#001 D DOUBLE E DANNY BYRD DEADBOY OUTLOOK BREAK ALEX NASH
At the beating heart of the bass-music generation. music | fashion | art october | november 2010
TODDLA T REDLIGHT
WELCOME TO THE ROLLER EXPRESS
IT’S A TRAP... Welcome to the very first issue of Trap Magazine, your indispensable guide to the wonderful world of bass-heavy music. Born out of genuine passion for the music culture we love and a desire to spread it as far as possible, we aim to make Trap the most essential and on-point music magazine on road. From interviews with scene-leading DJs, producers and MCs, to original fashion shoots with the freshest brands, to photography, art, reviews and listings; our purpose is to celebrate all aspects of the culture that so many of you live your lives by. And the best bit? All this is yours for absolutely nothing… So sit back, relax and get caught in the Trap…
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REGULARS. BASSPOINTS THE HOTTEST EVENTS ON PLANET BASS
TRAP FASHION THE FINEST GARMS AND ACCESSORIES
SCENE REPORT OUTLOOK FESTIVAL 2010
BOSS SELECTIONS DJ’S TOP TENS PLUS GUEST REVIEWS
STREET ART INKIE
EVENT FOCUS SHIT THE BED
FEATURES. ALEX NASH THE CREATIVE COBBLER
DANNY BYRD HOME TRUTHS
TODDLA T & REDLIGHT ROLL IT OUT
D DOUBLE E BLUKU BLUKU
DEADBOY THE TEARJERKER
BREAK CALLING THE RESISTANCE
FRONT COVER: Roller Express by Zo Om. www.zooms-photography.coms-photography.com WORDS: Jon Cook, Oli Marlow, Kasha Malyckyj, Sam Bates, Belinda Rowse, Sam Collenette, Jeryl Wilton, Callum Reece, Amy Stiff, bassmusicblog.com, Mike Burgess. PICTURES: Sim Higginson, Lisa Wormsley, Zo Om, Zachery Saitoti, Dan Mariner, Craig Minchington. EDITOR: Jon Cook firstname.lastname@example.org CREATIVE DIRECTOR/DESIGN: Andy Hayes email@example.com FASHION EDITOR: Kasha Malyckyj firstname.lastname@example.org SALES & ADVERTISING: Iain Blackburn email@example.com MARKETING & DISTRIBUTION: Justin Iriajen firstname.lastname@example.org SOCIAL NETWORKING: Amy Stiff email@example.com WEB: Nick Hills THANKS: Jamie & Tom @ donuts; Rob, Tom & Ollie @ The Blast; Johnny Scratchley @ Outlook; Jess Tickles; Ben @ Run Music; Adam @ Backdrop; Tom @ Hospital; Leo @ Darling Department; Carly @ Don’t Panic; Mark OD; Baz & Olly @ FOO; Dave Cotgrave; Lizzie Pyzer. TRAP MAGAZINE, Unit 14, The Coach House, Upper York Street, Bristol BS2 8QN. This issue is dedicated to the memory of Neil Schuyleman; thanks for watching man. WWW.TRAPMAGAZINE.CO.UK © 2010 Trap Magazine #001. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine or its contents may be reproduced without prior written consent of the publisher. Disclaimer: The views expressed in Trap Magazine are not necessarily the views shared by its staff or publisher. While we strive to ensure that the information in Trap Magazine is correct, changes can occur which affect the accuracy of the copy, for which Trap Magazine holds no responsibility.
THE HOTTEST EVENTS ON PLANET BASS
urban nerds halloween special V&A street art tour bigger than barry rodigan fabric launch in:motion listings
STREET ART. HERBERT ART GALLERY OCTOBER Coventry’s Herbert art gallery is the first venue to play to host to a new touring exhibition from London’s V&A museum – ‘Street Art: Contemporary Prints from the V&A’. The show runs until January and promises to bring a selection of the best prints from some of the biggest artists in the street art scene to the West Midland’s city of Coventry. The creations of Shepard Fairey, Pure Evil, D*Face, Sickboy (pictured) and, of course, Banksy all feature in the show, as well as fresh work commissioned by the Herbert from six emerging UK street artists.
The Herbert Art Gallery, Jordan Well, Coventry, CV1 5QP. Free Entry. www.theherbert.org
URBAN NERDS. HALLOWEEN SPECIAL SATURDAY 30 OCTOBER
Urban Nerds make the move to new London club XOYO for a Halloween spectacular that takes in the best bass-heavy music around. Dubstep luminary Joker and MC Nomad headline in Room One, alongside a Circus Records showcase featuring Flux Pavillion, Cookie Monsta and the man behind ‘Sweetshop’ Doctor P.
Room two takes things a little darker, with Rinse FM’s Marcus Nasty and grime originator Terror Danjah, plus sets from Rack N Ruin and Trap favourites Warrior One. As always, support will come from Urban Nerds own Rattus Rattus, Klose One and Ordio Kid.
XOYO, 32-37 Cowper St, London, EC2 Tickets: £6, £12, £15otd
CLUB LISTINGS OCT / NOV 2010 FRIDAY 22/10/10 NINJA TUNE @ AUDIO, BRIGHTON Toddla T + Guests. SATURDAY 23/10/10 BEDLAM PRESENTS MTA @ LAKOTA, BRISTOL Chase & Status, Circus Records, S.P.Y, Rack N Ruin, Gatekeeper.
BIGGER THAN BARRY, LEEDS. EVERY TUESDAY @ MINT CLUB If you live in Leeds, then there really is nowhere better to spend your Tuesdays than at Bigger Than Barry, with some incredible bookings set to drop in over October and November. Picks include garage god Todd Edwards alongside Rinse FM funky selector Roska on 9 November, and New York City’s Night Slugs producer Kingdom on 23 November. Mint Club, 8a Harrison St, Leeds Tickets: £5/£6
FRIDAY 29/10/10 MOMENTUM @ WIRE, LEEDS Klute, Kasra, Ant TC1 b2b Subterra, Distilled & Seamless. THRASHER / TOYA TOYA @ WAREHOUSE PROJECT, MANCHESTER Magnetic Man, Flying Lotus, Katy B, Joker, Martyn, DMZ, Joy Orbison. TURBULENCE VS HOSPITALITY @ DIGITAL, NEWCASTLE High Contrast, Netsky, Nu:Tone, Craggz & Parallel. SATURDAY 30/10/10 SPECTRUM @ HMV INSTITUTE, BIRMINGHAM Subfocus, Stanton Warriors, Kissy Sell Out, Jaguar Skillz. TUESDAY 02/11/10 WILEY: THE ILLUSIVE TOUR @ KOKO, LONDON Wiley, JME, Fugitive. SATURDAY 06/11/10 JUNGLE JAM @ BEAVERWORKS WAREHOUSE, LEEDS Doc Scott, Commix, Kenny Ken, Conscious Sounds. THURSDAY 11/11/10 MURKAGE @ SOUTH, MANCHESTER Todd Edwards, Dialog.
Imagine if Rodigan was your dad… how sick would that be? The most famous reggae selector in the world, a close friend of King Tubby and Augustus Pablo and the owner of probably the best collection of dubs in the world, Rodigan is nothing short of a bass-music legend. With the rise of dubstep, a whole new generation has been switched on to Rodi’s sound, a fact not lost on the ever-astute Fabric, who’ve enlisted the great man for the next edition in their FABRICLIVE mix series. With a FABRICLIVE mix always comes a launch party… and this one is just a little bit special, featuring Shy FX, Toddla T, Buraka Som Sistema, Alix Perez and more supporting Mr Rodigan on the night. Fabric, 77a Charterhouse St, London EC1 Tickets: £15/£10/£6
FRIDAY 12/11/10 SIGNAL VS SHOESTRING @ THEKLA, BRISTOL BSE, Fresh, Klute, Ulterior Motive, Stamina MC. FRIDAY 19/11/10 DIGITAL SOUNDBOY @ XOYO, LONDON Shy FX, Breakage, Donaeo, Toddla T & Redlight, MJ Cole, Hatcha. NU MOTION vs TRAP @ CAFE 1001, LONDON Andy Mystic, Thirst, Trap AllStars, Mantmast. SATURDAY 20/11/10 SHOGUN AUDIO @ AUDIO, BRIGHTON Friction, Nero, dBridge, Spectrasoul, SP:MC, IC3. SATURDAY 27/11/10 MARKY & FRIENDS @ SPACE2 WAREHOUSE, BIRMINGHAM DJ Marky & GQ, LTJ Bukem, S.P.Y, Stanza.
FABRICLIVE 54: DAVID RODIGAN LAUNCH PARTY FRIDAY 22 OCTOBER 2010
CRAZY LEGS vs URBAN NERDS SATURDAY 23/10/10 Bristol meets London for this link-up between two of the hippest nights in the country; Crazy Legs and Urban Nerds. With a focus on grime, garage, house and funky, and Ms. Dynamite, EZ, Sticky, Deadboy, Scratcha DVA and many more confirmed to play, this is one of the most essential events of the entire In:Motion series.
SUBLOADED FRIDAY 29/10/10
RUN SATURDAY 06/11/10
NINJA TUNE XX SATURDAY 13/11/10
Subloaded is among the most respected and longrunning dubstep dances on planet earth. The brainchild of one of the founding fathers of dubstep, DJ Pinch, Subloaded is consistently able to attract the very brightest stars from the scene. And with DMZ, Breakage, RSD, Doc Scott playing jungle and Teachings In Dub in the second room, Subloaded’s contribution to In:Motion is immense.
What originally started as D*Minds Tuesday-night D&B knees-up in a tiny (and now sadly closed) club called Native has grown and grown to become one of the biggest raves in the country. Moving with the times, Run invites Mistajam, Scratch Perverts and Joker to headline the main arena alongside Hype and Grooverider, while Bar 9 and Jakes drop the dubstep in room two.
Ninja Tune XX parties have been popping off all across the UK of late, as the label celebrates 20 years in the game. With a line-up second only to the recent Ewer St Car Park event in London, In:Motion’s XX bash brings some of Ninja Tune’s biggest stars to Bristol. Coldcut, The Bug, DJ Food and Jammer are joined by legendary US turntablist Mixmaster Mike.
