Tuesday, 24 February 2009

"I'm The Best Street Fighter Since Ken"

Big Rem passed through Logan's show last night, but I was nearly distracted by the rambunctious 'Street Fighter 4' talk. Hadoukens and all sorts. I feel shamefully out of the loop, so I've just consoled myself with the fact that if the game isn't a cartridge, which you sometimes have to blow air into to make it work, then it isn't real Street Fighter.

You're lucky that there was no 'SNES Live' or what not back in the day because I would have whacked you up with Blanka still.

Big Rem could well have been out of the loop as well, given the pronounced silence on, for instance, Zangief actually having some damaging moves now, and Rem blustered in demanding Rude Kid and Nocturnal beats. Silencer's too, which wasn't so much Street Fighter as more Killer Instinct.

Download the set here. I missed some beats, but I couldn't be arsed to listen back so any help would be appreciated.


RUDE KID // ??????
RUDE KID // ??????
NOCTURNAL // ??????

There was new music from Skepta, and Sticks and Stones should feature on 'Microphone Champion', as well as on a double a-side release with Sunglasses At Night.

Skepta - Sticks and Stones (Radio Rip)

There was also new music from Trim, and his anticipated Soulfood Volume 4 is released on 2 March. In terms of content, 'Trousers' seems to be a scraping of the barrel but I still expect big things from the CD.

Trim - Da Phone Call (Radio Rip)

Trim - Trousers? (Radio Rip)

And some Scorcher to finish.

Scorcher - Pay Per View (Radio Rip)

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

"I Am The Champion Pass Me The Trophy, Don't Act Stupid Like You Don't Know Me"

Don't be dopey. I ripped some other tunes but it just didn't seem right to post them given the occasion.

******************BLOODLINE SPECIAL*******************

Bloodline - Out There Remix (Radio Rip)

Big H - Street Crime UK Track (Radio Rip)

Paper Pabs - I'll Be Into Winning (Radio Rip)

Milli Maja - Murder Somebody (Radio Rip)


I must confess that in the safe confines of my room ,with its distinct lack of sharp objects, I revelled in the road-rap and its abundant, unmitigated greaze. I do enjoy this genre, with its traditional grime content and no real pretensions. The laid-back, monotone but strangely engaging delivery of Giggs, or even the mumbles of Morrison, contrast to the impeccable Big H flow and Maja's angry style which are very much grime. Prancehall wrote a piece for the Guardian Urban Music blog about 'thugged-out UK rap' so have a butchers.

There's no point in beating about the bush; Logan's show used to be a tad boring really, but the sets have been brilliant in the last three months or so, with a fair few surprises chucked in too so fair play to him.

The set was top-notch, for its novelty value and consistently hype selection. The MCs just got on with it with no clamour for reloads. The DJ had more freedom, more beats were played, and the set could just flow. Everyone's happy.

Big H's Street Crime UK is dropping at the end of March, and Bloodline's Blood-Related on 21 April 2009.

Download the set here.


RUDE KID // ???

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Can't Test My Crew Nah They're Dreaming

The Newham Generals are being pampered by the big, papery arms of the Observer Music Monthly. Dressing up as doctors and being labelled as Dizzee's 'proteges' are small-fry, with the further coverage adding to one of the best grime album promotions to date.

Slick videos and Bell Dem viral controversy have complimented natural, increasing anticipation for an album that has been years in the waiting. The latest party trick is not a mere podcast, but a Dirtee Stank 'Cast'; Semtex is graciously given a chance to exorcise his South London howler from a while back, and crooner Chrome is wedged on at the end so that he doesn't ruin things too much.

But the Generals have always been on radio, in addition to touring all over the country and beyond. But with their new album comes fresh direction and purpose. Looking at the last six months, perhaps the same invigoration can be seen in the grime crew generally.

Little Nasty and Griminal are the young, dynamic core hauling up the weighty name of NASTY, supported by the highly unlikely return of Sharkey Major. Nasty Jack had one of the best releases in 'Shotta Music' last year and, with Stormin, he's keeping up appearances on Urban FM TV.

