It’s been a while. There’s a heavy instrumental contingent for this month, as well as lots of fire from Brazil. As always: buy, stream, share and play loud.
Footsie – King Original, Vol. 5
The grind never stops, even in a global pandemic. “King Original, Vol.5” is Footsie’s second full-length release of the year, as well as the fifth instalment of his now long-running mixtape series. Like any soundman worth their salt Footsie builds ‘Got Cheese’, ‘For Free’ and ‘Still Spooky’ upon strong foundations of bass and percussion, with the garnish coming from each reverb-soaked jolt, click and stab, which sound as though they’ve travelled to the cosmos and back again. Elsewhere ‘Black & White’ sails from the speaker with an uninhibited brass riff, begging for a DJ to set up the through ball for a top-level emcee; while ‘The Massage Riddim’ is airy sino-grime to a tee. Turn these tunes up loud.
Grandmixxer – Fearless Revolutionary Music
If you’re a regular reader of the blog, then you’ll know of my love for Grandmixxer productions. “Fearless Revolutionary Music” builds on his usual template: grinding percussion, minimal structure and weird melodies. ‘Colliding Squares’ climbs the mountain with ascending square wave notes, peaking with a viscous remodelling of those same squares. ‘Windrush VIP — Starship Mix’ is a devil mix type take on a track released back in July. With the drums taken away, the melodies are left to stand alone, shimmering from the headphones with a defiant feel. Two solid productions from Grandmixxer here, a producer who’s craft gets weirder with each release, all in the best way.
Travis-T & Lyrical Strally – Street Frequency 003
I’ve enjoyed every release on Street Frequency so far. If you’re not up to speed, the label is a new venture from Travis-T, featuring vocal cuts with Mez and Lyrical Strally, as well as instrumental cuts from Travis’ vaults. ‘High St Bubblin’ is the third release on the label, and there’s a clear mission statement with the tune: percussion that gets the body moving, bass by the truck-load and a set of party-ready bars. Overall, it’s great to see producers make lanes for themselves and hopefully once the pandemic has lifted, this one will light up dances as it should.
Sir Spyro & Rude Kid – Rude Sounds
“Rude Sounds” is the latest from Sir Spyro & Rude Kid, combining their styles over six tracks. My favourite here is ‘Rude Sounds’. There are sci-fi-like sounds all over this one, straight from the same playbook Rude Kid used on classics like ‘UFO Mode’. The melody and bass mesh well, switching between deep, acidic tones and a more standard overdriven tone. ‘Win The Ting’ has a bass line from the depths, really getting going when the two slip in some industrial one-shots among the rest of the elements. “Rude Sounds” closes with two solo tracks from each producer, ‘Windy’ and ‘Chase It’, both high energy and ready to kill the speakers. An EP from one heavyweight grime producer is always great, so to have two on the same one is even better.
Sam Binga & Snowy – Run / Now Do You
I first came on to Snowy’s music way back, when he was spitting on freestyle channels earlier on in his career. Over the years he’s developed into a great emcee, one that can flow over different beats and match whichever instrumental he’s barring over. ‘Run’ is pretty straight forward: eight-bar styles with some bracing hits, loosely delivered bars, both at a tempo that gets you in the mood for fun. Elsewhere, there’s a funky cut from producer Sam Binga that draws for gut shaking percussion and stretched out samples. Go and grab “Run / Now Do You” for maximum vibes.
ANTCONSTANTINO – DEATH DROP
Antconstantio describes “DEATH DROP” as a drill track inspired by vouge and ballroom culture. To me, it captures the mood of drill more than it does the energy of ballroom, but it also sounds like the type of track that could wind up on a DJ Oblig set with a couple of grime emcees going back to back over it. The rest of the EP consists of remixes of the original track; with diniBoy adding grime-like stabs, choppy percussion and weird samples to energise the track. Elsewhere, Meio Feel adds breaks to the original melody, resulting in a cool drill meets jungle hybrid by way of Brazil. If you love hybrid sounds, this one’s for you, a nice insight into some of the producers leading the charge for Brazil’s underground scene.
diniBoy – World Dini War
“World Dini War” is the latest release from producer diniBoy. The record is the instrumental version of his EP of the same name, which was released back in July. My favourite here is ‘Identidade’, a departure from the relatively minimal and old school grime inspired ‘Guerra’ and ‘100 KM/H’. ‘Identidade’ kicks off with rapid-fire drum lines before dropping into a massive bass drop, decorated with twitching zips and muffled samples. It’s all energy, perfect for losing your shit to and forgetting what the hell is going on for a couple of minutes.
TONCALi – DUBS PERDIDOS
TONCALi’s latest release is titled “DUBS PERDIDOS”, made up of three dubs he produced during the quarantine. ‘DELORIS’ is the stand out for me: the drums hit hard, but the vocal sample that pops up through the course of the track gives things an edge. Closing track ‘CRAUDIADO’ is also a favourite, carried by thick basslines and hypnotic riffs, but animated by the subtle samples in the background.
Yescal – Place For The Soul
Yescal’s “Place For The Soul” dips into the conceptual without getting engulfed. Inspired by cyberpunk anime and made during the quarantine, the record takes from grime and bass to create a range of sounds — some delicate and some heavy. After a dissonant intro, the dainty melodies of ‘Entry’ float on and on; while ‘Misato Race’ starts off dark before abruptly switching to robotic melodies that spiral out in all directions. Overall, “Place For The Soul” shows a producer with plenty of cool ideas and the talent to execute them.
Dexplicit – Digital Monk
Dexplicit needs no introduction at this point, responsible for a lot of everyone’s favourite grime instrumentals. His last two releases have been intense, string-led productions with insane production values, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when “Digital Monk” was announced, which is no bad thing. The record keeps the sound quality high, swapping out the grime sounds with smooth melodies that borrow from video game and 80s inspired soundtracks. ‘Digital Monk’ and ‘Bohemian’ still keep a bassy edge; while ‘Millenial Rhapsody’ and ‘Aerospace’ delve further into the synth pool. For the former, think the Scarface OST and Tony Montana dodging his enemies, without the cheese. For the latter, it’s downtempo riffs and bass with plenty of layers. “Digital Monk” is a slight departure from Dexplicit’s previous work, but that doesn’t mean it bangs any less.