Madam X – ‘Kaizen Movements Vol.1’ (Free Download)

Compilations are often a useful reference point for people wanting to understand exactly where music lies at any particular moment in time and Madam X’s first instalment in instrumentally charged series, ‘Kaizen Movements’, is a testament to the extraordinary hybridity that’s underpinning a whole host of emergent new strands of UK club music.

Names like Murlo, a figurehead for the incredible music emanating from the Boxed- inspired network of instrumental grime producers and Sudanim, co­head of the impressive Her Records label, who both feature here, are perfect examples of just howdiverse, but intrinsically linked, the music has become. Such is the landscape, the pair featuring on a compilation of this nature feels almost essential.

This genre­blurring motif continues apace throughout the remainder of the track list too. From the square wave, Grime rumblings of Timbah’s ‘Tell Dem’ that also features a powerful vocal from Manchester’s T­Man, to the sub­heavy, rolling dread of Nativ’s ‘Breathe’, there are few stones of the UK underground that remain unturned. DarkO’s monstrous ‘Bora VIP’ is another highlight, as are the contrasting, wonderfully mellow cuts from lesser ­known producers G.S. One and Benjha.

Of course it’s also worth pointing out that Madam X is a key figure behind Manchester based party­-cum-­label BPM and the city is another component that adds to the overriding success of Kaizen Movements as a whole. The aforementioned T­Man and G.S. One are both local, Manchester­ based artists, as is Swing Ting co­founder Samrai, whose remix of Rubi Dan & Famous Eno’s ‘Terminator’ is also a stand­out feature. The music on offer here therefore not only feels exciting and diverse, but it radiates a homegrown, almost grass­roots level spirit that is often lost in and amongst busier track lists.

In essence then, Kaizen Movements Vol.1 not only showcases a slew of different producers but it also forms a concise, well ­rounded snapshot of contemporary UK club music and the various elements that define it. Best known for her abilities as a DJ, it’s a  collection that also proves that more than anything, Madam X has kept her ear firmly to the ground over the last 12 months and, as evidenced by all 10 tracks, is keen to rep every angle of the music she and the BPM camp are most passionate about.

‘Kaisen Movements Vol.1’ is available to download for free now above.

Tomas Fraser