Many moons ago, Oxford producer Trends was honing his craft as a drum and bass artist. Incidentally, over in London, so was Boylan. After hearing the pioneering DJ Slimzee mix, they both later tried their hands at making grime, and it was through the very first Boxed rave that the two beat-makers' paths converged. They started working on music together, often combining gruesome sound design with horror film samples, and the rest is history. Many hits later, they've teamed up for a ferocious, twelve-track collaborative album entitled Bedlam, released on Friday via Trends' own record label, Mean Streets.
Only one single precedes the album's release: "Krueger", a thumping, eerie number named after the Nightmare on Elm Street antagonist, which features patois-heavy vocals from Roll Deep member and East London grime legend Riko Dan. The self-proclaimed London City Warlord appears twice more on the album, deploying his signature multi-syllable flows on the Clint Eastwood-sampling single "Dutty Harry" (the high-octane new video for which is embedded below) and the booming half-time anthem "Bells".
"Krueger" won't be the only song familiar to attuned listeners, though. The duo's hits "Norman Bates" and "Untouchable", which have been staples in the arsenal of DJs for the last three years, both receive a new lease of life, bookending the album – the former as opening track "Norman Interlude", which features a slowed, bitcrushed spoken word sample from Slimzee, and a polished, remixed version of the latter as a bonus track.
Elsewhere on the project, an all-star lineup of grime veterans—Spooky, Terror Danjah, and P Jam—all lend a hand to the production, but the two lead artists are more than capable of carrying their own weight, which they prove especially on the skippy "Crack Ya Back", the snarling "Syco Sid", and the thunderous "The Eye". Bedlam undeniably lives up to its name.