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bushido

Imagy by Bryan Young

Previous to this April, you were more likely to catch Bushido tracks in Rinse and NTS playlists than you were to actually have a chance to get your hands on them. One offs for Liminal Sounds and LuckyMe were the rare entries into the physical book while original tracks and bootlegs were peppered into radio and DJ sets by a number of influential DJs from Glasgow, Bushido’s current home, and beyond. That was until this April when Astral Black dropped Grandmaster Cash, Bushido’s official debut and a statement release that will surely go down as one of the year’s most played out. Having flirted with everything from cut up 8 bar to languorous dembow productions in the past, Grandmaster Cash brings what were previously abstracted reference points into a cohesive whole, full of bouncy bashment energy, meditated bass weight and driving club percussion. With the rap-minded Astral Black outfit behind the release, Bushido’s crossover potential is fervently harnessed on the debut and slick digital dancehall, sino-grime and elastic Jersey club all feel comfortable in the release’s glassy confines.

While it might have taken a few years for the first release to become reality, it’s hard not to eagerly anticipate more material from the Glaswegian, especially after hearing new material peppered into his Astral Plane mix. Often falling into the between space of several established sounds, Bushido’s tracks feel comfortably at home when paired with the likes of Copout, Ahadadream and Murlo, a dancehall-informed bounce that often comes out twisted into unforeseen shapes. And while it’s probably unfair to hassle Bushido for another release already, it’s hard not to feel the electricity of new material when running through a mix like this.

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inkke

If names like Mixpak, LuckyMe and Big Dada hold on weight with you, then it’s likely that you’re a fan, or have at least come across Inkke over the past twelve months. The Glasgow-based producer has been making the tastemaker rounds, contributing individual tracks and mixes to a number of influential sects. As part of the interminably creative Astral Black squad, Inkke has come to be known, alongside DJ Milktray, as something of a youthful innovator in the grime field; equally likely to let loose a fearless 8 bar rendition as he is to approach the genre from a 100% left-field position. Earlier this month, Inkke posted a .Zip of edits around social media, garnering widespread curiosity and acclaim for reworks of 50 Cent, Nelly, Helix and others. Today, Astral Black is releasing Inkke’s debut EP, the Memphis-inspired Faded With Da Kittens. Drawing from much the same sound palette as Spaceghostpurrp and Tommy Kruise, Inkke has devised a beat tape that flips the Memphis script on its head as much as it offers a referential view of 90s horror-core and the 808. “Drum Hunt” offers the best example of this, a slow, chugging factory-made affair with winding, sycophantic female vocals offering the only melodic content. It’s a far stretch as a rap beat, but still retains the violent, skewed essence of the Memphis canon. Faded With Da Kittens is out now in digital and cassette form now, both of which can be found at Astral Black’s Bandcamp.