Since FWD>> began as a club night over two decades ago, the world and UK bass music have gone through mind-boggling changes – but though FWD>> championed all the innovation and futurism its name suggests, everything it’s done has been founded on vital principles. It’s always been about London, about the bodily experience of bass, about finesse and panache in production and DJing, about the instant but enduring impact of sound system culture.
There’s no better team-up to demonstrate that than DJ/producer Slimzee, his protegé Boylan, and his old rave and pirate radio comrade Riko Dan. All three are consummate boundary breakers: Slimzee and Riko’s careers go back to before the time that garage, grime and dubstep were even separated from one another, while Boylan cut his teeth in drum’n’bass before applying its razor-sharp studio techniques to 140bpm styles.
Here they dig deep into the deep connecting threads, finding the absolute essence of London bass and groove in the mid-ground between dubstep, grime and hip hop while Riko’s lyrics about his roots in his locality (which gives the track its title) are equal parts celebration and apocalyptic menace. It’s the same set of currents flowing together as did at the very start of FWD>> but made brand new, facing the future with pride and determination.
Stream / Download here