Son Raw’s heading to the beach for a minute
Once again, it’s on…
First up, Bristol imprint Crazylegs continues to play mad scientist with UK dance music traditions, mixing and matching various tempos, styles and perspectives on each release. Ziro’s Lost featuring Trim is no exception and like Murlo’s remix of TRC’s Me and You and Gage’s Telo before it, it ranks as an absolutely essential purchase for anyone following the newest wave of Bass music. Ziro hasn’t released very much music, but Lost makes it clear that he’s no newcomer to the studio, combining Drum & Bass style sound design to the darkstyle soca drum patterns making waves among the 130BPM crew. It’s a killer track, and one that would have been fine on its own, but what takes the single over the top is Trim’s presence, both as a lead vocalist and as a ghost in a spectral dub. The ex-Roll Deep general has been more present on Twitter than the booth recently, so his latest turn on the mic is more than welcome, particularly over such next level production. If you haven’t already, keep an eye out on this label – what they’ve got coming up goes far, far beyond Bass or instrumental Grime’s limitations.
While Boxed’s success has brought attention to at least a dozen new producers, few have seen their stock rise as quickly or deservedly as Dark0’s. Last year he was knocking out Bandcamp mixtapes for dedicated DJs, but since the release of Sweet Boy Pose, names as far removed as Cashmere Cat have been spinning his tunes and an official release on Visionist’s Lost Codes introduced him to an audience ready for his melodic and experimental side. The forthcoming Fate EP on Gobstopper sees him step up yet again, toning down his darker side for chilled out ambiance and video game influenced nostalgia. RPG fans are in for a particular treat: Gaia and Mako March reimagine classic themes (that shall not be named) into epic beats halfway between Hip-Hop and Grime, becoming instant favorites for anyone who spent their youth in awe of Squaresoft. Amethyst and Evisu are just as dope, rescuing arpeggios from Trance and twisting them into beats that will have Dark0 mentioned alongside Celestial Tracks or Fatima Al Qadiri.
On the harder side of thing, Sir Pixalot first caught my attention with his wicked D’Eon refix before killing it with his debut EP on Sulk – and now he’s back with the Mountain Stance EP, a release so grimy it comes complete with an oldschool photoshop cover. I don’t make any bones about my personal taste when it comes to Grime, I’m into the weirder bits, but whenever I hear a set that DOESN’T include at least a few certified 140BPM raise-the-roof-off-da-rasclaat-building BANGERS… I get uncomfortable. This stuff is supposed to be hard music and it’s guys like Pixalot that keep things in balance with tunes like the flute driven Mountain Stance and the squarewave anthem Greezy. Better yet, Victory Stance hits the same soaring funk as his D’Eon refix but with an original melody – one ill enough to bear Ruff Squad comparisons. In a month where big labels are pushing hyped EPs, this is the underdog favorite and one worth making the detour for.
Finally, Her Records’ Sudanim announced his latest single Pleasure Flood and it’s another step forward both for the label and a producer who’s quickly developing a singular voice apart from his collective. While the Her gang is best known for combining club-influenced drum patterns to metallic harshness, Suda stepped out on Floor Lock with a faster, grimier sound that owed as much to 8 Bar Grime as it did Night Slugs or New Jersey. Pleasure Flood operates at a similar tempo and keeps the intensity high, combining just as easily with material from Mumdance as as oldschool Dizzee tunes. No word yet on the B-sides but so far, the label’s had impeccable quality control.