Sunday, 30 September 2012


Faze Miyake's brand of bass-heavy, hip-hop leaning grime has taken the genre by storm since the release of 'Take Off' last year, a track recently played by Baauer at his Boiler Room session in New York, highlighting both the reach and continued relevance of Faze's sound. 

'The Second Six' followed the Take Off EP back at the turn of the year but nothing by way of releases has followed since bar a number of excellent refixes, all of which have been kept very close to his chest. His latest offering, the 'Versus' EP should therefore be welcome news to expectant fans and as with everything he's put out to date, it doesn't fail to deliver. The EP is a 4-tracker, each a collaboration with a different producer: Miyake teams up with Preditah on 'Dell' and 'Take Off vs Gargoyle', Teddy on 'Quantum' and highly-regarded beatsmith Flava D on 'Volt' and all 4 give us an insight into what to expect from bigger, forthcoming projects. 

'Dell' has won its fair share of radio play over the last few months and does a good job of uniting two distinctly different sounds; Preditah dictates the tempo in typical forthright style but Miyake provides the undercurrent with chopped-up, low-end bass bringing the track together. Trademark woofs and 'woah' samples are also prevalent throughout.

By way of comparison, 'Quantum' is far more in line with the work Faze has undertaken over the last few months; there are definite similarities with 'Powers', his recent rework of Quincy Jones' 'Soul Bossa Nova' but this is certainly no bad thing. Rough, raucous and full of bass, Quantum is a track that Faze dictates with Teddy's influence lying more in the neatness of sampling. 

'Volt' on the other hand seems to take Faze Miyake's deep-lying bass lines and up the pace completely, leaving us with dancefloor-ready, club-worthy grime from the off. Flava D, although something of an unknown quantity, is both prolific and consistently good and her influence on Volt is all the more apparent for it. Probably my favourite track on the EP. 

Versus' final track is another joint effort alongside Preditah with the two blending Faze's 'Take Off' with Preditah's 'Gargoyle' to great effect - a firm radio favourite.

Although seemingly more of a filler to satisfy demand, the EP still packs a hell of a punch. The fact Miyake holds back from releasing unless he feels necessary is also a good omen but I'd hazard a guess that some exciting, more palatable projects are soon to be in the offing.

The Versus EP will be available digitally from all good online outlets from October 5th.

Thursday, 27 September 2012


In the second installment of my 'Life at 140' column for Clash Music, I talk refixes as the wait for Butterz x Hardrive #4 wittles down to a little under 2 months + my top 5 tracks, including music from Royal-T, Faze Miyake and Deeco. 

Read in full over at Clash here:

Saturday, 22 September 2012


Following a series of stellar reviews of Dusk and Blackdown's forthcoming LP 'Dasaflex' appearing over the last few weeks, I can only add my stamp of approval to the duo's first full-length outing in 4 years. Something of a tour de force in terms of influence, their Keysound Recordings imprint has harbored some of the most exciting new talent since 2005 and the pair have played a key role in breaking new music on their Rinse FM show since 2008. 

Whilst much of their focus has centered on finding new talent over the last few years, Dasaflex sees the spotlight cast back onto Dusk and Blackdown with good reason. At the cutting edge of everything good in funky, grime and garage, the LP is a tribute to the colourful, upfront sound they've put so much into curating - a must listen. Look out for title track 'Dasaflex' and 'High Road' in particular. 

Saturday, 15 September 2012


Alongside stateside labels, those from the Netherlands have also shown a good measure of interest in the fortunes of grime over the last few years. 'Progressive Intelligence', a label run by a small but dedicated collective of DJs and producers, is arguably the stand out example, having not only released in-house material but also a cracking EP from Nasty FM's Moony earlier this year.

Last year, I wrote a short review of Sandman's 'Run It' EP which, considering just how far away from the genre's musical / cultural epicenter it was made, was as good and as rugged as anything being made in the UK at the time. His second release, the 'Jalan Panjang' EP, is due out this coming Monday (September 17th) on Progressive Intelligence and again, shows good promise. It's a 3-tracker, each a little more mellow 'Run It', with the focus seemingly more exploratory than hard-edged. Preview it below.

To celebrate it's release, you can stream Sandman's 'Get Into It', a near-30 minute mix, featuring tracks from Terror Danjah, SRC, D.O.K and Moony as well as some of his own exclusive forthcoming material. Listen below.

Thursday, 13 September 2012


In my latest piece for Clash Music, I was lucky enough to review Terror Danjah's forthcoming Hyperdub album, 'Dark Crawler'. A grimy onslaught from the outset, Terror has put together an LP that showcases the genre in a new and exciting light; utilising both older and newer influences as well as some of the scene's freshest young MCs, Dark Crawler is a great snapshot of grime's standing in 2012. 

Read the full review and words from Terror himself over at Clash here:

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


I've been keeping a watchful eye over the last 6 months but having been a feature of sorts in label boss Tom Lea's sets over the last 2 years, It's no surprise that Bristol's newest rising star, Artifact, is to release his latest EP via Local Action. In what will be the imprint's tenth outing, having also released music from T Williams, Slackk and DJ Q over the last year, Artifact has curated a glorious little 3-track dancefloor stomper. 

The 'Worn' EP lands somewhere between house and techno but all becomes fairly insignificant upon first hearing the searing, Swamp-esque bass stabs on 'Worn' or the infectious jump-up techno beats of 'Turtle Fight'. Opening track 'Drain' is probably the least complex of the three but still packs a weighty dance floor punch, complete with killer snares, in what is an excellent Local Action debut for the Bristolian. Props all round.

The first run will be available on white vinyl, each with individually spray-painted sleeves, from the end of September / beginning of October. 

You can preview the 'Worn EP' via Soundcloud below: 

Wednesday, 5 September 2012


The 11th mix in the Sonic Router x Uncle Albert mix series comes courtesy of grime visionary Mr Mitch. Full of exclusives and at over 50 minutes long, it serves as a comprehensive snapshot of all things currently good in the world of grime as we enter the final quarter of 2012. 

Listen, download and read up on what he had to say over at Sonic Router here: