Over the last ten years or so a lot of UK underground electronic music has been focused around the same speed. Grime, dubstep, trap, bassline, speed garage and even some UK dub music all helped to shape what you could call the ‘140 era’ – a decade of genres rising and falling around 140 beats per minute. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), music is as fickle as the fashion industry, and much of the shite that has been produced over the past decade would never be played today by any self-respecting DJ. That said, here are some of the most classic and durable anthems to emerge within this era, which DJs could still work into today’s sets without emptying the dancefloor.
The Bug ft Flowdan – Skeng
As far as classic genres go we would have no idea where to place Skeng by The Bug and grime veteran Flowdan. The track itself pulls together so many different elements such as the overly reverberated drum samples, the pounding bass pattern and patois influenced vocals. This is one of the few tracks we believe you could play on any 140 set and it would still send the crowd into a frenzy.
ReboundX – Rhythm & Gash
Of the three grime instrumentals that make this list, ReboundX’s Rhythm & Gash is the first. Despite being recreated multiple times in the form of different remixes this original track embodies a lot of what early grime instrumentals were all about. The moogy bass patterns and roughly cut vocal samples fold together perfectly over the simple drum arrangements underneath.
Skream – Midnight Request Line
Skream has already solidified himself as a legendary figure within the brackets of bass music. As a producer he has been one of the most consistently active of the “140” era manoeuvring his way around different styles and sub genres, and it would be a crime to not include a piece of Skream’s work. Midnight Request Line is perhaps his most iconic track as it blends the bass heavy styles of early Dubstep and Grime with catchy melodies and a crunchy mix down.
Wiley – Morgue
When you think of classic grime instrumentals there are few which jump to mind quicker than Wiley’s Morgue. Primarily known for its use of the famous Eski sample, the arrangement of the track remains extremely minimal, however it only takes one sound to change a dancefloor. This original sound has gone on to be remade and reused in a lot of modern grime instrumentals, during a period quite commonly referred to as grime’s resurrection.
Musical Mob – Pulse X
Quite possibly the most influential Grime instrumental ever created, Musical Mobb’s ‘Pulse X’ is where we finish our list off. This was one of the first grime instrumentals to hit legendary status after being release in 2002. It has gone on to be one of the most remixed instrumentals within the genre also with new versions still be created today over 14 years later.
The simplicity of this track is what makes it so memorable, being one of the first of what are now known as ‘8 Bar Riddims’ which have only 2 major sections which alternate throughout the track.