New documentary ‘8 Bar’ explores the rise of grime

today25/08/2023 3

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A new documentary is out exploring the growth of grime.

8 Bar: The Evolution of Grime is the latest project from photographer and documentary filmmaker, Ewen Spencer.

As a photographer, Spencer has a focus on youth and subcultures of the UK capturing the grime scene previously in his book, Open Mic: The Albany Anthology.

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Revisiting grime in this new documentary, Spencer showcases stars of the scene including Skepta, Kano, Dizzee Rascal, Jammer, D Double E, Slimzee and DJ Target.

The narrative is told with exclusive interviews and archival footage showing pirate radios, basement raves to headline sets at shows and Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage.

The film’s synopsis reads: “Grime. They called it “young Black kids’ punk rock.” A genre radio stations wouldn’t play. A music that labels didn’t know how to sell. But grime would not be stopped.”

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It continues: “With machine gun lyrics that shred eardrums and syncopated electronica that pounds the chest like a sledgehammer, grime was a product of social unrest, urban culture and disenfranchised youth colliding in the UK in the early 2000s.

“It didn’t just find an audience – it took one in a battle of backbeats, blood and bullets. Today, grime is surging in popularity all over the globe and has widely influenced underground music, yet few know the genesis of this genre.”

Watch the trailer for 8 Bar: The Evolution of Grime below and the full documentary on BBC iPlayer.

Becky Buckle is Mixmag’s Multimedia Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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