THE ULTRAVIOLET GLIDE // 006

Introducing the sixth instalment of mixes featuring some of my own Jazz and Soul infused UK Drill mashups, along with the assorted stylings of UK R&B, UK Afrobeats and more. So, scroll down and press play for a 40 minute musical journey through the soul soaked sounds of The ‘Ultraviolet Glide’.💫

POSTED BY: @TIMI.WATSONROSE

THE ULTRAVIOLET GLIDE // 005

Introducing the fifth instalment of mixes featuring some of my own Jazz and Soul infused UK Drill mashups, along with the assorted stylings of UK R&B, Afroswing and more. So, scroll down and press play for a 40 minute musical journey through the soul soaked sounds of The ‘Ultraviolet Glide’.💫

POSTED BY: @TIMI.WATSONROSE

THE ULTRAVIOLET GLIDE // 004

Introducing the fourth instalment of mixes featuring some of my own Jazz and Soul infused UK Drill mashups, along with the assorted stylings of UK R&B, Rap and more. So, scroll down and press play for a 40 minute musical journey through the soul soaked sounds of The ‘Ultraviolet Glide’.💫

POSTED BY: @TIMI.WATSONROSE

THE ULTRAVIOLET GLIDE // 003 [MIX]

Introducing the third instalment of mixes which features some of my own Jazz and Soul infused UK Drill mashups, along with the assorted stylings of UK R&B, Grime and more. So, scroll down and press play for a 40 minute musical journey through the soul soaked sounds of The ‘Ultraviolet Glide’.💫

POSTED BY: @TIMI.WATSONROSE

THE ULTRAVIOLET GLIDE // 002 [MIX]

Introducing the second instalment of mixes featuring some of my own Jazz and Soul infused UK Drill mashups, along with the assorted stylings of UK R&B, Afroswing and more. So, scroll down and press play for a 40 minute musical journey through the soul soaked sounds of The ‘Ultraviolet Glide’.💫

POSTED BY: @TIMI.WATSONROSE

DANCEHALL ELECTRONICA: THE FUTURE SOUNDS OF AFROSWING

7 years on from the birth of the amalgamated sounds of what has come to be described as ‘Afroswing’ the momentum that was garnered by the likes of Timbo, J Hus, Sneakbo and many others has diminished some what in the last couple years. However, in light of some recent events it’s looking like the sounds and styles of the UK Afrowave may have a new lease of life.

PA SALIEU – MY FAMILY [ FT. BACKROAD GEE] – Province

Over the last few years it’s fair to say that the sound of Afroswing has been relatively conservative and considering the broad influences of the genre, that wasn’t an issue in it’s first few years. But in the last couple of years, outside of projects from front running acts such as J Hus and NSG, the amount of artists that seemed to be fueling the scene’s progression had faded some what, and with it, the force that was evolving the sound. Stylistic stagnation had set in and the music – despite its many influences – was lacking diversity. Well, that was until November last year when Pa Salieu dropped his heavily anticipated debut album ‘Send Them To Coventry’.

The critically acclaimed project that earned the 23 year old rapper the winning spot in the ‘BBC Music’s Sound of 2021 poll’ has been a breathe of fresh air in the UK Rap scene, not just because it masterfully encompasses a lot of the styles that are prominent today, but what makes it especially significant are the Afroswing productions that strongly suggest the potential to for a precursor to the sounds of the future.

Songs like ‘Block Boy’ and ‘Over There’ are stand out selections that really highlight the potential for this new creative direction on the instrumental side of things. Where a lot of ‘Afroswing’ selections of the past have favored the warm synths you commonly find in Afrobeats, these two tracks take a traditional approach to the rhythm and bass, while introducing a colder range of synths to deliver a more electronic sound reminiscent of the various forms of EDM music – but, with an Afro twist.

