GRIME SCENE UPDATES
In case you missed it in the comments box, Chantelle Fiddy (author of the Muzik Roll-Deep feature that I referred to) popped by to say hello. Chantelle has her own World Of Grime blog. She's 24, a journalist by trade and appears to be absolutely in the thick of the whole East London scene, reporting back from street (or should I say 'road') level, with some cute 'behind the scenes' jpegs too. It's a must read for anyone interested in the latest news and rumours from the 'bashment' zone. Respec'
Chantelle is a bit less enthusiastic about FWD/Rephlex stuff, however. In particular, she's a bit miffed that they chose to appropriate the term 'Grime':
"Personally I've never got my head around why Rephlex called their compilation Grime other than to cash in on the buzz word. This FWD/Croydon sound you refer to, also known as Dubstep has little to do with grime."
Putting the case for the defense, I had an e-mail from Rephlex artist Ed DMX who, among other things, put forward his own opinion on this matter:
"I reckon Rephlex called their compilation "grime" in the knowledge that
really the style was more commonly known as "dubstep" and that grime was a
bit different.... but with the belief that the scene was still small & new
enough that they could re-define it a bit so that to the wider world "grime"
might come to mean those kinda tunes on the rephlex comp.
because "grime" is a cool name for a style of music whereas dubstep sounds
silly, like a form of drum & bass from 1997.
probably confusing for a few people but there you go.... there's probably
only 1000 people who care what the difference is between grime, dubstep,
sublo etc..... "
I like the way Ed brings a sense of perspective at the end there. Yeah, let's not have a big fight about a little five-letter word, eh?
As for "Grime 2"...I'm digging it, y'know...but it's not blowing my head off like volume 1 did. It seems to be accentuating more of the exotic/ethnic spooky stuff at the expense of that hard urban edge. The riffs are definitely less prominent, either muted, reduced to sub-bass vibrations or even completely absent. There's some really interesting stuff here, like Digital Mystick's "CR7 Chamber" which is a sort of gamelan piece, but I can't help feeling that it's getting a little too polite and world-music-ish. Way better is Mark One's "One Way" album, which is just slaying me at the moment. This is the sort of cold, paranoid shit one would expect from a guy with Sheffield roots. That oscillator riff on "Cyberstate" is like an icey blast of wind sending shivers down my spine. There's a bit of a Belgian-horrorcore vibe too - check those menacing orchestral stabs on "Anger Management". Surely this is the way fwd...when's K-Punk gonna review it? Mark'll explain it all far better than I can...
A belated message of sadness that John is no longer with us. I won't pretend that I listened to his show religiously (although I did at one time) and I probably didn't even like about 50% of the stuff he played, but it's what he represented that will be most sorely missed. John was the ultimate example of 'subverting the system from within', a man who lived by his own playlists and convictions which is still a pretty rare occurrence in the mainstream media. We needed him now more than ever. Rest in Peace...