Steeped in millennial culture and bred on East Coast club sounds, Austin-based DJ/producer Mike G draws lines between the Internet, insular regional scenes and the ears of young listeners. It would be impossible to place Mike, born in Los Angeles, in any particular genre or sub-genre, his music instead evoking everything you’d want from the “bass” music genre without any of its pedantic proclivities. You know him via releases on Car Crash Set, Freshmore and B.YRSLF Division, but Mike’s remixes, bootlegs and one-offs might just have garnered him even more attention. Maybe you heard his “Code Switch”/Divoli S’vere edit on the Night Slugs/Boiler Room event or saw his Thomas White remix burning up the web. It might have been his collaboration with Falcons that caught your eye, released through the wide-gazing Mad Decent. Gathering up breakbeats, horn stabs and volatile “ha” samples, from across the avant-garde of yore, Mike has developed a sound in both his DJing and production that is always accessible, but never pandering. It’s as implacable as it is fun, fully existing in the prosperous nether-region of the Internet, without crossing over into self-indulgent fapping. Mike’s Astral Plane Mix elicits all of the above, a genre smashing affair, pedal-to-the-metal affair that actively refuses to be boxed in. In a simple sense, the mix and Mike G’s musical output in general offers up a quintessential progressive spirit, constantly striving for change and apotheosis. Stream/download below and hit the jump to peep the track list.
If you’ve been following the deluge of “new wave” grime round-ups in recent months, the name Glacial Sound will be quite familiar at this point. Often lumped in with fellow upstart outposts like Goon Club Allstars, Coyote Records and Liminal Sounds, the Dublin-based imprint only has two releases to its name to date, but label-head Paul Purcell has flipped a keen eye for talent and an adoration for vinyl into a groundswell of UK and international support. Launched last June via Rabit’s now scene-defining Double Dragon EP, Glacial Sound is nominally a grime label, but if you’ve spent any time with the aforementioned Rabit release or Murlo’s highly touted Last Dance EP, you’ll know that Purcell’s vision far surpasses anything that could traditionally be dubbed grime. Double Dragon is a spacious effort that derives much of its sound palette from Wiley’s Devil Mixes, but exists in a protean universe of wildly twisting melodic content that defies its influences. Hailing from Houston, Rabit exists far from grime’s epicenter, but has managed to funnel some of its most left-field elements into a final product that eschews the more stultified components of the original product.
Whereas Rabit has developed and maintained a sound that is mutually exclusive in its own right, Murlo has synthesized the bright sound palettes and skittering rhythms of Caribbean music like soca and dancehall into an ornate, fully original byproduct. More than just about any other producer, Murlo’s music, especially Last Dance, mirrors the multi-cultural, multi-denominational nature of contemporary London.
Both Double Dragon and Last Dance have created a sustainable platform for Glacial Sound and the future seems bright with an upcoming Rabit & Logos white label in store. In a remarkably short time, Purcell has attained what most labels struggle over for years: an idiosyncratic identity. For Astral Plane Mix 018, we asked Paul to showcase Glacial Sound and to give our readers a taste of what he’s listening to at the moment. The result is a whirlwind journey through the kaleidoscopic sounds of London and grime’s various mutations. We also asked Paul what he likes to listen to when he’s on the go as there is a certain sense of movement (or lack thereof) that is inherent in the Glacial Sound aesthetic. Check out Paul’s addition to our guest mix series below and hit the jump for his on-the-go selections and track list.
When we first heard Mssingno’s momentous “XE2” last October, the R. Kelly vocal sample was like nothing we’d heard before, immediately identifiable, yet impossible to place. “A dog on the prowl when I’m walking through the mall” isn’t necessarily the most recognizable line in “I’m A Flirt”, but it functions perfectly when disassociated and re-appropriated by the London-dwelling Mssingno. It takes on a slinky, sidewinding quality that reinforces the grand nature of “XE2” and carries the track through several percussion-less minutes. The song came to define a year of instrumental grime, portraying the protean proclivities of the “genre” and highlighting many a peak-time set.
With a good deal of reverence, Los Angeles/Wisconsin-based producer Riley Lake has given “XE2” his own treatment and allowed us to debut the track. Utilizing vocals from R. Kelly’s original to beef up the harmonies and a fair share of eski clicks, Lake’s edit allows for both karaoke singalongs and gun finger waving. The edit belongs in a dystopian club and reminds of the hectic, world-colliding nature of much of Donky Pitch and Tuff Wax’s recent output. If grime is going to continue on its current path, colliding with Southern hip hop, old school electro, R&B and more, then we’re going to want producers like Mssingno and Riley Lake to take the lead. Stream and download Lake’s “XE2” edit below.
Like many of his Scottish contemporaries, Aberdeen-based producer TryTryDieDown has a knack for synth-led melodies that are based as much in the g-funk and electro of yore as they are garage and grime. With a number of widely variegated number of originals and edits (Khia, Khan & Neek, Andre 3000) to his name, TryTry has shown a willingness to experiment across ‘nuum styles, balancing the more aggro sides of 140 material with R&B-centered garage. It’s a kaleidoscopic approach that some might misconceive as meandering, but TryTry isn’t unfocused, just hyper-curious. Today, we bring you “Cool Party”, a track that initially sounds like Jacques Greene’s “Body Party” remix before revealing its true colors as a roughneck grime roller concealed under layers of swirling, evocative synth work. It’s easy enough to get lost in the melodic components, but the track is heavily layered and its sharp snares and crunching percussive stabs are equally rewarding.