After the earth shattering success of his debut Telo/Shiftin single in March, Gage has laid relatively low, contributing a volume to Truants’ “Functions of the Now” mix series and allowing “Telo” to percolate into ever-larger circles of influence. As far as the grime continuum goes, Gage fits somewhere between the sino abstractions of the Boxed collective and the minimal, driving techno of Mumdance and Pinch’s b2b effort for Tectonic. Gage’s productions are abrasive and dressed up in grime nomenclature, but also supremely worthy for the club in their composition and general affect. Gage’s latest effort, a remix contribution to Inkke‘s upcoming Local Action EP, balances both, applying sparse rhythm technology and bright, minor key melodic work in the same passage. Inkke’s Crystal Children EP is set for a July 21 release date and will also feature remix work from JT The Goon.
Listening to a remix sans knowledge of the original is always a fascinating venture, inciting wild speculation and undeniably shaping ones eventual listening experience. JT The Goon‘s remix of Inkke‘s “Paradise” has had a perplexing effect after several listens, falling on the more beauteous, melancholic side of both JT and Inkke’s spectrum while featuring a vocal performance new to both producers’ work. Splintering kicks enter the picture when needed, but the track functions as a sort of grime singer-songwriter fair, churning several short vocal bits from Julia Juban into a wandering, cinematic piece of pop futurism. How Inkke’s original sounds is almost impossible to consider in light of JT’s brilliance, but the song, which will appear on his upcoming Crystal Children EP for Local Action, is readily anticipated.
As a member of the Astral Black collective, Inkke has quietly become one of the most looked to producers in all of Britain, effortlessly grafting early 2000s hip hop, roughhewn grime and a distinct ‘nuum aesthetic into a singular entity. Whether it’s through his bootlegs, Memphis cassette explorations, or wildly inventive originals, the Glaswegian has garnered widespread support, so much support that his next EP will be released by Tom Lea’s Local Action Records. Set for a July 21 release date, the Crystal Children EP will feature six full-throttle originals as well as remixes from Gage and JT The Goon. The delectably swung “Thinkk Star (Club Mix)”, which actually first surfaced nearly a year ago on Slackk‘s Rinse show, is our first taste from Crystal Children and shows off some of Inkke’s best dance floor inclinations. Pre-order Crystal Children here.
For the last 12 months, Slackk, Mr. Mitch and Oil Gang’s Boxed club night has set the bar for what a grime night should look like, drawing in just about every instrumental grime producer of note. To celebrate their one year anniversary, which is occurring this Friday at Birthdays in Dalston, the crew has put together a wildly colorful 18 track compilation featuring some of the most exciting producers in the game. Astral Plane mix contributors Strict Face and Logos appear, as do a host of other transcendent talents including Rabit, Mumdance, DJ Milktray and Inkke. In another year, we might be looking back at Boxed Vol. 1 in a similar fashion as we do Grime 2.0 these days. There’s really no excuse not to grab this masterstroke immediately.
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.
The holidays are the one time of year when I appreciate the fact that my Facebook and Twitter feeds are flooded with promotional posts. That’s because the holidays are the time for giving, specifically the time when producers dump all of their bootlegs/edits/unfinished tracks on the unsuspecting masses. The quality is generally a mixed bag, but we’ve received a deluge of heat in the past few days that deserves its fair due. On the raps front, Lil B, King Louie, Fredo Santana, Lil Silk and Fabolous have let loose new tapes over the past week or so. All deserve your attention, although save Lil B’s 05 Fuck Em and maybe spend a little more time with Silk and Louie.
The good folks at Mixpak were also kind enough to hand out a bundle of free tracks from their roster and beyond. The Holiday Bundle evokes the grime, dancehall and soca-based riddim culture that Dre Skull has so carefully curated over the past few years. Sudanim, Murlo and Koyote all bring their best to the table.
You’ve likely seen these already as well, but big hitters Flying Lotus, Zed Bias, Ryan Hemsworth Clams Casino all gave bundles of tracks away in the past few days. Casino’s third Instrumental Mixtape is probably the most cohesive attempt of the bunch, but FlyLo’s assorted beats, remixes and bootlegs offer some intriguing insight into the producer and his cohort’s recording processes. The Hemsworth collection is largely edits he’s designed for live play and the “Post-Rock Tears” version of Future’s “Honest” is a real beauty. Two step legend Zed Bias handed over 200 MB of live recording, remixes and production work under both his ZB sobriquet and his Maddslinky nom de plume.