Back in February, we featured an Astral Plane mix from Houston duo Santa Muerte, comprised of Sines and Panchitron, that was absolutely packed full of disarming bootlegs, edits and reworks of hits in both English and Spanish. Snippets of grime and ballroom were splayed across the tape, as was a heavy amount of dembow and the volume immediately become a favorite in the car on hot Los Angeles days. That mix ended in fine form with an exciting blend of Murlo’s “Loyal” edit and “Cositas Raras” by Puerto Rican Reggaeton artist Farruko. Now, we’ve got that bootleg, along with six others from the Santa Muerte team, up for premiere and free download. Edits of Visionist, Dat Oven and False Witness sit alongside otherworldly, Mr. Mitch-esque Tinashe reworks and a bizarro “U.O.E.N.O” x “Sientelo” blend. Bootlegs & Edits Vol. 2 (Vol. 1 can be found here)is all over the place stylistically, but that’s the Santa Muerte way, an intelligent smash up of popular Caribbean sounds with on-the-cusp UK and East Coast sounds. It’s swaggering and imprecise, but so are modern metropolis’, where disparate micro-cultures, internalized sonic routines and dance run into each other on a daily basis. Stream and download Bootlegs & Edits Vol. 2 below and be sure to follow Santa Muerte on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, etc.
Dat Oven – Icy Lake (Santa Muerte Bootleg)
Santa Muerte – Dimelo Ft Sir Speedy And Lumidee (Bootleg)
False Witness – Makina (Santa Muerte Edit)
Nicki Minaj – Only (Santa Muerte Bootleg)
Santa Muerte – 24hrs (Bootleg)
Santa Muerte – Cositas Rara x Lo (Edit)
Tinashe – Vunerable (ft. Travis $cott) (Santa Muerte Bootleg)
The practice of cutting dubs is often viewed as a rather arcane, outdated practice to many people in my age bracket (early 20s), enmeshed in a culture of exclusivity and privilege. More often than not, owning a selection of dubs is presented less as a means of playing out on-the-cusp tracks than a fundamental status symbol, awarding the owner a step up over the plebes without Loefah b-sides. Of course, digital dub culture isn’t any less insidious and the more the forums, groups and download sites infringe on the cool kids table, the more unfortunate conflict arises among young kids and scene veterans, DJs and producers, the United States and the UK. South London’s Riz La Teef seems to be one of the few good natured proponents of dub culture and he has filtered that responsibility into a few dozen, exclusive-laden, mixes over the past 24 months. Rinsing everything from roots reggae to jump up bassline, Riz’s adherence to vinyl and access to dubs from the likes of JT The Goon, Rabit and Novelist make him one of the most in demand and well respected deejays in both his native London and among the hordes of dispersed garage fans across the internet. We asked Riz about his favorite dubs from the past year and he was kind of enough to list them out and take some lovely photos of his hand-marked classics to be. Not all of these tracks will be revealed in the next months, but they will certainly live on in infamy, thanks to Riz’s spacious repertoire, innate deck skills and engaging demeanor. Peep his choices and a slideshow of each and every dub listed.
Gundam – Pulse Wedding VIP (RIZLA SPESH)
Def one of my favourite dubs I’ve cut this year. Played it a day after I cut it in a dance and it got reloaded 4/5 times.
Brackles & Fox – Skank + Famous Eno Remix
Not really a dubplate, but both tunes have a top vibe.
E.M.M.A – Pyramids, Peridot & Light Years
Pyramids is the coldest beat made this year imo and not alot of Emma’s stuff hasn’t been pressed to wax so I had to cut the other two beats!
Fallow – Strings Hoe Refix (RIZLA SPECIAL)
Fallow is a guy to watch out for next year for sure both his refixes and original tunes are quality. Big up to him for doing me special of strings ho refix.
Grandmixxer – Windrush VIP
Melody is so good, has been in my head for weeks.
Boycott – Kowloon Bae (RIZ VIP)
The original is such a sick tune and the guys blessed me with a VIP. Proper colourful vibes.
Iglew – Sleep Lighter VIP
Again Iglew is another guy to watch out for in 2015. Everything he’s done this year has been pretty special – Urban Myth, Cascade etc
JT The Goon – Twin Warriors VIP & Polar
JT is one of the best snm. Polar is a rude beat.
Apple – De-Siegalizer (Logos Refix)
Great cheeky refix and the mastering by Jason on the dub is so good.
Loom & Tarquin – Pompelmo Riddim
Fruity, eski dancehall from another two guys who I expect to do big things next year.
Mssingno – XE2 VIP BIELDUB REMIX PART 1
Actually cut this last year, but battered that dub so much had to cut it again!
Rabit – Black Dragons
Again not a dubplate anymore but was so gassed when Glacial sent me this month or so before its release. GULLY
Shriekin’ – Red Beach VIP
Maybe my favourite tune of the year??