Fusing the synths and textures of the Post-Dubstep variety with the rhythm section of the Dancehall variety is a direction for the sound that could and should be explored further. Not to say the warm sunshine vibes of the likes of Belly Squad, Swarmz and Hardi Caprio don’t still have their place, but this could be a good point expand on what Afroswing has to offer to the masses. Similar to the ‘Jazz, Grime & Cross Pollination in the Capital’ post I wrote a little while back, a shift in thhe approach of veteran Afroswing producers by introducing more electronic dance elements, or possibly even collaborations with open-minded producers from the “EDM” sphere such as Skream or Joy Orbison could also be an interesting way of shaking things up. In any case, figuring out how to incorporate new influences is a job that will have to fall to the producers, but the good news is, some have already started.

While the prominence of the marimba sound that defined the scene could likely fade into obscurity if producers continue to take the sound down this experimental road, when you factor in the plethora of post-lockdown raves that are likely to pop up due to the 18 month withdrawal from the turn up, this new take on the sound could be an additional soundtrack to the return of the rave scene, and the perfect way to further embrace the ‘swing’ in Afroswing.

POSTED BY: @TIMI.WATSONROSE

THE ULTRAVIOLET GLIDE // 001 [MIX]

Introducing the first installment in a series of mixes which features exclusive Jazz and Soul infused Grime & UK Drill mashups, along with the assorted stylings of UK R&B. So, scroll down and press play for a 30 minute musical journey through the soul soaked sounds of The ‘Ultraviolet Glide’.💫

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POSTED BY: @TIMIWATSONROSE

JAZZ, GRIME & CROSS-POLLINATION IN THE CAPITAL

Throughout modern history the soundtrack to the lives of young London has always been in a state of flux, with new genre’s popping in, old ones popping out and the cycle repeating itself time and time again. Grime music has been at the forefront of the conversation around deaths and rebirths in recent times, however developments in the bubbling London Jazz scene and world dominating UK Drill scene have highlighted a growing attitude toward collaboration that could inform some interesting results.

WATSON ROSE TINTED REMIXES

Last year I did a mix series called ‘Soulscape’in The Streets’ – taking UK Drill instrumentals and mashin’ ’em up with soulsoaked beats from UK Garage to experimental post-dubstep instrumentals. I planned on following it up this year, however when I listening back to the original series there was something special about the end product and the time it was made that upon reflection, I didn’t want damage the artistic integrity of it’s original quality. Since I made that series a lot has changed in the realms of UK Drill and broader Black British music. You only have to look at Headie One’s latest project -GANG’ where he teamed up with the likes of Jamie XX, along with the melodic sounds of contemporary UK Drill to see that what was unique at the time, is less significant today. So, to return to this format – in my opinion – just wasn’t going to have the same effect.

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That being, I will be producing a new mix series in a effort to create something thats distinctly different to the sounds that are widespread  today, the details of which will be available soon. But for now, you can check out a couple of the edits I made when planning the 5th installment to enjoy in the meantime.

Keep it locked for more updates and stay safe.

POSTED BY: @TIMI.WATSONROSE

LORD OF THE DUBS [PART 7]: CORONAVIRUS, CLASHES AND CHAOS

It was all looking up in the world of Grime and broader Black British music culture. That was until the global pandemic known as Covid-19 hit the UK shores and towns and cities across the nation were put on lockdown. For all intents and purposes, from sports to the arts, progression was put on pause. But, with that said, forward thinking members of the scene have taken the opportunity capitalise on the moment and continued to entertain the masses.

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Shoutout C4 for being the first to merchandise the mask ting – salute.

As everyone began to accept the inevitable and adapt to the climate some artists turned to their craft to take them through this period of uncertainty. One such MC was the young mic man known as SBK, who decided to send a shot at the North London newcomer by the name of Subten – who got in the mix of the warfare that kicked off the year with the Wiley dub which was entitled ‘Back To The Village’. With Yizzy closing the door on his feuds with certain MC’s, Subten seemed to be one of the few MC’s that could be a justified target for SBK, so, in the name of war, he waged his offensive in the form of the track ‘Back To The Village’.  It’s unclear if Subten will respond, but the stage has been set, and we’ll have to see how this one goes.

 

As the days and weeks of  a nationwide quarantine progressed in the UK and the US, a lot of us have been tuned in to the beat battles that were sweeping the states and garnering global attention. The culture of clashing is intrinsic to the nature of Grime culture, and the excitement generated by these wars were beginning to inspire some action on our homeshores leading to arguably the most talked about clash since Stormzy and Wiley went head to head in January.

