Tuesday, 16 September 2008

'It Could Never Be War Blud'

'A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings intentionally'. So says Oscar Wilde. While admirable in sentiment, there is a distinct lack of gentlemen in this music and just as well since, after months of grimey vacuousness, the latest tiff between Dot Rotten and Little Dee doesn't only provide entertainment but an element of surprise that, for once, hasn't been contrived by Wiley.

Initially the origins of the in-fighting were unknown, despite Logan's inquisitive proddings into the sitution live on Kiss 100. Remembering Nancy was present, he subsequently donned the gentlemanly act and discarded the persona of the nosey Year 8 who wants to know who dissed the bre from Year 10's mum, suggesting whether it would be best for Littles to explain in person. The offer was embraced by P-Money and Blacks, sniggering at the illicit nature of the hostility between their own crew members.

I've always quietly rated Little Dee. He's a bit hit-and-miss with the bars but when he gets them right they're good, approaching subject-matter in a different way. Under the mission objective of sending he came out firing, pissed and bamboozled by a sneaky Dot laughing to himself while making tunes for him in the early hours of the morning. He could have kept quiet and dealt with it in private but he passed through adamant on Westwood, with the host probably not having a clue what was going on.

'Yeah, you know what Dot Rotten he did a tune for me and hid it in the studio but I felt like he had the audacity to do that for what I don't know we was in the same crew'.

Verbatim. The monosyllabic, stream-of-consciousness thought does suggest sincerity and, if this is true, he has the right to be baffled. The use of 'audacity' genuinely had me in stitches so, even if it doesn't strictly come under the 'war', Littles gets bonus points for that.

Points of note include 'I'm an OG but a guy's pissed 'cos I write and bar more', 'bring out the tazer and stun him with Voltage', and 'I'll send Dot Rotten where Young Dot is'. Desire counts for much but content can't be ignored and, personally, I do find 'my last mixtape was shit to me, but you're last mixtape was a skit to Dee's' hard to bear. Can you really say that when Dot's free download is held in generally higher esteem, in addition to R.I.P Young Dot? The refix of 'I know who you've been listening to' was good, but 'I heard some Wiley kicks in Bazook' was reckless. I felt he should have stuck to lyrics and not beats, since the beat is instantly recognisable as a Young Dot production. I personally hold Er Yeah, Bazooka, and Bread and Cheese in higher regard than Dee's career as a big name in the scene to date, so he should have left it still. Or maybe I rate Dot productions too highly...

Rotten's reply was odd, with a message of 'too hood to care star' interspersed with digs of 'you know I'm a star in the making... you're just a par and you're hating'. Dot produced two tracks and featured on mic on Don't Let the Name Trick You, yet 'you're CD it got borrowed'.

Despite the half-hearted response hopefully round two is coming soon. Where's this going? Are OGs in meltdown? Who cares. Enjoy it for what it is while it lasts.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

'I'm On a Badman Ting What's He On, Drive To Your House In a Ford Oreon'

The Rolex Sweep and its circular movements (no Chipmunk) has begun its assault on the UK Charts. The pearl 'better late than never' may provide some comfort but Skepta could well be unfashionably late for the party and not get his slice of the commercial cake.

Time moves on. Skepta has done his time, producing bangers and duppying sets, and you can't begrudge a man that has bills to pay. All the same, in the rush to make a wish and blow out the candles first, whilst hopping madly on one leg with arms raised in the air hoping to catch the eye of investors, there is lesser emphasis on bumbaclart badman and music therein (i.e grime).

Skepta - Bumbaclart Badman radio rip

*This blog used Skepta as an excuse to post some Slew Dem classics as a comparison between the grime scene now and, really, not that long ago. Apologies to Skepta are proffered*

Way Down The Road Megamix (Feat. Scorcher & Wiley) - Radio Rip

NFL - Radio Rip

Esco - Grime Remix Vocal (Radio Rip)

Friday, 5 September 2008

'Top Producer, Rude Boy, Sit On a Computer, Rude Boy'

I stumbled across an Eskimo homage today. I haven't included all of it but if you're particularly interested in this sort of thing then have a look.

