- When in 2013 grime producers went to war wielding instrumental diss tracks, Miles Mitchell called for a ceasefire with his Peace Dubs. Instead of aggressive macho drops, the Boxed resident took classics like "Eskimo" and "Spartan" and slowed them down, emphasizing latent elegiac qualities in the tracks, an idea he further explored on his solo LP Parallel Memories. Now, with the launch of a dedicated Gobstopper sublabel, Mitchell is passing his olive branch to other producers.
There's a connection to be made between these edits and the weightless grime peddled by Logos and Mumdance, but the core of PEACE001 is uplifting melody. Mitchell's edit of Dru Hill's "How Deep Is Your Love" makes an auspicious start, layering the R&B group's acapella to make them sound like a church choir. When the chorus vocal and roaring bassline hit halfway through, the effect is almost transcendent, an achievement when you consider that the track is made almost entirely from vocal samples. Strict Face's "Alice," which has a similar sense of poise, is a highlight. Something like a tranquilized trap cover of Alice Deejay's "Better Off Alone," the Australian producer takes one of Eurodance's post popular hits and makes it sound wounded and doleful—and emphasizes how brilliant the original melody is.
Loom's "Kate" pairs beautiful synth tones with a glitchy vocal manipulation of "Running Up That Hill," which sounds like some waning transmission from the afterlife. It's an effect underlined by harsher hum-and-buzz and an Eno-esque climax. Silk Road Assassins finish things off with a take on T-Pain's "I'm Sprung" that focuses on the original's pretty harp plucks. It's the least creative of the four, but it's no less seductive. There's a bewildering quality to these tunes that goes beyond the scope of most dance edits. Whether you chalk that up to the talented artists or the great concept, PEACE001 is one of the strongest things to come out of the Boxed instrumental grime axis yet.
01. Strict Face – Alice
02. Loom – Kate
03. Mr. Mitch – Dru
04. Silk Road Assassins – T