For reasons unknown he still hasn’t had a solo track out on wax, just the sick remix of Trim’s ‘I Am’ on Butterz, ‘Circle’ is a killer grime track that deserves some attention on wax. He’s got plenty more in the bag too. His style is rude yet slinky. He can twist out some serious beats that flow as hard as the hit.
Another badman grime producer, this time in the form of Family Tree’s Splurt Diablo. He’s another guy that hits it hard and differently. Alongside Preditah, Faze Miyake and Darq E Freaker they’re the guys killing it outside of the Butterz camp in grime right now.
Pretty sure I tipped him last year too and you know what he killed it and I’m still hyped for whats to come in ’12. He had some killer tracks on Trilogy Tapes, Hum & Buzz as well as Ramp. I’d love to see what he can do over a full length but I’d settle for a handful of killer 12”s again any day. His sound is twisted.
He had a big year in ’11 bring out consistent 12”s of UK Funky, something scene hasn’t quite come to terms with doing outside of a select few for some reason. I’ve got a feeling his ’11 highlights are just the tip of the iceberg though; ‘Lose Control’, ‘Lighter’ and ‘Sensitivity’ with vocals from Ruby Lee Ryder are too big.
She made a quality mixtape in ’11 that I just kept going back to. It hit the spot for me in that dreamy R&B vibe where The Weeknd, Drake and Frank Ocean couldn’t. Her voice is sublime and the beats feel pretty effortless. I’d settle for something as quality as ‘Stranger’ in ’12 and I’ll leave happy.
He’s been impressive with a run of 12”s for [Nakedlunch], Hypercolour, Idle Hands and remixes on Fourth Wave, Man Make Music over the last year but I bet its only the tip of the iceberg. His sound is deeply twisted and hypnotic sitting somewhere between deep house, bass and hyper coloured synth experiments. Well worth a look.
Gerry has been on the radar for a while making some seriously deep dub infused techno for the likes of Dark Arx, but by the end of the year he really spread his wings with a twisted take on deep house and bass vibes for Fourth Wave that really grabbed my attention. He just keeps rolling out the odd ball bangers, so I can’t wait for his ’12 material.
‘Shawty’ was such a wicked track; it really grabbed your attention. He dropped several other quality releases in ’11 too, yet I can just see him making another anthem in ’12 simply because one of the best tracks I’ve heard from him ‘Vibrate’ still hasn’t hit wax.
As half of Lazer Sword he’s always been a load of fun, but Lando broke out this year with some quality R&B sampling, colour fuelled synth vibes of his own, taking in house, garage and bass like many had in ’11 but his twist on it oozed quality and banged hard. Tracks for Hotflush and Rush Hour really caught my ear, more is welcome, vibes.
Vessel is part of the Young Echo collective out of Bristol who are doing a lot right now and the EP on Left Blank showed us another reason why they’re on to something. Like a few of my other tips Vessel seem to sit in their own world between deep dubbed out house, twisted synth experiments and hefty bass weight. I’m pretty hypnotised.
After a quality showing on his SR mix this year he really got me on board, with a Brainfeeder release on the way he’s been grabbing the attention of the likes of FlyLo by the sounds of things too. His EP on Pictures Music this year was quality. That dusty, decayed, twisted take on beat music really sucks you in.
Mixing twisted electronics akin to post-punk/synth experiments with dance beats El Kid has nailed it with a 12” on Left Blank in ’11 and also showed his slow burning funk’d up house vibes on Immerse. El Kid has reach and I can’t wait to hear what he comes up with next. He’s part of the Young Echo crew out of Bristol, they’re all well worth a watch, keep an eye on Kahn, Zhou, Vessel & Jabu too.
Day dreaming, early morning hangover music of the highest order, sink in and feel the vibes. He’s from The Hague and makes some irresistibly neat and subtle electronics with a bright twisted atmosphere. Keep an ear to the ground for this one.
He’s a badman that’s been kind of keeping it on the down low this last year, I first tripped up on one of his beats inside one of those epic free zips Butterz gave away. It was a mad percussive remix of one of their beats; I just had to investigate more. His sound is twisted as you can hear in his remix of Javeon McCarthy’s ‘Love Without A Heart’ which easily out does the original for me. Hopefuly he’ll ease out something freaky for us in 2012.
With other Hyperdub artists DVA and Cooly G dropping albums in ’12, which I’m also looking forward to, I just hope that Ossie has similar ambitions because he’s a killer producer with some serious scope. Plus I can’t get ‘Tarantula’ and ‘Set The Tone’ out of my head so I’m seriously in need for more where that came from.
Raw, low slung and swung UK funky hybrids are the call of the day for this lot and I’m all for it, they have a hip-hop swagger to them somehow too. They’ve kept it dark and hard with their 12”s in ’11 you can place them somewhere between Mosca’s slinky rawness, Breach’s rudeboy workouts and the spaced out vibes of Beneath and that isn’t a bad place to be.