EVENT FOCUS: IN:MOTION
Bristol is already known for having some of the best nightlife in the UK and this autumn the In:Motion series of events is set to solidify that reputation. Between October and New Year’s Eve, In:Motion will bring an impressive roster of the very best promotions in the country to the city’s huge Motion venue every night of every weekend…
1. PENFIELD With memories of amazing summer festivals still fresh in our minds, thinking about a winter wardrobe is, unfortunately, a necessary evil at this time of year. So allow us in the Trap fashion department to ease you into the colder months with the latest collection from US Label Penfield. With styles for both guys and girls and a new collection aptly named “a long meadow morning”, paying homage to the great outdoors is something Penfield does effortlessly. Earthy colours with fur and leather detailing adorn super-snug puffa jackets, while plaid shirts and camel-coloured chinos will look as at home in the city streets as they do in the sun-kissed, fresh forest that sets the scene for their winter lookbook. PENFIELDUSA.COM
2. SKANKY SKANKY Check out Trap cover star Toddla T’s latest T-shirt collab with UK label Trainerspotter. Now available in black, the ‘SKANKY SKANKY’ tee boasts a bespoke fit and Keith Haring style graphics. Available from Toddla’s own website, grab yours quick as this limited-edition design is a guaranteed sell out. TODDLAT.COM
3. NASTY GAL Vintage shopping can sometimes be a bit of an ordeal, let’s face it trawling round a shop hauled with rails of slightly sour smelling garments isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. You always hope, often in vain, that the rapid rail rummage will pay off and you will find the one item that will make people stop and ask “where did you get that?! Well, if you’re keen to put the days of separating old grandad cardis from Pat Butcher cast-offs behind you, and go somewhere where they only offer the really good stuff (without even leaving the house), then look no further than online store Nasty Gal. Founded in 2006, the US store is a treasure trove of hand-picked vintage clothing and accessories and unique, new designer pieces. Offering more than just a click-and-buy option, a virtual trip to the Nasty Gal shop is a visual feast of beautifully photographed garments, all expertly styled with a nod to the current season and trends. The only painful part of the Nasty Gal experience is choosing what to buy and waiting for your goods to be shipped over, but believe is, it’s worth it! SHOPNASTYGAL.COM
4. VANS Despite dropping in July, these new offerings from Vans are freshly prepped for the new season. With an autumnal palette of navy-blues, blacks and browns, these shoes are available in either the classic casual Era 59 or the slightly dressier Zapato Del Barco deck-shoe option. SHOP.VANS.COM
5. MY TIMEX
6. BAKE DESIGNS ONE TO WATCH OUT FOR
Look to the wrist of anyone that knows and you’re sure to find a digital watch made or inspired by the classic Timex 80 brand. Whether vintage metals, pop-art colours or techy calculators, there’s a different style for everyone’s taste. And, now the timepiece super brand has gone one better by getting in on the customising game.
Since Bake Designs burst on to the scene in 2009 with their simple but effective, t-shirts, they’ve made a BIG impact, with plenty of hype thanks to some immense internet coverage and music industry endorsement. One tee in particular, emblazoned with the tagline “Pugs Not Drugs”, caused a big stir among Baked’s loyal band of Twitter followers and ensured an instant sell-out. With those designs now dead-stock, Trap is pleased to announce that Bake are back with some brand new heat and, trust us, these babies are just as good as the first drop.
So, if you like your style a little more exclusive, head over to the My Timex section of their website, where purchasing your next digital accessory becomes a test of your creativity! Simply choose your favourite colours and select the component you want to change. The only hard part is deciding what combination to go for.
Our favourite follows on from where the pug tee left off, this time using a shark as the focus. “Live Every Week Like It’s Shark Week” is the message, which we’re sure you will while rocking this t-shirt.
7. LOOKING FOR… SOMETHING ELSE With the UK high street saturated with carbon copies of the same look, standing out from the crowd isn’t always easy. Cult Australian brand Something Else is the perfect antidote to this sartorial dilemma and if you’re the kind of girl that likes to mix it up with eye-catching key pieces, their Autumn/Winter collection will have you squealing with delight. Renowned for an eclectic mix of ‘clothing as canvas’ and luxury essentials, Something Else stay true to form this season with monochrome tribal print knits and painterly, oversized t-shirt dresses. Top of Trap’s ladies’ list are the Aztec leggings… catch us wearing ours with a fierce pair of heeled boots and a slouchy jumper. Something Else is available in selected Urban Outfitters stores across the UK. WWW.SOMETHING.NET.AU
IT’S HARD TO EXPLAIN JUST HOW GOOD THIS YEAR’S OUTLOOK FESTIVAL REALLY WAS. IF YOU WENT, YOU’LL KNOW WHAT WE’RE SAYING, AND IF YOU DIDN’T THEN YOU’RE PROBABLY SICK TO DEATH OF HEARING ABOUT IT FROM YOUR MATES THAT DID. IF YOU FALL INTO THE LATTER, YOU MIGHT WANT TO SKIP THESE PAGES, AS THEIR DEDICATED ENTIRELY TO THE INCREDIBLE FOUR-DAY RAVE IN A CROATIAN FORT THAT WAS OUTLOOK 2010.
Although only in its third year, Outlook moved to location number three for this year’s festival, upping the capacity massively and delivering a much bigger and broader line-up of artists than ever before. The first instalment of the festival back in 2008 was pretty much an all-dubstep affair, and although that genre still dominated this year’s line-up, Outlook 2010 was definitely a celebration of wider bass music culture in all its glorious forms. From Roots Manuva and D Double E, to Skream and The Bug, to Alix Perez, Heatwave and Roska - all bass music was here.
But the biggest and most tantalising aspect of this year’s festival was the new location. An abandoned fort on a beach-lined peninsula is enough to captivate the imagination of even the most jaded raver, so for those of us still in the midst of our raving careers, the prospect of this year’s line-up in that location was enough to make Outlook an essential mission. After arriving at our (extremely cheap) apartment in one of the nearby towns, we headed to the beach within the festival campsite. What we found was a massive, crystal-clear rig blasting out the heaviest of basslines all over a huge crowd of ravers in beachwear. Amazing. That night, we made our first venture to the incredible festival site itself and after losing our minds to DJ Zinc’s main arena history lesson in rave and getting all b-boy’d out to Alexander Nut’s classic hip-hop selection in the Outside arena, we managed two hour’s sleep back at our apartment before stumbling down to the port for a very special boat party.
After that, the Friday night was all about D&B for us and, surprisingly, a lot of the Outlook crowd, with a stunning selection of DJs from D&B’s most credible and forward-thinking side all in appearance. The massive outside arena to the front of the fort was given over to drum & bass for the evening with Commix, Spectrasoul, Break, Alix Perez and Icicle giving a lesson in quality to an immense crowd. After this point in the weekend, our memory of what happened becomes a lot less clear. That says a lot for
both the festival and how good a time we had. What we can pick out from the mental haze is the incredible vibe in the Mungo’s arena for the DMZ and Hessle Audio showcases on the Saturday and Sunday nights respectively, Nymfo making the walls bleed in the Dungeon arena, TOKiMONSTA charming us senseless with her slouched-out beats, the near religious experience of witnessing Congo Natty on the main stage and the sheer HYPE of seeing D Double alongside P Money and Badness over Kutz’s set. If none of that appeals to you, then put this magazine down and go read Mixmag. Probably the best testimonial Outlook could have is from the people that went. And, as our Facebook news-feeds declared over and over again in the days after the festival, for everyone that did go it wasn’t just one of the best festivals, but experiences of their lives. With next year’s event now confirmed to take place in the same location, it may be 11 months away, but we’re already hyped about Outlook 2011.
It’s the boat parties that add that killer touch to Outlook. Beginning just after mid-day, these maritime mash-ups are definitely not for the lightweights out there. Thankfully, at Outlook there doesn’t seem to be too many of them. When we boarded the Noah’s Ark trip on Friday lunchtime to the sounds of DRS and Broke’n’ English, we were still drunk from the night before, but we somehow managed five hours of going mental in the sunshine to the perfect JA soundtrack of Heatwave and Mungos Hi-Fi.
The biggest DJs in the game let us in on the tracks they’re playing right now…
‘THE HEATWAVE VYBZ KARTEL, GAZA SLIM & POPCAAN ‘Clarks’ Still a huge tune, still running dances. I wish my neighbours would stop playing it 10 times in a row and singing along, though.
MS DYNAMITE / NATALIE STORM / REDLIGHT ‘MDMA Riddim’ Redlight's rolling bass-heavy instrumental has been absolutely destroyed by Ms. Dynamite and Natalie Storm's bashment flows.
MR LEXX & CONGOROCK ‘Babylon’ Funky bashment x chainsaw electro + one of our favourite Jamaican MCs = a crowd-destroying, rewind-demanding monster.
MR LEXX ‘Wine Pon Me’ ‘I Got 5 On It’ in a dancehall style, from weed to winding. What's not to like?
GYPTIAN ‘Hold Yuh’ Still the biggest, sweetest, most anthemic and excellent tune in the world right now. SPOOKY ‘Coolie Dance Refix’ An old grimey bashment remix that we unearthed recently. Mad energy and hype. DAMIAN MARLEY & NAS ‘As We Enter’ The intro on this tune sends crowds mad every time we play it, even before the beat and verses kick in.
J BOOG ‘Let's Do It Again’ Sweet, poppy lovers' reggae from a promising new singer. Should be a chart hit if there’s any justice.
VYBZ KARTEL ‘Turn & Wine’ One of Kartel's creeper hits for 2010, bubbling consistently since its release in February this year. A real grower. BEENIE MAN & FAMBO ‘Drinking Rum’ The 'getting drunk in the sunshine' anthem for 2010. Big sing-along chorus, even if you think rum and Red Bull is a suspicious combination.
