It’s been a glorious year for those of us following the glowing and growing grime game. With the gravitas of the internet hype machine behind it, grime has become the go-to descriptor for a swath of sounds only tangentially related to the genre (why do you think I put grime in the title?). This spring has seen a glut of such sounds, varied in their framework but united in their idyllic atmospheres. While we’ve seen much shiny, neon bass music the past couple years, these releases avoid that hyper-cuteness in favor of more pastoral pleasantries.
Below is a selection of these releases and their highlights, only denied the full write-ups they deserve by my lackluster productivity:
Deadboy – White Magick EP
Deadboy has a history of taking various strains of UK bass into his workshop and smoothing/soothing them into his own glorious creations, and his new-ish release on Local Action is his most cohesive conjuring yet. It’s hard to pick a highlight when every track within feels essential. “White Magick” works whether it’s in the club or in the backyard while I’m blowing bubbles with my son, and I can’t ask for more than that.
Iglew – Urban Myth EP
The biggest tracks of 2015 are “Trap Queen”, “White Iverson” and “Urban Myth”, and not in that order. Not much else to say really, “Urban Myth” has been on repeat since it was a yung radio rip and it’s mystical in any setting. Not only does it play out like grime fantasia in the club, it’s backed by an entire release of abstracted fire. Velvety sub bass congeals and undulates in unexpected directions on “Cymatism” and “Regalia” while “Sleep Lighter” builds and bursts with sonic texture; this is a must-buy EP.
Kid Antoine – Proximity EP
Released back in March, Kid Antoine’s EP for Her Records is brimming with melancholic atmosphere. These tracks are themed around the military fetishism of first-person shooters, but only as viewed through the hazy nostalgia kids will have for them in 10 years. The highlight here is “Proximity”, a club banger for dewy mornings that I’ve been rinsing religiously.
Druid Cloak – LORE: BOOK TWO
Coming at idyllic bass music from the swords & sorcery angle, Druid Cloak has lived up to his Dungeons and Dragons name with this RPG-worthy soundtrack. “Lore: Book Two” flows from grime-y battle tracks to Celtic-keyed ambiance so naturally, it’s guaranteed to make any walk to the store an epic quest.