Call it what you want; grime 2.0, weightless or just plain old grime last year was a crowning moment for the producers behind grime music. Instrumentals became almost more vital than the MCs spitting on them. Mumdance produced a staggering fabric mix and albums by Visionist, Mumdance and Logos, Arca and Oneohtrixpointnever appeared in countless best of the year lists. Two producers who have also found themselves tied to this rise are Rabit and Lee Bannon (under the name Dedekind Cut for this release). Rabit released the brilliant Communion last year whilst Lee Bannon produced Pattern of Excel and in 2014 the old school jungle referencing, and well worth listening to, Alternate/Endings.
On R&D these influences and the two producers combine incredibly, with the end product being one of the most exciting releases since Burial’s Rival Dealer. The comparison is apt, for much like that release Rabit and Lee Bannon have avoided traitional song structure in favour of producing something beautiful out of ugly, contrasting and aggressive fragments. Sure the reference points of jungle, grime and weightless hang all over these short few tracks, but what is interesting and exciting to see is the way in which the producers have broken apart their influences and then stuck them back together again almost violently with (one might assume) some cheap pritt stick (which they were later caught sniffing in the back of the studio).
Each listen reveals something new: a voice in the background, noise mutating into music, street level aggression, ghostly breathy bass, all are subtly hidden and woven amongst the layers of this album. Mary Anne Hobbs on previewing the release was so blown away she played the whole thing in one unedited cut, that unedited cut is included on the release and well worth listening to as a seperate track to the four parts which comprises the full release.
There always exists, when throwing away formal song structure, the danger that the end product is unlistenable. Far from falling into this trap Lee Bannon and Rabit have created something, which becomes more listenable and rewarding everytime you press play on your IPod.
R+D, which is only avaliable via Bandcamp, is certainly aggressive, definitely loud and incredibly challenging but the rewards which can be had from listening to it are vast. Rabit and Lee Bannon have truly excelled in producing what will be one of the most experimental yet exciting releases of this year and is highly recommended for all fans of grime and jungle.