The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Burnt Ends: Slackk's Favourite Albums
Oli Marlow , October 2nd, 2014 13:46

The Liverpool-via-London grime producer and Boxed co-founder released his debut album, Palm Tree Fire, last month. Now, he talks Oli Marlow through his favourite records, taking in LPs, mixtapes, pirate radio sets and magazine cover-mounts. Slackk photograph courtesy of Mehdi Lacoste

Slackk_-_credit-_mehdi_lacoste_1412256831_resize_460x400

10/05/04, Essentials on DejaVu
I wanted to touch on Essentials because I feel like they were one of the best crews that really fell apart before they got started. As we said earlier you look at things like Roll Deep or Nasty Crew - although they fell apart before Essentials did - they're kind of renowned as being mythical beings whereas I kinda feel, certainly with like Jendor and K Dot and Remedee, when they were on mic they had a real legitimate chemistry. When I first moved down to London, though I was in Catford first, I always lived in Lewisham and around that area and as much as I got into these a little too late to appreciate the actual scene I always felt more of an affinity with a South crew, even though I've got no real claim. Things like On Top FM and that, I felt much more of an affinity with them because I could get a much better signal.

Anyway, this set is one of the best sets ever. The date is important because DejaVu was one of the very early stations that picked up on grime, like you've got quite a lot of iconic sets on DejaVu. You've got Conflict which is the Dizzee Rascal/Crazy Titch clash which is obviously massive on YouTube and Jammer's Birthday set and all that; these were all on DejaVu. The iconic visuals. The week before there'd been an incident on DejaVu with D Power/Diesel - he was in charge of the grime crews on the station. He didn't run the station I don't think but he would choose who got on, collect the subs, choose the timetable and all that (I'm not too sure who actually did run it, I know when I played on there it was D Lux but obviously I have no idea about back then). Anyway, D Power was in East Connection with Demon and all that and there's an East Connection set that you can hear on the internet, I did have it on Grime Tapes, it's an OK set but then there's this crew called Musketeers who had been trying to get on the station for a while and they turned up and mobbed the studio. You can hear the beginning of the kick off and then the recording cuts off. There are a few scurrilous rumours on various bits of the internet that expand on this if you look but I need to be careful what I say I think. Anyway, that was a couple of weeks before [this set] and on May 10 2004 there was this and a Nasty Crew set among a few others which was no rewinds, which is kind of unheard of now, but they were pure spitting, almost no rewinds and it's like basically the last real day of grime from that era on DejaVu.

This is the best Essentials set of all time. No question. The back and forth, the intensity and energy on it, it's fucking nuts. So I guess there's a resonance with me because it's a set from the last real day on DejaVu… I guess in a way you could look at this as the beginnings of the end of a pirate radio golden era of grime. To me it's the end of a very special era because all the best sets in a way or the best sets that people look at come from a peak era that's either Rinse or DejaVu but nothing on DejaVu after this date was any good for years, really apart from when Spooky came back much later down the line.

Listen here.


If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.