1. Kssng U - Edit
Before grime dominated the UK charts, there was a time when the genre still remained a firmly underground concern, born of frustration and a pure artistic vision. Channelling this early approach is Becoming Real's hyper-real form of mutant grime.
Becoming Real first started making music in the forgotten suburbs of South London, influenced as much by a conceptual future dystopia as by luminaries Zomby & Mount Eerie. Forging his own deformed take on first wave grime, Becoming Real evokes a sense of dread that conjures images of seas drowned in oil and tar-coated forests.
The way in which Toby Riddler creates music is beautifully ironic. Traipsing the streets of London, finding inspiration in the capital's "psychogeography" as he calls it, then back to the studio to translate something so conglomerate into a finely tuned piece of music. This is the way any artist should work. Seek and you will find.
"I do a lot of walking and that influences the tone of my music," he explains. "Early dubstep had a specific tone, and it came from a specific interpretation of London which was quite grey and bleak and overtly atmospheric. As the music developed those things changed, and as London changed so too did the music and the scene."
His new EP 'Spectre' is London from his point of view. He wants to haunt and does so with flowing, elusive subs, whilst still packing that grime punch that he stems from.
"It’s all the more impressive given that his sound isn’t rooted in any one genre, choosing instead to dive into later waves of eski-inspired producers – the woozy shimmers of Zomby’s recent output are particularly audible here. With both tracks, he takes the stripped back, ultra-minimal principles that defined Wiley’s early productions and lashes on glimmers of the future. The result is a pair of sumptuous, lush tracks that retain a peculiar turn of rhythmic phrase, dissolving suddenly from recognisable shapes into diffuse, abstract forms that duck and dive around the frequency spectrum. Ridler’s production nous belies his small back catalogue: there’s a real compositional sophistication to ‘Showdown In Chinatown’, but its plunging subs and abrasive low-end retain grime’s wired, pranged-out aggression. Both tracks are elusive, flowing like quicksilver and liable to slip from the grasp at any time, but still muscular, functioning as potent reminders that grime can be subtle without sacrificing an ounce of its hyperactive energy…"