Low End Activist – Hostile Utopia

“Hostile Utopia” is a dynamic album. Across its fifteen tracks, heavy bass and a few emcees come together, creating an album that is both danceable and texturally interesting. Emz, Mez, Killa P and Cadence Weapon impart style, technique, stories, and swagger over LEA’s beats, while ‘Sprint’, ‘Afflicted’, and the title track ‘Hostile Utopia’ get the body moving. The album draws from the rich strands of U.K underground music, proving that fresh energy can be found through a hybrid approach.


Released on the young but ever excellent AP Life, “GML” comprises of an instrumental and three versions. Manga Saint Hilare’s ‘All I Need’ is a love letter to his blood and chosen family, and it is great, but the standouts come from Taliwhoah and St.Plates. Taliwhoah’s ‘No Shade’ tells the story of a defiant protagonist protecting their energy against a crafty lover, and St.Plate’s ‘Top Tier Freestyle’ features motion blur barring delivered with finesse. Grab “GML” to hear grime at its most glossy and emotional.

Joe James – CRAWL

“CRAWL” is Joe James’ fourth project of the year. Over eleven tracks, he raps about life and love, reaching into his personal vault to bring to life his experiences of growing up in London. It’s all delivered with a rich baritone vocal. The beats, teeming with noodling melody lines and light bass tones, are spacious enough that you can really get lost in the stories but have the requisite amount of bass to make your face screw up. Stand-out track ‘Guilt Trips’ — produced by Bristol’s Lemzly Dale — is where it all comes together, as James talks about various flames and details the effects of trauma in working-class areas. Grab “CRAWL” for silky-smooth R&G.

Lolingo x Elf – Freaky (Remixes)

When ‘Freaky’ was released back in March, I wrote that Lolingo and Elf had made grime alluring. Nothing has changed there. This release expands the original into new contexts, a three-track record with remixes from B:Thorough, URTE and Jammz. URTE’s remix puts the vocal over elegant rhythms and airy synths, while Jammz’s take is a soulful vibe with skippy drums. The stand-out comes via B:Thorough, who turns the original into an absolute speaker breaker, strapping the tune with a colossal synth riff. The Coyote Records camp never misses.

T.I.P – Neosynthesis

T.I.P is a collaborative group comprised of producers IMOGEN, Paàl and emcee TripSixVivo, who keen-eared grime heads may recognise from Pyro Radio sets circa 2018. “Neosynthesis” draws from grime, jungle and breakbeat, and it’s brimming with engaging beats that sound ready to slap on a sound system. What really grabbed my ear, though, was TripSixVivo’s pointed lyricism. Tracks like ‘Brains’ and ‘Anomaly’ bring to life the feelings of apathy and fatigue that come from living under capitalism, and on ‘Dutty’, he delivers a display of microphone flair over cranking bass. Grab “Neosynthesis” for great storytelling and banging beats.

J Beatz – Five Clarters

J Beatz returns with “Five Clarters”. As the title says, the record comes packed with five hard-hitting grime instrumentals, each with a different flavour to them. ‘Skipping Rope’ is an uptempo club joint with dancehall-inspired rhythms, while ‘Drill Fish’, featuring Logan_OLM, features bass arrangements of seismic proportions. Elsewhere, ‘Chingford’ leans into moody sonics, and ‘Naked’ sounds great even without a vocal. Five Clarters, indeed.

Mayday & DubzCo – Maytrix

“Maytrix” is Mayday’s second project of 2022. Produced entirely by close collaborator DubzCo, it sees the two dabble with several styles. ‘Chief Keef’ is a hard-bodied rap joint full of bruising bass, and ‘That’s a Mood’ tells the story of an enchanting lover, complete with hyper-melodic production. Deep drum & bass tones are the launchpad for ‘Sweden’, while ‘Powernap’ features Mayday spitting over plucked guitar samples that are dripping with melody. Grab “Maytrix” for two artists having fun with the artistic process. 

Dubzta & Kenny Davis – Moonshot / Cosmic Void

Dubzta & Kenny Davis collide on “Moonshot / Cosmic Void”.  ‘Moonshot’ lurches through the speakers, carrying distorted bass and eerie melody riffs with it. ‘Cosmic Void’ opens with trap rhythms and choir motifs in the first sequence, switching to something more intense later on. This two-tracker is packed with detail.

Conflict – German Ride EP

Birmingham’s Conflict returns with the “German Ride EP”. The concept is simple: one tune, a VIP version and a drumless twilight mix, which Conflict executes to a tee. A slow-building track driven by clap patterns, flutes, and vocal samples, it works as a club tool or a piece of out-there instrumental grime. The VIP mix comes with a winding bassline and the twilight mix ramps up the weirdness. Top tier stuff.

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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