Skepta and Jammer took to insta live for an impromptu beat battle which resulted in a spectacle of epic proportions. Both artists dug deep in the crates, but what made it special was the interactions between the two from Skepta talking up the war and Jammer’s comical reactions. If you missed it, it’s a kinda “You had to be there” situation, but some did manage to capture some of magical moments that will give you an idea of the experience, and incentive to not miss out on the potential clashes that are the cards.

 

 

Although Jammer came with some serious selections and created some magical moments, by popular opinion Skepta took the title with a landslide victory, as reflected in the rundown by some of the key figures in the scene.

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As DJ Logan Sama accurately mentioned, when Jammer dropped the Destruction vocal it was an emotional moment particurlary when the late great Esco verse dropped in. If you wanna sample a piece of the energy check out the extended vocal below – pure Grime gold.

 

 

Following this clash the thirst for more war was a feeling felt by everyone who shared the experience, and work began on coordinated a follow up affair…

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The Rapid Vs DaVinChe clash is one I’m sure all the hardcore Grime fans would love to see. Two Triple OG producers with two contrasting and distinctive styles digging in the crates and clashing for the culture is the stuff that dreams are made of. But with no confirmation from DaVinChe, we can only hope he’ll come out of the shadows to take uo the challenge and gives the people another standout spectacle to lift spirits in these disparaging times at some point in the future – although, for some reason, this seems unlikely.

 

 

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There’s been a lot of people calling it on, but confirmations of who will actually engage in the war are still pending, but we’ll surely be seeing more of these clashes as the weeks progress, especially with Rude Kid & Spyro now confirmed to throw down for the culture.

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With all the attention on the producers, this instalive format lends itself to clashing in all forms, and it was only a matter of time before someone encouraged the MC’s to take part.

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With Jammer now pushing for some vocal match up’s, it’ll be interesting to see how Grime in the digital landscape will shape out in the coming weeks. But, I’m the products of this circumstance driven format will yield some more entertaining moments, and inform the music to come.

Written by Timi Ben-Edigbe

/@TIMI.WATSONROSE

 

LORD OF THE DUBS [PART 6]: COMPETITION, COMPLAINTS & AYIA NAPA STORIES

At this point entering the 3rd month of 2020, the tension within the Grime that informed the clashes that took place has shifted from the sound-war into a different kind of conflict that’s raising a broader issue that in some regards is holding back the development of the scene.

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Grime culture has always been about competition and fighting for recognition, but the tone of affairs among a lot of artists has become quite resentful and has started to manifest into a culture of complaining and clout chasing. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the more forward thinking members of the scene who’ve challenged this issue, but the fact remains that this attitude is growing in prevalence and is doing nothing to push the scene forward.

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The remarks made by Saskilla and Grandmixxer reflect the attitude approach that’s required to make a success in the scene, and it’s encouraging to see some reputable figures with influence trying to redirect this trend. January was a month of excitement, February was a month of development and it would seem that March is looking like a month of reflection. Artist’s who feel they haven’t been recognised are taking to Twitter to vent their frustrations, but the fact remains that when all is said and done, the music is what counts, and as the weeks progress, I hope the efforts made to channel this frustration back into the music will prevail so more artist’s can capitalise on the growing interest in the broader Black British cultural movement.

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Wiley, who’s consistently been encouraging this on a major scale has continued his efforts to elevate scene with his work rate on max, flinging out the features while also presenting a plan for the Grime scene to level up using the blueprint that raised his profile in his early career.

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As Wiley highlighted in a recent Instagram video he dropped a couple weeks back, the value of performing on the circuit in Ayia Napa cannot be ignored. We all have a special relationship with the music that was the soundtrack to the happiest moments in our lives, and for the new generation of Grime acts, taking over Ayia Napa would undoubtedly do a lot for elevating the scene. Though nothing is official just yet, key figures in the UK are tying to make this dream a reality.