Slew Dem's Shorty Smalls seems more on music now than I can remember for a while, and Tempz continues to ride his own hype-machine in the run-up to his anticipated '2000 & Paaax'. Spooky is continually adding to his mixes archive, and his recent Oneaway Music set with G-Man heralds the MC's forthcoming debut mixtape, 'Hard Hustlin'.

Cold Blooded had a nice little reunion last month, and there's talk of The Movement coming back together again. To top off the teetering cake, the OT Crew turned up to Rinse last night with Dogzilla mentioning 'goosebumps' on his return to the station. The crew's CD 'Left To Rot' is planned for release on 27 March.

Why now? I'm not really sure, but it does go hand-in-hand with the general rise of radio within the last few months. Grime's traditional outlet has been bolstered by the novelty of Westwood's 1Xtra Rap Show wearing increasingly thin, and the refurbishment of its YouTube channel has undermined one of the show's main initial strengths.

Also, this is all happening at the expense of Boy Better Know, who for the last few years have formed the centre-point of grime's weekly radio schedule, and occupied the position of its most recognised crew. With Skepta and Wiley not so focused on the underground at the moment and other crews showing new intent, maybe the scene's structure is changing and becoming just a little bit more open.

Maybe nothing is changing; this could just be a big flash in the pan, a happy coincidence that all of these crews are making big, simultaneous noise. Either way, I'm not complaining.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

"I'll Start Smashing Up Your Mixing Desk...Until It Can't Be Repaired"

After last week's white powder proliferation, and Logan geared up for radio only to be denied access like an MC turning up to Marcus Nasty's funky show, I was cruelly denied my weekly fix of Next Hype. I locked in last night, fighting off lingering tiredness, only for the instrumental to pop out its grinning face with mere minutes remaining.

Still, this wasn't an ordinary show, and last week's postponement inadvertently highlighted the point.


Rapid (Feat. Ghetto) - One Way Road (Radio Rip)

Rapid continues to dabble with autotune, following from Bring Your Click and Superman, but as an MC he's added intensity and beginning to make a mark on tracks. Hopefully his album arrives soon.

Badness (Feat. God's Gift) - Jump Off (Radio Rip)

I never used to rate Badness, but he's been doing impressive things for a good few months now. This is a great track, almost like a more credible Message Is Love. His album is due for release next month, and it might be worth a look.

Dot Rotten & Brutal - I'm A Professional Remix (Radio Rip)

The original, from my favourite mixtape last year, 'R.I.P Young Dot', was a straight skip. I like the remix though, and Brutal continues to improve every time I hear him. Hopefully it's not too late for another attempt at '10% Effort'.


DJ Spyro was the guest, only the second after his good mate DJ Mak 10. He wasted no time in making a brave stance against the Sama monarchy, hastily proclaiming that he's mixed for three years longer, despite being four years Logan's junior. Been mixing since he was eleven, apparently. When I was eleven, I was just trying to get home in one piece and avoid beatings from the olders at school.

Spyro even used to pratise on the kitchen table, which raised faint memories of December 4th on Jay-Z's 'Black Album' and a young Carter knocking on the table, rapping.

"At four, he taught his-self how to ride a bike; a two-wheel at that. Isn't that special?"

I can appreciate a mother's pride, as well as a precocious, wide-eyed Jay-Z careering down hills and wallowing in his new-found, two-wheeled freedom but, to be fair, the mix was arguably more special. Every mix wasn't flawless, but just the novelty value was enough.

Maybe next time if Logan and Spyro did it on unicycles, with perfect mixing throughout. That would be special, as I'm sure Ms Carter would agree.

Download the set here.

Friday, 6 February 2009

"I'm Doing The Damn Thing Not Ramping Trust I'm A Champion"

The growing bulk of instrumental CDs has put on a couple more pounds in the last week and the latest title, 'Nocstrumentals', makes it clear which producer is the latest to tip the scales.

