- The grime scene has gone through many peaks and valleys since "Pulse X," and Logan Sama was there through it all. A tireless champion of the genre, he's helped give platforms to MCs and producers both. He's an accomplished radio host, having held slots at stations like Rinse and Kiss, and also one of grime's best-known club DJs. His day-one pedigree and unwavering commitment, however, paints him as a traditionalist in grime's current international landscape. The stuff he's likely to play lines up better with classic grime, but that doesn't mean the music is less powerful. Sama's Fabriclive entry is proof of this. He spent months gathering exclusive instrumentals for the CD, recording his mix with a comprehensive squad of MCs. On top of that, the unmixed productions (sans vocalists) were compiled as the first vinyl release in fabric's history (not counting their related label, Houndstooth).
The CD version of Fabriclive 83 is definitely the epic piece of music it looks like on paper. You've got the likes of D Double E, JME, P Money, Flowdan and Jammer, among many others, breathlessly trading bars over an onslaught of hard-hitting instrumentals. The rhymes are strong and the flow is relentless, but the unstoppable momentum can grow exhausting. This mix is for the diehards. There are very few passages without an MC, so the instrumentals don't get much room to breathe, and the uneven production fidelities make it all feel a little claustrophobic. Ambition is ultimately the CD's triumph and downfall, like a grime version of Hudson Mohawke's 42-minute "Rap Monument." It's a glorious achievement, but no small undertaking.
The vinyl version will be of more interest to DJs and casual grime fans. Presenting all 24 tracks as unmixed instrumentals, these four 12-inches outline Sama's distinct taste in grime. There are old-school workouts from Wiley ("Sweep The Floor"), Sir Spyro ("Farda") and JME, whose "The Return" sounds like the theme for the final boss of an old video game. The middle gets funky, with a Bristol-baiting slice of purple groove from Jammer ("Waterden Road") and a killer collab from Terror Danjah & P Jam ("Crud"). The latter is a standout of the collection and a perfect example of the selector's taste: rude textures buoyed by slinky, colourful synths. Sama's taste in the newer guard is also on point. Faze Miyake drops the lightweight, aerodynamic "Rifts," Kahn & Neek deliver their signature mix of muscle and exoticism on "Bucktown" and hints of trap shade in some new colors.
The CD feels truer to Sama's style, though it still doesn't capture the off-the-cuff fun of his old radio shows, nor the spinback mayhem of his club sets. Instead, it's something in between, highlighting his curatorial skills and the pull he has in the grime scene. It's a massive, imposing document of a thriving sound.
01. Wiley - Sweep The Floor + Vocals by Wiley, P Money, Jendor & Despa
02. Footsie - Brake Light + Vocals by D Double E, Footsie, Chronik & Diesle D Power
03. Rude Kid - fabric + Vocals by Rival, Ghetts, So Large & Rapid
04. Faze Miyake - Rifts + Vocals by Merky Ace, Shifman, MIK & TKO
05. ZXPH XLLXS - XCXD BXMB + Vocals by Ego, Cadell, Scrufizzer, Maxsta, Rocks, Grim Sickers & Nasty Jack
06. Jme - The Return + Vocals by Manga, Frisco, Novelist, Jammer & Diesle D Power
07. Swifta Beater - War Lord + Vocals by P Money, Jendor, D Double E, Ghetts & Kano
08. Sir Spyro - Farda + Vocals by Footsie, Meridian Dan, Bossman Birdie, Milli Major & President T
09. Dullahbeatz - Final Stage + Vocals by Kano, Saf One, Mayhem , Deadly, PRessure, Bomma B, Tornado, Flowdan, Killa P, GodsGift, Cadell, Shifman & MIK
10. Jammer - Waterden Road + Vocals by Jammer, Discarda, Manga & Killa P
11. Rapid - 3rd Eye + Vocals by Roachee, Stamina, So Large, Rival & Maxsta
12. Spooky - Cookie Monster + Vocals by Scrufizzer, Blacks, Kozzie, Mez, Snowy & J Dot
13. Terror Danjah & P Jam - Crud + Vocals by Hitman Hyper, Jamakabi, Capo Lee & Jammz
14. Kahn & Neek - Bucktown + Vocals by P Money, Jammer, Rocks, Saint, Nico Lindsay & AJ Tracey
15. Jammz - Contender + Vocals by Jammz, Row D, Capo Lee, Kwam, PK & Big Zuu
16. Mystry - Launchpad + Vocals by Saint, Hitman, Jaykae, Choppa, Grim Sickers, Merky Ace, Ego, Chronik & TKO
17. Trends - Ambush + Vocals by Jaykae, Bomma B, Tornado, Hitman, Trapz, Kwam & Spitz
18. Teeza - West London + Vocals by AJ Tracey, Mez, Kyeza, Snowy & J Dot
19. Preditah - Crash Bandicoot + Vocals by D Double E, Discarda, Footsie, PRessure, Deadly, Saf One & Mayhem
20. Maniac - Do One You Mug + Vocals by Scrufizzer, Maxsta, Rapid & GodsGift
21. Davinche - Kestra + Vocals by Jammz, Novelist, AJ Tracey, PK & Capo Lee
22. Teddy Music - Swear Down + Vocals by Bossman Birdie, Milli Major, Meridian Dan & President T
23. The Heavytrackerz - Santa's Last Christmas + Vocals by Discarda, Roachee, Stamina, MIK, Merky Ace, Shifman & Kozzie
24. Masro - Constructive Mayhem + Vocals by Diesle D Power, Novelist, PK, Kwam, Meridian Dan & President T