Darkness – Archive 001

Darkness has turned his hand to R&B production recently, but his latest release “Archive 001” compiles twenty-four tracks from 2015-2018. ‘Jog Wheel’, ‘Hot Wire’ and ‘One Order’ are as dark as they come; while ‘Falcon’ is an electronic joint led by shimmering synth lines. ‘Orion’ draws its power from subtle background melodies, and the ambient sounds found on ‘The Elder (Angel Mix)’ are as smooth as they come. I’ve always felt that Darkness’ productions have a depth and quality others lack, and while this is essentially an extended beat tape, an approach to quality sound is evident on most tracks. This record is ideal for completionists, emcees, fans and DJs alike; so grab ‘Archive 001’ and don’t sleep on one of grime’s best producers.

K9 – Cut

K9’s cathartic lyricism appeals to people who want transparency in their grime music, while his ear for a beat appeals to people who like their sounds left of centre. When those two elements collide the result is usually great music, and collide they do on his latest mixtape “Cut”. ‘Dishonour’, ‘Eternal Sin’, ‘Tool Time’ and ‘Exo’ all feature K9 barring over out-there beats, but it’s ‘Exo’ that shines the most. He tells the story of his life on the roads, navigating an instrumental that is all face-melting bass and dramatic trance builds. Elsewhere, ‘Never Been That’ is a skippy grime track made in collaboration with SBK; while ‘Proper’ features some new-gen radio shellers and comes packed with an earworm hook. K9 covers a few different styles on “Cut”, so grab this one for a showcase of crazy beats and features from emcees both established and obscure.

Gesher – Holding One

Long time I Am Grime affiliate Gesher steps up on the label to drop “Holding One”, a five-track EP featuring both vocal and instrumental grime. Opening track ‘Change’ features co-production from Jammz and bars from Mayhem NODB, combining gritty production with reflective bars, surely a contender for one of the top grime tracks released this year. ‘Gold Bullet Skank’ blends breakneck percussion and swift melodies; while ‘Holding One’ mixes laser-beam bass with a plucked string sample. The two tracks go hard, and they’re the type of grime tunes that sound grimey without relying on mindless nostalgia. Gunfingers ensue on closing track ‘Darth Maul’, a track that hits you with deep bass and heavy string riffs. Grab “Holding One” to hear the latest instalment from a label that is becoming essential with each release.

Tre Mission & Pillboy Miskeen – Machines That Program Eachother

Tre Mission’s ability on the mic is undoubted at this point, but he’s a sick producer too. His latest record is an eleven-track UKG record made in collaboration with Pillboy Miskeen titled “Machines That Program Eachother”. I’m not sure if Pillboy Miskeen is an alias or is, in fact, a real person but either way the tunes bang so it isn’t a huge deal. Each producer gets five tracks each, the standout from Pillboy Miskeen’s half being ‘Floating Heart’, a sugar-sweet tune with rolling percussion and detuned vocal samples that tug at the heartstrings. There’s also ‘Zev Love X’ and ‘Inflatable’, two tracks that are a little darker but still packed with head-nodding energy. For the Tre Mission half, ‘Misophone’ stands out, a dark hybrid of UKG and drill done right. Grab “Machines That Program Eachother” because UKG will never get old, and because the two producers blend styles together that overall makes for interesting listening.

Lewi B – Deya EP

I last wrote about Lewi B in the September edition of this piece, noting how his arrangement of familiar sounds made for great listening. He’s back in November with “Deya”, a collection of five tracks made mostly on a Korg Triton gifted to him by JME. Key to the strength of “Deya” is again the arrangement and without that skill, this collection of tracks might fall into blind pastiche. There’s no pastiche here, though, so grab “Deya” for collection of lean grime instrumentals that sound perfect for 2020, using the past as a jump-off point for the present.

A.T. – Jester EP

A.T. is a producer who has been at it for a while, having tunes featured on various Boxed compilations over the years. “Jester” is his latest release, four tracks deep with a royal theme. “Jester” is a collection of skippy grime tunes packed with brisk percussion, string melodies that live up to the title and big slabs of bass. Grab “Jester” for a collection of modern-sounding grime tunes that are sure to bang in the dance.

IZCO & PK – Warrior Chant / P’s In

The latest release from rising producer IZCO is “Warrior Chant / P’s In”, a two-track EP featuring YGG’s PK on the mic. Smooth chords, bass drops, eski samples and nimble percussion make up the sounds for both tracks, giving PK enough space to do damage on the mic. Grab this one to hear the sounds of two underground legends in the making.

Grandmixxer – South London Intergalactic The Mixtape

“South London Intergalactic The Mixtape” celebrates the third anniversary of SLSA’s first-ever release. Coming in at just under an hour, it’s an all killer no filler ride through the label’s back catalogue, also reminding me just how good ‘F.T.T.R’ was a few years back. Grab this one for some pure underground grime and keep your ears out for the killer dancehall inspired section in the middle.

Posted by:Ryan Moss

I'm the sole founder, editor and writer for The Art Of Grime. I love grime and want to push all the sick artists doing things at the moment.

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