Friday, 25 November 2011

Rinse 17: Elijah & Skilliam Review

Premier grime DJs Elijah & Skilliam take to the hotseat for the latest installment of Rinse FM’s much celebrated mix CD series, Rinse 17. Virtually unrivaled in their desire to push forward the often neglected grime scene, the pair have masterminded the rise of one of 2011’s most consistent and coveted record labels, Butterz. Rinse 17 is as much a showcase of their label and roster as it is a representation of the current grime landscape, and it demonstrates the forward thinking, instrumental focused grime that the duo champion so expertly.

The mix opens with Royal T’s brilliant ‘Orangeade VIP’, an escalation of shimmering electric synths and rattling claps, before diving into the more robust sound of D.O.K’s ‘East Coast’. It’s grime mixing in its essence as Elijah & Skilliam move between tunes quickly and intensely, plunging aggressively in and out of tracks as the mix progresses.

So much is on offer here; from Royal T’s remix of ‘It’s Wiley’ (a nod to the 8-bar sound of yesteryear) to the funkadelic melodies of Swindle and the menacing swagger of Faze Miyake’s 2011 anthem ‘Take Off’. Vocal tracks play their part too, of course, with Trim, P Money, Blacks and Wiley all featuring. This juxtaposition of styles coupled with the fast mixing suggests a lack of fluency, but continuity isn’t an issue here as the mix rumbles on effortlessly, each tune fitting together like cogs in a well-oiled machine – a true testament to the DJ’s skills.

Some might complain that there aren’t enough vocal tracks featured on the CD, or that the old skool isn’t represented (despite the inclusion of the iconic ‘Ghetto Kyote’ instrumental). However, such grievances seem irrelevant when you look at what Elijah & Skilliam have achieved not just on this mix, or for their label, but what they have done for the grime scene on the whole, and if Rinse 17 is anything to go by, it’s a hell of a lot. 

Words by Ashley Oglina



No comments: