Japan is probably the last place you'd expect there to be a burgeoning grime scene, right? (Well... stranger things have happened). The British-born genre has firmly-planted roots in locations such as Amsterdam and the Czech Republic, and now it looks like the one in Japan (via Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka) is next up to prove its worth. DJs and critics Elijah & Skilliam recently returned home to London after spending some time in Tokyo, a place that has supported their Butterz brand heavily over the past two years. There, they met leaders of the Japanese grime committee—some of whom can hardly speak English—and managed to get them in a studio to record a special one-off set.
During the one-and-a-half-hour session, we get to hear full-on barring in Japanese, icy, Oriential-licked riddims, and some of the neatest mix-and-blending you will hear this year. Elijah had the below to say on the making of this mix:
"In December, Skilliam and I took up a residence in Japan for a month. It's a place we have always got a warm reception from online and always sold a lot of records and merchandise there. Visiting for the first time in 2014 and playing a couple of clubs showed me there are people far and wide passionate about this music and, most importantly, want to contribute to it. This group of MCs, producers and DJs we assembled for this set are from all over Japan and they made their way to a small recording studio in Tokyo to come together and do this. In the SoundCloud description, I've left all their details so you can find out more about them. All the producers and DJs played three tracks each, then one track each at the end back-to-back; then, Skilliam took over at the end and played for the MCs.
"Thanks to Fumie at DBS for looking after us during our stay, and the crew that came to the shows in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. We got the chance to go to Seoul in Korea and Shanghai in China while we were out there too, and we played at two great clubs: Cakeshop and Shelter, which I'd advise any artist to get to if they have the chance. Our final night in Tokyo at Unit was one of the best parties we've done as a crew, and it was a perfect end to our stay. Big up Flava D, Swindle, Part 2 Style and Hyperjuice for amazing sets and all the ravers for staying with us until 6am on a Sunday night. Last big-ups are to DK for the cover, James Gould for the photography, and Pakin for making the whole set happen."
Stream the set in full below and cop Elijah & Skilliam's Grime 2015 album here.