East London MC and producer Jammz has released two new instrumental tracks on Keep It Simple / The World EP, which follows in the footsteps of his recent mixtape Underdog Season Volume 1. Both releases provide a thrilling insight into the incredible talents of a leading light of the buoyant UK grime scene.
Jammz has emerged alongside Stormzy and Novelist as one of the most prominent faces of the next generation of grime. Jammz first appearance on record came in 2010 and since then he has worked tirelessly and is now considered a natural successor to the likes of Wiley and Kano. Much like those before him, vast amounts of time have been spent time honing his skills on pirate radio stations in London (Rinse FM, Déjà Vu FM, Mode FM), which still provide an important platform for artists to cut their teeth.
Keep It Simple/ The World EP
‘Keep It Simple’ and ‘The World’ are timeless slices of grime production, reflective of a man deeply embedded in the culture. Squelchy bass, stabbing synths and crunching drums all add to the sense of unbridled energy grime tracks can create. ‘Keep it Simple’ feels like the descendent of one of the original grime instrumentals ‘Ghetto Kyote’, whilst ‘The World’ features the sped up vocal samples so popular in the early days of grime, and whilst both nod to the past they still sound fresh and exhilarating today.
Underdog Season Volume 1
Underdog Season Volume 1 focuses on Jammz’s ability as an MC and further enhances his burgeoning reputation. ‘Round Ere’ is a tale of East London life and demonstrates grimes ability to provide a voice for the repressed and disillusioned. Political disengagement and economic hardship are the focus of the track as Jammz reflects “Welcome to East London where guys get lost in haze of amazement during the journey to live well just for the cars and the money”. There are also moments of humour, love, ambition and bravado across the course of the record, all delivered with an unerring sense of confidence and control.
Again there are nods to the origins of grime, with ‘Who Is It’ integrating a sample of Skepta’s ‘Stupid’, whilst ‘Know Me Now’ is reminiscent of the best productions from Kano’s debut Home Sweet Home. However, there also signs of the potential evolution of grime on ‘How Much Longer’ a hip hop infused production that has potential for crossover success in a more organic way than previous seen.
Production is handled by revered talents Spooky, Moleskin and Anz as well as Jammz himself and they create a sound collage above which Jammz can demonstrate his vocal dexterity and versatility. From the hip hop of ‘Crazy’ to the jungle driven ‘Lyric and Style’ and the UK Funky inspired ‘Just Eat’ this is an eclectic collection of beats, curated expertly by Jack Beats.
As grime continues to enjoy its resurgence, both in the UK and overseas, it is MC’s with the passion, skill and work ethic of Jammz who will help sustain it. These two releases highlight a young man with real skill and vision and we can only look forward to his debut album.
The mixtape is available to stream in full below, via Soundcloud.
Catch Jammz at Fabriclive, London 1 July 2016, alongside Tonga and Jamie Duggan and at the Boom Bap Festival, Mildenhall 29-31 July, with headliners Pharoahe Monch, RA the Rugged Man and the best of the UK scene.