Snoopa x Adam R – Shut Your Grill EP
On “Shut Your Grill”, Snoopa uses lyrics to bring his experiences to life. Family, addiction and mental health are the subject matter for ‘Pass The Blame’, while steadfastness is the topic on ‘Up & Down’. Elsewhere, ‘Show Me The Way’ and ‘Better Than Ever’ are lessons in flowing. Adam R’s production is sleek, the basslines crisp and drum lines heavy, while Snoopa’s melodic hooks tie everything together. When taken in as a whole, “Shut Your Grill” is well-rounded and distinct.
Grandmixxer – Free Gaza
July sees Grandmixxer release “Free Gaza”. The instrumental for Mez’s anti-establishment banger ‘Babylon Can’t Roll’ and part of the GTA V soundtrack; its point-blank bass hits shock the brain while the drum programming feels designed to shake the limbs. On the flip is ‘Rhythm’, where scrambling, hard-hitting percussion combines with celestial bass drones to create a near eight-minute head nodder. “Free Gaza” is an example of instrumental grime’s sound system potency.
Slick – Divine / Exothermic
Slick returns with “Divine / Exothermic”. Dark bass washes over the speakers like a rising wave on ‘Divine’; it’s a screwface-inducing moment, but the mastery comes from the track’s melody riffs and drum programming. They skitter and shimmer through the gloomy sonics like light peeking through the mouth of a cave, everything converging to create a delightfully moody piece of instrumental grime. ‘Exothermic’ takes a more minimal approach, leading with a trembling low end that echoes from the speaker. Another great release from a talented, up-and-coming producer.
DJ Cable – Devil Mixes
DJ Cable’s “Devil Mixes” is a two-track Bandcamp release. Found on an old MacBook and remastered for our listening pleasure, ‘Cartridge VIP’ is a motion-blur of video game sounds and militant bass, while ‘Ganon’ mixes breathless rhythms with heavy low-end riffs. What stands out here is the sheer weirdness, which is largely what you want from a devil mix. I can see these being used as helpful club tools or just straight-up pieces of out-there electronic music.
Crooked Sound – Transparent
Serbia’s Crooked Sound returns with “Transparent”. EP opener ‘Speculating’ marries choppy, broken rhythms with modulated synths. ‘Private Colours’ has the same vibe, this time using a medley of piano and muted brass riffs as the lead line. The textural heaviness of spiritual jazz is present in these two tracks, both feeling as though they’re ready to take off from this realm and journey to the ether. A top release from one of grime’s most unique up-and-comers.
Messy Beatz – Strange Fruit
London’s Messy Beatz drops “Strange Fruit”. With bright synths and bouncy percussion, it’s easy to imagine tracks like ‘Pineapple’ and ‘Lemon Tang’ as prime emcee fare; but they work as stand-alone instrumentals, too. Elsewhere, ‘Pomegranate’ is a danceable slice of grime, and ‘Sour Grapes’ is as smooth as you like. Closing track ‘No Entry’ is the hardest of the lot, all mean riffs and clattering percussion. Vibes a plenty, here.
Filthy Gears – Paradise
Filthy Gears never stops. July sees him release “Paradise”, an eleven-track instrumental album. On tracks like ‘Yam’, ‘OP’, ‘The Machines’ and ‘Waveform Adaptor’, glitchy synths are at the forefront: they twist, whizz and whir from the speakers, spacious bass lines their trusty companion. Elsewhere, ‘Molusk’ is a rhythmic, updated take on the eski sound palette, while ‘Parker’ is swimming in a sleek, effortless type of cool. “Paradise” is all about great melody work and plenty of bangers.
El Blanco Nino – Mute City
Regular listeners of DJ Oblig’s Rinse show will be familiar with the work of El Blanco Nino. For the uninitiated, “Mute City” is the perfect starting point. Tracks like ‘Mute City’ and ‘Big Blue’ blend hollowed-out rhythms, echo-bathed vocal samples, and continuous drones: recalling foggy nights where only the streetlights are there to guide you. ‘Silence’ is a little more hard-bodied, and ‘Sand Ocean’ ups the tempo, imbuing the ethereal atmosphere of the previous tunes with a bassy edge. Grime, drill, whatever: The tunes here go hard.
Various Artists – Pra Cima OST
Jesse Bernard’s COMO VOCÊ — a film about Brazil’s grime scene — dropped this week via WePresent. Alongside the film comes the label COMO VOCÊ presents, and the first release is “Pra Cima OST”. Jammz and SD9’s ‘Maggie & Wray’ is a highlight: the two lace a biting instrumental with flows dripping in style and finesse, but the stand-out goes to ‘North Zone’: where MC Smith drops a set of melodic and catchy bars over a rugged instrumental from DiniBoy. Inter-scene records like “Pra Cima OST” are worth way more than any mainstream recognition, so it’ll be exciting to see what comes in the following months and years.
East Man – Hi Tek Music
East Man’s latest record, “Hi Tek Music”, lets off dubs, remixes and instrumental versions over its thirteen tracks. The bass lines are heavy and the rhythms tight, a hybrid mixture of sounds designed to make people dance.
Infamous – The Hit Provider Vol.2
Infamous’s latest record — “The Hit Provider Vol.2 — compiles twenty instrumentals, and the punchy melodies, dark strings, heavyweight drums, and bugged-out synths give the LP a lively feeling throughout. DJs, completionists and instrumental heads take note: this one’s got many strings to its bow.