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Noisey

Arma Protests Controversial London Policing Practices with "696"

"696" is named after a risk assessment form that grime artists say police use to target their shows.

by Alexander Iadarola
Apr 3 2017, 8:12pm

Photo courtesy of the artist

Kent-based producer Arma today shared "696," his contribution to the Classical Trax collective and label's forthcoming TEAM EP, curated by Virginia DJ and promoter Josh Benbow. The track is named after Form 696, a document that artists and promoters in the UK grime community say police use to racially profile their events, and it finds the producer turning his anger over the unjust policing practice into a savvy blend of UK funky, Brazilian baile funk, and house music. 

The artist explained how the polyrhythmic track arose from personal experience. "The reason for naming the track '696' was in relation to a form I've had to sign before playing certain nights in London which claims to be for solely 'risk assessment purposes,'" he said. "The track's aggressive undertones, heavy-hitting drums, and basslines are my reaction to how frustrating it can be as a DJ and also a promoter seeing the police do this."

Last week the UK's culture minister called on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to review 696, and the BBC also released a documentary about the form. "You're targeting a certain genre of music that you know a certain demographic is gonna listen to," grime artist Jammz told the Victoria Derbyshire program. "They can say it's not racist, but it's definitely targeted, which to me is the equivalent."

TEAM will be out digitally on April 6.

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