2014 has been a good year for Grime as the sound has continued to spread around the world, taking new twists and turns as more people pick up on it. A few people have had chart success, and there have been some huge events too, like the LOTM Boiler Room set, and the more recent Red Bull Culture Clash to name just two. But it seems that one thing still lacking is decent places to discuss everything that happens – and this is where Grime Zone [Worldwide] comes in. The main differences between Grime Zone and other similar sites is that, firstly, Grime Zone is, for now, a Facebook group, and secondly, the 1900+ member list is basically made up of DJs, producers, MCs, label owners and the like, all of which regularly post about the latest and classic tunes and mixes etc, as well as showcasing their own stuff.
As you’d maybe expect from a group with this kind of membership, something is happening all the time, the most recent example being Gundam taking on any and every request for him to refix a tune of your choice. I spoke to Dallas based DJ and page admin LEEIII about the sites War Zone dub contest, future plans for Grime Zone, which members of the group we need to keep an ear out for, and more.
GrimeDisciple (GD): Grime Zone is over 1900 members strong and growing, but when did you start it, and who else is involved? What were your reasons for starting it in the first place?
LEEIII: Well, initially it was just one of Foxy‘s groups. I’m not sure what it was for. But back in April of this year, Foxy changed the name of this group to GRIME ZONE. we had been working together for a while now, and naturally he was curious about the kind of music I had been playing. So I guess he got online, renamed the group, made me admin, and asked if I would start posting content to “teach him Grime”- so why not [she laughs]? There are also a couple people with admin status in the group, a nebulous mix of fellow producers and DJs who help maintain the feed.
GD: You’re running the Grime Zone: War Zone contest at the moment, what can you tell me about that? Is this likely to be an annual event now?
LEEIII: Foxy and I were smokin’ and brainstorming one day like we do, bouncing several dumb ideas back and forth until we get that prophetic one. There had been a lot of war dubs and sends flying around in our feeds so we thought we’d try to channel that aggression – that trash talking, sample stealing, the works – and harness it into an organized tournament. Being matched up in a battle instead of a call and potential response – it’s a twist on the “ettiquette” of a wardub.
Luna URL – Lance Miller and Michelle Miller – are the designers of the virtual space where War Zone is hosted. They will eventually maintain it as our official website once War Zone is over, grimezone.com. For everything else, it has just been my pet project. I’ve been knitting the two competing dubs together with some cheeky “announcer” commentary, and uploading the single tracks to our SoundCloud. I put together a poll and Luna URL updates the website with the new battle tunes. I’ve been updating the bracket on the website to reflect the leaders and I’ll call a final tally once all dubs are submitted and voted on before moving onto round 2.
As for repeating it, I didn’t have plans for it other than just an experimental game with some possible exposure for competitors. But afterwards, we do plan to make a Bandcamp release available with all the winning tunes.
GD: The membership of the group seems to be made up of people from literally all over the planet. Is that something that you’ve actively decided to push as a group, or has that been organic?
LEEIII: I don’t know to what extent the group has pushed or been pushed to gain an international audience, but I would suspect that it stems naturally from technology giving us ability to instantly share similar kinds of taste and values that occur cross culturally. Also I think by actively policing spam, fake accounts, and actual post relevancy, there is a more realistic platform for interaction and collaboration. I’m glad to see people are participating with their own original content or posting thoughtful articles, documentaries, and cultural discussions instead of only regurgitating homogenized links.
GD: There have been some really sick mixes dropped by people in the group – can you tell me about any more of those that you have coming?
LEEIII: The latest release features Scruloose from Exeter, UK! As for what’s coming, we might be featuring other material than our monthly mix for December.
GD: It seems like a good few members of the group, like YNGN, Gundam, Glot etc, have gone on to do some really big things. Putting you on the spot a bit, who do you feel is currently a member of Grime Zone that could go on to do similar things?
LEEIII: I think quite a lot of them are already doing really big things! But success being subjective, along with the ones you listed, some of our members that I would call star material are Timbah, Korma, SPF666, Mike G, and Jay(A).(D).
GD: So what comes next for Grime Zone [Worldwide]? Are there any plans to start a record label for example? Any more contest ideas or anything that people should look out for?
LEEIII: GRIME ZONE:ICE RINK tour is coming in December. Some of our guest DJs so far will be J-Cush, Mike G, Kruxx, and Santa Muerte (SINES/Panchitron). We’re hoping to eventually complete 3 circuits of the US in total with other guest DJs. We’ll be releasing details slowly as we’re able to lock down the events.
And yes, ice rink means what you think it does.
GD: You’re also a DJ yourself. Where can people hear you next, and what tunes are you currently rating at the moment?
LEEIII: I am about to release mixes for Brrrrrap (Madrid) and DEKODEKO. I will be playing our GZ:IR tour in December, and in January I have a lot of personal plans to start a new monthly residency in Dallas.
The newest tunes I’m currently rating most are by: Shriekin‘, Dellity, Lars Warn, Air Max ’97 + tons more. I’m also listening to all releases on Infinite Machine and Tessier Ashpool Recordings.
So, that’s Grime Zone [Worldwide] in a nutshell, but the best way to check it out is by clicking here and getting involved if you aren’t already. Don’t forget to head over to the Grime Zone: War Zone page to get voting on the dubs.