21.6.17

This Is Grime


This is great. Fantastic photos too.

I saw this book in Los Angeles in a boutique record shop, flicked through it there, but waited till I got home to pick up a copy. In itself quite a dissonant experience. It just shows how entirely out-of-the-loop I am that I was completely unaware of it - it looks like it came out last year too...

Actually I make no apologies for that, for being out of the loop that is, because for me it was all over in 2005. I've not heard anything since then that does it for me and if that makes me a dilettante poseur without the requisite investment to weather the highs and lows of a scene than, yeah, I'll take that. All that Skepta and Stormzy stuff, sorry but nah.

The book's soul though is definitely rooted in those years 2003-2005. And quite rightly so. It's really nice reading more about those days, and the way Hattie Collins has just pulled a bunch of interviews together, that works really well on many levels. Everyone spitting innit.

In terms of how it played out in the media, for me it was all about Martin Clark and Chantelle Fiddy - and Hattie Collins pretty much admits the debt to Chantelle. I only met Chantelle once at the playback for the Run The Road CD in Camden but she struck me as a powerful, organising force. If it had been the late sixties she'd now have her own airline or something. In the book Martin is typically self-effacing; all things considered very impressive really.

Quibbles. It was an odd decision to have no mention of Simon Reynolds at all. Simon was hugely important for turning a much bigger audience on to it. Nothing about Heronbone or Silverdollar; instead we hear a lot from the derivative John McDonnell. His remarks are territorial and grating. But then I read the whole book and found out he also trolls Crazy Titch (yikes, better be ready for when he gets out of jail!) and Wiley (which seemed a bit potty-mouthed).

I had a lot of fun following Grime as an avowed, very marginal, outsider: Going to the early Eskimo dance. Buying (masses of) records off Cameo in Soho and from Rhythm Division. Taping shows. Thanks to Martin Clark, meeting Wiley at Rinse. Going to the bonkers expo at Stratford. Writing those Grime columns for the old print edition of FACT. Working with Troy on the DVD. Getting Logan Sama on Dissensus. It was exciting!