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Friday, January 21, 2005

for those who missed it first time around, i've re-uploaded:

d double and foots track

[these you send it files expire after 25 downloads- i sort out a proper way to post mp3s, that won't expire, soon]
this blog's end-of-year roundup thing has gone on for far too long, but we're nearing the end, don't worry:
the final chapter- best things that were not grime in 2004

[no particular order except for the first two, which were the best things i heard in 2004];

kanye west- college dropout.
destra garcia- bonnie and clyde [gorgeous soca hit]
junior boys- last exit
michael mayer- touch
michael mayer- speaker
v/a- kompakt total 5 [esp. the t raumschmiere and justus kohncke tracks]
alter ego- rocker
alter ego- rocker [plasticman remix]
alter ego- transphormer
animal collective- sung tongs
sunburned hand of the man- s/t
superpitcher- happiness remixes
mfa- the difference it makes [superpitcher remix]
dave stelfox- real dancehall rock bassnationmix [esp. the alicia keys one]
streets- blinded by the light
skinnyman- fuck the hook
dripdropdrap and mpc dj set at university college london
diplo and mia- piracy funds terrorism
mia- galang
the knife- heart beats [rex the dog mix]
diplo- florida
diplo- diplo rhythm
ada- blondie
ada- bum bum
dj/rupture post election resonance fm mix
dj/rupture- special gunpowder
filastine- judas goat
tokyo adventures- hunters' hand book
that fucking tank- s/t
fennesz- venice
andrea parker- nobody's perfect [touchin bass] mix
natasha bedingfield- these words [i know, i know...sorry but i just love it]
eric prydz- call on me
v/a- ammunition [planet mu comp]
ivan smagghe- suck my deck
spektrum- kinda new [tiefschwarz mix]
booka shade- memento
party mix courtesy simon reynolds
favela funk mix courtesy simon reynolds
todd burns- die neue riddim schaffel mix
todd burns- microhouse mix
philip sherburne- schaffel is stronger than pride mix
philip sherburne- the thaw mix
philip sherburne- creepshow mix
v/a soca gold 2004
v/a soca bible
timmy- bumper catcha fire
dawg e slaughter- trample
sigur ros- ba ba ti ki di do
three of a kind- babycakes
arve henriksen- Chiaroscuro
destiny's child- lose my breathe
anticon- 1999-2004 sampler [esp. pedestrian track]
j2k- heat in the srreets 2
lucien n luciano- blind behaviour
matthew dear- dog days
matthew dear- dog days [pantytec remix]
matthew dear primer mix cd courtesy jak drip drop drap
matthew dear- leave luck to heaven
perlon- superlongevity 3 [esp. 'ping pong voodoo' by narcotic syntax, and 'mr big star' by markus nikolai and nina
nina sky- move ya body
v/a kill bill 2 soundtrack
lamb chop- aw c'mon/ no you c'mon
akufen- fabric mix
jimmy edgar- bounce make model
ratatat- germany to germany
laura veirs- the carbon glacier
wasteland- vulture culture mix
nivea and lil jon- ok
rachel stevens- some girls
franz ferdinand- take me out
franz ferdinand- s/t
david byrne- grown backwards
another grime mp3:

wiley/skepta; pulse eskimo aka gunshot riddim

'gunshot riddim' is often wrongly thought to be a wiley original, but gradually stories have started to leak out about it not being wiley's own work- often these rumours said it was actually a jammer track, that wiley had stolen and released under his own name.

however, logan sama cleared up the confusion at rwdmag the other week- apparently, it's a skepta remix of 'eskimo' that got mistakenly labelled as a wiley original.
anyway, it's fantastic, and it's radically different to eskimo. a corrupted take on gabba-garage, it's all pitch shifted kick drums tripping over themselves, and a shard of digital-noise storm over the top. it's radical in the way it sounds so ungainly, with a jerky, splenetic rhythm, like skepta rejected even typical hardcore techno-blare as being too smooth and safe. 'gunshot riddim' sounds as messy and panicky as track with that name should. the track's stammering, stuttering beat also means that, despite being built from uniformly ultra-brutalist sounds and textures, it never lapses into the repellent macho rigidity of much extreme electronic music. this is a more organic take on extremism, on a human, even personal, scale. the sound of people losing and terrifying themselves, rather than machines terrorising people.

and yet, despite its convolutions and severity, it's still got a groove- you still want to dance to it. in fact, i'd say that it's one of the most obviously danceable grime tracks that have been released. but it calls for, it demands, that you bring some new moves to the floor...

a sad farewell to one of my favoutite blogs which no longer exists anymore: hackneyed central.

and a welcome return to a blog that took a break: ukiyo-e.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

silverdollarcircle begins its journey into mp3 posting in ultra lo fi stylee:

d double and footsie rare track

not sure what it's called. i've heard it referred to as 'drawing gash' on messageboards but that's a horrible name innit.

anyway- traded lyrics + naive-pop melody...lovely.
would write more but i'm exhausted after that bloody grime round up thing...


and e-mail me if it doesn't work. i'm guessing it won't, cuz i'm rubbish at computers.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

some more grime Posted by Hello

Monday, January 17, 2005


ok, here's the rest of the end of year round up of grime stuff. hope you like it. it's, um,. very...long. i quite doing these small little snippets of reviews you know. makes me feel a bit like that Wire writer, byron coley. not that i'm nearly as good as him of course. he's my favourite journalist.
anyway, enough chitchat...

