J Sweet & Alias - MarxAlias

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  • Logan Sama (arguably grime's most prominent radio DJ)'s slow-to-start label Earth616 releases new EP by ancient grime stalwarts J Sweet and Alias. Gasps are heard, but no one is surprised. The same could be said for the contents: the four tracks here (two solo, two collaborations) stick steadfastly to grime's roots and yet still surprise. Call it blasphemy, but I'd wager there's a little bit of dubstep bleeding in here. You can hear it in the way the LFO basslines are just a little more prominent than they would have been otherwise, and in the way they roll and commandeer the tunes. But aside from that, the duo provide four slabs of rudely clicking snares and gruff tones. J Sweet's "2Track" appropriates chintzy dirty south synth horns, while Alias' "Joker" is tougher, arming its blustery strings and brass with serrated edges. The collaborations are the big deal here, and "No Dream" is a barnstormer: an unstable blend of melting vocal samples, bristling mutant basslines and sections of snare-driven blitzing, it's the archetypal grime track dressed up in modern wob-wob clothes. The duo also contribute a remix of Spooky's ubiquitous "Spartan," balling up the original's messy energy and batting the compressed fuzz between apocalyptic snares. Far removed from the other side of the instrumental grime revival—the dayglo garb of Butterz and Terror Danjah—grime's oldest stalwarts show there's still plenty of stock left in throbbing greyscale minimalism.
  • Tracklist
      A1 No Dream A2 2 Track B1 Spartan Remix B2 Joker