The key to success in grime production comes down to a few things: the tracks should be MC ready- the most popular instrumentals have a legendary vocal either on radio, freestyle or single. The next important factor is its ability to stand on its own- with or without a vocal this track should gain instant recognition, this can be helped with a good ear for samples. And lastly, the track should stand the test of time- there is a reason Ghetto Kyote is still played today, a forward thinking instrumental will be getting wheels for a decade.
When debating legendary beat makers, names new and old always spring to mind. From Youngstar to Jammz, there is a name that springs to everyone’s Top 10: D.O.K. The veteran was first prominent as an early member of Aftershock- alongside Terror Danjah, Devilman and Bruza; and gained underground following for his instrumental “Warning” and production credits on Crazy Titch’s “I Can C U”. More recent accolades include PK’s “Muy Bien” and making it to the finals of BeatBoss 3, losing out at the last minute to Sir Pixalot. With the hype built around his debut release on Trends’ imprint MeanStreets, the launch party hosted by Keep Hush had one of the biggest grime line-up’s in recent history.
The release starts off with the title track “Shine”, where epic orchestrals are shoved to the side by threatening melodies and old school drums. The chopped up vocal samples are the only relief from this onslaught of pressure. An ominous scene is set on “Annihilate The World”, which follows suit of the previous track- where the drop takes you by surprise and immerses you into gloomy relentless bass and tribalistic drums that pound throughout. The abrasive strings on “Frightening” set up a roller of a drop, with gunshots lurking around the corner every 4 bars. This track has a few interesting breakdowns that any skilled MC would kill to vocal. Rounding off the EP is “Ghost Rider”, probably the most noticeable track off the project in terms of radio plays. The particularly low frequencies on the bass are enough to feel in your chest whilst still coming out crystal clear. Another very MC friendly track to finish off. The overall soundscape of this EP keeps returning to those apocalyptic brass builds that keep elevating the height of the inevitable drop- making them some of the most clash-worthy dubs of 2019
“Shine” is available to buy from Mean Streets Records’ bandcamp, as well as being available to stream on Spotify, it was well worth the wait.