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trends

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.

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mid-week-mix-round-up

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.

boxed-volume-one

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.