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Though back in the day, Ayia Napa was shrouded in bad press due to the many incidents that took place on the island in the mid noughties, times have very much changed since then. The street level conflicted that informed the problems that persisted in Ayia Napa don’t really exist within the Grime scene anymore. So, where it may’ve been risky business trying to get the whole scene to cooperate in order to run the relevant shows and sets in Cyprus before, that is not the case today, presenting the perfect time for Grime to return to it’s international roots.

Outside of the Ayia Napa stories and twitter complaints there are a few underground artists that are keeping their nuts down and creeping on a come up. SBK who rose to notoriety when he  engaged in the Grime Scene War Season at the beginning of the year has parlayed the new found attention on him to stake a claim as the ‘Prince Of Grime’ despite Yizzy’s earlier attempts to crown himself with the same title. Though the two aren’t continuing the lyrical back forth’s, this conflict will surely shape the contributions going forward.

Since moving to London from Stevenage recently, SBK’s graft has started to get some recognition from some of the more established artists in the scene. After a video surfaced on Twitter of him in the studio with JME, it’s clear to see that his talent is being recognised and he will continue to grow over the course of the year.

Another MC who’s starting to breakthrough is West London’s GHSTLY XXVII AKA GHS who’s recent release ‘Flex’ is getting some radio spins and social media shares since it dropped less than a week ago.

Although GHS is in the early stages of his career, on a personal level, I’m very much a fan of his style and delivery. That slylee gravily tone is – to me at least – reminiscent of Ruff Sqwad’s ‘Mad Max’. Obviously they are two very different MC’s, but at the same time, with the reality that Mad Max is no longer around, it’s nice to hear someone who strikes the same chords that made Mad Max’s style appealing to me.

Outside of the Grime scene antics, the man that arguably kicked off the war season has continued to send shots and deliver the war dubs. Dot Rotten, who’s online dispute with Sneakbo resulted in a ‘G check’ in Angell Town and subsequent photo and video of the confrontation circulating on social media has doubled-down on the dispute and taken it to the studio.

Though this felt like a case where it may’ve been better to let sleeping dogs lie, for one reason or another, Dot has decided to express his disdain for the Sneakbo, the Brixton area and a whole host of artists he know longer respects for the way they responded to the action taken against him in his latest release ‘Snitchbos Get Stitches’. I hope this doesn’t result in anymore conflict outside of the music, but the fact that the song is really good makes it unlikely this will be completely ignored by those associated.

So with the Grime scene in a state of reflection and restructuring, and Dot Rotten embracing his rogue status, there is a lot more to come this year, but we’ll just have to wait and see how it all shapes out.

To be continued…

Written by Timi Ben-Edigbe

/@TIMI.WATSONROSE

RHYTHM, BLUES AND UK DRILL

It was always a matter of time before the most exciting sound of the moment would take a more soulful direction. Even looking at a lot of UK Drill releases today, it’s clear to see that the production side of the genre has received a heavy injection of melody and emotion which has definitely enhanced it’s appeal. From Headie Ones Music X Road album, to Dappy & Russ’s recent release ‘Splash’ the move towards creating a more melodic sound has really started to take shape. 

This trend towards taking the high-energy from the rhythm section of a genre and layering it up with chords and melodies to create a new dimension is something that’s been prevalent for years. From Teddy Rileys use of the hard Hip Hop sound to inform the New Jack Swing movement which fused Boom-Bap and R&B in the early 90s, to the likes of Terror Danjah, Skepta and a whole host of Grime producers using the same principle to introduce a soulful take on the Grime sound which lead to the now recognised musical styling’s of the R&G phenomenon.

At this stage in the development of the broader Black British music scene, there’s been a few artists taking this approach to their music which may be ushering in a new summer sound that’s set to elevate the culture and further expand on the global reach of Britain’s bubbling underground artists.

With Jorja Smith’s preview of an early UK Drill and R&B fusion hitting the internet December last year – along with like minded producers and vocalists indulging in this area of artistry – it seems like a sound bet that this addition to the arsenal of artistic approaches to the creating R&B music strongly suggests that the future of UK Drill and  UK R&B is looking exceedingly bright.

Written by Timi Ben-Edigbe

/@TIMI.WATSONROSE