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2016: Lo-fi house emerged from the underground

The sub-genre exploded into life this year

  • Words: Harrison Williams | Illustration: Patch Keyes
  • 7 December 2016
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With a knack for cheeky edits, loops and an overall appealing output of lo-fi house, Mall Grab can be credited as a key player in the rise of the sub-genre. One of his best known tracks, ‘Can’t’, released on Church in April 2016, has amassed over 1.5 million plays on YouTube, a feat not typically earned by what can be considered “underground”. While the industry was still buzzing, he launched his own label, Steel City Dance Discs, with a groundbreaking inaugural release of his own that quickly sold out and is commanding steep prices on Discogs. This all prompted Mixmag to tap him for an Impact mix as an artist to watch and he’s showing no signs of letting up. With the year coming to a close Mall Grab has produced a remix for Kllo on Ghostly International and has lined up the third release on his SCDD by X-Coast, all while holding down a steady touring schedule. But lo-fi became more than just a trend in 2016 and this wasn’t just because of one artist, it was due to the entire community delivering on all fronts.

At the core of the lo-fi scene are those already mentioned as well as Ross From Friends, Baltra, Route 8, Shedbug, J. Albert, Rudolf C, Trudge, DJ Boring, Tlim Shug, and the list goes on. Plus the home for all this music, the labels pushing the sound in the right direction, need to be commended on their steadfast approach. Labels like Lobster Theremin and its sub-labels, Axe on Wax, Shall Not Fade, 1080p, The Lauren Bacall, LiveJam Records, Opal Tapes, E-BEAMZ, Renascence and more all played a critical role in supplying the scene with a quality output in 2016.

 
 
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