Rope – ‘Cotham Warrior / Slugface’ (Parison Records)

Bristol, a city with an already immense underground dance music pedigree, is fast becoming one of the UK’s key hubs for instrumental Grime too. The latest rising star, a producer who’s also released under an entirely different alias in the past, is one who has set his stall out merging a harsh, abrasive new Grime palette with the heritage sounds of his home city.

Rope, who incidentally also christens his Parison Records imprint with debut record ‘Cotham Warrior / Slugface’, certainly pulls no punches across both tracks, as well as drafting in fellow Bristol Grime head Boycott and Trouble & Bass duo Klient on remix duties. The menacing, jittery opening on Cotham Warrior, an intro that also packs some Joker-esque purple synths, feels Bristol to the core.

On the flip, the sinister, growling ‘Slugace’ also features the co-production talents of yet another Bristol up-and-comer in Sentiment, who harmonises ideas with Rope here pretty succinctly. Bruising, off-kilter bass and scything square wave rumblings mix with rugged, layered percussion to good effect, although there are spells where the track feels in danger of sounding almost too rough around the edges. Klient’s remix adds a welcome twist to Rope’s original ‘Cotham Warrior’ mix, totally re-programming the bass line to give it far more legs on the dance floor, whilst Boycott goes all out warfare on his rip-roaring 8-bar edit.

A raw introduction but compelling none-the-less, on this form Rope and the Parison Records crew are a welcome addition to Bristol’s growing cast of influential young Grime producers.

Tomas Fraser

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