Upfront 070 / June 8, 2016

Alia Loren

Radar Radio grime empress, Alia Loren, provides a crash course primer on the freshest grime representatives. It's littered with exclusives and mash-ups that haven't yet seen the light of day. Tune in.

About this mix

Originally an Essex gal, I moved into London 4 years ago for uni; the times when people were saying "grime is dead". I was at the half empty raves, meeting MCs and trying to get my own grime show.

Shortly after, Radar Radio picked me up to start my own weekly grime show and within 6 months, I learned how to DJ. That's kinda what struck me as the story behind this mix. There's so many new listeners who love grime, people tend to forget or don't know about some old school legends or even new grime producers.

I wanted to put together a mix bringing together some of my favourite old school grime gems and producers with some of the newer producers that I've had my eye on for a minute.

Throughout this mix, there are sounds that you might not expect to hear together like the old school Jordan Riddim with Sware's remake of Pulse X. This mix looks into the past and present of grime and illustrates how productions have changed dramatically over the years. I think it's important to remember the genre's origins as well as looking into where the sound of grime is at today.

Artwork: Youth Club Sounds

Alia Loren

Boiler Room says...

Sometimes we have to rub our eyes to remember that Radar Radio — the now online broadcasting mammoth — has only been around for about a year and a half. Since kicking off under ghoulish pretences on Halloween 2014, the station has moulded into a play-pen for some of the brightest talents around the country. Jumping on their airwaves at any given time launches the listener right across the musical spectrum: from Gordon Wedderburn's Jazz In The Present Tense through Shy One's eclectic meddling between 80-140bpm and all the way up through their vibrant grime populace. Radar has prided itself on its ability to host it all; an open forum that valiantly waves its middle finger at the rule book.

Grime has become the station's primary sound since its formation. Not only because of the genre's timely rebirth, but because of the station's uncanny likeliness to pirate radio. Snugly situated between Old Street and Clerkenwell, the studio is just central enough to be reached by MCs and DJs from not only London, but across the country. But even more significant is its walk-in-walk-out ethos. Just like during the heyday of Pay As U Go, Dizzee Rascal, Aftershock and all the other demi-gods, each grime show is regularly populated by a free-flowing set of MCs dipping in and out of the studio. Sometimes its just a fire 16 bar shelling from one lyricist. Other times it can be 50-odd mic-wielders shifting in and out of the hotbox booth. It's rekindled a key facet of grime culture: radio practice hours — the act of sparring and perfecting your skills on the mic, just like any boxer would.

None of that, however, would be possible without a solid DJ gluing the proceedings together and Alia Loren is quickly rising through the ranks. Not only because of that ability to hold things tight, but also for consistently nudging the best new and old grime into the open and being a true disciple of the sound by introducing the RR audience to acts from the Midlands and further afield.

For this same reason, we turn to her for Upfront 070 — a bruiser crash course primer on the freshest grime representatives. It's littered with exclusives and mash-ups that haven't yet seen the light of day. Simply put, it deserves your ears. Tune in or fuck off.

Errol Anderson

Errol Anderson

Errol juggles editor and hosting/programming duties for Boiler Room.

Tracklisting

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