The DJ drop is nothing new, a Pavlovian bell that lets you know who’s behind the boards. These little signals serve as trademarks on a producer’s work: Lex Luger’s metallic drummer boy synth, or Terror Danjah’s gremlin laugh. But rising grime producer Faze Miyake is taking this type of branding to another level, lacing his tracks with a steady stream of barking dogs. Not since DMX have I seen someone so obsessed with canines, but Faze’s Take Off EP (on the appropriately-named Woofer Music) makes it work.
Take Off does just that with a pair of beats that wouldn’t be out of place in the trap house. As of late, the title track has been the instrumental of choice for grime spitters; Boy Better Know laid it down viciously on Rinse. Its raucous horn melody and boom-bap rhythm make this a perfect track for war. “Bawse” continues in the same vein, adding machine gun hi-hats and dramatic sweeps to a slab of trap hop (Frisco and Skepta got their boss on over this one).
Faze hasn’t forgotten about the club, either, dropping a few tracks with their fair share of rave influences. “Jump” rides break beats and scratches; “Blackberry” wobbles with diva-ish cooing. Before closing the EP with a dubstep remix of “Bawse,” Faze includes the unrelenting “Screwdriver V.I.P.” And the barking continues.
In grime, the symbiosis between beatmakers and MCs is self-evident: the grimiest beat still needs some verbal venom on top of it, and vice versa. Take Off is incomplete in that sense, but it’s clear that Faze Miyake is a producer to keep an eye on. These tracks don’t just bark – they bite hard.