DIRTY DANGER-'It's dirty'.

don't know if this was released in 2004 or not. probably not, actually. but i have to mention it quickly just cuz it's super amazing. dirty danger is the ruff squad MC who sounds like dizzee, and here he drops his best ever lyric: 'and it's dir-TY, don't be stupid there's no cupid, yeah i'm dir-TY/that girl knows my fame and she's chatting my name cuz she knows i'm dir-TY'. all over this soupy and gloopy cartoon synth line. the days i have spent with this tune in my head...

Really may be this should have made the 'best of 2004' list, but it's too late now innit. anyway, this was where tinchy got all relaxed and friendly, coaxing us to 'make a racket, don't be scared to let it out'. with the collapsing building blocks of strings and guitar in the background, it makes having a good time sound heroic and a deadly serious affair. that's beautiful.


madly, inexplicably, i'd totally forgotten about this track until about a week ago when i heard it on an old ruff sqwad tape. they don't seem to play it much in their sets anymore, which is crazy cuz it's right up there. it's possibly the most dedicated moment of blissed out melodicism that grime has ever produced, and has the ruff sqwad MCs almost whispering the chorus. a very gentle, translucent sound.

Another moment of perfection from ruff sqwad. this was kind of the ruff sqwad sound growing up a little bit, getting a little deeper, putting on some more layers. but this being ruff sqwad, growing up doesn't mean getting boring and leaden: it means getting all stately and grand. ths track will break yr heart every single time, especially when tinchy goes: "you said you were alright, but i knew you weren't ok, behind the sarcasm and the front may be you'll slip away". he sounds like he's choking back tears and i feel the same when i hear it.

who are they? where are they from? infrared sound remain a mystery to me, which makes them even more exciting. i've only heard one set from them- this tape- which remains one of the greatest pieces of sustained grime MCing i've ever heard; a torrent of ideas and shattered phrases spat out quickly and with total commitment. the way they lock with the riddims, like when they MC in tune to 'misty cold', still sends shivers...


this is the tape that raw blaze used to play when there were no djs or crews in the studio. everyone shouts and screams! the music cuts out for a reload like every 10 seconds! the air-horn blare from the audience is constant and both fantastically irritating and exhilirating! an all-time noise classic.

good gosh this is intense. it's like a grossly, abdusrdly inflated version of that hollow, squarewave grime sound, exploding in a shower of blurts, boings and whistles. i never want this tune to end when it's on, even though it makes me kind of dizzy.

alias is one of the few producers doing that breakier, darkcore take on grimey garage that i really like. this is punishing and brilliant in its stripped down simplicity: killer bass line fucking up yr insides over a rigid, martial beat. like a lot of alias stuff, it's a cold, almost techno sound that's so straight to the point it's always fascinating. kind of a modern day 'energy flash' may be.

really this pretty difficult to tell apart from the first gladiator, but, you know, that first one was wonderful and so is this. the bass line sounds like it's glowing, wrapped in sickly, feverish neon. an underrated track from a hugely underrated producer- no one does the meaner, shadowy side of grime better than alias. Like the song says: "DON'T STOP!"

a remix of the mighty j sweet's gabba-grime masterpiece. this is actually probably slightly less good than the original, just cuz messing with perfection is always going to be a bit of risky business, but it's still joyously hardcore.

i mean, really, how? what chain of events led to crazy titch and alias teaming up with the sugababes for an underground white label hit?! love the idea of it, of course, but may be the reality is a little disappointing. still, an amazing idea.

yeah it's crazy t over dizzee's 'jus a rascal', saying lots of rudeness about dizzee rascal. like poplife blog, i find crazy just too shouty and unsubtle most of the time. there's no finesse there. which is bad as regards listening to a whole set of him, but for furiously playgroundish taunts it's quite fun, with titch keeping it menacing and silly at the same time, which always goes down well with me.

