Lemzly Dale – Rare Snacks
Bristol’s impact on the underground electronic music world is well documented, and Lemzly Dale is one of its key players in the modern era. His style spans grime, dubstep and R&G, and you can find most of his work on his own label Pearly Whites, as well as others like Sector 7 and Durkle Disco. “Rare Snacks” is a beat tape comprised of eight tracks created in the years 2016 to 2019. The texture is king, here, as Lemzly blends lush melodies, samples and unconventional sounds. The result? Tracks that bang in the club and feel airy and light, imbuing an irreverence and sense of care-free fun into the grime template. Snappy drum lines noodle away on ‘Gordo’; while ‘Sun Exotic’ leads with a raspy sax line, swapping out the usual thousand-chops-a-minute style of R&G for something a little more physical. Elsewhere, ‘Printerlude’ builds a track from, well, the sounds of a printer. It goes off, showing a producer with a keen ear for a sample. “Rare Snacks” is a spirited listen from front to back, and if these tracks are taken from his computer, we can’t wait to hear him in full-whack album mode.
Handsome Boys – And The Award Goes To
Handsome Boys started life as a collaborative radio show between producers Moleskin and Boardgame James, and the two have taken the next step, venturing into a joint production duo with an EP released on label 1000Doors. “And The Award Goes To” is an undoubtedly R&G record, excelling in porting all the feelings of euphoria that come from a great R&B record into a very UK, very grime-esque template. Tracks like ‘Handsome Anthem’ and ‘And The Award Goes To’ are full-fat, sweet songs full of dreamy melody lines; while standout ‘Take Your Time’ flips the mood a little for a darker, more club-focused take on the sound. Valentines Day has been and gone, but you can serenade your sweet one to the tracks on ‘And The Award Goes To’ for the rest of this year and the coming years after.
Tre Mission x Litewrks – BARE005
Canadian label Bare Selection have been putting music out since 2018, with previous releases coming from MoreNight, Manga St Hilare and more. Their latest record – the fifth record in their back catalogue – taps Tre Mission and Litewrks for a three-track release spanning grime, UKG and drill. Opening track ‘Balotelli’ leads with mazy clap patterns; while Tre Mission’s ‘Cafe is Dark’ skitters around like nobodies business. Litewrks’ ‘God Body’ is the final track, a moody and sparse beat built around distorted bass and subtle melodies that twinkle away in the background. There are plenty of rap styles getting bigger by the moment in the UK, and it feels like many rappers would prefer to try their hand at each one or spit over something less easy to define. Although this record is solely instrumental – Tre Mission and Litewrks take the same approach – creating hybrid tracks where the mood is the jump-off point instead of historical sounds or concrete genre conventions.
Hypna – Data Recovery
Hypna is a producer from Belgium, his music falling into the unquantifiable area where instrumental grime and ‘club’ music meet. His latest record – titled Data Recovery – is the first release for underground music blog Insert, who have made the jump into putting out physical music. The EP is based around a light concept, each track is designed to be reserved for a specific time and place in the club. Two ambient mood pieces bookend the EP, but the real fun starts in the middle, as Hypna deploys heavy drums, chaotic samples and big bass drops for second track ‘Infrared’. ‘Motion Sensor’ ups the ante by using blistering sounds for a sensory overload, peak time club record. Overall, “Data Recovery” is a fun slice of out-there instrumental grime, careful to not get lost in any sort of huge concept and let the music do the talking.
Filthy Gears – Pure Filth Vol.1
Midlands-based producer Filthy Gears has perfected a trap-infused style of grime from the same lineage as the likes of Silencer and Trends. His latest release – titled Pure Filth Vol.1 – is an album’s worth of instrumentals, made even more astonishing when you realise he put out a vocal album last month, and he still has quality material like this to release at the drop of a hat. Stand out track ‘WO’ features heavy-artillery drums and warped bass, while a steady drone of haunted choir samples linger in the background, each element combining to create a truly pulverising grime instrumental. Elsewhere, ‘Hot Sand’ shows Filthy’s flair for creating atmosphere, leading with an eastern-like melody and chopped up vocal samples. Work rate is often used by grime artists to signify how advanced musically they are, but when the tunes aren’t up to scratch it feels misguided. Filthy Gears makes and releases music at a crazy rate, and clearly, the work rate is important to him. What sets him apart from most is the fact he can match the volume with genuinely good tunes.
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