Niccolo Brown BLAY VISION - The Vision
The rate at which certain crews of producers (Boxed and Gobstopper being prime examples) are experimenting with every aspect of instrumental grime appears to be increasing exponentially. This week alone I've heard EPs by Odeko and Cru which have respectively introduced contemporary heavy metal and a strange, haunted version of R&B into its DNA and I envision that within 12 months at most, the gap between the original form and that being forged by the new breed will have widened so significantly, a new genre entirely will have emerged requiring a change of nomenclature (not "nu-grime" which is critic Simon Reynolds's pejorative term for it. I still find it hard to believe such a harsh critic of retroism in music thinks grime in its original form should be untouchable, a status he denies every other genre of music, and dismisses artists like Yamaneko who are fed up of treading water and want to move forward. He's a fan of Skrillex too but I read somewhere that the GMC are going to declare such misplaced devotion a certifiable mental disorder so that sufferers receive humane treatment free on the NHS. Not that it costs much to trap someone's bollocks in a vice and tighten it up until they agree that all the dumb but essential music you could ever need lies within the grooves of AC/DC's "Powerage"). Blay Vision, a London MC and producer creates tunes that are very similar to the first instrumental grime cuts that emerged around 2013 (remember the war dubs?), but like numerous artists working in house, techno and non-electronic genres like doom metal, he's no water-treader but rather a refiner using new technology and alternative techniques to improve that classic sound largely created using chiptunes drawn from early gaming consoles. Those tracks were often very dense but Blay has exploited the dramatic effects that can be achieved with space to produce an album that sounds fresh and futuristic despite the familiarity of the sounds used in its construction. Like producers such as JT The Goon, Sirpixalot and Murlo, Blay has gone back to basics and made them sound anything but. You'll hear a lot of instrumental grime this year, from the far out to the tried and tested but I guarantee very little of it will be as thrilling as "The Vision". A magnificent monument to not fixing what ain't broke, just giving it a respray.
Favorite track: Never Cared.