Review: After last year's On My Mind release with Flava D, Royal T is back on Butterz with another sure shot of grimey pressure. As well as the instrumental beats, "Shotta" comes in two versions voiced by P Money and Footsie respectively with very different results. P Money brings a fierce and fiery delivery that pushes the already-hype track into dangerous levels of liveliness, while Footsie takes a more restrained approach with no less presence in his flow. Aside from those show-stealers, Royal T gets to stretch his legs on playful garage house interlude "Limbo" and the adventurous climes of "Glacier" with its melting pot of influences feeding into a truly diverse jam.
Review: A massive eight-track release on No Hats No Hoods. "1 Up" is an 8-bit bleepy computer game-referencing slab of the murkiest business imaginable, which gets remixed by Martin Kemp into a quirky little ditty, with pared down beats n bass, plenty of percussion, and Rocks, who roughs things up good and proper with choppy beats and dramatic synth sweeps. Original piece "Mega" is a heavy, synth-laden piece with ominous overtones, whilst J Beatz's interpretation brings out the cinematic drama. "Beatfighter" sees Royal T return to the 8-bit bleeps, which Bok Bok accentuates with some grouchy bass in his remix. Final cut "Gargoyle" is a low-slung riddim with buckets of character, and Silencer's remix is a killer.
Review: Royal T and Flava D step out with their first collaborative outing. An outing that's been so fruitful, it's spawned three different versions. Rub one is all about the classic 4/4 UKG vibes as the beats slap and tickle beneath a series of jazzy organ hits. The much darker, ruder rub two flexes back to the turn of the century when grime, breaks and garage were enjoying one of the finest three-ways UK music has ever experienced. Finally we hit rub three, all foaty, skippy and dreamy, it's a two-step journey into the most luxuriant of dancefloor pastures. What a collaboration, we've got Royal T and Flava D on our minds in a major way!
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.
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!