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The Mire: Tangents, threads and opinions from The Wire HQ

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Derek Walmsley

The big news Grime-wise in London this month concerns Rinse FM's 14th Birthday party at The End in London on 22nd August – the Pay As U Go Cartel of Slimzee, Wiley, Gods Gift et al, some of Rinse's earliest stars, are reforming for the event. Anyone who witnessed Wiley's performance at one of these events a few months ago will know what to expect in terms of lyrical intensity. But it's especially heartening to see Slimzee out on the scene (the DJ who at one point was banned by an ASBO from being on the higher floors of tall housing blocks). Slimzee's DJ sets were key to the transition between Garage to Grime proper. His abrasive dubplates were as cold and tough as concrete streets – they called out for some human presence, if only to leaven the feeling of sheer loneliness. It was on these kind of tracks that London MCs first began to find their voice, and his Sidewinder sets with Dizzee Rascal are justly revered (they circulate in various forms, but you can get a taste of them on You Tube

On a similar tip, DJ Rupture's excellent WFMU show Mudd Up had a special show recently with Bok Bok and Manara, where they play tons of tracks from this limbo zone between garage and grime – you can listen here. Lots of memories for me here, including all but forgotten tracks by Alias, whose indefatigable toughness almost recalls Belgian Nu Beat.

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