Johnny East makes his mark with debut LP 'Intruder'


In 2016, deep house producer Combo Beatz made a radical departure from his 124BPM comfort zone and turned his focus to grime. Shedding the old moniker and completely reinventing his image in the process, the London native reemerged as Johnny East. He has since steadily established himself as one of the most consistent and prolific producers in the grime scene right now. This week, he's released his first long-player, Intruder, which comprises a whopping 29 tracks and serves as a kind of mission statement. Dropping with no warning and little promotion, it seems East wants to let the music do the talking, and he's got no shortage of high-calibre productions up his sleeve.

Intruder is a versatile body of work, home to various styles of grime. With its jagged, detuned synth stabs and reverse effects, "Shape-Shifter" sounds like it would fit perfectly into a horror soundtrack, and draws some parallels with Splurt Diablo's "Breaks". Elsewhere on the project, "Darkest Hour" and "Bad Behaviour" are reminiscent of UK drill beats, but with a distinctive 140BPM twist.

Standout tracks include the epic "Dark Moon", which juxtaposes incandescent choral vocals with vibrato-drenched synth lines and cinematic brass instruments, and "Stubborn", which combines garage-inspired vocal cuts with an anthemic chord progression. On the "Limitless Refix", East revisits his much-loved instrumental used on Cadell's "Create a Career" and Reece West's "Arsène Wenger", rearranging the vocal cuts and drum patterns to create an entirely new beast of a track.

By now, East and his productions deserve the undivided attention of MCs and DJs alike. Intruder is available to stream and buy below: