Terror Danjah 'Gremlinz: Instrumentals 2003-2009' [Planet Mu]
Reviewed by J. Source: (Bass Music Blog)
I’ll be honest - coming from the north west of England, grime totally passed me by; apart from the occasional transmission which broke through via the mainstream (Dizzee Rascal ‘I Luv You’, for example), it didn’t really penetrate deepest darkest east Lancashire. On this flimsy basis, I had the music neatly pigeonholed as a basic, functional sound – constructed in a Bow council flat using Music 2000 for the Playstation, for the sole purpose of being MCed over by a shouty youth in a baseball cap. Luckily, this compilation has come along to prove me utterly stupid and wrong. Granted, there are tracks on here (‘Frontline’, ‘Stiff’, ‘Crowbar 2’ amongst others) that do fulfil that role, but they do so with no little amount of style; blending high energy (not hi–nrg, that’s something quite, quite different) electronic drums and some tricky edits with utterly concussive levels of bass pressure, leaving plenty of space for MCs to do their thing.
However, it’s when Mr Danjah (possibly Terry to his friends) ushers the MCs to one side and lets the music do the talking that things step up a notch or three. I was surprised to note just how much you can hear the influence of some of the tracks here on the music that is slaying underground clubland in 2009; compare, for example, the laser-guided synth riffing of ‘Hyperphonix’ with the Brackles release on Applepips ‘Get A Job’, or the slinky alien P-funk of ‘Zumpi Hunter’ with the Purple Wow crew’s output. I think ‘Zumpi Hunter’ is my favourite track on the CD - I pretty much guarantee that you will have that synth hook stuck in your head for weeks after hearing it. Also worth a mention is ‘Green Street’ which splices an almost funky-esque drum workout with glistening melodic flourishes and big bad bass, whilst ‘Planet Shock’ is a cheeky remoulding of the bodypopping 80s electro classic that would appear to be a stone cold club rocker.
Although it could probably have done with leaving out a few of the more functional tracks, the compilation offers a fascinating and comprehensive snapshot of a producer that is not well known and a musical style that is oft ignored. I’d say that those who might have previously written grime off – like me - but are into Joker, Brackles or indeed any of the new wave of synth freaks should view this as pretty much essential listening.
- Eskmo - Let Them Sing
- Ikonika - Smuck
- Geiom & Shortstuff - No Hand Signals
- Starkey - OK Luv
- Raffertie - 7th Dimension
- Ceephax Acid Crew - United Acid Emirates
- Kuedo - Dream Sequence E.P.
- Starkey - Ephemeral Exhibits
- Neil Landstrumm - Lord For £39
- Distance - Repercussions
- Last Step - 1961
- Mrs Jynx - The Standoffish Cat
- Venetian Snares - My Downfall (Original Soundtrack)
- Meat Beat Manifesto - Autoimmune
- iTAL tEK - Cyclical
- Mary Anne Hobbs - Evangeline
- Venetian Snares - Miss Balaton
- Various Production & Virus Syndicate - Apollo/Neva Argue
- Sunken Foal - Fermented Condiments
- Sunken Foal - Fallen Arches
- Venetian Snares - Detrimentalist
- The Gasman - Superlife
- Eero Johannes - Eero Johannes
- Virus Syndicate - Sick Pay