UK producer and Gobstopper Records founder Mr. Mitch has worked steadily to reimagine what grime music should sound like in 2014. Taking a decidedly more instrumental approach to a traditionally bass- and garage-indebted genre, Mr. Mitch has since created the influential Boxed nights in various London clubs alongside fellow grime DJs Oil Gang, Logos and Slackk, finally giving a home to a genre that had lost a bit of its lustre.
For a genre built on, and named after, trunk-rattling energy bordering on absolute filth, grime also holds a certain power in its calmest moments. Before last year, Mr. Mitch would have been considered a surprise source for that kind of work. The Gobstopper Records founder and London DJ was a monster out the gate, with a self-titled 2010 debut EP and 2012 beat-battle showstopper "Senior Bass" standing as early-career trophies for the producer; his ability to bump the heavy shit but shun cold-concrete aggression for bright, alcopop-buzzed hyperactivity was what made him exciting.
In a review of his debut EP for Planet Mu, Angus Finlayson said that Miles Mitchell, AKA Mr. Mitch, transcended the grime scene the same way that Vex'd and Pinch did with dubstep on the same label in the '00s. It's an apt comparison, at least in theory: throughout Parallel Memories, his debut album, Mitchell slows grime to a crawl and replaces its frenzied attack with the steady repetition of just a few elements.
Turning points signal a change in direction, capturing the critical moment of deviation. For Mr. Mitch, and perhaps grime itself, Parallel Memories looks to be that turning point. But there's always some precursory context, some sort of build-up to that change-plot it on a graph and it's more sine wave than square.
It’s been a little over a year now since grime went to war. Uniting veterans and emerging talent in a hectic few weeks of playful oneupmanship, “war dub” season was a watershed moment in grime’s resurgence. Mr. Mitch waited until the dust had settled before releasing Peace Dubs Vol. 1 ….