Silk Road Assassins – Deadcell
The waviest beat made this year.
Wen – Backdraft/Walton – Bulldoze
Novelist – Yakuta
So excited to be able to cut this, Novelist is huge rn and gonna be even bigger next year. Excels in both MCin’ & production.
Murlo – Into Mist/Roman Baths
Was lucky enough to cut these before they came out. Into Mist has been in my bag as soon as I got it.
Continuing our year end coverage, we asked Tomas Fraser, head of breathtaking grime outlet Coyote Records, which 2014 songs he wished he could have signed. It’s a bit of a silly hypothetical, but while signing a “Take Time” is almost always a heartbeat decision, the amount of factors that go into a label signing are often overwhelming. Tomas does an excellent job with Coyote and while he couldn’t snag the following, Mumdance x Novelist, Murlo, CYPHR, Visionist or Gantz x El Mahdy Jr. tracks this year, his label has turned out quality releases from Chemist and Spare, as well as their annual compilation, Coyote Kings 2. Check out Tomas’ selection below and hit the jump to stream Rejig’s contribution to the aforementioned compilation. Also, be sure to peep Riley Lake’s Fave Discontinued Hardware from yesterday!
Would loved to have released a record on this based primarily on the fact that it single-handedly gave power back to the MCs – it proved that MCs could do the intricate, new world of contemporary instrumental grime production justice and vice versa. Don’t think we’ll fully appreciate it for a few years yet either.
Spent the last 10 months or so fast-forwarding mixes just to reload ‘Cold Stroke’ – it’s just one of those tracks that I’ll always love. Was chuffed to see it get a proper release because I still think it stands as one of his best pieces of production to date.
Went under the radar a bit this one but it blew me away listening to it for the first time. The way the track builds and all the components intertwine is genuinely beautiful – even my boss bought the EP after I played it in the office. Says it all really.
Visionist has my favourite production aesthetic in the game and ‘More Pain’ is probably the best example of how he goes about his work. It reminds me of a prayer of sorts in the sense that it’s gothic and moody and haunting and almost spiritual, all at the same time – it’s this sense of emotional urgency that makes him stand out from the rest for me.
Not my usual bag but I know Gantz is a great producer and alongside El Mahdy Jr, something clicked for me. There’s a real tangible sense of spirituality about ‘Rising’ – perpetuated by Mahdy Jr’s enchanting vocal – and the way Gantz joins the dots between the classic Medi template & the sounds of his own heritage and culture is first class.
With the hyperreal in mind, Murlo has emerged from a pack of young producers with an ebullient sound that matches the melodic acrobatics of soca and the vivacity of bassline with the compositional flex of grime. If that definition could embody Murlo’s sound though, the Into Mist EP (out now on Rinse’s label arm) wouldn’t be as enveloping of a listen as it turns out to be. With a visual element that proffers up the aesthetic inner-workings of the mind of Murlo, Inner Mist coalesces around four original tracks, made up of dozens of twisting, intermingling and fantasmatic melodic threads that tantalize and thrill in equal measure. I’d like to argue that Into Mist is the most fun effort to come out of the enlarged confines of grime this year, but that would involve selling its sheer beauty short. Into Mist is out now.
After the official Ty Dolla $ign, Problem & Kirko Bangz remix, and L-Vis 1990’s bifurcated redux, any producer is going to be hard-pressed to innovate on the ground work set by Mila J’s breakout “Smoke Drink Break Up”. Enter Murlo, who, along with Dubbel Dutch, has done more to bring up the collective spirit of the grime/dancehall listening public in recent months. The London producer’s take on “Smoke Drink Breakup” isn’t quite as ebullient as his contributions to the recent Her Records and Madam X comps, but few producers bring the skip and/or bounce inherent in a Murlo production.
Inspirational mixes from the past week that deserve to reverberate beyond our “office”.
Whenever DJ Slimzee or Slackk take to the NTS airwaves, the listener is sure to receive a number of cracking exclusives, dubs and deep cuts from the annals of grime past and present. Last week, the two joined forces for a special, guest heavy four hour special featuring Logos, Murlo, Trends, Oil Gang, Spooky and a brief appearance from man of the moment Mumdance who shows up just to play a Riko Dan-assisted version of “Take Time”. Astonishingly, 17 new JT The Goon tracks are rinsed and a bevy of other new ones from Dark0, Inkke and Shriekin that have left us scuttling around attempting to construct a track list.
