Sunday, 29 March 2009

Wiley Interview with Ras Kwame

Ras Kwame proved the solitary soldier early on Sunday and, with an hour's less sleep, he bossed the airwaves in fair fashion given the circumstances. He probably woke up a little bit more when Wiley decided to turn up out of the blue.

Wiley Interview With Ras Kwame

Listen on iPlayer for better quality sound from about an hour and eight minutes. There's a very brief a capella, a track called Untrustworthy, and another song produced by Y.Wizz.

Given the Sunday surprise, a bit was said about Wiley's unreliability, and how he's "gotta try and get rid of that stigma." The conversation swiftly turned to music proper, and apparently Wiley has made a hit in the "last two days". Tinchy Stryder has confirmed it by lacing the track with his vocals already. Will was listening to it this morning laughing which, as well as being a hilarious image, could mean grime artists in the top 10 (again) sharpish.

I'm not going to comb over everything that was said but Wearing My Rolex, and the consequent stacks of Nike shoe-boxes full of money and a 'See Clear Now' detour, has given him the freedom to make the album the way he wants.

"You can expect to hear an album that I went to studio and enjoyed making number one... basically, I didn't have no-one in my ear, I done what I wanted to do, which I'm happy about. I spent my own money, and I'm happy bruv."

Ghetts said on Logan Sama's show a few weeks back that, wherever Sing 4 Me charted, he still benefited from the experiece, and he'll still be bigger than he would have been before the process.

Wearing My Rolex and Sing 4 Me have had better receptions than Chip Diddy Chip, but charting at Number 21 means Alwayz Recordings have a stash of cash that can be invested in other MCs on its label. Dirtee Stank has wonga after Dance Wiv Me, and the Newham Generals have musical support as well as added financial clout behind them as a result.

Commercial-focused tracks may result in turning the radio down, but it's outweighed by some much-needed cash coming into the scene and hopefully resultant stability from a firmer infrastructure, especially regarding labels.

Still, I wouldn't mind seeing Wiley and Tinchy charting high together. It would be like the good old days. Well a bit different actually. But the mentor and the pupil, originals, penning hits years down the line is special, isn't it?

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Revolver - Grime's Son Review

'Grime's Son', the debut mixtape from North London's Revolver, pulls no punches. Where 140 Grime Street and the highligted 'grime' on its cover misleads, Grime's Son stays true to its fifteen track path until the finish. In the current climate of cross-over Chip Diddy Chips, Revolver offers his own antidote as respite. It's too strong.

The full-effects take time to set in, so Z Dot's opening, laid-back production on Exposure, and the more intense one for the following You Don't Know What Hard Is, get things off to a good start.

It's not soon after that the CD fully lives up to its title. Grime's Son is straight gutter. Of course, I very much enjoy a spot of greaze in the safe confines of my bedroom, but here it's relentless and, consequently, heavy listening. Respirator epitomises the CD's mood, with a blunt hook that claps you on the head like a frying pan. The beat is effective, but probably too much so; Brizzo The Warlord's claustrophobic production drones in your ears and it's all a little unsettling. The following Crews Firing has similar traits. The greaze and dark production do conjure an atmosphere, but its ruthless and chilling.

Perhaps that's why I enjoyed Battle Scarz so much. The track assumes a personal and retrospective angle, with an emphasis on loss that gives sincere emotion. The song is my favourite on the CD, and it's a very good track that could stand on its own merit anywhere. Escape is similar, and again one of my favourites. Revolver switches things further by adapting his greaze to more comic ends and Controlling The War, with sends for Cookie and Wiley, is a highlight on a dubstep backdrop which isn't as acute as earlier productions.

Revolver has gone all out on an unapologetic grime release which, in itself, will make it memorable, and I appreciate his approach with Grime's Son. Maybe I just have to find some balls from somewhere, but nevertheless this is gutter. I'm gonna have a lie down now.

Grime's Son is available now from Uptown Records, OT Music Store and Rhythm Division

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

"Right Now I'm Working On An Album, When It Comes Out It's Gonna Sell Like It's One Pound"

Having listened to a fair few radio sets in my time, I can say without much doubt that live radio can't be replicated. It's an immediate form, and Ghetts punching Silencer's Dirtbag right on the nose to start the set would have been even more gully in the moment.

This afternoon I willingly immersed myself into the Kisskube, arguably the clumsiest-named radio player on the net and, similar to David Blaine's willing immersion into that cube over the Thames, I found I couldn't get out. Every time I go into the Kube my computer freezes and whizzes frantically, as if on the wrong end of a virtual punch-up. It was a slog but things eventually got going, with even some new music to kick-off.

Roll Deep - Roll Deep Rally

J2K continues to breathe vitality into the entourage and, with the upbeat Swindle production, this is a nice little tune. Scratchy and Riko have featured quite a bit on the pirates recently, and hopefully recent momentum can be brought to the crew as a whole.

Still, where's Killa P?

Swindle's productions are at Spyro's mercy in a recent set with Purple and Realist. Have a listen. His instrumental CD, 'Cirriculum Vitae', is out on 30th March. Three days before, OT Crew's 'Left To Rot' should have landed. This should be on it.

O.T Crew - Military Strength (Radio Rip)

Dogzilla and Devlin have also been active on the pirates recently, as has Trim, who was Logan's first guest. He talked all yardie, emphasising his claims that he's one of, if not the best, yardie spitter in the game. An honourable mention was reserved for Doctor, and Riko was paternally referred to as 'the daddy'. I paused for thought.

Where's Killa P?

Ghetts had a laugh on the set while maintaining high levels of spitting. Wretch can still rhyme on grime with ease. It was a nice vibe, although it was compromised by the beat before Club 5. Someone tell me what it is. Please. It's driving me fucking mad.


Download the set here


RAPID // ???????????
????????? // ???????????

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Ghetts - Came In The Game

It's been a while.

Well, a bit longer than I would have liked really. As a result, I feel a bit sheepish in crawling back to the blogosphere so it's quick ones today.

Ghetts went to Maida Vale, courtesy of the BBC, and performed an exclusive track. Ras was waiting and with the camera rolling pronounced, just in case there was any doubt, that we're in the 'presence of greatness'. I strained to see whether Nelson Mandela had hobbled in through the backdoor, or if Mother Teresa was sitting all reflective in the corner of the studio, but no sign. I can only commend Ras's enthusiasm.

I can join him really, because I really like this track.

Ghetts - Came In The Game

To Ghetts' credit he didn't get too excited, and refrained from referring to himself as, erm, 'the Champion' for instance. For one thing, it would have been highly unoriginal given Skepta's liberal use of the c-word last week on Logan's show. Things have been said about arrogance, things have been said about necessary bravado. I agree with both, but the way Skepta that used the word more and more, only for it to sound more farcical with every extra use, just seemed to twist into an unintended, mocking self-satire which was sickly amusing.

Well, in my opinion anyway.