WARRIOR ONE. KING PIGEON 1. DREADZONE ‘Yeah Man’ (Warrior One Rmx) 2. AFROJACK & GREGOR SALTO ‘I'll Be There’ 3. PROFFESSOR GREEN ‘Monster’ (T.E.E.D. Rmx) 4. DJ ZINC ‘Nexx’ 5. SEIJI ‘Weedkiller’ 6. FIS-T ‘Night Hunter’ 7. WARRIOR ONE ‘Lord Of Bashy’ (Douster Rmx) 8. INCREDIBLE BONGO BAND ‘Apache’ (Warrior One Rmx) 9. N'WAGEZANI ‘My Love’ 10. TOBY IOI ‘Make You Feel’ R1 RYDERS. COMPILED BY DJ/ PRODUCER KARNAK 1. R1 RYDERS ‘On Ur Marks’ Dub 2. R1 RYDERS ‘Jus A Feelin’ Dub 3. OPTIMUM ‘Max Power’ Planet Mu 4. CARLY BOND ‘Ain’t Wastin’ No Time’ Dub 5. R1 RYDERS ‘Hydraulic’ Dub 6. JAZZY JAZZY ‘Swanky’ Dub 7. R1 RYDERS ‘Pop Shit Off’ Dub 8. SILKIE ‘Get Up & Dance’ Dub 9. UNTOLD & ROSKA ‘Long Range’ Numbers 10. MARCUS VISIONARY ‘Carib LP’ Liondub GREENMONEY. FOOL’S GOLD 1. MZ BRATT ‘Selecta’ (Greenmoney Rmx) 2. MJ COLE & WILEY ‘From The Drop Dubb’ 3. C.R.S.T ‘Good Love’ (Doc Daneeka Rmx) 4. GREENMONEY ‘Headbash Riddim’ 5. MISTA MEN ‘What You Do To Me’ 6. MARCUS NASTY & BASSBOY ‘Drip 2’ 7. GYPTIAN ‘Hold Yuh’ (Funkystepz Rmx) 8. END GAMES ‘Ecstacy’ (Jam City Refix) 9. OMAR ‘Dancing Now’ 10. DVA FT FATIMA ‘Just Vybe’ ALIX PEREZ. SHOGUN AUDIO 1. BREAK ‘All That's Left’ Symmetry 2. ENEI & EASTCOLORS ‘Cracker’ Dub 3. ROCKWELL ‘Noir’ (Ulterior Motive Rmx) Critical 4. FRICTION & K TEE ‘Set It Off’ (Icicle Remix) Shogun Audio 5. ALIX PEREZ ‘Dark Days’ EP Shogun Audio 6. JUBEI ‘Gateway’ Dub 7. NOISIA & SPOR ‘Falling Through’ Vision 8. ALIX PEREZ & NOISIA ‘Underprint’ Invisible 9. ULTERIOUR MOTIVE ‘Featherweight’ VIP Subtitles 10. BREAK & NICO ‘Salvage’ Symmetry
STARKEY. PLANET MU 1. STAGGA ‘Wild For the Night’ Slit Jockey 2. LIL WAYNE FT DRAKE ‘I'm Single’ Cash Money 3. KAISER ‘The Art of War’ (Ulterior Motive Rmx) Slit Jockey 4. KASTLE ‘Better Off Alone’ Seclusiasis 5. EPROM ‘Feldspar’ Unreleased 6. BIG BOI ‘General Patton’ Def Jam 7. FLINCH ‘Midnight Hustle’ (AC & Del Remix) Party Like Us 8. SPLURT ‘The Return VIP’ (Mega Refix) Oil Gang 9. LIL JON ‘G Walk’ (ft Soulja Boy) Universal 10. DEV79 ‘Live N Die 4 The Street Bass’ Seclusiasis TROLLEY SNATCHA. DUB POLICE 1. SUBSCAPE ‘Nothing’s Wrong’ Dub Police 2. TROLLEY SNATCHA ‘Circle K’ Dub Police 3. THE OTHERS ‘Off The Wall’ Dub Police 4. SHOCK ONE ‘True Believer’ (Phetsta's Dubstep Rework) Viper 5. MEDISON ‘Harry’ (Barenoize Remix) Dented 6. EDDIE K & BEEZY ‘Serial Killer’ Hench 7. CASPA ‘I Beat My Robot’ Sub Soldiers 8. LAID BLAK ‘Red’ (Chasing Shadows Rmx) Aei 9. DREADZONE ‘Gangster’ (Trolley Snatcha Rmx) Dubwiser 10. TROLLEY SNATCHA ‘We Rock The Forest’ Dub Police SPECTRASOUL. SHOGUN AUDIO 1. BREAK & NICO ‘Salvage’ Symmetry 2. PHAELEH ‘Afterglow’ (dBridge remix) Afterglow 3. MIKAL ‘The Chant’ Dub 4. SYSTEM ‘Sy Fy’ Integral 5. PESSIMIST ‘Niche’ Critical 6. BREAK & SPECTRASOUL ‘Martyr’ Symmetry 7. GOAPELE ‘Milk & Honey’ (Joy Orbison Refix) Dub 8. JUBEI ‘Gateway’ Dub 9. HALOGENIX ‘Comandeer’ Dub 10. FALTY DL ‘Phreqaflex’ Planet Mu EXCISION. ROTTUN 1. DOWNLINK ‘Biohazard’ 2. DANSETTE JUNIOR ‘Paranoid’ (Tom Encore Rmx) 3. EXCISION & DATSIK ‘Deviance’ 4. LIQUID STRANGER ‘Exit The Vault’ 5. GEMINI ‘Feel Stronger’ 6. EXCISION & DOWNLINK ‘Reploid’ 7. CRISSY CRISS ‘Stop’ 8. NOISIA ‘Alpha Centauri’ (Excision & Datsik Rmx) 9. LECASTLEVANIA ‘Nobody Gets Out Alive’ (Noisia Rmx) 10. DATSIK ‘Firepower’ (Levela Remix)
BROOKES BROTHERS ‘Beautiful’ This is a forthcoming single from our album. Robert Owens has always been one of our favourite vocalists and we've always wanted to work with him. This is the result. FRESH VS SIGMA ‘Cylon’ Huge rave vibes on this one with BBK boss Fresh hooking up with Sigma. Brutal mentasms make way for some dirty stabs and proper rolling percussion. Bigness. BROOKES BROTHERS ‘War Cry’ Another track forthcoming on our album - tribal percussive vibes with vocals from an amazing Hindustani group called Advaita. It was a lot of fun recording this one! DANNY BYRD ‘Ill Behaviour’ More wicked party-time D&B from the Byrdman. Seriously fun, dancefloor business with a catchy vocal hook; no wonder this has made it onto the Radio 1 A-list. FURLONGE ‘This Love’ Wicked soulful D&B from Furlonge, featuring vocals from his sister
BREAKBEAT KAOS Katie. It’s all about the lush half-time intro and as soon as that vocal hits, you know you're onto a winner. FRED V & GRAFIX ‘One Of These Days’ Young guns Fred V & Grafix are sickeningly young and talented; I don't think we even knew what Cubase was at their age! AGENT ALVIN ‘Move’ Another killer from the man like Alvin; no one does it quite like this guy! Quirky and energetic in equal measures, we can't wait to see what he cooks up next. NETSKY FT DARRISON ‘Escape’ One of our favourites from the Belgian badboy’s album; musical as ever with Darrison doing a top notch job on vocal duties. Go Boris! CHASE AND STATUS ‘Let You Go’ (Brookes Bros Rmx) It was an honour to do a remix for C&S. We only had a few days to do it so it’s been great to see it going down really well in our sets! TANTRUM DESIRE ‘Runaway Blues’ Love the big sleazy vibes on the breakdown of this track and the drop is murder. These boys are killing it right now.
‘THE CREATIVE COBBLER alex nash WORDS: KASHA MALYCKYJ
SNEAKERS, KICKS, TRAINERS, CREPS… WHATEVER YOU CALL THEM, WHEN IT COMES TO THE SHOES ON YOUR FEET, WE ALL KNOW THAT EXCLUSIVITY IS KEY. EVERYBODY WANTS TO ROCK THE FRESHEST FOOTWEAR, AND NO ONE’S IMMUNE FROM THAT HORRIBLE FEELING OF SPOTTING SOMEONE ELSE WEARING THE SAME KICKS AS YOU. AND WHILE MOST OF US SIMPLY STICK TO COPPING QUICK-STRIKE DROPS OR BUYING ONLINE TO ENSURE OUR FEET ARE UNIQUELY ATTIRED, THERE EXISTS OUT THERE A BREED OF SNEAKER AFICIONADOS WHO SEEK TO DISPEL HOMOGENY BY CUSTOMISING, HYBRIDISING AND COMPLETELY RE-INTERPRETING CLASSIC SHOES INTO SOMETHING ENTIRELY NEW AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY, UTTERLY INDIVIDUAL
LACOSTE X NASH
Of all these training-shoe tinkerers,, Alex Nash is undoubtedly king. Over the last eight years, the 32-yearold Londoner’s hand-crafted creations have taken him from selling shoes in a London sneaker store, to flying around the world designing them. Having recently worked with the likes of Lacoste, DC and Nike, Nash is just about to jet off to South Africa for his latest hushhush project when Trap tracks him down to talk about his fascinating career so far… “I left school at 15; I didn’t really get any GCSEs,” he begins frankly. “I was never academic, but I always had ideas, I love marketing. I love tinkering with things and I know what I like. My mum’s an interior designer and she’s really creative. Growing up, I picked up a lot from her; that creativity was always around me. “I spent many years doing shit jobs before I started working in a sneaker store, Size? In Portobello, in about 2002. I wasn’t a sneaker head or a collector. I didn’t see them as a design aesthetic. I mean, I loved my sneakers, but it was really just from when I was school and being like most 14-year-old kids wanting the newest ones, rather than collecting them.
“Around that time, I had a pair of moccasin shoes that I’d ruined, but when I tried to buy another pair, I couldn’t. Then I had this idea to do a mix of a sneaker - the Nike Air Force 1 - and a moccasin. So for the cost of a pair of trainers and a needle and thread, I just started playing around. And that’s where it all started really.”
Surrounded by sneakers all day long at work, and having found a new outlet for his creativity and long-forged ideas, Nash began to work hard at his new hobby. As his skills improved, it wasn’t too long before his creations began to catch the attentions of the sneaker-freak community, and Nash and his Nash Money brand began to catch fire. “I’ve got to thank Woody from Sneaker Freaker magazine,” Nash reflects. “In issue five, they did a
SOME VERY SPECIAL JORDAN III’S
NASH BUTCHERS UP SOME AIR MAX 1’S
competition called ‘Custom 99’, where the best 99 customised trainers would be featured in the following issue. I didn’t win, but I was in the top-ten. After that Woody kept featuring and supporting me, and from there I got recognised and people began to pick up on what I was doing.” NEARLY £500 OF ELK SKIN, REALLY.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THOSE LITTLE DETAILS
But it wasn’t just trainer-obsessed fashionistas and collectors that began to notice Nash. The brands that he’d spent years ripping apart and re-imaging began to acknowledge his talents. Before long, Nash was meeting with some of the biggest names in streetwear and making the leap from home hobbyist to fully-sanctioned designer. Collaborations with DC shoes, Mishka and Second Son followed and, most impressively, 2010 saw the unveiling of his ‘Bravington’ shoe for Lacoste. “The Mishka hat came about from them seeing my customised hats and just asking if I wanted to work with them,” he explains. “Sometimes I have to pitch for things… I’d love to work with Clarks shoes; I think I could do a lot with them. But all my collaborations with big brands have come naturally, and to work with Lacoste has been a great honour. “The initial meeting with them came from me saying in interviews that I admired Lacoste’s history as the first brand to use a logo on their garments. When I first met them, they said ‘We aren’t up for collaborations but show us what you’ve got’. They asked me what I was feeling for next season, so I went away and came back with a drawing of a desert shoe, a deck shoe and a running sneaker. Then they pulled out all these concepts from their secret cupboard and it was all working with what they were doing.” “In the near future, I’m going to be working with Edwin; they’ve got a blog called ‘Tinker Tailor’ and have given me a pair of pants I can customise the way I want. It’s gonna be a big mish-mash of different things - it doesn’t have to be something you can necessarily wear. Also, I’m part of the Nike 78 project and I’m also doing a little project with Puma and Audi.” Working with these sorts of stellar brands is a huge achievement for anyone, never mind a guy that left school at 15 and never went to fashion college. But that’s not what Nash is about – the sort of creativity his work exhibits can’t be taught. And despite what you may initially presume about someone working within such an achingly hip arena, as his final words prove, Nash is nothing but grateful for it all… “Making the front cover of Sneaker Freaker has been my biggest achievement. I printed it big and put it up on my wall. It meant a lot to me; it set a precedent. And also, collaborating with the big brands – it’s more than I could have ever asked for. I feel like I have given something to a community, whether it be streetwear or footwear, and being able to make a living out of it is really special.” WWW.NASHMONEY.COM
I’D LOVE TO WORK WITH CLARKS SHOES, I THINK I COULD DO A LOT WITH THEM.
