Flowdan & Abstrakt Sonance – No Celebrations
The latest record from Flowdan is a four-track EP made in collaboration with dubstep producer Abstrakt Sonance. The latter has worked with Killa P and Trigga in the past, so it’s a link-up that makes sense given Flowdan’s taste for instrumentals that find influence from various sound system styles. ‘Banging Like A 45’ is a Flowdan track dedicated to a special woman, subject matter that feels like new territory for an emcee who usually talks about tearing down raves and how grim life in the U.K is. The signature Flowdan sound remains, though, as the beat is full of unfurling eastern motifs; atmospheric bass and spacious delivery. Elsewhere, ‘Come From’ and ‘Stash’ continue Flowdan’s musical inquiry into life in modern-day Britain; while he rallies at his opposition on closing track ‘Duppy n Win’. “No Celebrations EP” is a good addition to Flowdan’s back catalogue, so grab this one for textured beats, varied subject matter and creative flows.
Becky On The Beat – Kinks
Becky On The Beat has been releasing grime singles and projects every few months. Her latest EP – titled “Kinks” – is her best so far, the title and artwork feeling like an antidote to the sometimes self-serious world of instrumental grime. ‘Kinks’ and ‘Murder Dem’ draw you in with earworm lead lines; while shimmering bass lines, gunshot samples and the odd chaotic switch-up keep you coming back for more. Stand out track ‘Stone Love’ is a collaboration with Filthy Gears, leading with a heady spring coil-like pulse of bass. Again, there’s detail in the background: the two chop up abrupt brass samples and percussion hits, creating alien soundscapes grime producers do best. Grab “Kinks” to hear the sound of a producer who’s no slouch with the melodies and understands that subtle effects go a long way to giving a track depth.
BLVCK COVVBOYS – Pugilism & Showerman
BLVCK COVVBOYS is a producer from the USA. Hardcore fans will know him from 2017’s “Rachel” EP and his “Gunslinger” EP that Crown Jules released in 2018. Both records featured lost in a dream, hazy grime instrumentals with textures more likely to be heard in shoegaze or dream pop. His two latest EP’s – titled “Pugilism” and “Showerman” – are part of a big upload of music to his Bandcamp page for Bandcamp day, so I’ve grouped them as one for clarity. On “Pugilism”, ‘Bernard Manning Riddim’ features grime meets trap sonics with smooth as you like percussion; while ‘Ward Gatti 1 Riddim’ blends a rocket fuel bass line with hypnagogic swashes of melody in the background. “Showerman” features two versions of the same tune, and what stood out to me on both mixes was the fact that BLVCK COVVBOYS pushes the boundary of what a grime instrumental can sound like, without going over the edge. You can imagine these popping up in a mix, but there’s enough dreamy synth work going on in the background to make them stand out from the rest. Grab “Pugilism” and “Showerman” for grime music with a misty-eyed twist.
Lucent & Buggsy – Originate
Lucent is a producer from Liverpool who has released music on a few bass music labels, and Buggsy is an emcee from Bristol. The latter has been at it for a while but is most recently known for a blistering version of ‘French Montana Riddim’, which I Am Grime released last year. ‘Originate’ – released via Durkle Disco – is a full-tilt hybrid banger, going hard on the percussion, sound effects and of course, the bars. Zed Bias contributes both a remix of the vocal and a dub mix, the latter standing out by cutting up bits of Buggsy’s bars and then firing the whole thing into screwface territory. ‘Originate’ has, unfortunately, had its context taken away by world events, but make sure you grab it and skank away the blues in the comfort of your own home.
$H The Producer – Silence The Whisperers
Dee Oh 7 is a new label out of Bristol, co-run by Slowie, $H The Producer and Durkle Disco – the label that brought you Lucent & Buggsy’s ‘Originate’. “Silence The Whisperers” is the debut release, with $H The Producer dropping a four-track instrumental grime EP. If you read the blog regularly, you’ll know of my love for icy basslines, dramatic pre-drops and pitched-up vocal samples, so “Silence The Whisperers” is right up my street. Stand out track ‘Soft Tears’ leads with vocal samples you could float away to; while closing track ‘Dark Soul’ is all atmospheric tones and ominous melodies. Grab “Silence The Whisperers” for a cool take on instrumental grime, and because there can never be enough instrumental grime labels.
JT The Goon – Path Of Tenshu
Sometimes you want something and then it arrives all at once. JT The Goon’s has been supplying the scene this year with four EP’s under his belt, his latest dropping on Bandcamp and titled “Path Of Tenshu.” ‘Crossroads’ shows JT’s rhythmic chops with a percussion-driven track that gets the body moving, while the second half of the EP is vintage JT The Goon. ‘Hidden Mountains’ is all symphonic melodies; while ‘Triton Backbone’ is built around bouncy riffs, big basslines and eastern melodies from the hardware the track takes its name from. Grab “Path Of Tenshu” for music that proves grime’s ability to stand up to more prominent instrumental genres as dancefloor music.
Shaytaan – Spirit Loops, Vol.1
Consistent releases from 1000Doors mean that the label has become a much-needed outpost for the weirder side of instrumental grime. Shaytaan is their latest signee, his record “Spirit Loops, Vol.1” harking back to the period of club music that was abstract enough to sound interesting but never going full pseudo art gallery soundtrack. ‘Magma Hills’ blends glistening melodies with distorted bass; while ‘Twin Wield Dual Style’ opens with heavy kicks, morphing into a sea of video game inspired synth sounds. Grab “Spirit Loops, Vol.1” for some melodic explorations into instrumental grime.