They sound like the dark underbelly of UK Funky, like a neverland where Youngsta rules. Its heavy, dark and swung, just the way we like it. The debut EP on No Symbols isn’t far off dropping and it’s just the tip of the iceberg if the mix he did for Blackdown is anything to go by.
He’s got a raw energetic dance floor thing going on has NKC, his Pyramid’s EP on Forefront really hit the spot for me. It’s a tough UK funky hybrid with some bashy attitude and a house lean that sits somewhere between Cosmin TRG’s Rush Hour vibes on tracks like ‘Sirop’ and my next pick, Presk... He brings the energy and gets things moving, can’t wait for more.
He really hit a vibe with his release on Fourth Wave this year, a twisted broken, sample laced, big and bashy dance floor vibe. He later paired it with some garage slink and techy sounds for 12”s on Doc Daneeka’s Ten Thousand Yen label and Audio Culture with another Dutch badman Cinnaman. His tracks have rarely been out of my record bag and I would love more to join them.
He makes some solid slabs of broken bass heavy techno akin to 2562/A Made Up Sound. He’s already dropped some quality #’d 12”s on his own label and a big remix for SBTRKT amongst others. He’s just getting started and alongside guys like Blawan and Pariah and their Karenn project they’re keeping raw techno vibes alive.
When he showed up on Butterz this year I couldn’t stop playing ‘Skipping Rope’ it’s a twisting flexing slab of grimy bassline that I couldn’t help but move to. Tracks from that EP kept coming back too, TRC found himself as the foundation for two of the best vocal grime tracks around in ’11 when Trim rode ‘I Am’ and Royal T did a twisted garage take on ‘Oo Aa Ee’ for the killer ‘Boo You’ with P Money, Blacks and Stickman. I’m itching for more fire from TRC in ’12.
His 1Xtra show is one of the only reasons to tune into the station his bassline, meets garage and grime vibes have been killing it. He’s one hell of a selecta and no slouch when it comes to production too, his remix of S-X ‘wooo’ bred a new lease of life into the already addictive track when it dropped on Butterz earlier in the year, plus his outing on BBK’s Tropical 2 was pure summer time vibes. But when the killer refix ‘Brandy & Coke’ drops next year on a cheeky white for Local Action he could really have a runaway dance floor bomb on his hands.
With their mix ‘The Perfect Lullaby’ they fused that Night Slugs, UK Bass vibe to R&B and made some seriously luscious refixes to great effect. Then killed it later in the year with an EP on Kingdom’s Fade To Mind label with a spooked out bashy, drum machine wielding, synth heavy selection that was pretty irresistible.
Ruby Lee Ryder
She’s absolutely killed it in ’11 on just two tracks: Terror Danjah’s rawkus big room grime anthem ‘Full Attention’ and Champion’s bumpy funky number ‘Sensitivity’. I don’t think I’ve been this hyped about a UK funk vocalist since I heard Katy B on ‘As I’ or ‘Tell Me’. Hopefully we’ll see Ruby Lee keep on the sick beats from people like that for a while yet, because it sounds far too good. We can only dream of pop this raw and fun to spread in ’12... Maybe with vocalists like Ruby Lee, Terri Walker, Lily McKenzie and Miss Fire the UK is onto something.
They’re another one I tipped last year and they didn’t slouch either continuing their killer shows on Sub FM and dropping a quality handful of 12”s on Keysound from various producers in the crew. They still sound like no one else, they make their own world and its one I want to hear more of. More 12”s, more sets, maybe an album and I’m more than happy.
In ’11 the Green Ova gang kinda nailed that spaced out euphoric vibe on their countless mixtapes. ASAP Rocky and Lil B kind of took the attention when it came to that Clams Casino vibe in hip-hop in ’11 but for me Main Attrakionz where way ahead of the pack and it’s something I hope they keep rolling in the new year.
I’ve already gone on for too long and have no doubt missed a bunch but there you go, happy New Year. Keep it locked.
Honorable Mentions: Helix, Golau Glau, Ghosting Season, Young L, Logos, Visionist, Kahn, Dropping Gems, Wanda Group, DjRUM, Artifact, King Louie. Knowing Looks, Gang Colours, Pedestrian, Gunplay, Ifan Dafydd, Palace, Mosca, 5kinandbone5, Cooly G, Tom Trago, Bok Bok, Throwing Snow, Manny, Hookworms, Space Dimention Controller, Hype Williams, Laurel Halo, Jam City, Damu, Erra, Alex Zen, Starlito, Royal T, Kowton, Maxmillion Dunbar, Darksky, Walton, Funkystepz, T.Williams, Nochexxx, October, Outboxx, Hodge, Maya Jane Coles, DVA, Chairman Kato, J.G.