Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ditching road

Digital crawlers will surely be on this, but Skepta has joined the grime digi-pop gravy train of Roll Deep, Dizzee, Wiley and Tinchy. Ostensibly a cover of the turn-of-century electroclassic Tiga & Zyntherius' Sunglasses at Night, all the key elements are there, catchphrase choruses (the particularly lame 'roses are red, violets are blue, you know i've got my eyes on you'), digital belches, a euro vocal cipher, evocation of the coolness and politics of da club, etc.

The sunglasses in question are not all the better to keep track of the whacked out 'visions in my eyes' as in T&Z's original, but for the inevitable impressing of the other sex. It's a slippery commercial road these grimesters are taking, having to make sure the pop hooks don't flop into outright wackness, and the Nigerian Boy really had better be on top of the difference. I'm all for the melding of sometimes contrary subcultures into a greater whole, though.

Certainly, the overall single package doesn't help. The Agent X 'bassline' (how many of these identikit rerubs has he done in the last decade?), DJ Naughty 'funky' and Lost Boys 'minimal' mixes are as exactly, tediously and ultragenerically functional as you would imagine.

Boomkat were right though; by far the only worthwhile track is Jamie Duggan's take on old favourite Duppy. which employs the verbal dexterity of grime's premier league in the verses and rolls on exactly the right amounts of cheekiness, fun and silly mnemonics you can sing at your family in the kitchen ('I'm doing it again'). An excellent dansification of grime.

Now that should be the summer tune, the big tune, the pop tune that makes him.

Will there be any grime in my Top 10 of the 2000s? First few out of the hat will be posted soon, but you will have time to make a brew and open a fresh pack of bourbons i shouldn't wonder.
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