Creative collective and vinyl-only label Grade 10 International have been steadily rising since their debut release from Kollaps early last year. Based both in Leicester and London, the crew is made up of close friends and family, counting eight members in total. Classic Coke, Forever, Prayer, 8Ball, Loosewomen, Nokia Boys, Kollaps and Unslaved each hold their own musical identities that together, draw influence from different strands of underground club music and rave culture – be it jungle, grime, footwork, even classical. Each of the five releases from the label has seen these movements saluted with an unwavering view ahead. In a little over a year, the collective have gone from holding down their monthly show on London’s Radar Radio to headlining the TATE Modern Turbine Hall Opening, and playing at Outlook Festival.
With their last release in July, which saw the dreamy rave nostalgia of Forever’s ‘Coarse’ remixed by fellow Midlands native and house don Mr. G, their next project offers the chance for another member to showcase their skills. Blood Rite sees Classic Coke’s nutty footwork thrown into the spotlight, with four high-energy tracks that accelerate from the get-go and don’t look back.
The title track sets the tone, as rolling bongos take off before smartly-crafted 808 percussion thickens the plot. Brass samples press throughout, with interchanging loops that reminisce the “pows” and “blams” of the ’60s Batman score. ‘Huzzahh’ follows this lead by doubling up on intensity with colourful breaks, whilst keys and a lively bassline keep spirits high. Vibrant horns lead us astray before screeching howls end the ride, highlighting the comicality within Classic Coke’s music.
On the flip, ‘Days 2 Weeks’ parades a softer side, keeping things tame with heartfelt strings and vocals before the latter can no longer hold on as erratic drums break free, dismantling everything in reach. Closer ‘B-Tru’ sees Classic Coke chop and screw an ’80s anthem, sparking euphoria with love-struck tones and enough rolling snares to keep you sweating till the lights go up.
Another fine showcase of talent from the Grade 10 camp, whose stature continues to grow as their diverse palette of sound shines fresh light on existing underground movements.
Blood Rite is out now on Grade 10 International. Keep up to date with Grade 10 on their website.
Words: Callum Wright