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North London’s JD. Reid, one of the city’s most accomplished and understated young beatmakers, returns to Rinse for new five-track EP, ‘Calibrate’.
A natural extension of 2016’s debut Rinse EP, ‘io’, which saw Reid collaborate famously with D Double E on club anthem, ‘Roshi’, his latest record lands after being tapped by the likes of Katy B, Sinead Hartnett, Celeste and most recently, Mabel — Reid was behind the production on her latest single, ‘Finders Keepers’.
Although his music is rooted has often operated in the grey, undefined spaces between grime, dubstep, hip-hop, trap and breakout club tropes — including his early work for Plastician’s Terrorhythm imprint — Reid’s music has started to take on bold new shapes and on ‘Calibrate’, he flexes his creative muscles harder than ever before.
Ultra sharp, crystalline atmospherics and a minefield of clever samples set the tone from a technical standpoint on the title-track, although its his work with some of the hardest young vocalists out that truly makes ‘Calibrate’ sing. “For me it’s important to take the artists somewhere outside their usual realm”, Reid explains, “and put them on something that resonates with them.”
From gauging Kojey Radical’s punchy lyricism and phrenetic, skittish flow on second track ‘Breathe’, to turning in a rumbling, skeletal beat for 808INK, Slowthai and Oscar #Worldpeace to navigate through, Reid thus explores the limits of his own sounds through the voices of his collaborators. “When I started this project there was not a clear plan”, says, “but the goal was to make sense of something abstract — and that by definition, is to calibrate.”
There’s also room for a standout feature from Odd Future rapper Hodgy on booming, new-school rap heater ‘Chef’, before Reid enlists Novelist on sprawling, grime-dub hybrid, ‘Ready’ — a track that echoes both the sensibilities and production work of classic, OG grime albums.
2. Breathe ft. Kojey Radical
3. Interior ft. 808INK, Slowthai & Oscar #Worldpeace
4. Chef ft. Hodgy
5. Ready ft. Novelist