20-year-old Greenock producer Polonis has drummed up international acclaim for his productions ever since his "N" riddim propelled him into the spotlight in 2016. The Scottish beatmaker has since gone on to work with some of grime's most cherished MCs, including YGG, Discarda, Manga Saint Hilare and Jendor, but the majority of his output over the past year has actually been one-off instrumental singles, released via his Bandcamp for a fraction of time and then swiftly pulled so that only loyal supporters who buy a copy early are able to listen again. Thankfully, his new two-track release "Jive"/"TLC" appears to be a more permanent member of his discography, so we've had a chance to write about it!
Combining daunting, industrial percussion with a wavering, panic-inducing synth lead, the release's hollow A-side "Jive" is one of Polonis's most ambitious productions yet. Ricocheting shakers, like satanic sleigh bells, drive the track forward in fast-paced bursts, and a bullying bassline repeats itself throughout the song. Flip side "TLC" is an equally distinctive instrumental, with almost every single note of the song hitting a crotchet beat (up until the outro, where they're swapped out for minims). While this might sound fairly common on paper, in reality it's an extremely rare phenomenon, and adds an eerie, gothic feel to the reverb-drenched, bell-based beat, which is constantly metamorphosing after every two beats.
On his Bandcamp, Polonis claims that the two songs were inspired by Silverdrizzle, the grime aficionado known for the extensive collection of unreleased early grime songs on his YouTube channel. The influence here is clear: Polonis is taking it back to basics with this one; stripping down his productions to their raw elements – and yet still managing to venture into new, unknown territories for the grime instrumentalist.
"Jive" / "TLC" dropped 5 October. It's available to stream and buy below: