Producers like Syer B act as the link between the hyper-adrenalised street fighting grime which emerged from the constricting chrysalis of UK funky and jungle back in the early noughties, and the newer, increasingly detached instrumental incarnation being developed in the laboratories of Boxed and Gobstopper et al. Entirely MC-free, the tracks on "Mushrooms" provide answers to hypothetical questions such as "what might an early Roll Deep / JT The Goon collaboration have sounded like?" or "what if, instead of Riko Dan, Terror Danjah got behind the mixing desk with Yamaneko or Skackk"? This is a must have record for fans of grime old and new, in fact, even if you're totally unfamiliar with the genre, it's a mini-album packed to the rafters with fabulous electronic music that might even turn the head of an avowed rock fan.
Grime OG MC & producer, Syer B a/k/a Syer Barz a/k/a Syer Beatz, is back with a vengeance with his heavily-anticipated ‘Mushrooms’ EP on Lit City Trax. An original member of the notorious Roll Deep Crew, which over these formative years, included the likes of Wiley, Dizzee Rascal, Skepta, Tinchy Stryder and many more.
Syer B’s “Mushrooms” EP is a mind-bending trip through the original Grime sound of East London, a return to the roots, to the Eski-sound. Composed of entirely new productions (excluding “Troll”), “Mushrooms” is a painstakingly perfected collection of Syer B;s varied production styles.
Born in Dagenham, Syer started writing lyrics in his early teens, after taking cues from seminal drum & bass MCs such as Skibbadee, Shabba D and Hyper D. By fifteen, Syer was already on the pirate airwaves, making a name for himself as one of the rawest MCs on the scene. While perfecting his craft, he was influenced by both local and foreign sounds. The likes of Wu Tang, Mobb Deep, DMX, Busta Rhymes, Nas & Eminem helped shape his lyrical content and versatile flows.
A staple MC on Rinse FM, through his own regular show, Syer B became infamous as one of the rawest radio MCs. In 2005, around the time that Roll Deep’s ‘In At The Deep End’ was released, Wiley recruited Syer B to join the crew. At this time, Syer B was already well known in grime for his work in his own group, OT Crew, alongside Dogzilla, DJ Glamma and DJ Shotz (DJ Shotz produced Syer B’s breakout track “Pussy” in 2005). At this point, Syer’s productions had begun to take shape and become staple dubplates in raves and on pirate radio sets from the most important selectors of the grime scene such as DJ Maximum, DJ Logan Sama DJ Karnage and DJ Cameo.
Fast forward to 2016 and his music is still setting off raves and radio sets. The “Mushrooms” EP is a prime example of why Syer B has been such an intrinsic to the Grime sound. The record is composed of 6 original ultra-vivid, frost-bitten grime tracks, all produced in Syer B’s home studio.
Gliding portamento extra-terrestrial synths juxtaposed with skippy, heavily relaxed hi-hats of the title cut “Mushrooms” are woven together to bring grime into unexplored territories and new realities. This is the essence of grime music - freedom to create your own sound. Just like some of the most essential cuts such as Dizzee Rascal’s “I Luv U” or Wiley’s “Eskimo”, “Mushrooms” is a quintessential grime hit that will be revered more as time passes, just with most early grime anthems.
“Troll” was a classic, yet unreleased cut from 2005. A prime example of Syer B icy Eski-beat sound, this track only existed on dubplate for ten-plus years. After first originally making waves on the radio in 2005, “Troll” is only finally getting to see the light of day. Haunted percussion layered with gliding squares on top of classic grime trope; Oriental flutes, returning to the roots sound proliferated by Syer B, Danny Weed, Wiley, DJ Target and Geeneus, the main producers operating within and around Roll Deep.
“Clipzz” employs a psychosis-powered percussive pattern, drawing from the classic early Triton percussive sample library with odd scratches, vocal chants and random FX delicately intertwined together against dramatic sampled stabs. Syer B has managed to effectively explore the open-ended, liberated percussive sampling technique that artists like The Neptunes and Dizzee Rascal so heavily employed.
Taking cues from early grime, “Rek” is Armageddon music, plain and simple. This is the sound of the war of the worlds. Skattered shakers grind alongside holy horn stabs syncopated with a static, flatlining bassline that is fighting for it’s life. The track freezes over and becomes ice cold before long.
“Prank” is like a temperamental roller coaster ride, an Eski-beat - reminiscent of SNES soundtracks where snappy drums lurch throughout, - the percussion hits loud and quantized while syncopated staccato woodwind and brass playfully stagger and stumble back and forth.
The song-title “Year 3000” is a play on the track title of Geeneus and Wiley dubplates from the turn of the millennium, both called “Year 2000”. This cut looks forward whilst still remaining rooted in the original grime sound. Heavily processed percussion laid on top of a meandering square wave that leads the track with syncopated horns to accent.
Vinyl is available on pre-order.
Vinyl is hand stamped and hand numbered
Limited edition 12" vinyl (pressing of 300).
Pre-order the vinyl or the digital EP and receive an instant download of "Mushrooms" & "Troll" early, ahead of the release date, October 28th 2016
released October 28, 2016
All tracks composed by Syer B
Mixed by Syer B
Mastered by J-Cush
Artwork by J-Cush & HEKStyle