I love the mesh of the beat and the bass on this track, the way it gets amped up and up until it's this huge robotic groove stomping over everything. but the soaring vocals from katie cut through it and then it gets intense in a whole different way. this is totally pop and yet still a defiant, mentalist sound. it's machine-funk that makes me want to dance in a new way like i've never seen or done before.

this is probably essentials' biggest tune to date, and although it is good, i'm not sure whether it's even close to the best essentials can produce. the davinche beat sounds oddly stodgy and lumpy here, but the quick, conversational exchanges between the essentials MCs make it quite special still. for the first time since early Roll Deep, here's a grime crew that sounds like a BAND, coming together to share hooks and fire ideas off each other. that gives essentials a poised, spontaneous energy that sets them apart.

...but the tight,collective force of essentials is probably best on this track, which was inescapable for much of the year. if there's one grime lyric that'll define 2004 for me, it'll be the chorus to this track: "can't bring to essentials, you can't bring to essentials NO!'. wicked. and davinche went crazy mad here, piling on the clipped string and brass stabs to a gleaming, sharp gale of sound, like broken glass flying out of yr speakers.


there's so many MCs on this track that i have trouble remembering any of them, cuz i'm stupid like that. but i think shizzle's on there. and kano definitely is. anyway, i'm sure i wouldn't like this track half as much if it didn't have the person with the drill sergeant voice demanding 'are you gonna hold it down?' of each MC. the idea of a ardkore military is brilliant and funny. i don't think anyone else really shines that much here, but whenever yr attention starts to wander there's always that cool fuck the drill sergeant to make you smile every 30 seconds or so.


davinche got quite fragile with this one. it's almost like a prototype of his more full on, smashing and grabbing barrages of strings. but like i always say, i like brittle, slightly uncertain sounding music, and so i love this.

like the name suggest, this is essentials' dj bossman mixing davinche's 'eyes on u' with youngsta's seminal 'bongo'. a good, sensible idea, you might think, and so it is, but the results are even greater than the sum of the parts. i don't know how, but some magic has happened somewhere along the way, and the insertion of a few boings to eyes on u gives it this irresistable, confident swagger that sounds so RIGHT that it's like it's always existed and it's only just now been discovered. a lot of grime is like this- the simple elements are constructed in a very elegant way, that's beautiful in its balance and harmoniousness.


first time i heard this i was like, yeah it's alright. then a few more times and: 'actually, it's pretty boring'. then a few more times and i saw the light. now i just can't get it out of my head after hearing it. the vocals and riddim fit so tightly it's a wonder to behold. again, it's all in the elegant proportions and structure. and kano sounds so sharp and cut throat, he makes yr jaw drop. the cheeky asides are put aside for once, and kano lays it out simply: no one sounds as smooth and casual in such a deadly serious way as he does.sure he can be a little too smooth sometimes, but when he's on it, i still find myself thinking that he must be one of the coolest people who ever lived.

really, the production of shystie's album wasn't very good was it. ruined the album really. so it's good that she's seen sense, or the record label's finally let her to what she wants to do, whatever, and released remixes with proper grime masters on the buttons. davinche gives this track just the jacking, prickly, unstable groove that this song needed to wake up and rush towards you with it's head full of ideas. shystie's frequently a brilliant MC- intelligent and conscious while being funny and never preachy, and she has an urgency and natural aggression that makes you listen. she's real. and when she's with the right producer, her tracks shine fierce and bright.

and here's another shystie remix that transforms the original into a grime masterpiece. terror danjah goes all soft-core ravey blissy on this one, sounding a bit like aphex did when he was still interested in beautiful and hazy ways to make people dance. and what a wicked parting shot Bruza has towards the end: 'more money, more problems: but forget the problems, GIMME THE MONEY!'. ah i love that cocky cockney from the east.

TERROR DANJAH + SHOLA AMA- 'LOVE IS HERE TO STAY'.best grimella/grimette moment of 2004 was between this and 'so contagious' and after much umming and ahhing so contagious got it, but its little sister, 'love is here to stay', is still pop genius. terror danjah's beat is all punchlines and kicklines of space age sounds zapping and crunching, cutting out suddenly in little heart stopiping moments. shola ama matches the whistle and arc of the synths and she sounds so free, soaring up and up. sweet as nut.

Here terror danjah left his usual dark and metallic sonic crawls behind and kicked back a little with some ruffed up and grimey tropical whimsy. it sounds like someone whistling to themselves on the way to the beach one sunny morning. it's a fun and funny delight. it might end up as a minor footnote in the career of terror danjah, but it always nice to be surprised by some lightness come sparkling through the merk.

