Reddy: Way too chaotic in our approach to tunes to do this with any sense of due diligence. So, the pair of us decided to split things up and use a simple rule, it had to have been aired on the show and as long as it was new to us, then that was fine too.
Touch Absence – Lanark Artefax (Whities)
Beardy: Lanark takes familiar sounds but instead of fetishizing them and being bogged down with nostalga, he turns them into a futuristic banger. This is “deconstructed club music” (most over-used term of 2017) that still brings the vibes and most importantly is whopper. Track of the year hands down.
U12 – Joshua Sabin (Subtext)
Beardy: Constructed from field and electromagnetic recordings of underground transport systems in Japan & Glasgow. Beautiful time-stretched tones give way to bursts of static and waves of subbass.
Project One – A Few Dollars More (One Moment In Time) (Tam Tam, 1990)
Reddy: My 2017 was a bit of a time loop – this track is In homage to getting Notes On Rave In Dublin across the line. While the soundtrack was chockablock with material related to this city, I was often mainlining old UK stuff to keep my mood buoyant. Found this one on a Breaks, Bass & Bleeps compilation from 1990 and played it on Holler 6.
It’s bursting with the bug-eyed creative ingenuity of that early rave explosion – burglarizing all around to make something new. It opens with lush pads, and hurtles forward with a killer sped up reggae bassline that prefigures jungle and garage. It’s the sort of breaksy house that all the kids were wetting themselves over and producer dons like Objekt were cogging for inspiration.
It mercilessly robs the Happy Mondays too. There’s a dirty little chipmunked reggae vocal sample that impishly pops up about 2/3s of the way in and commands the dancefloor to “get up and move”.
It gets me every time.
Kojo Funds – Fear No One (GRM Daily)
Reddy: Nothing overly remarkable about it here, but it seared its Spotify album cover into my phone screen – so often was it getting the loop treatment. A real hair tingling number, bristling with confidence – fight anyone kinda stuff.
It summated what I liked about afro-beatz this year, a swagger that pulls from different places and relentlessly sounds fresh. I’m not that au fait with the scene, but tracks like this give me nice little windows into the good stuff.
Kojo played a gig out somewhere near the Red Cow roundabout in September too. It clashed with a rabble party, so never made it out. Did trigger a thought about the hype J-Hus gets in these parts, and then so little love shown for Kojo Funds. He’s every bit as good.
Sir Spyro – Topper Top ft. Teddy Bruckshot, Lady Chann and Killa P (Deep Medi)
Beardy: Don’t care it came out end of last year or was really a 2016 tune. Doing the Holler show means we get the chance to play each other shit loads of tunes we love all year long and this is the one of hundreds we rinsed the most so it had to be a joint pick.
It’s an absolute beast of a tune, pure fire, with slabs of solid concrete rattling bass and when Lady Chann steps in she proves why she can and will destroy any rave / MCs in her path. If you hear this and don’t want to throw up your gun fingers and do a screw face then something is wrong with your ears.
Reddy: Yeah, it’s from last year – but it was repressed in 2017 too. Technically we never played it on the show either, but it sums both of our impulses up. Many of the big grime producers can be hit or miss – but Spyro deserves props for this. Great vid too. Opening up with a lad stomping home from a rave, all braggadocio – giving out about how “everything was whack”.
A horse noise makes you giddy from the get-go. Paranoid call centre chatter plays over drone shots of London. Before this essentially anonymous Teddybruckshot figure emerges from the gloom to terrorise people and mince their heads with a mutant dancehall delivery. It’s like listening to Burial getting mugged.
Love the laundry scene where the auld one transmorphs into Lady Chann and machine guns the place with her flow too. Oh, and it has the scariest child in a corridor since The Shining too.
Gig Of The Year: Kahn At The Wiley Fox.
Reddy: One of the few gigs we both managed to get to. What is there to say really? When Kahn comes through he really brings the heat.
With so much grime getting played out on CDJs, with its hyper-fast mixing and master tempo locks – it’s great to see how someone like Kahn creates tension in his sets with silence and atmosphere, letting the brooding nature of his productions hang heavy before these demonic outbursts send the room into ruckus and your left waiting years to find out what the fucking track was.
There’s been a real drought of bass-weight gigs these past few years, so out to Wriggle for hosting this one and the Wiley Fox for being an almost perfect mid-size club for them.