Yellow Secret Technology
Slackk’s archival pirate radio rips project, Grime Tapes, has now borne its own fruit and blossomed into a record label, with a 20-track collection of wayward beats from Nammy Wams serving as its first transmission. 'Yellow Secret Technology' is a collection of grime beats made from between 2013 and 2018, and veers from the drunk, attitude-laced staccato of ‘Languid’ and ‘Pinching’ to the dream-like underscoring of ‘Boop’ and ‘Miharu’. It’s a selection that seems wonderfully aware of counterpoint — the dark, more brutal moments are contrasted by thinner, more upbeat bits like ‘Prayer’. It's a heavily loaded, lovable debut.
Shotting some real Steel City grease, the Sheffield based Utah? steps out on Coyote Records for the first time with a four-track EP that maps a multiverse of styles. Careering, siren-like synths jostle for attention on ‘Polymer’, and in the same way, ‘Tilt’ feels superbly melodically embellished. ‘Bronze’ and ‘Signal’ are the warped peaches in the can, though, two exceptional steppy club-room heaters.
Impressing one of the original dons of dubstep with his music, the Bristol-based Opus hits out with a new EP on Distance’s Chestplate label, and if I’m honest, I didn’t really get it until the stutter of ‘Titan’. The main cut, ‘Crumble’ feels kinda familiar, another hard tune that balances the menace of its weight with Indian melodies, but on ‘Titan’ and ‘Reach’, Opus stretches his patterns in super fantastic fashions.
Quietly doing your own thing is a mantra I had to grow into. Like, the approval of others is nice and all, but it’s the process and the product that should be the real joy of anything. So personally, I’m stoked that Little Corner has amassed a crew of people such as Scratcha, Etch, Atlas, DJ Manny and DJ Chap for its first compilation. Working on something you love isn’t work; it’s passion.
'Flying Nimbus EP'
Sector 7 Sounds
The lurching stomp of the eponymous EP opener is a bit of a misdirect. Jook’s 'Flying Nimbus EP' is a lot more subtle than that hard-growl-and-slap style suggests. A slew of alternate moods, ‘Rolling In His Grave’ is almost introspective: an inward glance soundtracked by choral music and rolling grime drums. ‘Gold Rush’ is a happy HudMo-esque smasher, and ‘Bittersweet’ is proper post-panic attack melancholy.
Etch & Nico Lindsay
Sneaker Social Club
In the best possible way, this collaboration between Etch and Nico Lindsay sounds homespun and real — like Etch simply gave Lindsay the beats and the MC spent a good chunk of his time forming his bars to fit the predetermined format. There’s minimal clever editing or any trickery, outside of the quality of the lyrical delivery and the cultivation of a finite and brooding [read: exceptionally gully] mood from Etch.
Is it a return to process perhaps? Or simply a return to just messing around in the studio and seeing what the fuck might happen? Either explanation has resulted in some of Special Request’s most enjoyable material to date. On ‘SP4NN3R3D’, did he lighten the fuck up, or change the goalposts? Or did I? Irrespective of my monologue, there’s design, offbeat grooves, hoovers and cheap 808 snares aplenty for all to enjoy.