The greatest of all the shystie remixes of 2004, p-jam's version is gratuitously hyperactive, throwing ideas at you so fast that you have no idea what's going on. after listening to it countless times, i'm still not sure i really know what happens in this song. just that a lot happens. and quickly. and it excites me.


i don't get why people are saying that d double's glory days might be over when he's just done a track as good as this. here he boils down his flow to thick, smudgy verbal jabs, letting the p-jam bass fill in the gaps, which curls and trips over itself, as those tendrils of sublow leak out and dart back. like villalobos, p-jam can make his bass sound totally organic and totally mechanical at the same time.

a little trim/bruza style cheeky self-awareness came in with this, d double's latest track. he congratulates himself for his ooo ooo and mui mui, complementing the top boy he sees in the mirror; 'that's very original, never heard that from another individual'. when you hear music this characterful and personalised, it warms you a little bit.

christ, did mike skinner make this beat then? it's super-grimey! he can turn his hand to anything, can't he, that lad. anyway, that surprisingly great beat aside, the best thing about this track is d double who sounds so funny and bratty he's adorable, perfectly mimicing the selfish pleas of a teenage boy who wants sex before he mum comes back and bollocks him. he sounds dainty and light here, showing again that's he not just about thugged out lisps and retches, fun as they are.


just when i was starting to think that may be kano wasn't all that anymore, i heard this and realised why i loved his voice in the first place. yeah like poplife says, his flow might be just a little too sheeny-shiny refined here to really jolt yr ears into attention, but that doesn't matter so much when he sounds as genuinely angry as he does at some points here, as his deadpan calm cracks and he spits out words of disdain for all the shit MCs.

it's a pleasant breeze of a song, bathed in a sweet lazy morning aferglow feel, but it doesn't put a flutter in my heart like, say, 'so contagious' or 'love is here to stay' do. the target remix of this track does, however, but that's a 2005 thing, just.

...like 'so sure', this is a bit take it or leave it for me. some magic is missing. but any and every decent feminised take on grime is sorely needed at the moment.

i can't be bothered to repeat everything else i've said about it elsewhere here in this post, so i'll just say: it's good, and when you're listening to it, you KNOW that the ingredients are all there to make it a superb, classic record. it's got everything you'd want. and yet...and yet it ISN'T a superb record, and i just don't know why. i know that i SHOULD be amazed and awed by the brilliance on display, and yet i'm not. i'm even, and i never thought i'd say this about dizzee's take on grime, a little indifferent.

this, on the other hand, is quite special. it's the b-side to dream, and is a knotty, salty track, twisting jungle snares and ardkore blares into a rickety, alien shape that's punk as fuck.

this came out right at the end of 2004, and was soon huge- nasty crew play it loads, as do most other crews. it's lovely, tinkling and stuttering through chopped smooth and sexy r n b samples. ok, grime producers have been doing this sort of thing for ages now, but these understated, delicate sound-poems will always have a place in my heart.

No relation to 'str8 flush' [ i think], this is a return to the early-youngsta sound of disorted boings and claps. and once in a while, there's nothing wrong with that.

a remix of forward riddim which makes the string stab fairground run in reverse. i've heard a few MCs on this riddim, but eskobar stands out as particularly good. somehow, jammer's simple trick of reversing the melody makes it sound a little darkcore rave-droney. kinda a mentasm noise, may be. anyway, obviously that's a good thing.

Jammer merks sunn-o and all those people, with a meditation on bass feedback and thrum. sludgy, but in a really pure, almost blissy way, it's right out there with wonder's 'what', and may be even beyond, at that end of the grime spectrum that takes delight in making no sense and confusing everyone. in theory that's great, and in practice it's lots of fun too.

for me, this was where the dulled and drugged brass stab sound, introduced by jammer's 'destruction' and taken up so enthusiastically by davinche, finally reached the end of the line and ran out of interesting things to do or say. still, a wicked performance by essentials' MC kidman. i like it when grime MCs get all emphatic about their names, drilling it into yr head.

This sounds VERY similar to wiley's 'fire hydrant' and indeed jammer's accused wiley of biting his sound. whatever, it's probably actually better than fire hydrant-more epic, more lush, more complete.

dunno the name of it, but i'm talking about that one where the chorus goes, 'merkin', merkin', that's what we're into/ merk in threes we merk in twos'.
that's great!

this never seemed to get quite as big as it deserved to. i love it. it's got a nice, thick rolling feel to the bass like some of wiley's stuff has, that playstation-dub feel. the world needs more of that.

there's a bit of a fashion for grime MCs to end things in 'illion' at the moment. it's the new 'izzle'. here, each line from each MC does it, so you get this crazed, forward momentum that almost out-does the forward riddim.

