Spare – ‘1BLT’ (Coyote Records)

Nottingham lad Spare has done good. His latest EP, ‘1BLT’ for London Grime upstarts Coyote Records follows on from a strong debut release for Brighton’s Well Rounded last year. It sees the daring Wigflex associated producer tackle experimental, deep Grime sounds alongside spirited, colourful UK Dance music tendencies and the results are truly fantastic.

When his Coyote signing was announced last year, this reviewer was sceptical of the fit. Not because Spare is a bad producer, it’s very much the opposite, but more for the fact that Coyote has been one of the central players in Grime’s recent resurgence, laying down release after release of quality, exploratory, urban-centric instrumental music which generally veers towards the darker end of the spectrum. Spare, being the talented lad he is has, has managed to amalgamate an innate love of Grime, Techno, Garage and Bass into one lovingly rendered package of coherent badness.

The record kicks off with the titular “1BLT” a track that sounds more like a bucket of chicken than a bacon sandwich. The Garage infused riddims are slippery and greasy like the baking paper that lines the container, with the portamento riddled, Eski-flavoured bassline ducking and diving around the drums like a wing into gravy. All of this naughty goodness is topped of with a creamy, almost off-beat, smattering of coleslaw based pad work gluing the whole thing nicely together. It’s tasty stuff.

“Venom” is a number that shows of Spare’s versatile use of chops. Sensual arpeggios glide against the warm, subdued basslines, whilst a cheap and cheerful drum machine bashes away in the background. This is breakdown music if you will. It’s a whimsical and baffling, but a welcome addition to a Coyote back catalogue which simmers in dirty engine oil.

“Boss Hog” jumps off with pitched toms bouncing again a raspy bassline, whilst weird, playful synth tones usher in a 80s chip tune, Steampunk version of Grime. Built loosely around the traditional 8 bar format this track is anything but traditional. Peep it for a glimpse of what fanciful, yet deep, Sega Mega Drive Grime sounds like.

Finally, the 2-step flavours of “Glide” steps up. Like “Boss Hog” the tune revels in it use of cheap sounding, 80s, Casio synth tones. It comes across like a Richard D. James’ Grime pastiche as such. Big EP all round. For lovers of all things experimental and colourful.

‘1BLT’ is out now on Coyote Records. Buy it here.

Al Kennedy