WORDS: JON COOK PHOTOS: DAN @ ISPYPHOTO
“EVERYBODY GETS SUCCESSFUL AND THEN THEY FUCK OFF TO LONDON. I LIKE BEING A BIG FISH IN A SMALL POND…” LAUGHS DRUM & BASS PRODUCER AND LIFE-LONG BATH RESIDENT DANNY BYRD AS HE HURTLES DOWN A CHILDREN’S SLIDE FOR THE BENEFIT OF TRAP’S PHOTOGRAPHER. “PEOPLE SAY IT’S BETTER THE OTHER WAY ROUND, BUT NOT FOR ME.” We’re stood ankle-deep in sand, deciding whether to make Danny go on the climbing wall, fireman’s pole or scary-looking swings next; and he’s happily giving everything a go, no matter how ridiculous it makes him look. With his rave-inspired second album for Hospital Records about to drop, and just having found out that the first single from that LP has done the unthinkable for a D&B record and made it onto the Radio One play-list, the 31-year-old is clearly enjoying life right now. “Why do I still live in Bath? Good question,” he says, intimating that this is something he’s asked himself more than once before. “I’m happy here – if you’re in a happy space, you’re in a creative space. I always had that notion that moving to London was the bigger step, but I’ve realised that it doesn’t matter where you live, as long as you’ve got the contacts and I’m definitely at my most creative when in my studio at home. I feel more motivated living here than anywhere else, it keeps me very grounded. Maybe it sounds big headed, but it feels like local people are proud of you and what you’re doing, because you’re on Radio One or whatever but you’ve still stayed in the city, you haven’t moved.” So the citizens of Bath should feel proud. The tiny west-country city is world-famous for its tea rooms, Roman baths and Jane Austin museum; not for its contribution to music, let alone drum & bass. And even though Danny’s career will inevitably step up a level now he has a Radio One A-list record in the form of ‘Ill Behaviour’ under his belt, he’s clearly determined to stay true to his roots.
“I jumped up and down,” he says grinning when asked for his reaction to the news that he’d joined the likes of Jason Derulo and Beyonce on the prime-time playlist. “I had a steak and a bottle of Bollinger – I never celebrate, but I just thought, ‘A-list: steak and Bollinger!’
“It’s weird how it happened; Hospital took three tracks from the album to Radio One, who initially said they liked ‘Ill Behaviour’ most, but couldn’t hear it on daytime radio; more for their specialist shows. So we decided to go with that, get it to Mista Jam, Annie Mac and people. Anyway, by chance it made it onto the playlist; the C-list. We never planned for that and were really surprised… then it went B-list. Then, last Wednesday, I got a text from Tom at Hospital saying ‘A-LIST’.
“It’s crazy, to be a D&B producer, on the Radio One playlist, at a time when D&B isn’t perhaps at its most popular… I can’t take it in. I don’t know why it’s on the A-List, but I’m just thankful it is. It’s one of those career-defining moments. It gives me a lot of optimism for D&B again.” Optimism for D&B? So has Danny been losing faith in the music that he’s dedicated his life to and is now an integral part of? “I do think underground D&B is in a bit of a bad state, I feel like I’ve heard it all before… But it will only move forward. I think things have changed over recent years; a big promoter said to me at a festival, there’s a big difference now between the traditional D&B DJs, that perhaps aren’t as big as they were, and D&B acts. Luckily, I think I fit into the latter.” Danny’s status as one of the new breed of D&B ‘acts’, that sell more albums than 12-inches and still pack out shows, is no doubt thanks to the clever management and marketing he gets from the ever-astute Hospital Records camp behind him. Hospital understands how to push and develop their artists while building them into powerful brands in their own right. An essential part of all this is the albums that each Hospital artist provides every couple of years. ‘Rave Digger’ is Danny’s second for the label and those who’ve followed his career will know that producing his debut LP ‘Super Sized’ wasn’t an easy process for all involved, with him nearly getting dropped by Hospital and having to be literally locked in to his house every day to ensure he got it finished on time… So, with that experience behind him, is Danny any more of an adult now? “Not really,” he laughs. “I still had to be locked in. I knew the pressure of a deadline this time; I knew I had to not leave it until the last minute and have a massive panic like last time. I kept writing, the last week before deadline I wrote a new 140bpm rave tune, ‘We Can Have It All’, that made the album and will be the next single. A big thing, though, was that I knew what I wanted to do with this one, with the whole rave concept, so it was a case of just sitting down and working hard.” So, the rave concept… one listen to ‘Rave Digger’ leaves you in no doubt of Danny’s love for old-skool hardcore; the musical mish-mash of influences and styles that was not just the soundtrack to the early-90s but the genetic soup that every genre of electronic music today can be traced back to. Danny’s remix of the 1992 piano-led rave anthem ‘Sweet Harmony’ last year was the first hint of what was to come, and now the album’s here, Danny’s definitely been busy rekindling his old passions within a D&B template…
RAVE DIGGING. Danny excavates his five favourite tunes from the golden age of rave… MANIX – ‘FEEL REAL GOOD’ One of the best rave tunes and piano lines ever! On one of my very first rave mixtapes. THE PRODIGY – ‘EVERYBODY IN THE PLACE’ This track still sounds fresh now! It got me really hooked on the idea of producing my own music. ACEN – ‘TRIP TO THE MOON’ This sampled the James Bond theme - the perfect combination for me. Imagine if Acen was making D&B now?
I remember when I was a kid buying ‘Everybody In The Place’ on cassette and thinking ‘This is the coolest thing I’ve ever heard.
SL2 – ‘ON A RAGGA TIP’ Another one of those tunes that just sounds right, even now. 250k copies were sold back in 1992! SONZ OF A LOOP DA LOOP ERA – ‘PEACE & LOVEISM’ One of the first 12s I bought. Danny Breaks was a total genius and inspired so many people in D&B.
“I used to love hardcore,” he says without a moment’s hesitation. “I remember when I was a kid I bought The Prodigy’s ‘Everybody In The Place’ on cassette and listened to it over and over again while making computer games, thinking ‘This is the coolest thing I’ve ever heard’.
“The thing I realised making this album, all that old hardcore stuff, we don’t give it enough credit – we think ‘oh, yeah, joke vocals whatever’… but melodically it’s so complex, there’s riff after riff – to make that isn’t easy. It was so much more interesting. Now we settle for things just dropping and looping and that’s it. I wanna say ‘No!’. We deserve more for our money!” ‘RAVE DIGGER’ IS OUT NOW ON HOSPITAL RECORDS.
“There was a shop in Bath called Bass Bomb records, and there was a guy in there called The Producer who was huge on the rave scene. He was a massive inspiration – imagine as a 12-year-old kid, going to the record shop and seeing this guy who’s making money out of playing records. He told me the score, how it was – as a kid, I didn’t know you didn’t have to take your own Technics to a gig! I’d go and buy a white label every week with my pocket money - I loved rave.
ROLLER EXPRESS IS ABOUT PUSHING OURSELVES AND THE MUSIC AS FAR AS WE CAN. IT’S GOTTA BE DIFFERENT. IT CAN’T BE A PAR!
TODDLAT & REDLIGHT ROLL IT OUT. WORDS: JON COOK PHOTOS: ZOOM
IT’S EARLY JULY 2010 AND IN THE ST PAULS AREA OF BRISTOL, CARNIVAL IS IN FULL FLOW. AS THE SUN DROPS BEHIND THE HORIZON, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ARE STILL PACKING THE TIGHT STREETS, BLOWING WHISTLES, EATING CHICKEN AND GENERALLY PRETENDING THEY’RE JAMAICAN FOR THE DAY. ALL LIFE IS HERE: ELDERLY RASTAS CHAT ANIMATEDLY ON STREET CORNERS,YOGHURT-WEAVING HIPPIES SIT CROSSEDLEGGED ON THE GRASS LECTURING ONE ANOTHER, TEENAGE RUDEBOYS DRESSED ALL IN BLACK PATROL THEIR STREETS, AND FLUFFY-HAIRED STUDENTS RUN EXCITEDLY FROM ONE SOUND-SYSTEM TO THE NEXT IN SEARCH OF ‘DUBSTEP, YAH!’. THIS IS CARNIVAL, BRISTOL STYLE. Over on Brighton Street, where the Dirt sound-system resides, two DJs are taking to the decks and preparing to push the notorious rig to its absolute limits. With his waist-length locks trailing behind him, MC Dread stalks the stage, hyping the crowd for the show that’s about to begin. And then, to the sound of Vato Gonzalez’s ‘Badman Riddim’, the whole street erupts into a frenzy of waist-winding insanity that continues over two hours of ultra-energetic, genre-defying bass music. Those two DJs are Toddla T and Redlight, and this is the Roller Express…. Two month’s later, with the euphoria of that day a distant memory, Trap has ventured across London to meet Toddla T and Redlight to try to discover, ahead of their freshly-announced 12-date club tour, what exactly Roller Express is and what the future holds for two of the most exciting people working in British music today. “St Pauls carnival was the first gig we did as Roller Express,” explains Redlight across a very rickety table outside the café we’ve opted to meet in. “I think that was perfect, that’s what we’re about; that carnival, festival vibe. And then we did a gig in Brighton; myself, Toddla, Serocee, Dread. We just had a giggle, didn’t we?”
