For anyone with a serious interest in understanding the context that gave life to today’s blossoming instrumental grime scene, Bloom’s ‘Quartz’ - originally released on Gobstopper in 2012 - should be your first point of reference. A fierce, juggernaut of a track, it was arguably the first grime beat of it’s kind to fully connect with wider listeners, blowing the rigid 140bpm template that had defined grime music since its formative years wide open in the process.
Through utilising space too, Bloom’s work on ‘Quartz’ felt all the more powerful and amplified - from every gunshot to every abrasive, detuned square wave, each element of the track felt razor-sharp, precise and perhaps most importantly, ruthlessly unapologetic.
Maybe it was this sense of brazen, self-assured artistic license that caught Bjork’s ear, after footage emerged of her playing the original mix at a recent Tri Angle Records party in New York.
To celebrate five years of Gobstopper, it feels all the more poignant then that label boss Mr. Mitch has decided to re-issue ‘Quartz’ on wax, complete with a devilish VIP edit and a specially commissioned remix from US producer Rabit - himself another artist crucial to instrumental grime’s worldwide boom.
The VIP baffles in the same way the original mix does, only this time via a boosted sound palette littered with slapstick zaps, pulses and fizzing FX, while Rabit turns a crackly, industrial hand to his rework - a dark, ghoulish interpretation that listens like a natural extension of his work on debut Tri Angle EP, ‘Baptizm’.
2. Quartz VIP
3. Rabit Remix