Royal-T drops the ‘Eski’ themed mix

Rising grime talent Royal-T was on one of the scenes leading shows recently – Elijah & Skilliam’s weekly slot on Rinse FM. It’s not the first time he’s been on their airwaves, indeed he’s a key part of their record label Butterz. What I want to draw your attention to is that in this particular instance, he went all out with an educational session mix – 39 minutes of Eskibeat.

I’m far from the biggest fan of vocals on grime (it’s those “rnb” ones really that I can’t stand), yet there’s no denying the great verbal flows Wiley has given us over the years, bubbling underneath his beat production talent. That verbal work has taken a few missteps along the way, there are some questionable tracks too; yet he’s a massive wealth of gold in his back catalogue and radio rips.

For those unfamiliar with the term “Eski”, Royal-T’s Mark Taylor lays it out –

Eski, or Eskibeat – as it is also known, was a genre of music founded and lead in the early 2000’s by MC and producer Wiley. Crediting the majority of his songs around this time under the name ‘Wiley Kat’, he established the record label ‘Wiley Kat Records’ from which the first notable Eski tunes were released. This includes the track ‘Eskimo’, which set the cold, winter themed tone that defined the genre. Further releases would include ‘Ice Rink’, ‘Snowman’ and ‘Frostbite’, among others, which eventually lead to Wiley releasing his first studio album with XL Recordings, entitled: ‘Treddin’ on Thin Ice’.

The popularity of the Eski sound influenced other producers such as ‘Musical Mobb’, ‘Starfox’ and ‘Dr. Venom’ to experiment with sounds of a similar nature. Emerging from the veins of the Garage scene, the beats grew darker and the vibes got colder. It was this signature sound that would come to solidify the Eski era as one of the most important times in the UK underground Electronic dance music scene, and as the birth place of Grime.

Speaking on the time period himself, Wiley was quoted as saying: “Sometimes I just feel cold hearted. I felt cold at that time, towards my family, towards everyone. That’s why I used those names”.

Get listening.

Royal-T – Eski

01. Wiley – Wot Do U Call It?
02. Wiley Kat – Snowman
03. Once Was Nice – What Could I Do (Wiley Kat & Danny Weed Vocal Mix)
04. Outlaw Breaks – Dutty (feat. Gemma Fox & Sweetie Irie) (Wiley remix)
05. Wiley Kat – Shanghai
06. Wiley Kat – Ice Rink (Tinchy Stryder Vocal)
07. Wiley Kat – Ice Rink (Kano Vocal)
08. Wiley Kat – Ice Rink (Dizzee Rascal Vocal)
09. Wiley Kat – Snowball
10. Ludacris – Roll Out (Wiley Kat remix)
11. Plasticman – Gotcha (Dr. Venom refix)
12. Wiley Kat – Eskimo
13. Starfox – Blink
14. Geeneus – Genie
15. Wiley Kat – Frostbite (Devils Mix)
16. Wiley Kat – Bang Bang (Scratchy Vocal)
17. Wiley – 20 Minutes
18. Danny Weed – Creeper
19. Royal-T – Glacier
20. Wiley Kat – Eskimo 3 (New Brand Flex Refix) [Live Recording from ‘Climax vs Loveshy’ (2002)]

Features samples from
Wiley – Wot Do U Call It (Documentary) Wiley Volume One
Lord of the Decks Vol. 2
Wire Magazine Issue 280


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