“Ideally, I’d like eventually for it to be a full thing; with the Dirt sound-system. I wanna see tiles falling off the ceilings,” declares Redlight with the air of a plotting mad scientist. “MC Dread’s an integral part of Roller Express. He joins the dots for the crowd; when they’re getting lost and thinking ‘What the fuck is this?’, Dread will bring them back in, he’ll help them through; he’s like the guide.” “Dread’s a key player,” confirms Toddla, “but there’s a few if we’re honest. We want it to be much more than just a couple of DJs and MCs. It’s a sound-system, a sound. And of course there’s the music we’re making together and the studio too…” Indeed, Roller Express is much more than just a soundsystem, it’s also the name the two producers have given to their studio collaborations, which so far are limited to their insanely bashy reworking of Wiley’s ‘Electric Boogaloo’ and their recent remix of Labrinth’s ‘Let The Sunshine’. More excitingly though, as Toddla hinted, Roller Express is also the name he and Redlight have given to the new studio they built together following their arrival in the capital…
“Yeah, it were a right laugh,” Toddla confirms in his unmistakably broad Sheffield accent. “It was a three-hour gig and everything just fitted. It was right good, it made us think…”
“We were moving to London at the same time and we both needed a studio,” explains Redlight. “London’s not cheap, so when we found the place up the road, we thought ‘Yeah, let’s hook up, build a studio, and roll it out’. Once we got it all going, we needed a name – we came up with Roller Express. It’s just two rooms and a vocal booth and all you hear is kick drums.”
Having just moved into a new shared studio in west London, close to their new homes in the capital, and with their first collaborative productions beginning to surface, the two quickly realised that combining their respective sounds into something bigger than just a back-to-back DJ set was a pretty good idea…
“I hype it up like it’s a big deal,” adds Toddla with a smile. “And it is, the music that’s coming out of there, but really it’s just two rooms. I’m not putting much music out at the minute, but he is, and what he’s doing is the most exciting shit about, so it’s amazing for me to be blagging a bit of props off him…”
At this point, Redlight shakes his head, but Toddla carries on talking regardless; “We’ve got the same management and I’ve always really liked what he was doing, even right back to the drum & bass, he’s someone who I’ve always really respected.” Toddla’s respect for his new-found musical consort is evidently mutual, and it’s obvious that it’s the pair’s shared musical direction (however unclear they’d prefer that to be) that really binds them together in what they’re doing. “One of the reasons I moved out of Bristol was that no one there was doing what I’m doing,” says Redlight. “If I was still into D&B or I was doing straight dubstep, then Bristol’s brilliant for that, there’s a community there. But when you’re making this music that is still genre-less, really, a bit dubstep, bit house, whatever, it’s different. “So, I came to London, and Toddla was doing the same thing! It’s perfect really, because sharing that space and being on a similar tip, we both inspire each other. We both love working with vocalists. It pushes you on; Toddla won’t be there for a week and then come in and finish three tracks in two days, and I’ll be like ‘What the fuck!’. If you hear something good coming out of the other room, it inspires you. That’s what a good working environment is. That’s what studios should be like.” “The thing I wanted was a place where, even though it’s me and Redlight, it’s Roller Express,” says Toddla. “People can come down and get involved. Whether they just wanna drop in and cotch, or make a tune – it’s slowly becoming a network of people who are there quite a lot.” As anyone who’s watched either Toddla or Redlight’s careers so far will know, while their music shirks definition by its very nature, the one common thread running through much of it is the use of vocalists. Toddla’s most recent single, ‘Sky Surfing’
WE WANT PEOPLE NOT TO BE ABLE TO GUESS WHAT A TRACK’S GONNA DO AFTER THE FIRST 20 SECONDS. IT’S GOTTA KEEP PEOPLE GUESSING.
for Ninja Tune (with who he recently signed a multi-album deal), featured vocals from JA dancehall star Wayne Marshall, while Redlight’s stock has soared in 2010 thanks to the genre-defying ‘Stupid’ with Roses Gabor and, more recently, his immense collaboration with Ms. Dynamite on ‘What You Talking About’. And that’s not even to mention Toddla’s own recent track with Ms. Dynamite for Ninja Tune’s ‘XX’ compilation, or Redlight’s powerful link-up with Mz Bratt on ‘Selecta’. With all this in mind, we’re curious as to just exactly who those people dropping by the Roller Express for a cheeky cotch and studio session are… “Roses Gabor, Donaeo, Ms. Dynamite, my friend Martello comes down and sits about,” reveals Toddla. “Jammer, J2K, D-Double’s coming tomorrow, Mz Bratt… a lot of different people.” “There’s a few people dotted about round here; out West, it’s different. For us it was cheaper than going East… and now, since the ‘It’s Cool To Be A Dickhead’ video has ruined East’s reputation, well…” Redlight flashes a cheeky smile as he says this, before digressing into the top-ten potential of the year’s most on-point viral YouTube satire. Back to the music, though, and back to what the future holds for Roller Express… “I really wanna do an EP, but we’re both busy with our own things right now,” says Toddla. “I guess the main thing with Roller Express; it’s about pushing ourselves and the music as far as we can. It’s gotta be different. It can’t be a par!”
“Yeah, we’ve both got our own sound already, so if we come together, it’s gotta be good,” Redlight concurs. “We want people not to be able to guess what a track’s gonna do after the first 20 seconds. It’s gotta keep people guessing… I think that’s what dance music is good at, but at the same time, people can get a bit lazy at it – I’ve been there before. It’s all about pushing things and new sounds really.”
Toddla’s typically enthusiastic response isn’t mirrored by his counterpart. Under the name Clipz, Redlight was one of the biggest names in drum & bass, and as happens so often in that scene, was worshiped and despised in equal measure for his unashamedly up-beat, melody-ridden take on the genre. Has the Bristolian got any motivation to return to the genre that he dedicated so much of his life to?
So is there any point of definition the guys can offer for their music? Can it be defined by anything beyond the presence of bass and heaps of attitude? Is there a preferred tempo at which the guys would like to sit their sound?
His response is immediate: “No. You go through re-hab, and then you can’t lick the pipe again, can you?”
“Yeah, my recent album’s mostly under 100bpm, on that reggae, hip-hop tempo,” adds Toddla, “so there’s no reason why I’d wanna restrict myself to a certain tempo.” With such an open mandate for their music, and with Redlight’s past history in the genre under his Clipz guise, would either of the two producers, either alone or as Roller Express, consider working at that end of the beatsper-minute scale occupied exclusively by drum & bass? “I’m ready for that, me! Bring it on!”
“It’s not that I don’t find D&B music of a certain era still exciting,” Redlight affirms. “I do - I just don’t find the new stuff exciting. I think I over-exposed myself to making it, so it doesn’t excite my ears, it’s like a background noise. I know loads of good people who still love drum & bass and dance to it like psychos. It’s just me and the music. I still respect everyone in it, but it’s a creative thing. I’m an artist; if I’m not in something, I’m not gonna do it. I’m not in it for money, yeah money helps, but when you stop thinking about all that shit, good stuff starts happening.” “I’m the happiest I’ve been for a long time, probably ever, because there’s no constraints. And the music culture in general, everyone’s open to everything now. No one wants to hear eight hours of one type of music. If they did, eight hours of house, dubstep, d&b whatever, they’d hear the same big tunes played eight times. When you get a bit of everything, you get pockets of different things, and if you’ve got the right open-minded crowd in a dance… They’re used to it now. The new generation, that’s what they’ve been born into. It’s round two really, it’s 1990 again.”
“Nah, it doesn’t matter… that’s the beauty of it,” Redlight says without hesitating.
“I’ve never worked at that tempo personally,” Toddla adds. “I like drum & bass, but I was never a part of it, and never got saturated by it, so I still find it quite exciting…”
‘BLUKU BLUKU D DOUBLE E
THIRTY-YEAR-OLD D DOUBLE E HAILS FROM FOREST GATE, NEWHAM, EAST LONDON. THE TOUGH AREA HE GREW UP IN HAS DONE MORE THAN JUST INFLUENCE THE NAME OF HIS GRIME/DUBSTEP CREW, THE ‘NEWHAM GENERALS’ - FORMED WITH LONG-TIME FRIENDS MC/ FOOTSIE AND DUBSTEP STALWART DJ TUBBY - IT LEAD TO HIS IMMERSION IN A WIDE SPECTRUM OF BASS MUSIC FROM A YOUNG AGE, AND POSITIONED HIM AT THE EPICENTRE OF THE DEVELOPING GRIME SCENE WITHIN WHICH HE WOULD GO ON TO BE CONSIDERED A PIONEER AND LEGEND BY MANY.
Long lauded as ‘The MC’s MC’ by grime followers, 2010 has seen D Double’s charismatic, clever wordplay and unique flow come to the attention of much wider audience. First came his and Footsie’s link-up with Breakage on ‘Hard’ and his indisputable ownership of SX’s ‘Woo Riddim’ on ‘Bad To The Bone’ and then, more recently, the enormous ‘Street Fighter Riddim’ with DJ Swerve. With a new album set for 2011, the next year looks set to be even bigger for D Double and his fellow Newham Generals, and as such Trap just had to hunt him down for some words of wisdom from a true legend of grime. One of the distinctive markers of D Double’s vocal delivery is that it seems almost no one can have a conversation about his music or lyrics without doing an impression of his bars. It’s this uniqueness that’s brought D Double E to the top of the ridiculously competitive grime scene and he’s more than happy to begin our interview by explaining how he cultivated his unmistakable style. “When I first started, I used to do sets in my friend’s bedroom recorded on tape, I used to go there on a Saturday and stay there all day. When I wasn’t spitting, I was mixing Jungle. When I was on the mic, I would feel so free and I just did what I wanted to do, mucking about not caring and that’s how certain things came up, things like the echo and the way I say things, experimentation, just trying to do different stuff. I would listen back and think ‘Whoa, that sounded deep!’. All that from back then, they’re tools I still use now. Also, the things I say are part of my personality; they’re part of me from before.”
All this talk of bedroom sets, TDK tapes and back in the day, leads naturally to a discussion of grime’s beginnings. Despite the fact the genre now has a whole host of artists dominating the charts, D Double still looks back on a the revolutionary and chaotic early days of the scene with fondness.
“I miss the old days, man. If it wasn’t for the old days, the way we used to do things, I wouldn’t be such a veteran now. I’ve learnt skills that you can’t learn just by joining the scene now, I’ve been through a lot. All the skills I’ve learnt on the way have made me get stronger and move on.”
