Ok, Ok, so this FACT mix may have been around for a hot minute, but I don’t care. The internet moves so fast these days that people rarely give new music a chance to sink in before they’re onto the next thing.
I have been listening to this mix nigh on every day for the past two weeks and can say with confidence that it’s one of the best I’ve heard in recent times.
J Sweet & Alias are Grime veterans responsible for some of the most memorable Grime instrumentals ever made; tracks like ‘Kerb’ ‘Gutter’ and ‘Warrior’ have never failed to raise the blood pressure on DJ sets and could be seen as reference tones for some classic Grime moments.
Having kept a low profile in years gone by (as rap-influenced Grime took prominence), the shadowy pair have been the subject of renued interest as demand for new 8-bar Grime tunes continues to grow. This 8-bar movement, triggered by the deadpan productions of Spooky which decimated 2010 (Spartan, Top 3 Selected Remix), celebrates the simplistic, primal elements of Grime; switch-ups, sparse drums, claps, and bass. Lots and lots of bass.
The ‘MarxAlias E.P’ released on Logan Sama’s Earth 616 label, has helped bring J Sweet & Alias back to the producers’ fore. Tracks ‘Joker’ and ‘No Dream’ are my personal favourites from the package – their brash mixdowns and adrenaline-pumping drops sounding fresh yet classic at the same time. Perhaps a little repetitive for the casual listener, the ‘Marxalias E.P’ serves as a reminder of how forward thinking Grime was when it was first forged all those years ago.
Back to the FACT mix then, it’s comprised mostly of J Sweet & Alias tunes and hits you very, very hard. Thankfully little has changed in terms of their production methods and sounds, and so those trademark J Sweet & Alias industrial brasses, basslines and eerie vocal samples are all present and correct. Music genres are cyclical, and personally I’m glad that these two have ignored Grime’s internal pressures to ‘stay current.’
As J Sweet said on Twitter yesterday:
Download the mix here