Album Preview: Mr. Mitch “Devout”

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Mr. Mitch’s new album, Devout, comes out April 21.

Piotr Niepsuj/Courtesy of the artist

Grime could not have scripted a better media moment for an album like Mr. Mitch’s Devout to come along. It’s as though after a decade of disrespecting it as England’s funny-accented rap cousin, America and the greater Internet is awakening to realize that the music many wrote off as a fad, has developed into broadly rooted culture. And Devout — the Catford, South London producer’s sophomore album — is a glorious testament to the musical and lyrical breadth of that culture.

Grime seems almost everywhere you choose to focus right now. Rinse FM‘s transformation from the jewel of London pirate radio into an international new-music giant has given grime’s home field new status. Global hip-hop lodestars such as Drake and Kanye West are welcoming the UK’s biggest MC’s onto their albums and stages in order to bolster their own shine; one such MC, Skepta, last year beat Radiohead and David Bowie for the UK’s prestigious Mercury Music Prize, while another, Stormzy, just scored grime’s first No. 1 album debut the same week he and Ed Sheeran tried to break the Internet with an Awards show duet that provided a glorious WTF moment. On the other end of the commercial spectrum, t q d — DJ/producers Royal-T, DJ Q and Flava D — explicitly paints the connections between grime and its progenitor, garage music, on UKG, one of the year’s best albums. And leftfield American electronic producers such as Rabit and Lotic have inhaled grime’s bright synths, digital dread and boom-bap rhythms to further push the music’s elastic mutation.