Ollie ‘Skream’ Jones is on a major roll. The 24 year old Croydon DJ, producer and original dubstepper had the festival anthem of last year with his Let’s Get Ravey remix of La Roux’s ‘In For The Kill’; he’s just been featured on the cover of NME with his Magnetic Man co-stars Benga and Artwork; and as we speak, he is all over Radio 1 with the first single from his second solo album, Outside The Box. The tune in question, ‘Listenin To The Records On My Wall’, is the perfect introduction to why Skream’s current level of success is just the beginning. It’s a joyful, ragingly energetic celebration of the last quarter decade of British street music, inspired by the hardcore and jungle records used by his older brother Hijak who was part of Grooverider’s Internatty Crew. It’s also a brilliant pop record that makes perfect sense to everyone who grew up surrounded by the breaks and beats of the 1990s – and to those who didn’t.
In the early days of dubstep he and his Big Apple posse made music for themselves and a select band of listeners. There might have been 20 people at FWD>>, the night where resident DJ Hatcha first played Skream’s records, and where he first DJed, but it didn’t matter. Gradually, more people got involved, drawn in by the raw power of the music and well-documented tipping points like Mary Anne Hobb’s Radio 1 show and an influential online forum. And if they heard anyone, they heard Skream, who became an enthusiastic regular on the international dubstep circuit and made an early anthem in ‘Midnight Request Line’. “That tune was when people from the mainstream started looking into the underground. They weren’t embracing it, they were like ‘wow there’s this movement’… and they moved on. Then came La Roux. Skream’s now infamous remix of “In For The Kill” that got leaked, downloaded thousands of times, and then before long Annie Mac was championing it, urging listeners to get the mix to Number One.
He is also a member of mega group MAGNETIC MAN with Benga & Artwork. Together with Benga he is also presenter on BBC RADIO 1.
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