In the ‘teens everyone’s a DJ. No matter how many rare plates and ‘exclusive’ dubs you have in your bag, it’s nothing a keen amateur couldn’t find in five minutes on Youtube. Therein lies half the problem of your jobbing DJ- how to stand out from the crowd? And how to satisfy the overbearing ego of an individual whose job amounts to aggressively hogging Spotify at a party?
Oneman has decided to cut a third path from the more traditional forays into production or running of a record label. Alongside R1 DJ Monki (see ‘Monki and Friends’), he’s teamed up with the Red Bull Music Academy in the classic cash for cred scenario. This has allowed him to act as overseer and commissioner for a stable of artists among several of whom he’s arranged collaborations, with some off the wall pairings. These tracks are to make up the crux of his upcoming third mixtape (i.e. DJ mix) ‘Solitaire III’.
In this track he’s played matchmaker for a particularly odd couple- Ryan Hemsworth, the waifish and somewhat camp US producer whose music tends to run to the floaty and melodic with Trim the cult baritone from the East London, known for burning bridges at 140bpm and a loping, off kilter flow. Not to underplay the possibilities of the collaboration- Hemsworth is a competent polymath and student of rap music, while Trim’s knack for wordplay and poetry lends itself to introspection.
A brooding guitar line swells over bold, clattering percussion while Trim is on a fine form rarely found at slower tempos. He grasps the beat with a balance between his vocal maximalism and confident enunciation lacking in recent single ‘Vending Machine’. With a pairing this brilliant and volatile it could have gone either way- but Oneman’s gamble has paid off and set the tone for the mixtape.