A lot is made of instrumental grime and drum tracks nowadays. As yesteryear’s buzzy, hashtag-ready permutations of bass, drums and miscellanea no longer reel in as many clicks as journo’s would like, extremely white people everywhere scamper about, haphazardly trying to latch on to a new formula. Innovators cringe as late adopters mindlessly interpolate aural genre signifiers in their newest mediocrity, and are lauded for it. So 2014 was the year of grime and drum tracks then. The year that eski clicks, the ha, and “Pulse X” were spammed into obsolescence. The year that everyone and their dog bandwagonned CG, web art, katakana, and “animay” imagery in a desperate struggle for renewal of their 15 minutes of relevance.
That said, It’s not all bad. 2014 was also the year of Night Slugs’, Hemlock’s, Gobstopper’s and Crazylegs’ (to name only a few of our favorites) continued mentorship to the industry. The year of Mumdance, Gage, Bloom, Rabit, Deke Soto (again, to name only a few of the leading lights). The year of our boys Spurz and IMAMI cutting their teeth. The year of our inception as fictional old money conglomerate and real-world upstart. A year not unlike any other year before it – of cream always rising to the top.
In that spirit, for our 2015 spring cleaning, we’ve compiled four tracks, from three of our newest talents, that best capture the more timeless developments in grime and drum tracks - getting them out of their system before crafting each of their respective full debuts into our Avant-Club and Machine Music fold. We dubbed the collection our “Cyber Grime Division”, and we’re putting it out on our Tessier-Ashpool Research & Development series right in time for Mother’s Day.
First up is Mutual Friend. An RBMA Bass Camp alum, Liar mentee and true Tessier-Ashpool Recordings original, his “Forward Dive” track is a bit of a misnomer, given its perennial rewind-shuffle onslaught. Cold, metallic FM subs seemingly collapse under their own colossal weight, before deftly shifting and redirecting it. A whimsical arp graciously sweeps across stereo space, while delicate, yet precise grimey 909 drum programming offsets the disjointed CD-skip riddims underneath. Martial artistry in sonic form. Early support from [re]sources and Dehousy on Rinse France.
Second up is Sexworker. After stopping the show with last year’s “G Pulse”, off of “Hy Brazil Vol. 6”, and contributing to Blastah’s “Blastah & Homies #3” on Car Crash set, he returns with his newest FTL incursion, “Tachyon”. An eerily tropical mélange of his Brazilian-heritage-dembow, dystopic drum track fundamentals and subtle sinogrime inflections, it manages to effortlessly induce closed-eye-visuals of distant and pristine worlds – arguably inhabited by sea-dwelling, totemic tribes.
Third up is TryTryDieDown (try saying that three times fast). The Sea Lion Gang wunderkind comes out shooting with “Ikebukuro 99”. Imagining himself “speeding down a Tokyo highway, at night, dressed in a Nike tracksuit, in ‘99” (as he puts it), he went ahead and soundtracked this fantasy. This however, is not import car ad fare. Indeed, it would be unlikely that one could drive from a point A to a point B, while blasting this, and not be inclined to cause a pile-up. The hardest of war dubs, made too late for dub war season, “Ikebukuro 99” is a heavily-driven grime tour-de-force to put any send to shame. Early support from Mumdance, Spooky, Strict Face & Glot.
Lastly, we close things off nicely with another one from Mutual Friend. “Cylinder” is a curious splice of ghettotech and grime histrionics, inhabited by bone-chillingly hypnotic klaxons and unabashed percussive rattles.
released March 9, 2015
Mastering by Liar.
Artwork by Andronis, Liar and Borealis.