With the release of Moleskin‘s eponymous EP on the very near horizon, the London-based Goon Club Allstars label has been on many a tongue. With Mssingno’s debut EP still making the rounds and Moleskin’s heavily anticipated tape being played out by the likes of Evian Christ and Bok Bok, the Goon Club team has done an excellent job of showing two very different sides of the grime-club spectrum. Even as they’ve inundated listeners with unique UK-centric productions though, the label has looked further south, focusing their attention on kuduro, dancehall and the multifaceted sounds of Lisbon. Back in May, the label gave away DJ Name’s “Name 4 U”, a palpitating blend of funky and interstitial continental madness, and the Goon Club DJs recently took to Sinden’s Kiss FM to show off a selection of heavily syncopated, densely rhythmic tracks from DJ Nigga Fox, President T and DJ Lag.
The Astral Black crew has always shown a predilection for early-aughts hip hop and R&B, specifically the chipmunk soul stylings of Kanye West and Just Blaze, and that influence has percolated to the surface of JonPhonics, Inkke and especially DJ Milktray‘s productions. To celebrate an upcoming European tour, Phonics and Milktray have joined together as Milkmakerz to bring you the sleaziest from Tweet, R. Kelly and Ginuwine as well as a heavy heaping of heat from Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan and Cam’Ron. It’s not so much an influence mix as it’s a mix of influences and if Phonics and Milktray’s joint output sounds anything like it, then we’re in for a treat.
Not that it’s anything new, but Bok Bok licked the most recent Night Slugs Rinse show with a dashing two hours of analogue techno, Neana and Neana-inspired drum tracks, and hyper-real synth machinations. If you haven’t rinsed BB’s Your Charizmatic Self EP to death, you’re missing out. The NS Rinse slot is about as essential as it gets.
As a House of Trax resident, Rushmore has worked tirelessly to bring ghetto house, ballroom and Bmore legends to East London and has expanded the HoT name into the label world under the Trax Couture nom de guerre. Alongside fellow HoT resident Fools, Rushmore has become one of the most recognizable names in the transitive world of percussive techno/house/ballroom and much of his best work comes out in his mixes. His Astral Plane volume is still a personal favorite and he recently contributed a volume for Mute, a Brighton club night that just happens to be putting on a massive July 4th happening featuring Kahn & Neek, Flava D, Last Japan, Dark0 and Sudanim. Rushmore’s mix is of a slightly different flavor, a full throttle mash of compatriots Akito, Grovestreet, Dreams alongside folk heroes DJ Clent and Slugo.
As one of the key stones in Manchester’s growing grime foundation, Madam X has proven more than capable on major outlets like BBC 1Xtra, but her efforts have always filtered into her label Big People Music and the Murkage collective she takes part in. Her latest efforts were announced over the weekend and take the form of Big People’s first compilation, the finger-on-the-pulse heavy Kaizen Movements Vol. 1. Rumbling soca from Murlo, orchestral patois from Samrai and metallurgic electro from Sudanim take center stage on Kaizen Movements, but the rest of the 10-tracker (Trap Door, Timbah, Dark0 and more) is far from a slack-jawed effort. Download the full comp or individual tracks below and be sure to throw the Madam some praise on her Facebook or Twitter.
It was only two months ago when London’s Boxed club night, led by Slackk, Mr. Mitch, Oil Gang and Logos, released their eponymous, scene defining Vol. 1, but it appears that grime’s premier shapeshifters weren’t totally satisfied with their first offering. Boxed Vol. 2 picks up where the first edition left off, drawing from London’s rich musical fabric and subsequently tearing it apart, reconfiguring it and presenting it in a perfectly coherent melange of dancefloor and non-dancefloor oriented songs. The Boxed usuals all appear as do Dark0, Strict Face, Rabit, Chemist and Murlo, and the track list actually mirrors many of our most recent Astral Plane mixes. We’ve never had the pleasure of attending a Boxed night, but if Vol. 2 is anywhere near an approximation of Dalston’s finest instrumental grime happening then all of the hype is spot on.
Continuing his stringofimpressiveR&Bremixes, Murlo has sunk his teeth into Cherish’s overlooked 2006 roller “Unappreciated”. The Jermaine Dupri produced original is subsumed in playful squarewave synths that are given free will to dance over a simple kick pattern. Left-field is entering an interesting phase where producers are finding new ways to aid and abet a vocalist without being entirely derivative of Timbaland or the Neptunes. It wouldn’t surprise me if Murlo turns out to be one of the producers to break that regressive influence-based duopoly either, what with the near-perfect roll of flips he’s got going at the moment.
While “Vulnerable” might have been Tinashe’s don’t-stop-looking-at-me statement, 2014 single “2 On”, featuring Schoolboy Q and produced by DJ Mustard, was the commanding singer’s clear breakout moment. It probably isn’t a coincidence that Murlo let loose his “2 On” refix the same day as the original’s impossibly sexy music video hit the web and the London producer’s filled out, chugging riddim is a perfect addendum to the visual component. Without losing the luster of Mustard’s sultry bassline, Murlo brings a slightly sunnier disposition to “2 On”, making the easier-than-you-might think jump into soca territory.