Varied one this month, vocal and instrumental grime to UKG to rap. Also, I would like to send a get well soon to Terror Danjah, who is unfortunately suffering from a bout of ill health, stream or buy his latest one as it is very good.
Terror Danjah – Invasion
Grime legend Terror Danjah lands on Tru Thoughts for an take on grime and bass. ‘TBC’ is an understated banger, as plush sax lines riff over hard bodied bass and smooth as you like 808s. For ‘Wavy’, glassy melodies are underpinned by minimal drum lines; while ‘Nightmare’ turns up the heat for a heady dose of sound system madness. Rapid percussion lines are the centre point of ‘Last Days’, accelerating underneath spacious synth work. The mission to place grime as a viable form of dance music has always stood out in Terror Danjah’s work, and it doesn’t stop on latest album ‘Invasion’.
Coco – Regional Murker
Coco is an MC from the steel city who has been building his name for a while. His latest clocks in at four tracks, sound hopping through a few different styles. Hooks and melody are aplenty on this EP, and opening track ‘What Can You Do’ has Coco hot stepping over the beat at dizzying pace. ‘409’ dials down the tempo for zoned out grime, while standout track ‘Regional Murker’ marries grime’s low end grit with the shock out energy of bassline. ‘Crowd Reaction’ is the closer, with Conducta and C4 bringing all the UKG melody to mesh nicely with Coco’s skippy flow.
Proc Fiskal – Shleekit Doss
Proc Fiskal’s latest for Hyperdub is a potent antidote against the sometimes dour virus of self serious electronic music. It’s fun and vibrant, with standout track ‘Pico’ delivering just over five minutes of colourful melodies and breaks that come out of nowhere. ‘Smiths Deli’ and ‘2 Moros’ venture over to the grimier side of things, full of nimble percussion and spiky synths at suped up tempos. Ultimately, the tracks on ‘Shleekit Doss’ are never static. They move forward at all times, feeling like living, breathing songs rather than staying at one plane as they trickle out of the speakers.
Onhell – Kill Your Self Doubt
Terroryhthm have never been a label to move sideways, and ‘Kill Your Self Doubt’ only wants to look forward. The first few tracks lead us down a quarry of square waves, the pick of the bunch being ‘Graveyard Shift’. Trim lays down a hell-raising vocal, while the distorted lead runs are ear-bleeding in the best kind of way. ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘No Bad Notes’ channel extreme metal and free jazz respectively. While at times they feel a bit over the top in places, they start to make sense when you view the record as a piece of catharsis. It’s a record that might disrupt people that like their music straight forward, but you can hear a producer trying plenty out plenty of ideas and enjoying them in the process.
Various Artists – Lovegrime
Antennatera are a grime collective from Nottingham, focused on pushing out sounds from the instrumental sphere. Their latest release is the whopping, twenty track strong compilation ‘Lovegrime’. The release pools in many producers known on the underground, each beat smith turning in a track heavy on the melody. It’s the type of grime we really don’t get enough of, and doesn’t rely on the oft rehashed choppy R&G tropes that are often released. There’s dark, progressive melodic grime; sample led, hip hop style grime and more to get your teeth into on this one.
J. Sparrow – Single Time / VHS
Coyote have the space age aesthetic down to a tee, and ‘Single Time / VHS’ fits snugly into the wider sound they try to push. The sharp zaps of ‘Single Time’ make for a lean grime machine, plenty going on to induce maximum gun fingers, but minimal enough for an MC to potentially body the instrumental. ‘VHS’ is the more progressive of the two, built around a subtly delayed lead line and eventually journeying into warm synth lines.
Wize – preFormat #1
Three tracks of heat from Wize, here. The stand out is final track ‘Get Down’, a driving rap cut that sees Wize flow on a million. ‘Too Much’ is a soulful number, with deft production that gleams from the speakers.
TC4 – Ola
Just in time for the end of summer comes ‘Ola’, a three tracker by producer/DJ duo TC4. It’s a collection of choppy UKG bits, balancing sweet melodies with just enough grit. Hit play on this one when it’s lashing it down, because it’s sure to bring some of those summer vibes back around.