UPFRONT: Mr. Mitch

At a recent Insert meeting the conversation turned to pushing the boundaries of Grime and making music and sounds that ten years ago, wouldn’t have been called Grime at all. We all agreed that originality wise, Mr. Mitch was pioneering the way for music which is so completely different. Some of his recent tracks sound more like Sound Art, so visionary, yet still recognisable as Grime when placed within the context of the Grime scene as it stands.

This interview gives an insight into the current instrumental Grime scene or ‘Boxed movement’ as we call it. Mr. Mitch plays a key roll in the constant progression and change within the soundscape of Grime so we wanted to hear his personal take.

“Emotion is definitely a vital ingredient in my productions…”

You run a Grime label called Gobstopper, tell us about the musical ethos behind it and why you feel it is important that it exists?

When I started Gobstopper back in 2010 there wasn’t really anyone putting out grime instrumentals. Butterz had only just put out their first release and I wanted to get some stuff I was feeling out as well. In 2014 there are a lot more people putting out this music so the idea of just getting the music out isn’t so much the focus. For me now it’s about working with a roster of producers/artists who are pushing the boundaries of what grime is and therefore making the genre much broader on a whole. I feel like there are so many doing different things with the grime template that it’s necessary to show people what can be done with it.

Your productions are often minimal and quote emotive, what is your creative process, influences and what sort of kit do you use?

Recently I have been creating music in various different places which really affects the way I produce. I created the whole of my Peace Dubs on the London Overground, on some of the tracks I even added recordings from the journeys that I recorded on the laptop microphone. Emotion is definitely a vital ingredient in my productions, everything I make has a strong emotional effect on me whether it brings you up or down, I want it to do something.

“I think grime will always be evolving, to me that’s what defines it as a genre.”

You’re at the fore-front of the instrumental grime scene that has emerged over the past few years, what do you think it is about the music being created that has sparked so many people’s interest?

I think a lot of it is simply down to the people who have put their heads down and worked hard to try create a market. The people who are creating the music, events and labels at the moment are people who truly love the music and they want the scene to grow. Instrumental grime has always been amazing, but now there are places to go and hear it played out and labels are making more and more of it available to buy. This in turn inspires other producers to go out and create more music, so it would seem at the moment that we are in a very positive cycle.

Grime is a very fluid genre and is still quite new. only in it’s second decade, and we’ve seen it evolve many times. It seems we are in an age where instrumental, club focused tracks are prevalent, but what do you see for the future?

I think grime will always be evolving, to me that’s what defines it as a genre. As long as the boundaries continue to be pushed the genre will stay healthy. I quite like the idea that there will be more producers making instrumentals that aren’t for the club but simply made for your listening pleasure.

You run a club night called Boxed with Slackk, Oil Gang and Logos which we’ve had the privilege to attend quite a few times. As a spectator, there is a real feeling of change in the air, as if we are on the brink of something. Is this something you are aware of and how did boxed come about?

I did a room 2 takeover for Gobstopper at Rhythm Factory at the end of 2012. I got Slackk down to play it and we both did some straight up instrumental grime sets that really didn’t work for the house/techno crowd that were there but we did it regardless. After that I tweeted something like “wouldn’t it be great if we could have a night where nothing but instrumentals are played”, Slackk emailed me asking if I was up for getting something started, he roped in Oil Gang and Logos and after a couple months of talking about it we launched Boxed.

The first one was amazing, there was the smallest crowd but everyone who was there was there because they wanted to hear that sound. Most of those people have come along to every other Boxed since as well, it really feels like we have this scene of like minded people who come down and listen to these new beats that you won’t hear anywhere else. I always see people tweeting about how inspired they are after coming down, it’s amazing to see really.

Any tips on who to look out for in 2014 and beyond?

There are a lot of producers coming with great material. Murlo, of course, has a lot of stuff in the pipeline. Dark0, he’s got releases coming on Gobstopper and Lost Codes. Strict Face, JT The Goon, Mattwizard, there’s a lot to be honest, it’s going to be a good year.

Do you have any upcoming sets we can catch you playing at?

The next big one is the Boxed 1 year anniversary on 7th March at Birthdays. We’re bringing Inkke and Milktray down from Glasgow for it so it should be a big one.

Download ‘Boxed Vol. 1’ A free compilation in celebration of their 1st Birthday.