Grime at Christmas. What could be more classic…
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November was an exceptionally busy month in the world of grime, with Japanese war dubs, ‘Lord Of The Mics V’ and a slew of releases keeping everybody on their toes.
Following the success of the well-documented series of producer battles across September, Japan's network of grime hit-makers launched their own contest, with Butterz lynchpins Elijah & Skilliam amongst those playing numerous efforts on their Rinse FM show throughout the month.
Elsewhere, on the release front, most of the headlines on the instrumental circuit were taken by stunning debut 12”s from both Murlo and MssingNo, as well as Logos’ (pictured) incredible, space-age LP ‘Cold Mission’.
Murlo’s highly anticipated ‘Last Dance’ EP was put out on white vinyl by super on-point Irish grime hub Glacial Sound, whilst MssingNo’s remarkable four-track twist on old-school RnB was harnessed by Goon Club Allstars. Logos, meanwhile, has produced one of the finest instrumental albums of the year for Keysound, a release that side-stepped genre and instead, even with grime at its core, won praise from all corners of the electronic music spectrum.
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Nottingham’s Tumble Audio were again busy too, with Boofy stepping up to the plate to deliver his hard-as-nails debut EP for the label, ‘Nank’, while promising talent Major Grave was enlisted to provide the inaugural transmission on Slackk’s new label, Sulk. Huge, orchestral strings and distorted vocal cries gave this one bags of emotional weight.
On the MC front, True Tiger and Big Narstie’s first collaborative EP, ‘Hello High’, took the majority of the headlines. Elsewhere, P Money released his new EP for Rinse, ‘Round The Clock’. Wiley was busy too, with his latest single for Big Dada, ‘Born In The Cold’, following October’s smash ‘And Again’.
On a more hype-driven note, talk once again started to turn to Lord Of The Mics ahead of its release in December. The fifth instalment of the iconic DVD clash series, featuring a headline battle between Maxsta and Lil Nasty, was scheduled to be available from December 16th. (And is, indeed, out now.)
Events wise, Keysound’s Fabric Room 3 takeover saw its roster of new grime talent out in full effect with Wen, Moleskin and Houston’s Rabit all on show-stealing form, whilst Boxed’s latest instalment played witness to JT The Goon’s first live set on CDJs alongside a further guest set from Murlo.
On the radio, Circadian Rhythms played host to a special show with Trim on mic duties, while regular slots from Butterz, Spyro, Grandmixxer and Slackk all provided essential listening across November.
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Top 5 Tunes of the Month…
True Tiger & Big Narstie – ‘Headgone’
A catchy vocal hook and polished production from scene vets True Tiger make this a natural crossover smash, but Big Narstie excels here too.
Wiley – ‘Born In The Cold’ (Mr Mitch Remix)
Following his genius ‘Peace Dub’ reworks, Mr Mitch’s remix of Wiley’s latest single was quickly backed by Big Dada, amassing nearly 70,000 plays in a little over two weeks. Safe to say he’s really found his niche – a stunning edit.
Boofy – ‘Nank’
Seriously aggy, low-end grime from Bristol maverick Boofy, which further solidifies his credentials as one of the city’s brightest new talents. Expect this one to slay a few dancefloors.
Murlo – ‘Last Dance’
A standout talent throughout 2013, Murlo’s long-awaited debut for Glacial Sound should comfortably find itself in a few end-of-year lists. A lesson in grimy romanticism, dreamy title track ‘Last Dance’ is only the tip of the iceberg. Just brilliant.
MssingNo – ‘XE2’
Anthemic, twisted RnB meets grime from hotly tipped MssingNo. Mystical and enchanting, it seems to provoke wildly euphoric, almost tearful reactions in the clubs. The pick of the bunch from his self titled debut 12” for Goon Club Allstars.
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Words: Tomas Fraser