Movey. The name may not be familiar, but then nothing about Movey can really be described as “the usual”. About 10 months ago a post appeared on Grime Forum advertising a single by some guy I’d never heard of and Merky ACE. Being a fan of Merky, I gave it a go. Obviously, Merky went in, but the beat was pretty sick too. The instrumental, needless to say, turned out to be by Movey, and Movey, it turns out, was from Russia, and this is where the story gets interesting…
A little digging around led me to Movey’s Bandcamp, and I downloaded “Destruction”, an instrumental mixtape, which although Grime, is still hard to pigeonhole. The first track on “Destruction” might be familiar to you already, as it’s the instrumental that The Square’s Deejillz used on “Wicked and Bad”. “Wicked and Bad”, for me, was the best of last years war dubs as it had the perfect combination of lyrical aggression over a harsh beat. “Murder” has bone-snapping snares and driving strings that bring the best out of Deejillz, who actually seems to get more gassed the longer the beat goes on.
“Destruction” is free, and it’s well worth the download just for “Murder”, but Movey is no one-trick wonder. “Darkside” somehow manages to be spacey and yet claustrophobic. “I Love You Feel?” is down tempo and piano based, and is the kind of beat that would suit an MC like Bella Gotti on her more introspective songs. “Destruction”, however, is only part of Movey’s story.
Movey admits that there isn’t really a Grime scene in Russia, but he looks beyond his country anyway. Tucked away on Movey’s PC is his next release, “Introduction”, which sees Movey linking up with MCs from countries as diverse as the USA, UK, and Canada. I’ve seen the tracklist for “Introduction” and, although I can’t reveal exactly who the MCs are, I can say that one is on most people’s top 10 list, and another had one of the best free releases of the last 18 months, and that’s just two that spring to mind.
Movey is also insanely productive and admits to once pushing himself to make an album in a day, but unlike some producers, Movey is reluctant to release anything that he himself isn’t 100% happy with. This kind of quality control has even, so far, stopped him from doing anything with “Saturn”, a beat that both Logan Sama and Chronik gave the seal of approval (skip to 3:25 to hear Chronik showering over “Saturn”, but it’s worth playing all the way through just to hear them struggling to get Movey’s name right).
Grime is barely the tip of the iceberg for Movey though, as he also produces ambient pieces, Neoclassical, and film scores amongst other things. Although he says that Wiley and Dot Rotten are his favourite producers, he’s also inspired by the Italian Neorealism film movement of the 1940’s-50’s. Other influences range widely from “Ghost Dog” director Jim Jarmusch to German expressionism, and from the Blues to Bjork.
It shouldn’t really come as a surprise then, that Movey would one day like to direct. “I still believe that one day I will shoot my own film, and I always write up some ideas for them”, he says.
That doesn’t mean to say that Movey plans to stop making Grime, but he does admit to finding the sound restrictive at times. Using Twitter as a way of connecting with MCs has also been both a gift and a curse, as it has allowed him, with the help of Google translate when reaching out to non-English speakers, to collaborate with people abroad, but also lead to MCs agreeing/asking to use his beats and then failing to deliver.
It should be interesting to see who Movey collaborates with and which direction his music will take next, but in the mean time he remains a fan of the music too. “There are many people in Russia who love Grime”, he explains. “One day, hopefully, we could have some Grime shows here. I think that clubs would allow Grime MCs to play grime, but MCs just… I don’t know who to blame, but there are definitely enough people to have a successful show. I am sure everyone would pay to see Skepta, JME, and Wiley. Wiley, come to Moscow, please!”
There is no release date yet for “introduction”. The single, “I Ain’t Gotta Prove!” featuring Merky ACE is available digitally for the ridiculously cheap sum of only 75p on Bandcamp, alongside “Destruction”. Links are dotted throughout this post.