Friday, 25 December 2009

Skepta - Been There Done That

Merry Christmas grime fans.

Perhaps it's a sad indictment of my life currently that I'm typing this instead of being buried in beer down the boozer. But some thoughts were circulating about Skepta's next release late last night, so I reasoned that I may as well channel them so I can eat turkey, unwrap yet more toiletries, and just basically get on with my day.

I think Skepta is one of the more interesting characters in the scene - his back-catalogue and topboy status, the see-saw of his two albums, and his direction over the last few years with sights at commercial coinage.

'Greatest Hits' wasn't quite what we were expecting, but it was a fair effort and, with the added luxury of hindsight, there were bangers and an exploration of concepts that boded well for future releases.

This year's 'Microphone Champion' arguably had more bangers, but thrown into the mix were conspicuous singles. It seemed to me to be unsure of what it was - Sweet Mother and Blood Sweat and Tears was the past and road rap features the here and now; Ed Hardy Party clashed with Look Out. Like his first CD, there wasn't any middle-ground.

Basically, I reckon Skepta has a really good album in him - in terms of production and lyrics - but he hasn't done it yet after a debut that hinted the right way. In some places, he took a big step back.

But for now we have a mixtape interlude and, despite the tracklist for 'Been There Done That' not being finalised yet, you're looking at something like this:

1. Been There Done That
2. Spit Big Bars
3. Blow My Own Trumpet
4. All Over The House (Feat. Shorty & Majestic)
5. Over The Top 2 (Feat. Bloodline)
6. English Breakfast
7. We Don't Give A Fuck (Feat. Juelz Santana)
8. B O Double S (Feat. Fem Fel & Julie)
9. Solo's Back (Feat. BBK)
10. Stupid (Feat. Wiley)
11. Nokia Charger Wire
12. No Love For The Other Side

Bonus Instrumentals

13. Private Caller 2
14. UFO
15. Autopsy
16. Red Bull Academy

A good tracklist, this is mostly an organic collection of tracks over time that concentrates on and caters for us. Underground bangers and big riddims? While 'Greatest Hits' and Microphone Champion' were questionable, you can't argue with this one - he has been there, done that.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Rapid - Go Rapid Video

What's good grime fans.

I love grime, but I can't lie - from time to time, my faith in the music is tested. The seeming given that music should pay; artists altering their styles but not doing themselves justice.

In the troughs I appreciate grime's few sources of inspiration. Rapid is one of them.

Rapid - Go Rapid Video

The chase in this simple yet highly polished video provides the story, but it's also a symbolic sprint. 'Go Rapid' is an upbeat yet hard-hitting statement of intent, a move away from Stuck On My Mind, I Wanna Let You Know and other bits. But these tracks can be viewed collectively:

'You've gotta have different tactics if you wanna reach out to the masses'

And, for once, the tactics used have integrity. In an underground shrouded by the 'commercial' miasma, 'Go Rapid' is just the latest experiment from one of grime's most eminent producers that really can't be too far off the desired result.

In terms of making the sound more palatable for a wider audience - and doing it credibly - Rapid is running away from the others. And provided he has enough puff - just like in 'Go Rapid' - there's no reason why he can't win the race.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Free Download: Scorcher (Feat. Terminator) - Spartan Gang

Twitter has been splurting and burping updates all year from grime's fraternity. Copious consumption of updates has contracted in the channels; a peristalsis in which morsels of beef and e-warriordom have plopped out to my considerable entertainment.

Free music has also squirmed through the system. Dot Rotten and the fifty free beats, Rinse FM exclusives, and now Scorcher is the latest to oblige.

He's given away Spartan Gang for free.

Download: Spartan Gang

One of the best grime tracks this year, Myspace as an outlet for music is being set to one side. Expect Twitter to throw up a couple more bangers in the not too distant future.