“Going on radio was the main bit of the olden days for me, I used to look forward to going on and making sure I had new bars to spray to everyone who didn’t know them. Nowadays, I can’t just go on radio and max out, things have changed. Now it needs to be a big song not just a big bar. But I guess back in the old days I wasn’t getting feedback how I am now; ‘Street Fighter’ got nearly a 100,000 hits on Youtube in a week! The love back then was minimal, no one knew my face. To get through that, you had to have a deeper love for the music.” As he talks about the past, D Double exhibits a sort of nostalgic reminiscence that only comes with experience. Although there’s plenty he misses about the early years of grime in which he first cut his teeth as an MC, D Double’s aware of the positive changes that have occurred as the scene has matured. “Grime has watched the way other music scenes have worked; the work ethic and making it work in an independent way. Now, if you’re a young MC, it doesn’t matter who you are, as long as you’re doing things the way you are meant to be doing them. You don’t have to be an instant success, if you use your brain you won’t have to be going through the same things as me. If I was a young MC now, there are a lot more opportunities to get bigger quicker. As long as it looks good and sounds good, it can work.” There can be little argument with this statement. Thanks to the path cut by Dizzee Rascal, the wider music world now seems ready to accept grime and the MCs that have come through its scene. 2010 has seen the charts besieged by MCs who made their name in grime, although often the beats they’re spitting over are little more than saccharine pop-tunes and discofodder. As you’d hope and expect. D Double believes he doesn’t need to change to keep up. “I’ve got my own style of pop. If ‘Bonkers’ is pop, I’d say, yeah, I am going to be doing pop, because to me that tune is filthy. I’ll be doing stuff like that. I wouldn’t completely change up my style; my style is varied enough for me to not have to switch it drastically. I’ve got those ranges so it fits in.”
One of the main driving forces behind Newham Generals’ growig fame is the admiration they’ve received from the dubstep scene. D Double explains this wasn’t a bandwagon they jumped on because of its popularity, but a wholly natural development. ”That came about through DJ Tubby, we used to be on De Ja Vu FM before Rinse FM, then when we made the move to Rinse we started doing sets with Tubby, this was before dubstep was called dubstep. We would go on Rinse every week and just rinse out, the sound changed a bit, everyone started calling it dubstep and it started blowing up. We’ve been on it since the beginning.” As for the difference between grime and dubstep raves; “There’s no difference except for the way people feel it. If I go to a grime rave there’s probably going to be a fight, because the way they receive the music is kinda mad. When you go to a dubstep rave it’s different, it’s more friendly and people are out to just have fun. There’s the same energy and madness, with noise and reloads, but it’s just a lot friendlier.”
4 D DOUBLE FACTS: HIS FAVOURITE STREET FIGHTER CHARACTER IS SAGAT. ‘BLUKU BLUKU’ IS A POSITIVE PHRASE THAT CAN BE USED IN MANY CONTEXTS FROM A GREETING, TO POINTING OUT THE ATTRACTIVENESS OF A WOMAN. HE MADE A CAMEO IN RECENT FILM ‘SHANK’ AND HAS BEEN RECORDING HIS OWN INTERNET TV SHOW ‘BLUKKA BLUKKA TV’. HE’D LOVE TO COLLABORATE WITH SNOOP DOGG, VYBZ KARTEL, BUSTA RHYMES…. AND THE TING TINGS.
“When we brought out the first album, the promotion missed out the underground community that we’re known within. So when ‘Hard’, ‘Woo Riddim’ or ‘Street Fighter’ came out, we were promoting those tracks all around and had a much better result. The next album is going to be horrible, we know what we are doing and how to do it even better. 2011 is going to be the year man, we’re going to be following up a big year, we’ve got some deep collaborations and everything we’ve got in the pipeline is going to smash it.”
NEWHAM GENERALS’ ‘BAG OF GREASE EP’ IS OUT NOW. D DOUBLE E’S ‘BLUKU BLUKU EP’ IS OUT SOON.
The as-yet untitled new album D Double is working on with Footsie and Tubby will be their second for label boss Dizzee Rascal’s Dirtee Stank, following 2009’s ‘Generally Speaking’. With so much attention now on Newham Generals, D Double’s confident their follow-up will make an impression on not just the wider music world, but their many fans within the grime scene.
Now extended UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!
TWITTER.COM/VINTAGEGOLDMINE Island Fever Record Shop: For all your Reggae/Roots and Dub needs!
Nathan wears: T Shirt by toomuchposse! £35 Chinos by Norse Projects £90 Trainers, Model’s own
OUT OF THE CITY.
Nathan wears: Shirt by Norse Projects ÂŁ90
‘THE TEARJERKER’ deadboy
I DON’T THINK YOU CAN DISTINGUISH BETWEEN GENRES.
As another of the new wave of producers spotted and presented by tastemaker DJs such as Glasgow native Jackmaster and Hessle Audio co-owner Ben UFO, Deadboy’s managed to explode onto the wider dubstep scene while remaining almost faceless at the same time. “To be honest I don’t really notice it,” he considers when pressed on the influx of attention. “Apart from playing lots of shows, I’m pretty oblivious to hype. It’s nice to be recognised and everyone likes to be appreciated, but I don’t think I’ve achieved anything great yet. I guess I keep a bit of a low profile, but only because I only really go to raves I’m playing at these days… but when I do go out, I don’t hide in the corner; you can find me drunk on the dancefloor.”
Erupting with style as it did, ‘If U Want Me,’ was superseded for some by his earlier work for the Well Rounded imprint and the awkward re-imaginings of R&B songs he released under the T£ARJ€RK€R moniker on ‘Cash Antics Vol 1’. His debut EP as Deadboy was built around the infinitely catchy ‘U Cheated,’ and fully backs up the notion that Deadboy’s exceptional power to move a dancefloor lies in the way he samples and chops vocals. Letting his choice of tone and source material dictate the mood and pace of each track, he’s able to work his rhythms around a central hook, rather than slice and dice them in as a percussive element. “I love working with vocals,” he agrees. “I listen to almost all types of music. I go through stages of being obsessive about something for a while then move on to obsess about something else while still retaining all the love for everything I was obsessing about before. It makes buying records very expensive.” Therein lies the simplicity to Deadboy’s attitude towards making music. It’s all for the obsession. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to do the things that you feel like and be in it for the fun of the process; something Deadboy’s also exploring with the Hyper Black Bass project, an 8bit – Game Boy-powered dancehall duo in which he arranges chopped vocals over the riddims, something that he fully admits “started as a joke.”
The reach of the DJs playing Deadboy’s music has been enough for his name, and his succulently repetitive anthem ‘If U Want Me’ (released on Jackmaster’s Numbers imprint), to be at the top of everyone’s wish list. At one point, it was nigh on impossible to go a day without hearing the track on Rinse FM or amongst the internet’s bountiful catalogue of upfront DJ mixes. For a time, it really was that weapon; cocked, loaded and ready for firing in every DJ’s bag.
“Obviously there’s elements of garage in the music I make,” he muses when pressed on the use of the term ‘future garage’ by journalists to describe his music as Deadboy; “and I guess I exist in that space of London music that is a direct lineage from garage, but I wouldn’t consider my music to be garage. I would say grime was the main catalyst that got me into making music… but my childhood was pretty soaked in garage.”
“I never thought that tune would be as popular as it is,” Deadboy admits candidly. “I made it at the same time as some tunes I thought were a lot better that have been lost in time. It’s great that that tune went so far - Boy Better Know MCing over it, Katy B singing on it, it was on Rinse adverts, and gets played at techno nights at Berghain and stuff. It’s really weird.”
“I’ve bought black metal records, I’ve bought Tammy Wynette records, and I’ve bought Mahler Song Cycles. I don’t think you can distinguish between genres. There are either pieces of music you like or pieces of music you don’t, and it’s healthy to look for and listen to and appreciate as much different stuff as possible, especially if you make music.”
Looking at the widely-used press shot of a backlit figure exhaling smoke as London’s financial district looms in full illumination behind it, while listening to Deadboy’s music, it slowly becomes obvious how well the photographer (Rinse FM DJ and blossoming producer Steve Braiden) has captured his image. Enhanced by the hue of the light pollution, Deadboy cuts a kind of thoughtful figure - both visually and on record - seemingly at odds with both the city in the distance and the night that surrounds him; full of the same kind of bittersweet epiphany that’s been more than prevelant in the music he’s released to date.
STREET ART IN ASSOCIATION WITH WEAPON OF CHOICE
London-based graffiti artist Inkie first picked up a spray can back in 1984 and is now considered one of the street-art sceneâ€™s greatest treasures. Originally from Bristol, Inkie has built an incredible career out of writing on walls. He painted at the legendary Wild Bunch parties in his home city in the 1980s, joined forces with Banksy in the late-90s and then moved to London to design for Sega videogames. The subject of numerous books and films about the rise of graffiti in Britain, Inkie is a an important part of the history of the culture in this country, and as part of the Secret Wars collective (that takes live art battles to cities across the globe), he continues to actively push his beloved art form forward. WWW.INKIE.CO.UK WWW.WEAPONOFCHOICEGALLERY.CO.UK
I’ve been trying to work out a way to serve up gourmet food to the happy-meal generation.
