Following the release of his new EP Backwards Light, Getintothis’ Phil Morris shines a spotlight on Liverpool lost boy Slackk and his contribution to the esoteric wave of instrumental grime currently lapping the airwaves.
It seems absurd to be ‘introducing’ Slackk – aka Paul Lynch – but Liverpool’s embrace of underground music has often been indolent in supporting emerging styles.
Only recently has the city provided a permanent hub for floorspace demanding music. Long established scouse producer Slackk has become a standard bearer of futuristic grime since relocating to London almost a decade ago. Liverpool’s scouse house and techno persuasion was never going to be conducive to a creative obsessed with pirate radio and the emerging London grime scene. For some maddening reason, underground electronic scenes aren’t as successful here as they are in the capital.
Perhaps against the odds, and through hard graft and omnipresent networking, Slackk established himself with releases on labels like Local Action and Unknown To The Unknown; he is now considered a leading figure in a new instrumental wave that is broadening the acquired genre’s appeal.
The pirate radio stations that initially drew Paul Lynch to the scene may have been replaced by online equivalents like NTS, but there remains an enterprising promotion at the heart of the movement. Slackk is known to some as the ‘grime archivist’ for his work digitising bootlegs for Grimetapes; an online resource for old pirate radio recordings. He is also known as the co-founder of Boxed, a hugely successful instrumental night that prides itself on unheard records and innovation. The coterie of producers who run the raves include Logos, Oil Gang and Mr. Mitch. Together they’ve opened up a crucial niche for the scene to follow in the footsteps of parent movements like UK garage and drum and bass.
Following a succession of EPs; Raw Missions, Failed Gods and Minor Triads, Slackk released his debut album Palm Tree Fires through Local Action in June 2014. The release was a modest statement; an absorbing wander through asiatic experimental melodies and weaving rhythms. Most recently, Slackk has returned to work with R&S for his latest EP Backwards Light, a label that launched his career through the funky wave of house.
The grime librarian couldn’t resist another cultural nod to context on his latest release. Standout track Posrednik gestures heavily towards R&S label staple Aphex Twin, borrowing from his white noise and jaw dropping bass sound. Slackk has become the godfather of studiously referenced instrumental grime, make sure you acquaint yourself with his increasingly bulging back catalogue.