Riddim Commission have just dropped an entire album in the form of Riddim.Bass.Life.
A dancefloor-primed 13 track trip into the shape-cutting shadows between grime, house, hip-hop and garage, it features one of the broadest range of collaborations we’ve ever seen on one album: MC Neat, Eve, Doctor, D Double E, Taiki Nulight, Neutrino, Scruffizer, Rye Rye and many more all appear throughout the body of work… And it’s yours for absolutely nothing.
A unique take on house, grime and all things in between, the project has actually been building for seven years since Marco Del Horno and Swerve collided on the Black Butter-released Ho Riddim.
Between their successful solo roles in the industry – Swerve as Kiss FM’s longstanding hip-hop and RnB tastemaker and Marco as a manager to some of the most innovative bass acts in operation including AC Slater, Chris Lorenzo and Shift K3y – the duo have been tinkering away gradually breaking down the many influences from their shared London soundtrack, fusing them in new, exciting ways and finding the perfect vocalist who have yet to explore that tempo and vibe but they know will work perfectly.
Cue Grammy-winning rapper Eve building hype on a UK funky carnival roll-out (WWYS), iconic UKG MC Neat on a warehouse-shaking jack track (Rave Up All Night) and Newham General D Double E spitting hard on a bassline-led house jam… These are the level of unique, heavyweight fusions that characterise Riddim.Bass.Life and you can download it right here.
Try before you
buy cop for gratis. And find out more directly from Swerve and Marco below.
You’re giving away your album! Please explain why…
It’s all about just getting our sound to as many people as possible. We stream well on Spotify, we sell well on iTunes, but they’ll always be people who won’t pay for or buy music or just stay on the platform they’re used to (like soundcloud). We’re pushing a very unique hybrid sound and it’s about educating people about that sound as much as possible.
Grime and house: it’s a winning combination. And a very natural one if you trace hip-hop and house’s roots back. Why do you think it’s taken so long for house and grime to fuse in this way?
I think for us it was a natural thing to do because of our backgrounds and journeys to this point; individually we come from house/garage and hip-ho/RnB backgrounds. That being said, although it’s natural for us it isn’t necessarily for the artists we work with. We really have to sell them on the beats and the vision of the project. A lot rappers and MCs aren’t used to spitting at the slower tempos so we have to find ways around it; like sometimes cutting the vocals up at 140 BPM and then bringing them back down to 124-ish
Obviously it’s a lot more than two genres in a melting pot. Please give breakdown the combined ingredients of the Riddim Commission cauldron?
Ultimately it’s just house records with interesting features and collaborations. Across our careers we’ve worked with some amazing artists from house, garage, grime, RnB, hip-hop and beyond. Riddim Commission as a project is really about bringing all our influences we’ve been part of growing up in London and then writing something unique from that standpoint. London is one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan cities in the world – so we try and let as much of that seep into the music as we can.
There are A LOT of major league artists working with you on this ranging from Eve to Neat. How did you convince them all to work with you?
It’s just about being able to take great tracks to them and see if they vibe from the music – it’s as simple as that. We don’t care about the profile of the acts we’re talking to; they just need to love the music as much as we do. That’s when you get the best results. What I would say though is that both of us have been involved in this scene in various roles for a long time. And by earning your stripes and working hard it allows you to network much easier.
Even though these artists are from vast corners of the musical landscape, you keep a consistent sound and theme running throughout. What’s the secret to that?
Know your core values. We write records with a jump up party feel, irrespective of genre / BPM etc. If you know what you stand for and always strive to create something unique then you will always be ahead of the curve. Be brave and try something new and lead. If you follow and try to fit into a scene you’ll always be at the mercy of that scene – and scenes thrive and then die as we all know. Everything is cyclical.
You must have some interesting stories from these A-list creative encounters. Please share some if you can…
We were once with Chris Lorenzo at a festival and he was sober… That was an odd day. No seriously, we have a lot of mates in this industry but we couldn’t snitch on them. Although we can tell you these…
Marco: I ended up at Robin Thicke’s house once when I lived in LA. He just had his door unlocked when I arrived (which I thought was a bit risky) and there were just girls everywhere. He said ‘girls – meet Marc he’s from London.’ Then ‘Marc – meet the girls ‘. It was Taco Tuesday. I’ll leave that one there…
Swerve: With Kiss I’ve interviewed pretty much everyone in hip-hop and RnB at one point or another. Once, when I was interviewing Snopp (Dogg) in his hotel the assistant from his record label had to run out and get another bag of weed because the first one he got wasn’t up to standard. And when I say bag I mean BAG. This was like something you would pay 5p for in the supermarket. Tbf you wouldn’t expect anything less from Snoop. The interview went great though – he’s a top guy.
As the closing tune suggests this is ‘Not The End’… So what’s next?
We have so much new music lined up that we’re just going to keep it coming quick and fast. As always some great collaborations with some legends and some created with up and coming talent. I think by this time next year we’ll be dropping album two for sure. This is just beginning…