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Right now, in the UK’s underground club circuit, UK drill, grime and rap are all rubbing up against each other, and the key players—people like Oblig—are finding that it’s a combination of all three that’s filling the dancefloors.
Oblig’s weekly Rinse FM show, kicking off every Friday at 8pm, is an essential pre-club charge-up session, giving listeners two straight hours of UK drill, grime and rap. You’ll hear the big hitters, if they meet his standards, but really his show is about the overlooked gems that might otherwise slip through the gaps if it weren’t for his attentive selection process.
There’s more to Oblig than the weekly show, though. Since returning to the UK after a few years spent importing grime and dubstep into New York via his Low Life nights, Oblig’s been right in the centre of it, working with Tim & Barry on their Just Jam streams and helping to get YouTube Music off the ground—but his real home is in the clubs. His radio show is one thing, but if you’ve yet to catch him in a proper packed-out, sweat-soaked club, then you need to head to his one-off party Obligated.
Taking place at Brixton Jamm this Friday (Nov. 12), Oblig will be joined by Novelist, Q2T, Micofcourse, Bempah, Nammywams, M.I.C, Oh Annie Oh, Saint Ludo and Charisma. To get you fired up for that, and to give you an idea of what’s in store, we caught up with Oblig for a quick chat and a new mix for Complex Sessions. Take that in below and grab your ticket here.
Tell us a bit about your selections in this mix.
I’m throwing my first event in London, Obligated, on November 12, and I’ve selected a tracklist that consists of artists I’ve booked on the night and some personal faves you can expect to hear on my own set. But I’m playing it all at 150 BPM. It’s a speed I’m finding myself gravitating towards a lot at the minute. All my live shows are at that speed currently; it adds a lot more energy to the sets and gets people moving.
What was the one track you absolutely had to include?
Ghosty’s remix of Rihanna’s “Unfaithful”.
Any tracks that narrowly missed the cut?
Digga D’s “Red Light Green Light”. I love that tune, but it just didn’t meet the criteria for the concept.
What’s the first single or album you ever bought?
The earliest album that I can remember purchasing was The Marshall Mathers LP. I was 9 years old at the time and my mum had to come with me to HMV as it had a Parental Advisory sticker on it. Rightfully so! The moment my mum heard the lyrics, she hid it from me [laughs]. Obviously, I found it and had to wait until she wasn’t in the house to actually listen to it. Real character-building moments.
What’s the last physical record you bought?
The last physical record I bought was actually the new Central Cee tape, Wild West. I’m a big fan of him and his movement, and I’m also from West so it was only right that I showed my support.
What do you want to see happen musically over the next 12 months?
I’d like to see more drill music in rave settings. It seems like the artists are either at headline shows or festival stages, but not mixing too much in the rave scene and that’s something I intend to help with personally with my new event, Obligated. I’ve got Fizzler and Q2T live PAs on the night, alongside Novelist and a bunch of my favourite club DJs in the city, taking all aspects of what I love and represent and mixing it all together.
What trend or scene absolutely needs to die right now?
The whole “let’s take a bait garage tune, sample it and make a drill remix for someone to vocal” technique is getting tired in my eyes. It seems to be working so I can’t see it changing anytime soon, but it seems lazy to me. More original productions 2K22.
1. Nardo – Who Want Smoke (Instrumental)
2. Q2T – Lockdown Freestyle
3. Mika Beats – Bjikenkorf
4. Nammy Wams – Insides
5. M.I.C – K*Rn
6. Splurt Diablo – Stink Pits
7. Fizzler – Flystyle
8. M6 – Standoff
9. Micofcourse – Oblig Dub
10. Bempah – Ur Soul
11. Sir Hiss – Densetsu II
12. Ghosty – Unfaithful
13. .nathan. x ICBeats – Matalo II
14. Plata – UUUUUUHHHH
15. Mssingno – Muki Rain 2018
16. Novelist – Different Shoes
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Complex Sessions 062: Oblig – Complex