Boomkat Product Review:
South London grime/drill producer Nammy Wams kicks off Grime Tapes, a physical wing of Slackk’s seminal pirate radio archive, Grimetapes.com, with ‘Yellow Secret Technology’ - a killer 20 track retrospective pulling from Nammy’s archive of hyper-colourful and kinetic productions circa 2013 to 2018
Compiled and sequenced by wise wan, Slackk, ‘Yellow Secret Technology’ is the 1st in a series of releases promised on Grime Tapes, the label, which is founded just over 10 years since the demise of Slackk’s Grimetapes.com. During grime’s golden era in the mid ’00s it was one of very few sites online to share pirate radio recordings beyond their original broadcast range, providing an invaluable service to many appreciative ears and early grime fiends in the UK and abroad.
As host of his own weekly Croydon FM show and producer for Marcus Nasty’s Rinse FM slot, Nammy Wams brings that London grime radio connection full circle in ’Yellow Secret Technology’. Under a title that nods to his Vietnamese heritage and A Guy Called Gerald’s classic jungle LP, Nammy’s trax clash the dynamics of early jungle with the Far Eastern-facing melodies of early Jammer, Slew Dem or Hyperdub, plus the weirdo, mutant freakishness of the Boxed lot, whom Nammy has been affiliated with since their inception, and where he started to feed demos to Slackk.
Without exception, all 20 tracks of ‘Yellow Secret Technology’ are bangers in their own right, each riddled with nagging hooks and burning emotions, but it’s Slackk’s sequencing that makes the collection such an enjoyable album. Selected from an abundance of material, the final cut expertly highlights myriad shades to Nammy’s style, from the star-eyed pads and wavey flow of ‘Rocks’ at the front to the giddy rude fanfare of ‘Less’ at the back, taking in crushing grime/drill fusions such as ‘Tempest’ and the darkside pressure of ‘Wapper’ alongside ecstatic dancefloor sidewinders in ‘Miharu’ and spine-tracing sweetboy grime of ‘Prayer’.
Like we say, there’s a f*ck-tonne of material here - and not a dud among them, effectively serving the fullest testament to Nammy’s faithfully rugged, rude and playful style that any grime fiend could hope for. Moreover, ‘Yellow Secret Technology’ highlights a modest but gifted artist in an appropriate manner, providing physical space and time on the tape to really immerse in Nammy’s sound, and in a way that’s often negated by everything-at-once streaming/scrolling/skipping. It’s a properly ideal listen for late evening headphone commutes, and a neatly nostalgic yet forward survey of where grime has come and gone since the golden days of the Grimetapes era.