We've already harped on endlessly about instrumental grime, and how hugely inventive and inspired the scene's producers are. But what exactly does it mean when we say "instrumental grime"? Since the sound first emerged, no rule book was ever written. One of the reasons the sound exploded at such a level this year, was that there was an incredibly exciting "anything goes" ethos attached to it. Some tracks, like DJ Cable's "Egg Timer", fit the traditional grime aesthetic quite well, though obviously lacking vocals.
Other producers took the opportunity to push things in an entirely different light, playing around with tempo and the accepted sounds and samples, leaving us with tracks as polarising as E.M.M.A's "Mindmaze" or Murlo's "Into Mist". In short, what ties this fractured scene together is something indefinable, but something that can nonetheless be heard instantly. Is it an attitude? Is it the samples they choose or their inspirations? It's impossible to say, but one thing's for sure: grime will never be the same again. Click through below to find out who made the cut in our instrumental grime round-up of 2014.