'the definitive grime riddim. “Eskimo” is one of those tunes that has an anthemic, unforgettable quality about it that means that everyone falls in love with it when they hear it, or at least acknowledges that they’re in the presence of Something Special. Eskimo is like the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” of grime. And like, “Teen Spirit” it’s based around one of the greatest riffs ever. I think it’s important to see that grime is, very often, a riff-based music, which sets it apart from hip-hop, jungle and dancehall, and perhaps reflects the influence of early 90’s UK and Belgian hardcore echoing down the London pirate sound'.

I'm not very good with this talk, in the same way Priya Elan from that venerable institution The Times was eager to stress Bless's 'notable... Spanish guitar loop' on Grime Wave. All I know is that 'Eskimo' is a banger, especially with D Double E on mic centre.


Wiley has an earthier approach in this article with Blackdown, a good read in which a sincere Wiley talks about his cold and empty heart inspiring Avalanches and Snowflakes. I like Wiley but the reasoning behind using the theme of inhospitable weather features/natural disasters differs to a 1xtra interview in the run-up to the release of Wearing My Rolex , in which he says he just called the tune 'Eskimo' and so was duly obliged to rinse all things Artic in good time. Maybe that answer came from a not so cold heart given the pound signs in his eyes and a career on the rise, but it's arguable to maintain that the wintry thread that tied together the Treddin' On Thin Ice interludes was a game stab at artistic integrity and album structure. Arguable.

The 'cold heart' was a good response though, and may well have been applicable at the time. It's just another instance in which Wiley seems to make no sense but at the same time hint at profound statement. 'I got stabbed, 14 times I can tell you it weren't by gangsters... my uncle he got stabbed like twice he died I tell you he's one of them gangsters'. One of my favourite Wiley lyrics, which just shades 'Oi we're in the studio you know, if you look out of the window there's three skyscrapers, so that means something's about to get built up. Empire'.

Oh and Wiley needs to make his older instrumentals and newer ones digitally available on one or two releases. If he has, I haven't seen them. The man has a hefty repertoire.

*Pointless Wiley Top 5*

1. Igloo
2. Eskimo
3. Fire Fly
4. Ice Pole Remix
5. Morgue

Club 5, 527 am, Revenge, North London, Tunnel Vision, Ice Cream Man. Put Pingu on there as well. If it ever comes out, and if it ever comes out on Eskibeat Recordings, I will change my views on that label and its tees forever.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Silencer - Wow Base Level 1


Even if his hype is admirable at 2 on a Monday morning, it can get a little tedious but, really, the mantra is a reflection of the man. When dropped on a set, Silencer's simple yet emphatic bass-ridden beats are a highlight in an age in which radio is well down the road torwards terminal decline.

Silencer has come from a largely anonymous position in the production ranks, his breakthrough coming after his track World War 4 got extended airplay from DJ Maximum towards the end of 2007. Less than a year later, his debut EP is available on vinyl and on digital format from today.

There's only one Hollowman Jendor, and duppying on radio is a walk in the park. Going back to back with K Dot was always memorable in Essentials' heyday, and spitting over a mix, as well as riding the beat as soon as it drops, complement a bag of reload bars. Having gone through a few sets Jendor's unwittingly made his way through the whole Silencer EP, so have a listen below.

World War 4



The one remaining track, Final Lap, was harder to track down, but that's there on what's a very decent vinyl, rivalling Rude Kid's well-supported 'Are You Ready' EP on No Hats No Hoods. Radio isn't there, but at least the vinyl scene is showing small signs of revival. Silencer said a few things to Butterz.co.uk about the release, and it's refreshing to see his intensity on delivering something even better next time round. The beats are there. Jen laces a couple of others here.

The digital format harks new times, and Dot Rotten has released a bag of instrumentals on itunes and emusic amongst other places. There's no point in keeping a vast backlogue of beats. Release them and give the fans what they want.