Premiere: GROVESTREET – “IF U WANNA TRY”

WALLPAPER new 4

There’s nothing normal about a 17-year-old from Oxford falling in love with Memphis hip hop. Largely removed from the genre defining (and defying) London and Bristol scenes, the mecca of higher education couldn’t be further removed from the 808 bass thumps and slumped pacing of Project Pat, Yo Gotti and Lil Wyte. That didn’t stop Jamie Smith aka GROVESTREET from developing a taste for the city’s darkest and dirtiest, a fascination that has manifested itself in a distinctly British manner. Instead of following the template established by early Memphis acts, Smith has imprinted dystopian, horror-sampling tendencies on a modern club trax template. In the end, the result is more mechanized techno than anything Juicy J ever recorded on magnetic tape. “IF U WANNA TRY” is a track in the fullest sense of the word, made up almost entirely of kicks, snares, a demanding Memphis sample and eerily translucent synth work. It all seems to hurdle forward at reckless speeds, but the rhythmic components are actually quite compact and digestible. “IF U WANNA TRY” is one of the first handful of trax we’ve heard from GROVESTREET, but considering his technical acuity and willingness to stretch the norms of sample-based music, I’d expect him to be around for quite some time.

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