With just over ten years under grime’s belt, journalists and historians have spent a good amount of time navel gazing about the genre’s origins, eulogizing the demise of its piratic origins, and prophesying about its gun clad future. Since its modest, wheel-filled beginnings though, grime’s story has always been best told by its constituent members and crews, whether through formal means of official histories and interviews, or the contemporary platform of the Twitter screed. We were lucky enough to speak with a modern legend in Grandmixxer and the former Rinse (and current FLEX FM) DJ was kind enough to drop off an hour of palette wrecking instrumental grime for the occasion. As a label curator (Wig Power Foundation), tour DJ (Big Narstie), mentor (Novelist, DullahBeatz) and producer in his own right, Grandmixxer has inextricably involved himself into the fabric of grime’s rich past and its effervescent future. And the man himself can obviously tell it best so without further ado, a conversation with Grandmixxer.
Over the years, you’ve played out on a number of radio stations and you currently have a weekly slot on FlexFM. Do you have a favourite memory or set of memories from your time in radio?
My first ever radio appearance on On Top FM. A locally big pirate at the time with crews such as N Double A, Roadside G’s, South Soldiers, Mastermind Troopers and basically any one who was big at the time in grime from south London.
Appearing on there was a big deal to me and I will never forget the tension, shaky hands and all of that! Luckily for me it went well and I was given my own show a week or two after my debut.
The Nasty Crew show was my first grime experience and I used to lock in every week. More recently I got to host a show with Mak10 at FlexFM. It is not an understatement when I say I would not exist today if it was not for this guy, hearing him manipulate sound made me want to own my own turntables so being able to do a show with him was just a very special moment for me
Continue with interview, Grandmixxer’s favorite trax to rinse, and track list below…
What was the record you first ever bought on your own?
Benga – Skank
How hands on is your relationship with Wig Power Foundation?
Me and DJ Travis T set the label up in late 2012 and since then I have been directly involved in nearly every decision that has been made in regards to the sound and look of the label. I have been and will continue to be very active in bringing new talent and sounds to the label. I am very much looking forward to the future and the forthcoming releases from A.T, Sir Pix Alot, Lolingo and myself.
You’ve worked with both DullahBeatz and Novelist, two artists embraced by a lot of younger grime fans. How did you connect with Dullah and Nov? Do you make a conscious effort to reach out to young fans.
DullahBeatz is a project that I witnessed the birth of, and helped in the creation of, so I never really had to connect with him as such. With Dullah I more helped him get his music out to DJ’s and artists in the early stage of his career.
There are 10 years and 11 days between us in age but you would not know it when it comes to his knowledge and passion for Grime. We have recently been producing together a lot more and I can’t wait to get the music that we been working on out.
With the recent attention instrumental grime has received, how do you perceive the genre’s current position from both a creative and popular reception perspective?
I feel that creatively, the scope of what is and could be considered grime, has never been so wide. There are truly people making grime all over the world. Over the past year I have managed to link up with guys fom Oz and Texas such as: Rabbit and Mike Midnight in and around FlexFm and NTS. This would have been impossible 10 years ago and that is testament to the growing popularity of the genre.
I feel the sonic boundaries of what is considered grime is constantly evolving. There are the guys in Bristol such as Hi 5 Ghost and others, putting out vinyls which sound and fit directly with the grime of the early 2000s. There are labels such as Mr Mitch’s Gobstopper pushing the creative boundaries of the sound. Then there are the events like Boxed where you can find all of the above and more. It’s a great platform for DJs and producers to be heard and a banging night at the same time. Collaborating and working together is going to be key if we are all going to grow and expand the genre but it’s definitely a very exciting time to be a Grime DJ.
Top 3 Tracks
DPM x Trends – “Slow Remake”
DPM is one of the most underrated of the original grime guys and has loads vinyl out. I remember the ‘Original Slow’, that was my favourite tune for a while when it came out on vinyl. Trends is a guy who can do no wrong right now and this remix just hits all the buttons perfectly.
Novelist – “Long John Riddim”
It’s been a long time since I played a grime tune with no drums. I can’t play a set right now with out dropping this a huge instrumental.
Grandmixxer – “S63 AMG”
8bar grime; look at it like a boxing match, you can win a 12 round decision on points, or you can go for the knock out. On this one I went for the 1st round knock out. Simple but effective and I absolutely love.
Sir Pix Alot – Mountain Stance – GRANDMIXXER Remix
Trends Green forest – GRANDMIXXER Dubplate
GRANDMIXXER – Windrush
Murlo and Famous Eno – GRANDMIXXER Edit
Dullahbeatz – Hotspot
GRANDMIXXER – S63 AMG
Darq E Freaker – Next Hype 2
Novelist – Long John Riddim
GRANDMIXXER X Novelist – Gregory
Dullahbeatz – Crossbow
Trends – Hypnotised
Spooky – Rhythm and Gash pt 2
Wonder – What – GRANDMIXXER Remix
DPM X Trends – Slow Remake
Lolingo Taliban – GRANDMIXXER Remix
Trends Fuzz Buzz – GRANDMIXXER Remix
Dullahbeatz – Full Clip
ZHA – South Hampton Leng Man – DJ Frampsters South London Leng Man Remix
Waifer x A.T – Fresh Skankers
GRANDMIXXER X Novelist – 10 Years 11 Days