‘CALLING THE RESISTANCE break
One of the chief exponents of all this is a 27-year-old producer who goes by the name of Break. Having released music on every credible label in the game, from Metalheadz to Soul:R, Break is the true D&B head’s hero, refusing to dilute his sound and consistently turning out the very purest of drum & bass, regardless of trends, fads or external pressures. Now, his second solo album has arrived - tellingly called ‘Resistance’ - and Break’s summoned together a band of producers who share his perspective to make a stand against the cookie-cutter, rhythmically mundane screech fests that have hijacked the good name of D&B over recent years. Featuring the likes of Spectrasoul, DJ Die, Calyx & Teebee, SP:MC and many more, ‘Resistance’ represents everything that’s good about D&B in 2010. Intelligent, opinionated and deeply passionate about drum & bass, Trap was honoured to meet with Break to find out more about his album and how he sees his role in the scene… The album’s called ‘Resistance’. There’s obviously a lot of meaning in that… “Yeah, I’ve been trying to make a stand for drum & bass, to resist the thing where people are either specifically making tunes for radio or producing cheesy dancefloor records. It’s a resistance against the whole culture of selling a crap record. A lot of D&B now is synth and sample-pack based; you get this synthetic, soulless and overly precise sound. That was the big thing with the album, to make it sound real and organic. All the music I love like funk and dub; that’s the vibe I’m trying to keep in D&B rather than all the electro synth sounds you hear now. “I was talking with Nico (No U Turn) about it, and if the kind of D&B we don’t like is plastic, then this music is wood. It’s organic, real music, and not heavily relying on synthetic sounds – that’s what I’ve been trying to resist, the trends in the way a lot D&B has gone. I’m fighting against my contemporaries; people are going down certain routes to sell their album, that’s what I’ve been trying to resist.” Do you not feel there’s a danger that what you’re resisting is actually the process of pushing the music forward and evolving the sound of D&B? Surely, it can’t stay the same forever? “It’s a hard one; you don’t want to do stuff that’s been done before and you want to be original; I hear some tunes now that sound like carbon copies of old 1998 tunes. I’m not into that, but then I’ve found when you try to make that sound,
there are certain restrictions that mean for it to sound like that, you have to do certain things. So I guess that’s what the challenge is now, maintaining funk, groove, vibe and darkness, but also do something that’s new and doesn’t just sound like a tune from 10 years ago. “I tried with some tunes on ‘Resistance’ to just make a track at 172bpm and not specifically aim for it to be a D&B tune. There are a lot of tried and tested techniques you can use in a D&B tune to make it work, and that’s what a lot of people rinse. I’ve tried to avoid that.” So has there been a different approach to your last album ‘Symmetry’ from 2008? Was there anything you did or didn’t want to do with ‘Resistance’? “I guess the collabs on the album are the big thing. There’ve been a lot of people I’ve wanted to work with over the last few years and it hasn’t happened, so this was a good opportunity to say; ‘Hey, let’s do a track for my project’. I was able to get the cream of the sort of people I’m really into. I’m really chuffed to have those names on it. I think that gives this LP a different dimension, as the music we’ve made together brings other perspectives to the music.” You talk so much about loving organic sounds, and you’ve stated your distaste for a lot of the D&B out there right now. As a D&B DJ, do you ever worry that crowds at certain events might not get what you play? “Yeah, it’s tough, I might get booked on a line-up with certain DJs, and obviously in a big rave environment, a lot of DJs are naturally gonna be playing the big crowd pleasers. The struggle I’ve always had is delivering something that people will still really like on the night and not bring a downer by going too deep and moody for people, without playing anything too blatantly gimmicky. “I do play jump-up raves, I did a Warning with Dillinja and I was a bit worried, firstly because I was playing with Dillinja, who’s a hero of mine, and then secondly because Warning has a big rave crowd. But it went down really well, it was relieving in a way because sometimes you worry the ravers aren’t expecting what you’re gonna play and not get it. I’ve been trying to work out a way to serve up gourmet food to the happy-meal generation without them realising. I think the track ‘Hold On’ sums up that approach for me. It’s still got a main-room vibe, a big build up, but it doesn’t drop into cheese and it’s not too over the top.” Do you never get tempted to make a synth-heavy, wobbly dancefloor track? “No. I’m just not that into that sound or that music. I’m not into synths as a starting point for a tune. It’s the drums; I love real drums and it’s difficult to make synthetic drums that actually have good funk and groove, it’s quite static. That’s where my core sound lies; the real drums and their sound, hence the name Break, and I never think anything can ever beat that. People have always danced to drums since the dawn of time so a real drum beat is always gonna work.” ‘RESISTANCE’ IS OUT NOW ON SYMMETRY RECORDINGS.
WHILE ONE MUSIC MAGAZINE ONCE FAMOUSLY DECLARED “D&B IS DEAD”, OVER A DECADE LATER, WE AT TRAP WOULD LIKE TO GO ON THE RECORD AS SAYING “D&B WILL NEVER DIE”. THIS IS NO BRAVE DECLARATION ON OUR PART, MORE A STATEMENT OF FACT. FOR NO MATTER HOW SOULLESS AND SHALLOW SO MUCH OF THE MUSIC BEING PLAYED AS D&B NOW IS, DIG BENEATH THE SURFACE AND THERE’S ALWAYS BEEN AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF THOUGHTFUL, PROGRESSIVE AND DEEPLY SOPHISTICATED MUSIC BEING MADE BY A WHOLE SLEW OF INCREDIBLY TALENTED AND DEDICATED INDIVIDUALS.
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REVIEWED BY JON COOK, JERYL WILTON, BELINDA ROWSE, SAM BATES, SAM COLLENETTE , CALLUM REECE, MIKE BURGESS & BASSMUSICB LOG.COM
DRUM & BASS
CONSISTENTLY SURPRISING IN ITS CONSTRUCTION AND DELIVERY
After 10 years honing his skills as a DJ, it seems 26-year-old Marco Del Horno’s time has well and truly come. Over the last year, his weekly show on the mighty Rinse FM has been rapidly gathering him fans from all corners of dance music thanks to a selection policy that takes in everything from garage to tech house to dubstep. Add to that DJ Swerve and P-Money’s recent re-working of his ‘Ho! Riddim’ and you have one of the most talked-about men in dance music right now. This 26-track mix couldn’t be more current or on-trend if it tried, working its way through multiple genres of bass-heavy dance music and consistently surprising in its construction and delivery. Packed with productions from the man himself, the Bullet Train boss injects massive tracks from the likes of Seiji, Roska and Foamo to provide one of the most captivating and accurate snap-shots of UK dance music out there right now.
BULLET TRAIN VOLUME 1 Mixed by Marco Del Horno (Bullet Train)
VARIOUS ARTISTS ‘Cash Antics Vol. 2’ (Well Rounded)
TERROR DANJAH ‘Undeniable’ (Hyperdub) The Terror Danjah renaissance continues with force as the prolific producer steps up to Hyperdub with an LP to follow two impressive 12”s - ‘Acid/Pro Plus’ and ‘Bruzin VIP/Hysteria’ for the label. Alleviated from the constrictions of the EP format, Terror is able to experiment more with the different facets of his sound. Featuring vocal contributions from the likes of Mz Bratt, Griminal, Bruza and D Double E, there are a number of tracks primed for a peak-time dancefloor, but he also casts the net wider. The aquatic minimalism of ‘SOS’, the mutant rumbling of ‘Sonar (Selassi Mix)’ and the soulful shuffle and bounce of ‘I’m Feeling U’ hint at Terror Danjah’s surprising versatility, while remaining cohesive and undeniably him. This is the sound of a man at the top of his game.
NUMAN ‘Race Against Time EP’ (Planet Mu)
Showing quite a drastic turn-around from his earlier releases, the ‘Race Against Time’ EP showcases Numan’s rapid development as an artist. From the twisted Eski stylings of ‘Voodoo’ to the dreamy house of ‘Photograph’, the EP swings between flavours, nailing each one perfectly. The only criticism we could level against it is that Numan hasn’t quite yet shaken the shadow of his influences.
Brighton’s Well Rounded crew, closely linked with the Edgeworld record store, have put together another set of refixes and reworkings that’ll work wonders on the floor without ever resorting to cheese. Deadboy does Drake, Skinnz relicks Lloyd, Doc Daneeka & Gatto Voila touch up Angie Stone and Bad Autopsy & Gongon finish things up nicely with their Mag refix.
DANNY BYRD ‘Rave Digger’ (Hospital) In case you hadn’t already guessed from the name, one look at the front cover of ‘Rave Digger’ tells you what the second album from Danny Byrd is all about. With the Bath-based producer dressed in the sort of boiler-suit and face-mask combo that early-90s hardcore heroes Altern8 were famed for, this LP continues where his remix of Liquid’s ‘Sweet Harmony’ left off and attempts to bring the vibes and sounds of 20 years ago to D&B. What that means is plenty of peak-time piano lines, twisting mentasms and sped-up vocals, all weaved into the kind of massive, melody-rich dancefloor D&B you’d expect from Danny Byrd. Radio One favourite ‘Ill Behaviour’ pretty much sums the album up – it’s blatantly a bit cheesy, but underneath the catchy vocals and synths, there’s a serious drum & bass backbone that never forgets itself for commercial acceptance.
ESKMO ‘Eskmo’ (Ninja Tune) With releases on Planet Mu and Warp, ESKMO has been hyped as one of the most exciting and forward-thinking electronic producers around. After eventually signing to Ninja Tune, he now drops his long-awaited eponymous debut LP. Very much building upon previous releases, ESKMO twists and contorts the fundamentals of his sound into an array of different manifestations. Creaking, lurching drums snap, shards of melody ricochet off each other before smashing, and the bass delves deep to plunder the depths of physicality. The album also sees ESKMO lending his vocals to a number of tracks, delivering recurring auto-tuned refrains that trickle through the brittle snares and elastic synths. An interesting record with plenty to immerse yourself in, but the restrictions of the sound palette start to become apparent on repeated listens.
TROLLEY SNATCHA ‘One Trick Pony EP’ (Dub Police) Trolley Snatcha is renowned for big-room bangers, and that’s exactly what he provides with ‘Pass Me By’ and ‘Rocco’s Revenge’, the first two tracks of this EP for Caspa’s Dub Police label. However, he proves there’s a lot more to his sound with the woozy rhythm of ‘Always On My Mind’ and the self-explanatory ‘We Go In Deep’.
SYSTEM ‘Sy Fy’ / ‘Springy’ (Integral Records)
B.RICH ‘Everyday Hustle 2010’ (Party Like Us)
WARRIOR ONE ‘King Pigeon EP’ (King Pigeon)
As a producer, System possesses a unique style that utilises contemporary tight drum stabs married with basslines that are reminiscent of jungle. ‘Sy Fy’ delivers an atmospheric intro that breaks down into silence before a hard-as-nails bassline punches into existence to create a roller that, just like System’s MC style, keeps the listener continuously bubbling.
Pittsburgh-based Barrett Richards is back, dropping his refreshed ‘Everyday Hustle’, complete with a new edit from AC Slater and a stonking remix from Flinch. B.Rich’s dubstep re-working focuses on uplifting leads, gliding bass and tribal drums, while AC’s edit delivers a subtle half-time drop, and Flinch takes things up a notch with a massive drop and fast-paced percussive bass rhythms.
Warrior One’s bashy, JA-inspired sound has made them one of Trap’s favourite acts of the last year. After exploding onto the scene with ‘Bad Like Jimmy Cliff’ back in March, they’ve smashed up the likes of Fabric and YoYo. This new EP, packed with influences from rave to niche to jungle is set to push the duo onto even greater acclaim.
CENTRAL SPILLZ ‘I Wish’ (Eddie K Rmx) / ‘What Ya Know About’ (Mensah Rmx) (Durkle Disco)
MJ COLE FT WILEY ‘From the Drop’ (A-List) This meeting of one of UK G’s most respected producers and the godfather of grime is bound to cause mass fanboy hysteria. Those expecting Wiley riding a classic MJ Cole garage production will be disappointed, as MJ meets Wiley somewhere in the middle. This is a minimal, bass-dominated, bongo-filled curve ball, over which Wiley lays bare his music industry experiences.
(Black Butter Records) Like your ragga vocals, huge basslines and massive broken drums? Rack N Ruin delivers yet another storming track for Black Butter. Following recent remixes for pop starlets, I Blame Coco and Aggro Santos, ‘Territory’ delivers everything the man is hyped for, namely sick production and superb vocalists. Not wanting to be clichéd, but this is fun, fresh and downright dirty.
