham Generals and as a solo recording artist. Today however, we need to discuss just how undersung Footsie is as a producer, having delivered top quality 140 riddims left, right and centre over the past 15 years. This brand new project is the perfect way to celebrate his ability as we are gifted 12 storming original instrumentals, showcasing the full spectrum of his production ability, from the spectacular horn sampling of 'Black & White' to the trappy sub rolls of 'Lemz' and classic grimey melodic structures of 'Got Cheese'. The whole project is a masterpiece to say the least, with our standouts including the smooth Asian woodwind slicing of 'The Massage Riddim', alongside the constantly shifting soundscapes of 'Badman Orchestra' and dubstep inspired bass wonks of 'Fire Door'. Amazing stuff!
Review: To be honest, it's about time that Logan Sama had the space to compile his own series of mythical London club Fabric's, Fabriclive series. The grime DJ started his career back on the equally important Rinse FM back in 2002, and has been an important part of the club's development over the years that saw grime and dubstep blow up. At number 83 in the series, Sama drops a selection of tunes that are wholly representative of his DJ sets in Fabric's Room 1; the mix contains tunes by everyone from grime pioneer Wiley, to vocalist and producer JME, and a whole load of lesser known names that have kept the grime scene evolving. This is the real deal, there ain't not other like it around these days. Recommended.
Review: Entitled simply Grime 2.0, this mammoth release sees grime originators sit next to a new breed of artists, all compiled by Big Dada label boss Will Ashon and journalist Joe Muggs. Documenting grime's continued development over the past ten years, its track selections also demonstrate that it's still a vibrant and flourishing genre. Some 35 tracks deep, the compilation sees Ashon and Muggs securing exclusive, previously unheard material, with notable grime figureheads such as Youngstar, Wiley and MRK1 contributing alongside current stars in Royal T and Preditah as well as an international cast of emergent new talent, with Local Action artist and Grimetapes documenter Slackk featuring too. Essential!
Review: This is it! Trouble & Bass's final release... Going out on a high, Drop The Lime ties the many tendrils of his hugely influential imprint in one 25-track strong set. The result isn't just a celebration of T&B's successes, but the development of bass music at large and how it's irreparably dented US club culture for the better. Timeless highlights include AC Slater's epic speed garage slapdown twist of Mathhead, Supra1's jiggling wobblefest twist of Little Jinder and the proto-tropical fusions of The Boogaloo Crew. A genuinely historic document: high five to Trouble & Bass for all the good times.
Review: If any label is going to wrap up one of grime's biggest years to date, it's Butterz. Responsible for the genre's best parties and home to artists from Swindle to Faze Miyake to Terror Danjah, Butterz are one of the most consistent and creative grime flagbearers of the game. Reading like a who's who in grime (Big Narstie, Skepta, Flowdan, Stormzy, Wiley, D Double E, Sir Spyro, Plastician, Kano, Giggs and loads more) each of the 40 tracks remind us (if we needed reminding) just how well grime has annotated and soundtracked the year. Gully.