Big e-d has always been kind of the heavy metal counterpart to grime's more typically punkish energy. he's the sludgy, doomy one while others are all crackling snares and high pitched squeals, stabs and bleeps. on 'the rush' he takes it one step further than before, and nicks a sample from the deftones. demon screams in that quivery way he does, like a modern day jello biafra, and bruza's in his element, doing his high-camp cockney wideboy thing to perfection.

i wouldn't put this track, from aim high vol 1, in this best of list, if it weren't for the 10 seconds or so where demon reaches higher and higher into insane intensity, climaxing with:
'i'm the MC that loves the sex,
bare back with ya sis-tah
just love the sex,

you can tell that he's loving MCing so much then: it's probably one of my favourite bits of music ever.

another aim high cut, this has flo-dan doing his ace hypnotic gangsta-mantra thing, 'that's me, sell drugs, sex gal, smoke weed, that's me...'. he's the grime dmx, growling his lines softly into the mic, making you lean forward and listen.

scene politics aside, cuz i find all that stuff boring and it's probably all hype anyway, this is a great record. god's gift sounds like a total mentalist- if MCs are going to do that kill-yr-mother scream and rave thing, then this is how it should be done. the riddim, by dexplicit, is probably actually a little better than the forward riddim to which it's closely related- that brutal skeleton of a melody sounds even more like a electroshock to yr soul.

it's yelping flurries of one line flows over kylie's 'can't get you out of my head'! what more can you want!

over the beat and bassline to the Streets' 'don't mug yrself', lethal b goes all motown on us, to hilariously, joyfully discordant and out-of-tune effect. 'i got a 45...under my seat, so i suggest that you think twice cuz i might shoot yooooouuu' he croons, singjaying like big youth on a rough day. and it sounds amazing. out of tune singing is so underrated.


I'm not a huge plasticman fan, but i do love 'cha'. like all the best riddims, it lights up a grime set as soon as it's dropped. this was probably the first time i've really felt that i 'got' the typical plasticman bass-ooze thing. and having all those shouts of 'cha' at the end of each bar, sounding like some terrifying tribal war-chant, was a wicked idea. also means that MCs can interact with voices on the vinyl, which i guess is quite interesting.

not sure if this is flirta d or not, but i think it is. anyway, i love it cuz it's got the MC going 'cuz i'm BOSIE' in the chorus, in a really high-pitched, camp, 'i'm FREEEEE!' way.

how can you not fall for lady sovereign's voice after hearing this?! she's cheeky and she sounds JUST like london.

...The one i was talking about a while back that has narstie considering doing an armed robbery, and l.man persuading him out of it and taking the piss out of him. there should be more clashes within crews i think- grime feeds off conflict and fractures- and clashes within the loyalty-bonds of a crew has a fantastic dynamic of love and hate. also, l-man is one of the best grime MCs around. actually, i'm not even sure if it's right to call him an MC. maybe 'spoken word artist' is better. whatever, he's come with something unheard...

as a woozy and gauzy sliver of gentle anti-pastoral melodicism, 'slow jamz' is perfect for grime, and loads of MCs have freestyled over it. the best though is d double, of course, who muses about all the different colours he sees throughout his day, imploring us to wake up and recognise everyday beauty: 'look around you, recognise, there's bare different colours...'. heronbone style.

a better beat than 'bruzin' and the ultimate cheerful/threatening cockney geezer chorus. i'm sold! bruza's got a crazy east end music-hall thing going on with his take on grime. next i want him to do a version of, 'doin the lambeth walk, oi!'

much of j2k's 'heat in the street' mixtape was uk hip hop, of a very high quality. but here he goes a little grimier and sounds...fearsome. he's hugely underatted- for cool-as-fuck dead-pan calm witticims, he's frequently the match of kano.

you can hear this on the 'practice hours' dvd, where all-in-one performs it in his car, jabbing his finger straight at the lens. i've never heard it anywhere else, and i hope it gets a proper release cuz it's one of the best displays of grime MCing i've ever heard. that bit where he ends this long, dramatic run of words, and then spits out, 'cuz we're not stupid, and none of us believe in cupid. do we?' blows me away. and then he starts talking about how he can't bear to sleep alone. yr emotionally exhausted by the end of it.


a sticky, icky melody of r n b synth-slime gradually morphs into a half-speed rave piano-vamp, and Liberty ends lines with a shaky 'urrgh' like he's cumming, passing out, recoiling in disgust, and spooking the kids, all at the same time. it's so ridiculously sleazy, makes me feel dirty listening to it. but , you know, great. obviously.


merlin seems have to have come through in just the past three months or so, as a producer affiliated to ruff sqwad, and with a similarly gorgeous take on ultra-dense mini-symphonies. on the best track i've heard from him, which i don't know the name of, he lives up to his name and does this delightful medieval stylee, with harps and everything. it's...epic!

i only heard this a few times, on dj mackie's show, which is a shame cuz it was a wicked idea. basically: the most famous tropes and idioms from his top boy producer are bolted together, in a kind of megamix, with each having 8 bars each in the limelight. like a clash of producers, rather than MCs, right? and you could miss-call the station when yr favourite was on and the winner who got the most calls was announced at the end. so, a wicked idea, but it didn't seem to take on, sadly...

