Simon just had a baby so he's not really able to start heated debates in other people's comments boxes right now. However, he did offer this gem via email.
"getting into grime in 2006 is a bit like ...(getting) into jungle in 1998...it was really worth getting into (around) 93/94/95, ...and it was definitively on the downward slide by (98)."
And let's not forget that there are a bunch of people in
"i wouldn't say grime was on the downward slide necessarily but it's not getting better, i would say on the contrary it's stalled -- sonically and in terms of its subject matter/personae... definitely peaked in 2004 i think. but i'm one of your 'emergent scenes/genres are the real deal' type persons."
But I really think that Grime has started to develop MUSICALLY just quite recently. And, as such, it still is an emergent genre, in a sense. It's emergence into genre solidification and musical identity may have happened around 94 but it seems to me that the music is going through a different stage right now. The recent stuff I've heard has shown definite signs of a move towards self-conscious musical progression. When this solidifies it will probably result in some pretty awful music but, while it's still in its becoming stage, some pretty compelling stuff is being produced. It's often a bad thing when sub-genres of electronic dance music decide to become more "musical" and/or "sophisticated" but I think grime could stand to be a little less basic. If this has happened at all, the change is slight. But a slight change is just enough, in this case.