Not “nu grime”, “post-grime”, “grimestep”, “funky grime” or “retro grime.” Just grime. Somehow, where other sounds died or dissolved, this grassroots electronic music movement has grown organically for over ten years now.
In an era when information acceleration was supposed to grind any new idea up in the hype machine before it had time to find its feet, grime resisted all appropriation, retaining the qualities that made it exciting, fresh and subversive in the first place.
It wasn't easy by any means, and it's survived a lot in that time. It has seen its own MCs become superstars, frequently eclipsing the genre that raised them, then watched as its suburban first cousin dubstep snuck out from the shadows to world domination. It's been through beefs, bans and brawls; been held back by internal and external politics; struggled for recognition while flimsier, flightier sounds have been hyped to oblivion.
Through all that, though, throbbed the warped beats, hollow-sounding bass and preset synth sounds of the scene’s uniquely inventive producers, in many ways the keepers of the true flame, while its vocalists searched for as many ways to sell out as they could find. Sometimes as sparse, freaky and out-there as anything else in the electronic continuum, sometimes so far up in your face that you feel like you're going to be spitting teeth. Sucking up influences from garage, techno, jungle, dirty south hip hop, funky house, trance, and anything else that stumbles into its path, but bending it all into its own contorted shapes, grime production remains a brilliantly uncompromising and bloody-minded strand in British underground music – and further abroad too. Journalist and talent scout Joe Muggs, who compiled the CD with Big Dada's Will Ashon, has been working with a number of grime producers on their own digital labels, and began to realise there was a vast untapped reservoir of talent.
So here we are with grime still alive and very much kicking. And here is the most comprehensive survey of grime production the scene has ever had – thirty five exclusive tracks from across the world and across the spectrum of grime, demonstrating it to be some of the most powerful and brilliant electronic music in the world today. We've got new tracks from the originators (the godfather Wiley, Manchester's dubstep/grime originator MRK1, the elusive Youngstar whose 'Pulse X' was the first ever released grime record). We've got the new stars of the scene (Royal T, Preditah, Faze Miyake), and the up-and-comers snapping at their heels (Midlanders Swifta Beater and TC4, Brighton's Moony, Southeast Londoner Mr. Mitch). We've got tracks from Japan (Prettybwoy), Australia (Juzlo), the Netherlands (Gumnaam), Ireland (Major Grave), the US (Starkey and Matt Shadetek) and Canada (Tre Mission). We've got bangers and bubblers, haunting melodies and psychotic grooves, dead-eyed threat and cantankerous joy – and all the way through we've got evidence that this is a scene whose creativity can't be held back and shows no signs of stopping.