i don't quite get when people talk about grimette/grimella, gemma fox's name is so rarely mentioned. i love this track- especially the way she goes 'woo-oo-oo' in the chorus. i like 'woo's in music.

i'm not at all sure if that's the correct title, but the one i'm talking about is the absurdly over the top slice of gabba-grime where nu brand flex obviously take a gleeful excitement in creating anti-social, desctructive blare and pound. and that kind of happiness is infectious and addictively silly. punk-rave is here, may be? finally?

another piece of rave-{filtered through crunk)-grime [how's that for a genre name!], with slimting taking the sound of dying ardkore synth gloop and some scraps of 808 clapclapclap to create perhaps the most relentless monotone and minimal grime track ever. not really fun, but i'm kind of pleased that stuff like this exists.

a little too americanised hiphop for my liking, but this track is still important cuz it features the long overdue return of the mighty sharkie major to vinyl. he's just as perfect as i remembered. Everyone who's heard sharkie loves him.

fire hydrant is 'ground zero's little brother- a gentle, almost ambient, dream-like tundra that mangages to sound kind and heartless at the same time. as mentioned above, jammer's 'blazin' is probably a better take on the same theme and sounds, but fire hydrant is still right up there among the classics of wiley's career. it's also the preferred merkage track for roll deep now- it's what trim, scratchy and wiley all use when they want to be nasty about other people. trim in particular suits this riddim, as he's all watery and drifting like the track itself.

sometimes called, 'new era', this is similar to the almost bleep and bass style wiley's adopted recently [cf back 2 back and ice cream man]. ice pole remix is the most melodic of the lot, carried forward on exhilirating, darting and diving lines of square-wave melodies. sometimes tunefulness, when it is this restless and disorientatingly alien, can be as relentlessly hardcore as noise.

like i've said before, this is one of the saddest songs ever written. everything about it is so mournful- it's all muffled and lonely, with every sound seeming like it's struggling to continue. and through it all, kele le roc rises out her emotional tragedy and she sounds so bruised but so heroic.

some grime. Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 13, 2005

just to check that my picture posting thing works on my blog- here's me 5 years ago doing a noise set at munkyfest Posted by Hello

dj/rupture has an 8 minute or so piece of jah mek the world [jammer's production outfit] for you to download, off a tape i sent him. go go go!
'best of the rest' grime round up soon come, believe.
'best of stuff that wasn't grime in 2004' soon come, believe.
i'm gonna see that new ramones documentary tonight, huzzah!

Monday, January 10, 2005

i used to write this blog on a desk next to a window and when my eyes drifted from the screen they settled on a view over south london.

now i write this blog on another desk and when my eyes drift from the screen they light on a framed copy of superpitcher's 'happiness' 12" on my wall*

soon i will move my computer and write this blog on yet another desk, and when my eyes drift from the screen they will land on a shelf with over 100 pirate radio tapes and a dozen or so grime 12"s on.

however, i do not think that these facts have influenced, or will influence, the content of this blog at all.

*my favourite record sleeve ever.

in other news: joe has bought the greatest record of all time. dancehall for robots.

the terrible realisation slowly dawns: i may never be able to grow a full beard.


if you haven't done this already, i recommend that you stick on yr copy of Practice Hours dvd and let it run through the credits at the end: there's a little short film tucked away there which is really moving. a kind of visual love letter to east london and the MCs there, all set to that one that goes 'loving you is easy because yr beautiful'. beautiful...beautiful...beautiful.
and then the sun comes up.
anyway, yes, it's lovely. don't want to ruin the surprise further.


if i was to re-name this blog, or do another blog, i would call it 'SPITTING ATOMS' or may be 'SPIT THE ATOM'. but i think spitting atoms is better may be. i think this name would be particularly good for a blog about grime MCing/spitting.
you can nick it from me if you like.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

grime in 2004: track by track

ok, let us begin. i'll try to do the very best tracks now and do the rest in a few days. there's no top 10's or anything like that cuz that would be impossibly arbitary. best just to write them down in whatever order i think of them. so here it comes:

my favourite grime track of this year, easily. musically, it's just a steal of dizzee's 'hype talk' riddim, which isn't even near the best dizzee production, but wiley's vocals lift the track into something else entirely. i've never heard an MC sound like his MCing is this important to him. wiley sounds like he's on the verge of tears, and that's as hardcore as music ever gets.

who knows where this came from. pushing the light-fingered orchestral side of grime to it's conclusion, this is kind of easy-listening, kaempfert-esque grime, and just as great and no where near as horrible as that may sound. the grime 'surfin safari'! when you think that this is for ultra-violent MCs to spit their lyrics over, you get confused and the world makes no sense. and it's such a fun track, see-sawing and stop-starting, exhaling little gaspy breaths of joy, it's delightful.

