Made in Britain: Grime

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Published on 15 Sep 2021, 16:32
How is it that Britain, one little island in the middle of nowhere, has been such a game changer when it comes to creating original music genres that give birth to entire new underground cultures which then go on to have such a huge impact on the world?

London – the crowning example of the uniquely British inner city mash up of race, class and culture – has been the crucible for a series of original and unique music genres and pop culture lifestyles that have set the world alight. The recipe has been further enriched by contributions from other key urban centres – cities like Bristol and Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. Inspired by the bass heavy rhythms of Jamaican sound systems, fused with the culture, fashion, slang and attitude of the Caribbean, West Africa, Asia and America, fuelled by a never-ending soundtrack of pirate radio, and led by successive generations of entrepreneurs, hustlers and maverick visionaries, the whole world has moved to the beats of underground music and club culture made right here, in Britain.

This is the story of Jungle, UKG and Grime – three massive underground music scene that were all ‘Made in Britain.’ These more recent genres exploded from the streets, pirate radio stations and council estates of London and the UK’s inner cities over a period of just a few years in the 1990s. All three gave birth to their own unique sounds, creating a generation of stars, fashions, club scenes and fortunes and all three never quite vanished. Their beats, flows and attitude can still be heard in tunes being made today.

Each episode gives the inside track one of the genres, as told by some of the leading figures who created these underground movements in the first place, in conversation with Ron Samuels, himself a leading light of the original 90s Jungle scene as DJ Ron, and now a documentary director.

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