T. Williams – Rinse 21 CD – Rinse Recordings

Rinse’s twenty-first mix is a grimey addition to any music collection. Blended like a smoothie, the hard bass lines make the album chunky enough to soothe your ears with essential nutrients: drum n’ bass, synthesisers, and choppy amalgamations. Some video game sounds add a welcome melodic touch to the deep vibrations that originated in the heart of the United Kingdom’s metropolises.

Pioneers – musicians and their turntables – in Bow East London were instrumental in the creation of a new genre. Circa 2000, grime artists welded hip hop, dance hall, and R&B on cassette tapes. As technology progressed, white labels became the thing that set this inner-city sound apart. Records sold like hot cakes, making kings out of record store owners and queens out of dance floor divas. Ruff Sqwad and Pay As You Go mixed 2-step break beats around 140 bpm with segmented vocal samples and guttural bass lines. Grime got poppier in 2007 when funky house lines opened up the genre’s appeal to clubbers with gilded wallets and limited perspectives.

This Rinse Mag mix features T. Williams’ remix of Wildest Moments by Jessie Ware, that catchy song you can’t quite place on the genre spectrum. Head honchos played the piece during the opening ceremony for the 2012 Paralympics in London, mainstreaming grime for an international audience on a grand scale. This ceremony exposed different parts of the public to dance music, thereby validating the use of computers to enhance the musical experience for people who may not be into that idea.

Grime continues to evolve thanks to the invisible borders that separate the UK from Europe, Africa, and the rest of the world. In several months’ time, grime music could sound different. This forward movement is exactly what makes T. Williams’ Rinse mix so valuable: it’s a snippet in time, a peek into the past that’s yet to come.

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