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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


Slew Dem, D Double E on deck - Sidewinder RAW set
This is an incredible set. It's on YouTube but no one really pays attention to it because in order to hear it you had to buy Sidewinder Raw Volume 3 which is like one of the endless series of Sidewinder tape packs and by the time that came around, who the fuck is buying that other than the fucking nerds? I'll be straight, I downloaded it first but instantly bought the tape pack because it was amazing and I had to own it.

Slew Dem at the time were a really incredible crew. G-Man I always think is the most underappreciated MC in grime and I think really he's the best, or at least in the top three MCs I've heard in the whole scene. There's Tempz [Tempa T] when he was on very, very peak form around 'Next Hype' time before that really blew up and became something else entirely. It's basically Slew Dem: Tempz, G-Man, Chronic just smashing it. It's also got D Double E DJing which isn't something people really touch on. Around this era, the 2008/2009 period (maybe into 2010) D Double had loads of weird, spacey grime beats that he was making and there's a very specific one on this - and it's also on one of the grime tape compilations I made where I just called it "DEE riddim" because I knew he made it the beat. I'd heard him play it on a set when he was subbing DJ Tubby on Rinse and I'd heard him play it on another set, but yeah I also heard it on this and basically it's one of the best grime beats that ever happened.

I tried to hit him up about it actually on Twitter quite some time ago and he was like, "Oh yeah - myth" or whatever. So those files are lost but honestly it's one of the best grime beats I've ever heard, really introspective and spacey. And in a way there are certain beats on Palm Tree Fire or something like 'Jackpines' on Failed Gods where that's the type of vibe I'm trying to encapsulate. I would listen to that part of Slew Dem grime tapes a lot because it's one of my favourite beats of all time. So that's on it, there's loads of other weird D Double E beats and its one of the few times where a studio set really connects and manages to capture the energy of a radio set.

I think it's also a period [in grime] that a lot of people ignore because of the funky thing. Really, unless you were a real aficionado, or a nerd - I was both - the grime thing had lost its appeal for a lot of people because there hadn't been the big rave tunes for people to pick up on it. You had to be a very specific type of person to be listening to Slew Dem and D Double E on some set but I feel like there was a lot of beats at that time that went under the radar; alongside what was going on with DJs like Score 5 or Spooky or even Spyro at the time (not that Spyro's ever been unappreciated really).

Score 5 was probably a predecessor for all this Boxed stuff that we've been doing. He was one of the first ones alongside Spyro and Spooky obviously, but a Score 5 selection was one of the most interesting weird things back then and I feel like if he was still DJing now then he would probably be recognised a lot more alongside all us lot, but he's knocked it on the head, sadly.