Skream! makes 2000s London sound like an awesome place to be. With the fantastic bass of tracks like Stagger and the grime vibe of Tapped you really get a feel for the edgy musical sub-cultures around the city at the time. Not being a cool South Londoner myself, the first I heard of these scenes was when Dizzee Rascal’s Boy in da Corner won the 2003 Mercury prize, but as grime and particularly dubstep grew in popularity it was good to hear these slightly grubby bassy sounds starting to creep into the mainstream (incidentally, that link has some of the most bizarre product placement I’ve ever seen in a music video – Britney Spears browsing Plenty of Fish??). It has been an enjoyable fortnight listening to one of the most significant artists of the genre, and ticking off a sneaky branch of the Music Tree while we’re at it!
Being a little pushed for time at the moment, most of my Skream sampling took place in the office. Contrary to my expectations, this was actually pretty good music to work to. Skream makes a sound that’s both laid back and very easy to dance to, truly capturing the essence of dubstep’s regge influences! This fortnight’s tunes had me swaying along as I worked on my spreadsheets, but with their even flow and steady rhythms they were perfect for maintaining concentration. Unfortunately, being good to work to is not generally what I look for in an album, but I’m sure the laid back yet bouncy qualities that made this great work music would come into their own on a late-night dance floor. I guess we’ll find out next week!