Despite the omissions of In A Corner Remix, Back In A Big Way and Best Music, Nocturnal's CD is a very solid release. The opening My People sets the tone and the OGs' vocal, which will feature on Nocturnal's debut album 'The Sleepless Knight', suggests a union with further promise.

OGs - My People (Radio Rip)

Davinche's 'Dirty Canvas: The Legacy' still stands imperious above the rest, yet the Nocstrumentals hold their own against the fair height of D.O.K's 'Document' and Low Deep's 'The Instrumentals'. Despite a nod to Ripperman's Rubble on Bun Man, and an even bigger nod to Maniac's Star In Da Making Remix on Who You Talking To?, Nocstrumentals is a bold collection which is tied by the producer's signature sound; a unity that is so strongly adhered to that it lacks the versatility of Dot's 'Rotten Riddims' or the variety of Terror Danjah's 'Zip Files'.

The Nocstrumentals' ties to the present is its main advantage over the rest. Dot's, D.O.K's and Terror's releases came out of nowhere and, while digital releases of Bassline Massacre, Big Bang and Frontline Remix gave a retrospective satisfaction, Nocturnal's CD sees the light of day as he continues to ride his rising wave of progress and standing within the scene; a journey that was jump-started when Ghetts was Ghetto, spitting in front of admirable double-glazing.

Ghetto Over Nocturnal's Back In A Big Way - Risky Roadz Clip

Furthermore, the recent Wiley/Goodz and Rinse/Jeeday Jawz spats, as well as Goodz's 'Ultrasound' release, have provided additional promotion and current clout: Rinse's reply to Jeeday was over Stop, and Panties, Bras, Coke and Cameras on Don't Phone Me; a beat which has been repeatedly spun by Logan Sama over the last three months, and the vocal of the same name, featuring Ghetto and Griminal, is currently receiving wide airplay.

In this context, the instrumental CD is changing. 'Tinchy Stryder Vs Maniac' had an innovative concept, ushering forward the producer and promoting recent beats. Swindle's forthcoming instrumental CD should do the same, highlighting a trend of looking forwards as opposed to trawling the archives. The next Rotten Riddims should also have recent beats, yet the unique slinging-out of six, rapid-fire installments, complete with standard filler, goes against the final, polished products of Zip Files, Document and Nocstrumentals.

Now, it's almost obligatory for upcoming MCs to release a mixtape to prove themselves and their credentials. But, in a few years, will the same emphasis by placed on the producer? Probably not quite, but now a firm precedent has been established for instrumental releases. Just as well really, because I really enjoy these CDs.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Snow Follows Me

It's all quite romantic at first. Floating and swirling in the air, descending with poise and elegance. The snow wraps up all below, and your understanding of the environment - roads, car-parks, maybe a patch of grass - merges into an indistinct mass of whiteness.

Lovely isn't it.

Guys have to make the standard snowballs, trample a bit, drive about town, and the atmospheric scene turns into a slosh. Grime's novelty, feeling and atmosphere of a former time, one in which 'Treddin' On Thin Ice' belonged, has thawed. Puddles form and the sparse beats, so indicative of the time and place in which they were created, have sunk to the bottom.

Dot Rotten is, to me, one of the very few who has a sense of emotion and atmosphere in his music and, continuing with the frosty thread, here's a brief clip of the tune he played on his Genesis Radio show. The hook is basic, but I like the tune.

Ice Kid (Feat. Dot Rotten) - Respect

Wiley's eski-beat classics, and even the former battle with Doogz on the Igloo riddim, are now housed in Club 5 as the scene slides ever more to the dancefloor.

================THE WAR REPORT===============

Wiley - Conspiracy

The dub isn't characteristic for Wiley, since the reply wasn't immediate. The Australia tour may be partly the reason for that, but this is still the the obligatory reply for credibility.

There's nothing wrong with a draw. Two of the best slugged it out, kicked up some excitment and showed the scene's levels in the process.

'You want your name in the king of grime conversation they ain't saying it'.

But in terms of competition between Wiley and Goodz, is this the last word?