As a staunch supporter of Mr Mitch it’s been easy to note his stripping back of sonic layers. Stereo-typically, grime – as a musical format – is expected to swagger up and confront you, toting a plethora of pomp and persistent percussion. So when Mitch’s album, Parallel Memories and the EP that preceded it, Room Where I Belong, applied a new, thoughtful and wearily whistful approach to the genre, people jumped at it and tagged it in stupid ways searching for recognised adjectives that could be quickly shoehorned onto it.
What those people probably don’t know (or chose to ignore) is that the process began a little bit earlier, in about October of 2013, when a lot of grime producers were embroiled in #lordofthebeats (yeah, I fucking hashtagged it, bitch) – a social media centric display of beat making braggadocio, where producers made beats to top each other, either by going all out ‘Armageddon’-style or by deconstructing each other’s styles and flipping the tropes for their own means. I appreciate that the way I just introduced the concept sounds like I didn’t appreciate the whole flurry, but I did. That shit was wild. It was though, a little bit tough to keep up with (that’s why we jumped at the bit to host DJ Magic and DJ Cable’s ‘War Report’ Mix) but in the middle of it all, amongst all the cross firing pot-shots, Mr Mitch hit upon the concept we’re here to discuss, the ‘Peace Edit’.
Talking to us for The Quietus Mitch said: “I couldn’t be bothered to try and compete with everybody who was flinging out dubs, so I tried to do something different with it, and in doing that I deconstructed a lot of famous grime beats – slowed them down, took elements of them and warped them in a way, and took the aggression out of them. I tried to work out what the essence of those tunes was, and pushed them in a new direction.”
That process gave the world Mitch’s versions of Mumdance’s ‘Take Time’, Wiley’s ‘Eskimo,’ Faze Miyake’s ‘Take Off’ and Spooky’s ‘Spartan’ (which can be downloaded, for free, here) along with sunken versions of Pharrel’s ubiquitous pop plop along ‘Happy’ and um, The Beach Boys. And it’s this approach that Mitch is exploring on his Gobstopper label’s first white label vinyl release, V/A – Peace Edits Vol. 1. Enlisting Strict Face, Loom and Silk Road Assassins to re-purpose songs from Kate Bush, Dru Hill, Alice Payne and T-Pain, the 12″ serves as an insight into the bizarrely shattered studios and minds of four producers who’ve run with Mitch’s initial idea of gutting a song and taking elements of it elsewhere entirely.
Today we’re premiering the Australian producer, Strict Face‘s version of Alice Deejay’s ‘Better Off Alone’ which manages to both outline the over-riding weightless, sentiment behind the whole Peace Edit concept and prove that one can very much isolate a trance riff and [re]tool it with sparse, juttering percussion to fantastic effect – if one should so wish.
V/A – Peace Edits Vol. 1 will be out on 12″ on 23rd Febraury via Gobstopper.
Preorder at Boomkat.