Mez – One Uncle
Grime is indebted to dancehall. On his “Tyrone” mixtape series, Mez has spent a fair bit of time leaning into that influence. On his latest project, “One Uncle”, it sounds like he’s fully confident in that influence. Where his dancehall-inspired peers in the grime scene tend to draw for war lyrics and low-end pressure, Mez’ take mines from the live aspect of dancehall, as “One Uncle” hits the speakers with concentrated doses of shock-out energy, rarely relenting over its half-hour runtime. Stand-out tracks like ‘Bongo’, ‘Bongo – Remix’ and ‘Duppy’ feature rapid-fire lyrics, each track designed to make the heart skip a few beats and scramble the brain in the best way. Elsewhere, ‘Africa’ is pure sound system weaponry, while ‘Family Tree’ and ‘Mama’ – two instances where “One Uncle” does take the foot off the pedal a little – pull back the curtain and give a brief history of Mez’ life before music. Dizzying lyrics, heavyweight beats, and Mez’ ability to synthesise his ideas into recorded format make “One Uncle” a smash from front to back.
Chowerman – ANTITHESIS
Chowerman’s latest project – titled “ANTITHESIS” – is his first in eighteen months. Six tracks long and featuring production from Delzo, Trooh Hippi, Pavv and more; the instrumentals take equally from grime, drill and rap. The unifying factor here is the flow. Whether he’s calling out government contempt on ‘Ugly’ or spitting the alphabet on ‘Alphabeat’, Chowerman’s intentional flows and ability to craft earworm hooks give “ANTITHESIS” a grime feel, tying the project together and giving it a cohesive feel. Stand-out track ‘Reflecting’ – produced by Kami-O – tackles mental health, examining what happens when the pressures of life take hold. Luciferian’s guest verse stresses the importance of self-care, while Charlotte Plank’s hook adds the finishing touch. The result? A grime track that feels primed for daytime radio without compromising on honesty. Grab “ANTITHESIS” for a project that balances introspection and vibes in equal measure.
Shay D – Speaking In Tongues
Over the fourteen tracks on “Speaking In Tounges”, Shay D moves seamlessly from biting grime flows to rap bars that reach in the deepest pockets of each instrumental, but the best thing about this album is just how impactful some of the lines are. Take the first line of ‘Cor Blimey’, where Shay opens the tune with: “Cor Blimey/body like a strip club/mind like a library”. It’s a killer self-brag with heaps of substance that’ll have you drawing for the reload. ‘Celebrate Life’ and ‘Send Them Home’ bookend the album with high-energy grime sounds, while ‘Talk Of The Town’ feels primed for headline-show singalongs. Elsewhere, ‘Cold World’ sees Shay take on the ills of the world over a Filthy Gears beat that’s throbbing with bass, and ‘Rain On Me’ is an atmospheric rap joint made for the quiet moments. Overall, “Speaking In Tongues” is a triumph, and that’s down to Shay D’s ability to craft memorable bars over a wide range of instrumentals.
Dips & Low-Wu – Idle Hands
“Idle Hands” – the debut mixtape from Dips & Low-Wu – feels like a love letter to the U.K. genres the duo listened to growing up. The tape takes grime flows, eski-sampling drill beats and 2-step production, creating a fresh hybrid of each sound. ‘Trip’ opens with Dips spitting acid flows in the crevices of Low-Wu’s bassy production, but as things unfurl, the track takes on a sweet UKG flavour with the hook to match. ‘The Ride II’ mixes sombre drill production with classic eski sounds, as Dips chronicles the ups and downs of life’s grind. Elsewhere, nimble guitar riffs and loose flows mean ‘Active’ is primed for repeated listens. But it’s ‘Queen of Hearts’ that’s the standout here, a bouncy two-step joint about life, love, and everything in between. Overall, “Idle Hands” reminds us that the many genres of the U.K. are never really in opposition to each other, but it helps when the tunes go hard like this too.
B:Thorough – Raindrops
London based producer B:Thorough makes music with a highly melodic strain. On his latest EP, “Raindrops”, every track sounds crisp; but the stand out aspect is how he layers his melodies, giving his instrumentals a real sense of depth. It’s most potent on tracks like ‘Hyperdrive’ and ‘Raindrops’, where sleek riffs combine with high-pitched notes and smooth basslines to create a cloud-gazing soundscape teeming with wonder and intrigue. There’s heat for the sound systems, too. ‘Digital Orchid’ comes through with packed out low-end, while ‘Industrialisation’ closes out the EP with piercing square waves and an iced-out feel. Grab “Raindrops” to hear a producer dive deeper into his trademark sound.
Moscow Legend – Dance
“Dance” is the latest release from Moscow Legend, a producer that pumps out weapons-grade grime music like it’s nobody’s business. Consisting of ‘Dance’ and ‘Dance VIP’, there are no frills needed on this single, just a mutant blend of judgement day bass, militant percussion and the type of amorphous synth blasts that make your head rush and your body want to move. Instant gun fingers when these tracks drop.