From afar, it’s often difficult to tell who’s really gaining traction in the UK. That is, not just blog hype, but real support from a wide variety of producers, MCs and radio hosts. We’re lucky to be able to utilize the Internet to “engage” with the history of garage, dubstep, grime, etc., but gauging the present is another story. When a producer, DJ, etc. is really bubbling though, it’s not something we’re going to miss and that’s exactly what we’ve seen with Oxford’s Trends, a producer whose club tracks have been supported by Spooky, Slimzee, Slackk and everyone in between, as well as MCs like Flirta D, Riko Dan and Manga.
Having produced grime and drum and bass for the better part of a decade, Trends has the pedigree to work with the aforementioned list of stars and his unremitting style is perfect for the rave. Firmly in the tradition of Youngstar and early Plastician (Plasticman at the time), Trends has boiled grime down to its most important constituent elements, allowing for visceral reactions from both MC and crowd. His aesthetic is undeniably rough and the “banger” tag isn’t unwelcome, making tracks like “Catchphrase” and his remix of TC4’s “La La La” difficult to imagine outside of the rave/pirate radio context. That’s not to say that Trends’ work is one dimensional though, just that he’s dug out and excelled in a niche. And if you’ve ever seen Trends play out or tuned in to one of his radio sets, his Astral Plane mix will come as no surprise, a head first leap into bars from Novelist, Manga and more, Trends’ direct-as-ever production techniques flashing all over its 30 minute run time. It could be argued that this mix isn’t for the faint of heart, but that’s a silly, hardboiled platitude and this mix is a perfect shot in the arm for anyone remotely curious about grime, soundsystem culture, the ardkore ‘nuum or, well, bars in general.