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Live Review: Strict Face brings out the 'Atmosphere' in Dro Carey's new heater

16 August 2018 | 3:14 pm | Holly O'Neill

Adelaide's own STRICT FACE 're-stricts' producer pal DRO CAREY's new track 'Atmosphere', reshaping its spikey sounds into a gentler take on grime

DRO CAREY and STRICT FACE are two Australian producers that can definitively say they've known about grime before it was cool. The artists have been channeling the sounds of the UK underground in their work well before its influence started trickling into the mainstream, with both producers creating takes on the these sounds that are thoughtful, genre-bending and fresh. The two have been friends in the scene for a while and with the release of Dro Carey's 'Atmosphere', naturally he reached out to his Adelaide bro Strict Face to flip the track on its head.

The bitey rhymes of KWAME, RENZ, and RAJ MAHAL are matched by a juggernaut of a beat in the original, but in this 're-strict', Strict Face pares back the spiky sounds into a more delicate but no less intricate track. Otherworldly pads whir under clipped vocal samples, as this remix hones in on the gentler melodic cues of the genre. This 're-strict' is the other side of the original's coin, exploring the softer side of grime's imposing riddims with angelic synthesis and a minimal approach.

The reworked instrumental flows under tight bars, emphasising their snappy delivery with slow builds and sudden lurches back into the woozy chords and skittering percussion. The intensity of the original is almost forgotten, with the energy of the three rappers stabilised by pitching the whole track down a few notches and Dro Carey's bouncing brass replaced with Stricty's lush waves of chords.

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In 2018, UK funky, dancehall, garage and grime have not only infiltrated the electronic and club scenes, but are even showing up in mainstream charts. With the release of 'Atmosphere' and its remix, Dro Carey and Strict Face continue to be pioneers in the Australian scene by experimenting with and pushing these sounds to their limits. Hopefully alongside the cross over success of these sounds, they're a step closer to claiming their crowns as Australia's grime lordz.

PHOTO by Jun Yokoyama