davinche did loads of great stuff this year, probably more than anyone, but i particularly loved eyes on u. it has a possessed and focussed energy about it that means it lights up any grime radio set. all punishing stabs and hints of melodic flurries, it's kind of the quintessential davinche.

i think xtc are affiliated with ruff sqwad somehow, i dunno. ruff sqwad play XTC lots, and this is a remix of a ruff sqwad track. so yeah. i reckon they're connected somehow. ANYWAY, this remix transforms the melodic dynamism of misty cold into a tear stained haze that'll break yr heart. when that piano motif comes repeating in, yr an emotional wreck. why can't all music be this powerful. it's as softcore and sickly blissy as a grime production outfit called xtc should be.

little glitchy stutter samples, and a plaintive flute melody and not much else: it's probably the best ever example of grime's occasional forays into naive dreampop genius. this song is perfect, and it sounds of heaven.

as i say all the time, every ruff sqwad track is something you must hear if you haven't already, but ur love feels is probably their greatest 5 minutes yet. ardkore/kanye-esque chipmunk vocals slime and bleed all over the place, while a gloriously epic synth line, that manages to be solid + assured and creakily vulnerable at the same time, holds together one of those grimey artic soundscapes that makes me melt.

mmmmmmm, rousing. those repeating, echoey brass parts calling yr soul to arms...this has a kind of windswept drama to it, a bit like aphex's 'didgeridoo'. if ruff sqwad aren't able to live in disused bank vaults and drive tanks in a couple of years, then the whole world is twisted and wrong.

this is a bit like 'ur love feels' actually. but you know, if it's good, if it's THIS good, then make more of it.

There's a few wiley tracks released around the same time that all sound quite similar:-ice pole remix and back 2 back and ice cream man. wiley often gets a little bit obsessed with certain sounds, and really rinses those for a while and then goes on to a new sound. anyway, the sound here is a 16bar switch between casio calculator plink plonk soars of high end melody, then a a crunchier electro-squiggle that wiley introduced in his old track, 'problems'. ice pole remix is sometimes the best of the lot for me, because of the way the melodies seem to attack yr speakers + nothing's held back. but mostly i prefer ice cream man. i like the way the switch between the wistful synth whistle and the more hardcore, grindy + hammering riff is so pronounced and always a bit shocking. and i like the way it's got that electric bleep in it that causes me to reach for my phone and check my inbox for next texts. it's an evil track, but in a surreal + kind of sugary way, so the title's apt innit.

another apt title: this is as cold as eskiboy's ever. minimal percussive booms and bangs and an icicle of string stabs and that's fucking it. scary stuff + i love it.

i've probably said all i could ever say about this track already. so i won't repeat all that here, except to say that grime has NEVER sounded so exciting. this is the essence of the sound + the scene, three years and countless records and bars distilled down to this 3 minute rush.on a side note: i think the press release says that this track is an anti-gun song, cuz i've heard a few people in the media repeat that back at us the public. for fuck's sake! could a song be any less anti-guns?! 'SHOOT IT SHOOT IT SHOOT IT' etc. they're, er, 'havinalarf' i think is what i'm meant to say.

if any track next year is going to be as big as forward riddim was this year, i think it'll probably be 'hype hype'. this is party-grime that everyone loves. sticky comes back from wherever he's been all this time and lays down a typically colourful and frantic riot of sounds + beats, and the SLK MCs go crazy on it, with all these grunts and yelps and lil jon impressions -'Oh YEAH!'-. it'll make you lose yr breath it's so much fun. oh and apparently SLK are THE grime crew for 2005.


more party-grime. oh how i love this music so. this is the most addictively enjoyable track of 2004 for me. it's so unself-consciously silly and joyful. it bumps and bounces all over the place and the roll deep MCs sound drunk in that cool-as-fuck way that you only see in Bacardi adverts and never in real life when they come together for the gang chorus sing-along, 'come on, shake a leg with me, whoaaa'.
i feel sad for people that don't like this song. it always makes me smile and laugh.

from roll deep's party-grime to the other end of the spectrum now. 'let it out' is all hazy clouds of gentle melody like fennesz in his quieter moods. piano chords shimmer through the fog. MCs sound a little lost, a little frail may be. yes i love this track.

terror danjah's 'poltergeist' is a typically hard, scary, crisp and sheeny banger + this vocal version of it, by roll deep, has some of the best MCing ever from the crew. dunno what else to say, really. amazing.


