Complex sessions 062: Oblig (UK Drill, UK Rap, Grime)
Right now, in the UK’s underground club circuit, British drill, grime and rap all rub shoulders with each other, and the key players – people like Obligatory– find that it is a combination of the three that fills the dance floors.
Oblig’s weekly Rinse FM show, which premieres every Friday at 8 p.m., is an essential pre-club recharge session, giving listeners two straight hours of exercise, grime and rap in the UK. You’ll hear the big hitters, if they meet her standards, but in reality her show is about the overlooked gems that might otherwise slip through the gaps without her careful selection process.
There’s more to Oblig than the weekly show, however. Since returning to the UK after a few years of importing grime and dubstep to New York via his Low Life nights, Oblig has been at the center of it all, working with Tim & Barry on their Just Jam feeds and helping release YouTube. Music from the ground, but his real home is in the clubs. His radio show is one thing, but if you haven’t seen him in a real crowded, sweaty club yet, then you have to go to his one-off party. Obligatory.
Taking place at Brixton Jamm this Friday (November 12), Oblig will be joined by Novelist, Q2T, Micofcourse, Bempah, Nammywams, MIC, Oh Annie Oh, Saint Ludo and Charisma. To motivate you and give you an idea of what to expect, we caught up with Oblig for a quick chat and a new mix for Complex sessions. Take it below and grab your ticket here.
Tell us a bit about your selections in this mix.
I am launching my first event in London, Obligatory, November 12, and I picked a songlist made up of artists I booked that night and a few personal favorites that you can expect to hear on my own set. But I play the whole thing at 150 BPM. It’s a speed that I find myself at a lot at the moment. All of my live shows are at this speed right now; it adds a lot more energy to the sets and gets people moving.
What was the track that you absolutely had to include?
Ghosty’s remix of “Unfaithful” by Rihanna.
Are there any songs that narrowly missed the edit?
“Red and Green Light” by Digga D. I love this song, but it just didn’t meet the criteria for the concept.
What’s the first single or album you bought?
The first album that I remember buying was The Marshall Mathers LP. I was 9 at the time and my mom had to come with me to HMV because there was a Parental Advisory sticker on it. Well Named ! The moment my mother heard the lyrics she hid it from me [laughs]. Obviously, I found her and had to wait until she was not in the house to listen to it. Real moments of character.
What was the last physical drive you purchased?
The last physical disc I bought was actually the new Central Cee cassette, far west. I’m a huge fan of him and his movement, and I’m from the West as well, so it was just that I showed my support.
What do you want to happen musically over the next 12 months?
I would like to see more exercise music in the rave settings. It looks like the artists are either in the big titles or on the festival stages, but don’t mix too much with the rave scene and this is something that I intend to personally help with my new event, Obligatory. I have Fizzler and Q2T live sound assistants at night, alongside Novelist and a bunch of my favorite club DJs in town, taking every aspect of what I love and represent and mixing them all together together.
What trend or scene absolutely must die right now?
The whole “let’s take a bait garage tune, sample it and do a remix of exercises for someone with the voice” technique is starting to tire in my eyes. It seems to be working, so I can’t see it changing any time soon, but it feels lazy to me. More original 2K22 productions.
List of tracks:
1. Nardo – Who wants smoke (instrumental)
2.Q2T – Lock Freestyle
3. Mika Beats – Bjikenkorf
4. Nammy Wams – Inside
5. MIC – K * Rn
6. Splurt Diablo – Pits of Stink
7. Fizzler – Flystyle
8. M6 – The dead end
9. Micofcourse – Oblig Dub
10. Bempah – Ur Soul
11. Sir Hiss – Densetsu II
12. Ghost – Unfaithful
13. Nathan. x ICBeats – Matalo II
14. Plata – UUUUUUHHHH
15. Mssingno – Muki Rain 2018
16. Novelist – Different shoes