Various - Grime 2.0

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  • Since day one (or close to it), grime has been dogged with a reputation for being unsafe, unstable or inconsistent. According to critics, it's been on the cusp of resurfacing for years now—on life support and waiting for a saviour—but in truth there's always been a lot going on, you just have to know where to look. Labels like Butterz and No Hats No Hoods have been proving its continued relevance for years. Big Dada's Grime 2.0 reinforces their efforts with one of the biggest outsider jobs in recent memory; compiled by journalist Joe Muggs, it collects over two hours of the best new material grime has to offer. But don't be fooled by the title: Grime 2.0 doesn't present a new version of the sound so much as a picture of a scene that's as healthy as it's ever been. For those who've been away, grime has mostly outgrown its obsession with the arid landscapes of eski. In fact, there's not a whole lot of retro here, unless you count the purposefully thin textures of Visionist's "Dem Times." The dominant sounds on Grime 2.0 are lurid funk synths, dubstep basslines and the hissing rhythms of hip-hop and trap. The results are mixed; compare Chimpo's maximalist machismo on "Codeine And Dragon Stout" to Faze Miyake's pastiche "5000," which lazily cobbles together bland American rap touchstones. Despite pervasive nostalgia for the supposedly lost brilliance of grime's early days, its sacred cows are still alive and kicking. Offering an HD upgrade on the original sound, Wiley's "Logic Pro" twists a wordless vocal sample like ribbon over a headbanging bassline. ("Pulse X" producer Youngstar hasn't aged as well, judging from his amateurish contribution.) The newer torchbearers, meanwhile, make the case that grime's best moments aren't limited to its legends: Preditah's demonic horn section still has a death grip on classic grime aesthetics, Slackk's "Spray" pumps out synth arpeggios like machine gun fire and former bassline head TRC's toned down and tuned-up "Cartwheel" shows how pared-down takes on the template can still sound fresh. Though grime is inherently English, it's finally becoming an international phenomenon. NYC's Matt Shadetek turns grime cliches into carnival fare with the excellent "Battery Charge." Toronto's Tre Mission takes a Jersey club-influenced stab at Rihanna, with "Dollar Bill." If you heard either track outside the compilation, you might not immediately think of grime. The fact that they sit comfortably here proves how far the sound has stretched beyond the purist beginnings that it's so often fenced into. Though it's way too long to listen to in one sitting, Grime 2.0 is catnip for the grime fan, and good bait for those new to or curious about the genre. It's an expansive and bravely warts-and-all look at a misunderstood movement still fighting hard for proper recognition over a decade later.
  • Tracklist
      CD1 01. Footsie - Oh My Gosh 02. Tre Mission - Dollar Bill 03. Teeza - Rum and Coke 04. Visionist - Dem Times 05. Faze MIyake - 5000 06. TRC - Cartwheel 07. Chaos & Order - Logans Mind 08. Preditah - Vinyls VIP 09. Youngstar - Loop 29 10. Chimpo - Codeine and Dragon Stout 11. DECiBEL - Bend 12. Shy One - 927 13. Inkke - 927 14. J Beats - Shotta Krew 15. Matt Shadetek - Battery Charge 16. Juzlo - Nail Thrower 17. Major Grave - Like A G CD2 01. Darq E Freaker - Trojan 02. Moony - Winner 03. Mr SnoWman - Frosty Lake 04. Mr. Mitch - Viking 05. Wiley - Logic Pro 06. MRK1 - Smash It Up Hard 07. Prettybwoy - Kissin U 08. Swifta Beater - Numb VIP 09. SNK - Mongrel 10. Royal-T - Space Cowboy VIP 11. Stenchman - Machine Molester 12. Sinden - Arcane 13. Slackk - Spray 14. Spooky - Moonlight 15. Starkey - Tunnel 16. TC4 - Lazer Riddem 17. Gumnaam - Desi Bullet 18. Threnody - Emergency