There’s something brilliant and fascinating about identity in grime instrumentals, how producers craft a certain sound unique to them and just run with it so their tunes pop right out in the mix; so their voice is heard. Can you imagine a Dullah beat without Rick Ross grunting over it? Nah, course not. Remember that Danny Weed tune with the string sample/square bass dynamic contrast and glitchy camera whirrs? Yeah, what one, innit? Whether its producers sticking to a unique sound palette, flagrantly dropping their name over the tune like ‘PRE-DI-TAH’ or just chopping a select range of samples with a certain nuance (Hi, Milktray), these tunes will all have personal stamps to them and I love it. Tag culture shit, youts fighting for their space on the wall.
But then there’s that rare kind of identity, which is a little harder to explain, those that create this mood that listeners instantly clock and associate with that producer whatever they’re making. Logos is a good example: he could be making banging unst unst metallic oddities with Mumdance, shooting synths into space and letting them evaporate, chopping Baltimore club breaks or stabbing tunes with that door slam from Neptune’s Grindin’ beat that everyone’s Nan has nabbed at some point but never quite like this. Whatever, the point is, whatever the tempo, whatever the vibe you’ll hear Logos. And you could say the same thing about Mr Mitch on ‘The Room Where I Belong’, an EP that sees him overflowing with ideas but maintaining just one voice – his.
Throughout the four-track EP, Mr Mitch appears to showcase literally everything he likes about grime, but channeled through this meditational, occasionally sombre filter – similar to that which framed the recent Peace Dubs mixtape, only at once more subtle and more penetrating. On ‘The Man Waits’ you can almost see those bright glacial synths melting right in front of you, while nothing I write about the fucking phenomenally titled ‘The Lion, The Bitch and The Bordeaux’ can hold a candle to the “digital funeral march” description given by ya boy Sonic Router himself during a rare pensive moment on Rinse FM. Even the more aggressive ‘Bowser’s Snout’ has this sort of calm, collected rage about it; its dubsteppy lurch peppered by glocks coolly reloading (yet never firing) and synth droplets bubbling away but not once boiling over. Likewise on ‘Pipe Dreams’, which we’re privileged to premiere below, your standard percussion is replaced by a catwalk of camera flashes that keep an often theremin-esque bassline, noodling away like a worker’s whistle, in check, while those sparse, reverb-drenched Peace Dub keys sound frostier than ever.
It’s easy to get excited about new grime at the moment, I’m proper buzzing off it most days to be fair. But even when the scene is in particularly rude health, both in volume and creativity, it’s rare to hear something so indebted to and celebratory of grime, a scene Mr Mitch so clearly belongs to, that stands so absolutely within a room of its own.
Mr Mitch’s Room Where I Belong is out on 21st February via his Gobstopper imprint.