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Lord of the Beats: the best 10 tracks so far from grime's production war

Grime’s a genre that has a history of resting on its laurels, but the last week has seen its producers at war – and the work-rate has been through the roof.

Prompted by Bless Beats calling out Preditah, Teddy and others, the number of war dubs uploaded to Soundcloud by grime veterans (Wiley, JME, Plastician) and new faces (Samename, Bloom, K-Ro) alike is now over 150 – and naturally, we’ve seen a lot of comments remarking that it’s too much to take in. Some of the tracks find producers sending for other producers – often by flipping one of their trademark samples, or using vocal samples to call them out by name – while others are simply confrontational instrumentals aimed at no-one in particular.

There’s some seriously exciting music kicking around as a result of this war, as well as plenty of slapdash beats that aren’t worth your time, so over the following 10 pages we’ve picked out some of our favourites. There’s plenty of quality about though – for those who’re prepared to put in the hours, it’s worth checking Grime Forum’s Soundcloud set that collects most of the tracks so far.

You can catch up on our past posts on the grime production war here, here and here.

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DEECO
‘Fatality’

OK, so it’s a bit more dubstep than you’d expect from a grime war – albeit one where far too many people have rinsed out the Lex Luger drum kit – but ‘Fatality’ still cuts like a knife, especially dropping early in the war when the production levels were pretty low. Wiley and JME both admitted on Twitter to running scared when this one emerged.

Also check: Funtcase – ‘Pussyoles’

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KAHN & NEEK
‘Soundboy Obliterator’ 

Kahn & Neek couldn’t be more sorted to this format – the Bristol duo’s sound, after all, is based on sampling classic grime bass sounds and war lyrics in the most confrontational way possible – and when you add that Bristol low-end weight to proceedings (see also Kahn’s ‘Delusionist’), you’ve got something with a lot more punch than most of the competition.

Also check: Kahn – ‘Man Must Be Dillusion-ist’

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VISIONIST & SAGA
’10 Stamps = Full Chicken’

Sending for: Kahn & Neek

It’s a rare treat when dance music collaborations both sound good and like the sum of their parts – in the sense that you can tell what each person’s brought to the track; see Roska & Untold’s ‘Myth’, for instance – but ’10 Stamps’ delivers. Saga fires first with a burnt-out grime bassline, before Visionist tags himself in to get all spiritual with the vocal samples in the way that only he can.

Also check: Visionist – ‘Silent Prayer 4 Kahn’

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SPLURT DIABLO
‘Breaking News’

Masked man Splurt Diablo basically makes grime horrorcore – his hi-hats sound like they were sampled off a razor blade, for god’s sake – so it’s not surprised that he’s contributed five tracks to the war. Tunes like ‘Breaking News’ just seem second nature to him.

Also check: Splurt Diablo – ‘Danger Zone’ 

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INKKE
‘War Dub’

Sending for: Preditah, Darq E Freaker

Someone was always going to draw for the sample of a starry-eyed Jammer interviewing Waka Flocka Flame on Grime Daily, and Glasgow’s Inkke follows it with flips of tracks by Preditah and Darq E Freaker before closing on a hollowed-out woodwind flurry that’s more in the vein of his own productions.

Also check: D.O.K. – ‘Lion King’

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SPOOKY
‘War Dub #3’

Sending for: Soloman

Slew Dem’s Spooky has been as busy as you’d expect in a situation like this, and his back and forth with Soloman has been one of the war’s most rewarding fueds. Make sure to check Soloman’s tracks too – this one’s pretty much neck and neck.

Also check: Soloman – ‘War Dub’

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SAMENAME
‘Wither
‘ 

Sending for: Bloom

Two of the best from grime’s new wave go head to head, and this is in the lead for us – a selection of Bloom’s recent tracks chucked in a blender and set to fuck you.

Also check: Bloom – ‘Whosname?’

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FOOTSIE
‘Death of Preditah’

Sending for: Preditah

Newham Generals’ Footsie comes from a soundclashing background – his dad ran a reggae soundsystem in Forest Gate – and he’s uploaded five dubs since the war started. This one is him at his simplistic best; it just doesn’t get old.

Also check: Preditah – ‘Ghostfest’

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GAGE
‘Yoshimitsu’

Sending for: Neana

Yes, Samename’s already done the Tekken grime thing, but we all know Yoshimitsu’s the game’s best character, and here newcomer Gage brings it something rotten to the equally-promising Neana.

Also check: Masro – ‘Janet Beats’

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RAPID
‘Lion Awakes’ 

If we’re honest, a lot of the grime old guard haven’t brought their A game in this situation – the likes of Wiley and JME uploading daily instrumentals to their Soundcloud is never going to be a bad thing, of course, but no one’s come quite like ‘Yoshimitsu’, have they? Still, Ruff Sqwad’s Rapid has a sound that none of the new breed have quite mastered, and on ‘Lion Awakes’ he shows that he can still throw it down like few others.

Also check: Rapid – ‘Lion Attack’ 

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