Ever since I can remember, and trust me I can’t, I was never a fan of grime or electronic music. Electronic music seems to be generic; just switch pitch and choose your distortion, and you make a standard track. Electronic music also comes in variation where you would hear an abundance of a certain instrument, but it wouldn’t be known as electronic. Dubstep, for example, uses a lot of kicks and snares as well as heavy drops, while trance is more melodic. Grime music usually sounds like a mixture of hip-hop and UK style electronica, which I don’t think I can explain in musical terms. Grime contains a lot of garage music influence as well, with a usage of ambient noise and melodic keys and synths. So I wasn’t completely against it on paper, but when I heard it, I wasn’t caught in a trance.
Two artists who fall into said categories have since caught my attention. These artists are Ratking and Sbtrkt. Ratking brings this grime feel to New York style hip-hop and the vocal palettes switch with cohesiveness. Wiki switches flow multiple times in a song and each time it fits perfectly, while Hak flows with a mid-pitched bass vocal. From an interview on Complex Mag’s website, Sporting Life said that Wiki usually tries to write the illest verse, while Hak is more socially conscious and he uses a lot of wordplay, especially with the line “So you ill like Jill did Jack,” on the track, “*.” In this case, knowing the true reality of the nursery rhyme would add some cohesiveness to it.
Wiki has a high-pitched voice when he raps, which is far from the norm for hip-hop. The beats are layered with a lot of hi-hats and low kicks. These hi-hats come in swift patterns with snares in certain tracks. And the swiftness in the kick’s pitch is ludicrous. These sounds rough, but mastered, which is a contradiction in itself.
Sbtrkt is what I’d call Electronic Soul. Sbtrkt sets the foundation with an instrumental that perfectly flows with the artists featured, but at the same time it sounds like something you wouldn’t hear on the dance floor at a stuffy and boring club, unless they really think, “Living like I do,” works. Sbtrkt uses a lot of synths and his drum patterns show some breakbeat (a different type of trip-hop) influence. There are some hints of dubstep on his debut album, SBTRKT; as well as implementing some futuristic noise in between certain riffs. He has a lot of cacophonous layers that are mastered with a variation of patterns throughout single tracks, like “Go Bang,” or “Ready Set Loop.”