Wiley near enough invented grime. Sure, there were plenty of other foundational producers and MCs, and pirate radio figureheads like DJ Slimzee. There was obviously the garage crews like Pay As U Go and Heartless.
But the original Sublow/Eski-Sound, the freezing cold bleeps and rough basslines, the snappy, computerised beats?
That was down to Eskiboy, aka Wiley Kat, aka Wiley.
The smash hit of a couple of years ago, Skepta’s “That’s Not Me”, samples “Ice Rink” and “Jam Pie”, which along with “Morgue” and “Igloo” are some of the most definitive early grime productions under that Eski sound name.
“Jam Pie” was actually a Ruff Squad song produced by another grime pioneer Jammer, but the most famous version of the instrumental was a Wiley beat.
The distinctive Eski ringtone bleeps make up the cornerstone of the song in terms of melody; the rest of the song is composed of the thick, distorted bass, and the halftime, clipped drum pattern. It’s quite a minimal, stripped back production, which makes sense considering most of these tunes were composed on a select few pieces of studio equipment and the rather basic computer programs available at the time. It’s a very East London sound.
The song was released in 2005 in its original form, but the Wiley version was released in 2010 with a load of other classic instrumentals on Avalanche Music 1.
Cold as ice!