...likewise this one. it's wiley's version of terror danjah's 'creep crawler', which is slimy and sleazy and oozes out of yr speakers. filthy and disgusting but in a good way obviously. wiley sounds very on-point and agile here, providing a necessary counter to the sludge and merk of the riddim. it might be comically misheard on my part, but i really like the bit where he seems to say, 'i'm CND, but yr gun away boy'. see wiley's a leftie pacifist just like all of us.

this is trim's first appearance on vinyl, and it's the first time i felt like i really 'got' him. he takes the hook and he is awesome. his vocals float and rasp around the track, sounding almost like after-thoughts. that's very different to most grime, and it's newness is compelling. and he just sucks you in- you can't help but pay attention to these slurred, disjointed half-phrases. it's like he's rolling the words round in his mouth just cuz he likes the sound of them. whimsical grime is where it's at. the other MCs on this are all nangle. riko goes a bit mental just so you know that he's not scared AT ALL of the boogey man, and d double manages to fit in a lovely little expression of love to his baby daughter. oh, and terror danjah also merks it on the buttons. it's this crazy cartoon nightmare sound, all wheezy and music boxey, with little ice-cold bleeps. but the best bit is the Psycho-esque strings that come stabbing in for the chorus. horror-grime done so right that it's delicious.

trim gets all conscious here, warning us that we're not long for this earth and so we should Just Do It. his voice has never sounded more beautiful or lovable: he's as natural and gently bracing as autumn breeze full of golden leaves. and jammer comes correct with a oriental flute spiral that sounds so plaintive it almost hurts.

a typically grimey guarded expression of affection for a girl from trim, and bigga-man creates this revolutionary sino-grime track that you keep thinking is going to explode into some gory, epic technicolour at any moment, but all you get is scrapes of strings, and constant suggestions + feints. so pared down and so beautiful- this kind of track is exactly why i love grime.

this could be the most important grime track of 2005. not just because it's brilliant [although it is], but because it's an MC-led track with an addictive poppy melody, and really that hasn't happened for a long time, since kano's boys luv girls may be. the chorus will stay in yr head for ever: 'oh, ok then, draw the gat and then we'll spray them'. perhaps it's difficult to imagine those words being sung with skippy innocent joy but really that's what happens. i also love the gloopy plastic-bounce that jammer builds for the riddim.


davinche is very clever here, making like fennesz and fucking around with a sample of a woman saying 'baby' so that it's transformed into a white hot electric baby-talk goo of gurgles and clicks. it'll take yr breath away. wiley sounds ever so sad and honest, and kano does his weirdly detached, arch, verbal smirks and sounds brilliant on this one.

i guess really this is the big one. this is the one everyone's been talking about. and it is a monumentally, epically great track. this is grime revelling in, celebrating, it's discordance and wrongness, making machines and music do what they're not meant to do. but it still has a groove, however twisted it gets. it is pop music for 100 years in the future. i love the wail of 'what have you done? for meeeeeeeeee, late...ly'. that's crazy wicked. and kano merks the track, sounding much colder + more desperate and serious than usual, repeating, 'i'm not lying to you'. hearts and souls have been poured into this song.

grimette, pop grime, grime n B, and did someone at dissensus say 'grimella'? i like that one. anyway, whatever it's called, terror danjah is the master of it. this all sexy and glows and shimmers in a deep + exhausted way. post-coital grime if you like. why not. shola ama is magical here, and puts the dead-eyed attempts at sexuality from the likes of beyonce to shame. and d double does does what you might have thought once was impossible and comes across as a friskily romantic fellow. of all the female vocal led grime released in 2004 this is the best; this is milestone.

more grimella, but this leans a little more to the Wonder-skool of total fuckedness and wrongness. p jam turns his infamous speaker wrecking bass even further up in intensity, so that these almightly slabs of sub-low sounds drill through the track with absurd force. this is p-jam being all poppy and it's still one of the most hardcore tunes i've heard in the past year. chardonnay is very ache-y and heart breaking in her torrents of love for her man, and she has the kind of assured magic that the best aretha franklin stuff has. these people are stars + i feel honoured to live in the same city as them.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

you know how lots of people say it's a terrible thing that not many people buy the NME anymore and that melody maker had to go out of business and etc etc?

well, really, fuck off. it's a GOOD thing that people don't want to buy shit anymore. for all my life, the NME was a piece of shit + to think that that the world owes you a living for writing shit is fucking low.

and yes, i know silverdollarcircle is often rubbish, but i do try [lame i know...] and i don't expect anyone to think that it's good. i'm learning here.

so, heh, i'm feeling quite 'punk rock' at the moment. talking of which, simon reynolds reckons that blogs have hit their 1970s phase. that's correct i think, and beyond the implode and kid shirt are the punk revolution come to shake us up: they make this seem so conservative and boring...

sorry, this has been a weird post hasn't it. but the freedom to do 'weird posts' is what so cool about the blogosphere isn't it. sorry i'm being weird again. i've had a headache all day and i don't feel normal.

i'll do a grime track by track round up tomorrow and everything will be ok.

love you, night night

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