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Indie Rock, Meet Grime. Grime, Meet…

Posted by Molli Fire on Wednesday, 28March07

Grime, meet Indie Rock. Pop, meet Grime. And so on. New albums on the horizon that are blending, mashing, and redefining musical genres.

There is a great article on the genre crossing between grime music and indie rock in The Independent today. I find it interesting that, for me anyway, it has raised more questions than answers about music today.

It lists a few examples, such as Statik remixing the Bloc Party and The Rakes last year, putting a grime sound to each. It was Statik that coined the term “grindie” for such combinations. He also made a few mashups, placing grime mc’s over Ladyfuzz and Larrikin Love with Pete Doherty in the mix.

To hear that Bloc Party remix (it’s heavy son! turn those subwoofers on for this one! such a good example of grime music!) hit this link from :: Vice Mag ::

statik grindie flyer

It moves to this year with an example of Hadouken! which actually fuses the 2 sounds together and further mashes in punk, electro, and drum and bass. Turns out the lead singer of the band, James Smith, started off as a grime producer in London before turning onto indie rock and punk. Looks like Man Like Me has a single coming out soon that will fuse grime elements with pop and electro sounds. And don’t forget that Arctic Monkeys baffled their managers and record producers when they invited former Roll Deep Crew member, Dizzee Rascal, to flow over their music. Next thing you know they are proudly telling the inquisitive public that their early influences were rap and that they would be thrilled to work more rap elements into their music. The song that features Dizzee Rascal is “Temptation Greets You Like Your Naughty Friend” which appears on the Favorite Worst Nightmare album to be released on April 23rd 2007 (in the UK).

statik with arctic monkey

arctic monkey with statik



You can listen to Hadouken!’s song “That Boy That Girl” on their myspace page.
Also, Jamie Smith recently interviewed Martin Clark (aka Blackdown), the author of This Month In : Grime/Dubstep on pitchfork. (you may have already read it when i referenced it last week in Grime Explosion) They talked about grime, the effect technology has had on it, the effect of web 2.0 on these music movements, etc. check it out on Blackdown’s blog

Then on the flip side, you have grime musicians incorporating indie rockers over and through the dark melodies. The first artist to spring to mind is again, Dizzee Rascal, who brought Lily Allen and Joss Stone into the studio to twist up the sounds he was making. Those collaborations will appear on the upcoming Dizzee Rascal album, Math’s and English set to be released on July 2nd, 2007.

Most artists are quick to point out that they are not part of the scene that has built up around grime. They don’t play into the violence and aggressive behavior that most urban music is known for. And most producers who are thickly entrenched in the grime scene are not welcoming the indie crossover. Some are attributing this to a gangster mentality, ignorance, and narrow-mindedness. I think there must be more to it than that. Perhaps a strong desire to not see their style of music diluted, or co-opted. Grime music is fierce, with a lot of raw energy, the kind you may remember from the old punk days, or teen angst. There is a strong bond created amongst youth sharing their frustration with authority, and adults sharing their frustration with where the world is going. The resistance may also stem from not wanting to seeing grime go down the same road as UK Garage – by merging with the mainstream.

Which leads to the questions : How does one keep the purity of a certain style without being close minded? How does one stay open to new and different influences while staying true to the music and its fans?

Some bands do manage crossovers, or escape categorization, but they are rare. It is very difficult to maintain a strong sense of self while allowing others to mold and alter our perspectives and output. Bjork seems to have accomplished it. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs brought fire and punk energy to mainstream audiences while staying true to the underground sound.

Who else?

For more background info, you can also read the much older article about grindie in the Guardian.

Artic Monkeys Favorite Worst Nightmare to be released on April 23rd 2007
Dizzee Rascal’s Math’s and English to be released July 2nd, 2004
Statik’s new album BROADBAND is nearing completion according to his myspace page


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