SUBSCAPE ‘Time To Escape’ EP (Dub Police)
DOC DANEEKA ‘Television’ EP (PTN)
SLUGABED ‘Donkey Stomp’ EP (Donkey Pitch)
Big tunes here from Subscape. Kicking off with ‘Screw Up’, tortured vocals echo ghost-like among screeching synths, providing chaos and uproar a-plenty. ‘Just Coz’ takes things on an electro-infused tip with bleeping beats and pummeling stabs dancing enticingly around the soundscape, while ‘Mr Kipling’ completes the package with juddering synths and a rave melody – no sugar or additives in this bad boy!
Doc Daneeka returns to Ramp’s house-inclined sister label PTN for the ‘Television’ EP. Switching between the tough march of ‘Mario’s Mushrooms’ and the softer rave-inflected ‘Electric Sandwich Rhythm’, via the hard-hitting ‘Copz’ and dreamy ‘Like a Fool’, he continues to prove his uncanny ability to build tunes to get a dancefloor moving.
The Donkey Pitch night from Brighton starts its new label with a stunning effort of a four-track EP. Slugabed’s ‘Donkey Stomp’ is full of his inimitable swagger, bursting with riotous innovation. Mweslee re-imagines it as a hyper speed R&B track and Ghost Mutt pulls unimaginable amounts of funk and soul out of his two alien contributions.
Central Spillz is the Bristol-based collective made up of producer Superisk and some of the best young MCs working in bass-heavy music today. Ahead of the release of Spillz’s ‘Space Travel’ LP in November, this 12 sees HENCH bredrins Eddie K and Mensah get to work on two of the album’s bigger tracks with devastating results. We love this record.
RACK N RUIN FT NAVIGATOR & SLARTA JOHN ‘Territory’
LV ‘Boomslang’ft Okmalumkoolkat ‘Zharp’ (Hyperdub)
ANDY C ‘Nightlife 5’ (Ram Recordings) As drum & bass compilations go, they don’t come much more essential than Andy C’s ‘Nighlife’ series. As head of the mighty Ram Records, which launched and developed the careers of Chase & Status and Subfocus, Andy C knows a thing or two about spotting talent, and for this fifth instalment of the hugely successful mix series, the man known as ‘The Executioner’ has obviously been busy signing up some of D&B’s most promising new acts. Built round a core of forthcoming releases on Ram, ‘Nightlife 5’ is packed with exclusives that make this mix really stand out from the crowd. After the slight disappointment of the last two editions of ‘Nightlife’, we’re pleased to say that volume five is one of the best D&B mixes we’ve ever heard. Andy C really is a robot.
S.P.Y. ‘By Your Side’ (Spearhead)
Brazillian D&B producer S.P.Y. is of the most interesting artists working within the genre today. Finally getting released on Spearhead after months in limbo, ‘By Your Side’ is easily one of the most beautiful and emotional pieces of drum & bass we’ve heard in about 15 years. Cinematic strings, house vocals and an Amen workout for the drop. Simple perfection.
Kwaito gets a moment in the spotlight courtesy of Hyperdub, and this release sees LV chopping up Durban native Okmalumkoolkat’s vocals to strong effect. With a UK-funky production on the beat and an infectious riff, ‘Boomslang’ has been massive in the dance all summer. ‘Zharp’ strips things back to the bare essentials; less catchy but an engaging listen nonetheless.
BLACK SUN EMPIRE ‘Lights And Wires’ (BSE Recordings) One the first non-UK acts to break D&B, BSE have been infecting the sound since the early Millennium with their brand of filthy, face-melting beats. ‘Lights and Wires’ is the Dutch trio's fourth LP and covers a wider set of moods and tempos than previous outings without loosing the gritty techno edge that’s always made BSE standout. Tracks such as 'Fuzzball' and 'Black River Bay' see them exploring psyched-out electronica, 'The 405' and 'Wasteland' deliver a take on dubstep (and royally smash it), while the crew’s D&B fans will not be left disappointed with tracks such as 'Inspeak' and 'Fever' delivering the breakneck punches. Guaranteed to satisfy the old fans and bound to win them some fresh ears, 'Lights and Wires' is a delicious combination of dubstep and drum & bass.
VARIOUS ARTISTS ‘Adventures In Dubstep And Beyond’ (Ministry Of Sound) Those who’ve been caught up in the dubstep hyperbole will undoubtedly know names such as Rusko and Skream, and perhaps even congratulated themselves for downloading the latest Nero remix and repeatedly rinsing YouTube uploads of Mt Eden tracks after a night at Fabric. However, those looking to dig deeper into one of the past few years’ most hyped-up genres should look no further. Mixmag’s resident dubstep aficionado, Joe Muggs, brings his undeniable quality control to Ministry Of Sound’s latest compilation. As such ‘Adventures In Dubstep And Beyond’ is littered with hidden gems from Ikonika’s opening euphoric remix of Egyptrixx ‘The Only Way Up’ to the closing off-kilter grinding menace of J Da Flex’s ‘Knucklin’. As expected, this compilation is packed with quality from start to end and should be picked up by any dubstep fan, beginner or expert.
NEWHAM GENERALS ‘Bag Of Grease’ EP (Dirtee Stank) This five-track EP from the highly respected NG’s is an essential purchase for grime fans. Production comes from S.K.I.T.Z beatz and the NG’s own Footsie, with guest Skepta and a posthumous appearance from Esco Bars on the anthem ‘I’m A General’. This is raw, uncompromising grime – the moody and haunting, yet bouncy production provides the perfect backdrop for the MCs. Grime veterans showing the scene they still keep it raw.
After months of hype, Magnetic Man’s album is finally with us and dubstep has found its inevitable way onto a major record label. Following a year that’s seen the trio of Skream, Artwork and Benga stuck on the front cover of the NME and bitched about in The Guardian, there’s a massive weight of expectation on this record from genuine dubstep heads to culture-whoring
PEVERELIST & HYETAL ‘The Hum’ / ‘Rrr’ (Punch Drunk)
THE GASLAMP KILLER ‘Death Gate EP’ (Brainfeeder)
A unique coalescence of their styles, these tracks take the idiosyncratic percussive tendencies of Peverelist and match them with the charismatic melody work of Hyetal to beautiful effect. ‘The Hum’ is driven by a woozy, tribal stomp and shimmering glimmers of synth, while ‘Rrr’ tumbles over its own percussive trickery as tight 8-bit arpeggios hold it together.
Flying Lotus’ ever impressive Brainfeeder imprint serves up the ‘Death Gate’ EP from the hyperactive brain of Gaslamp Killer. A varied affair, it swings from bit-crushed beats and alien tremors on opener ‘Fun Over 100’ to dusty breaks and psyched-out melodies on ‘When I’m In Awe’ ft Gonjasufi, and back again. Both weird and wonderful.
VELOUR ‘The Velvet Collection’ (Night Slugs)
DJ FRESH & SIGMA ‘Lassitude’ / ‘Cylon’ (Breakbeat Kaos)
Some undercover action here on Night Slugs - the clues are in the sounds, but I can't reveal exactly who Velour are. There’s no need to worry about that though, as the music paints a picture of sleazy (un)sophistication; squelching and twisting synths play around sleazy drum machines, creating a UK take on both classic house and modern R&B.
Taken from DJ Fresh’s recent ‘Kryptonite’ album, ‘Lassitude’ sees the Breakbeat Kaos boss link up with his label’s most promising young talents Sigma for a trademark vocal-led slice of D&B aimed straight at the dancefloor. ‘Cylon’ offers a healthy point of contrast to the feel-good A-side, bringing a darker vibe and more complex bongo-led rhythm.
HEAVYFEET FT ROD HOTLY & KID BLISS ‘Last Two People’ (Stamp! Beats)
B-LIVE FT SPYDA ‘Modern Warfare EP’ (Adamantium Music) The latest single from veteran garage/grime MC B-Live comes courtesy of one of the best producers in grime; Teddy (formerly Silencer). B-Live more than shows his lyrical prowess on the original, but the remix featuring D Double E, Skepta and Footsie elevates this to a grime classic, as the energetic production combines perfectly with some of the genre’s elite rhymers.
Spacey vocals courtesy of Rod Hotly and a guest hot verse from London-based MC Kid Bliss combine for a sexy, sing-a-long hip-hop original here. HeavyFeet’s own Club Dub delivers a thumping 4/4 house mix, using less vocal and bringing epic synth stabs, while recent chart-topper DCUP drops an all-out disco assault, complete with funky bass and pitch-bent chords.
music journalists. Dubstep has finally hit the mainstream and ‘Magnetic Man’ is perfectly timed to make the most of it all, delivering a blend of club-friendly instrumentals and full vocal tracks in a very slick package. ‘Fire’ with Ms Dynamite, ‘Perfect Stranger’ with Katy B and ‘Getting Nowhere’ with John Legend are all exceptional fusions of songwriting and dubstep, providing ‘Magnetic Man’ with memorable highs and promising to carry the sound of dubstep even further still.
MAGNETIC MAN Magnetic Man (Columbia)
BREAK ‘Resistance’ (Symmetry Recordings) Break returns with his second solo album for his own label Symmetry, and this time he’s bought some friends along. Featuring a who’s-who of credible D&B artists, ‘Resistance’ is half collaboration project, half solo work, and all the better for it. While Break is renowned for producing the very purest and most sophisticated D&B around, his last LP suffered slightly from a monotony of sound. Three years later, Break has opened up as a producer and ‘Resistance’ demonstrates a bredth of moods and textures across 16 tracks of utter sickness. With a deeper variety within his own tracks, the featured collaborations elevate ‘this LP even further. Calling on the likes of Spectrasoul, Die, Calyx & Teebee and Nico, Break has managed to deliver one of the finest D&B albums we’ve ever heard. Essential.
MUMDANCE ‘Mum Decent’ EP (Mad Decent)
Mumdance is the Brightonbased producer with the best name in dance music. Fact. After remixing for the likes of Santigold and Gucci Mane, this EP sees Mumdance deliver three original tracks. With a diverse and scattered set of sonic influences and featuring vocals from UK singer Esser and grime MC Badness, this EP is so hip it hurts.
R1 RYDERS ‘Full Throttle’ EP (R1 Ryders)
FANTASTIC MR FOX ‘Evelyn’ EP (Black Acre)
Hotly tipped new producers R1 Ryders follow up their debut ‘Burnout’ with a four-track EP of grime, dubstep, house and bassline influenced almost-Funky bangers. ‘Hydraulic’ is the standout rave detonator, getting love from some of the biggest DJs around - with a dubstepstyle build and infectious driving rhythm, the twisted synths and bassline drop kills the rave!
Fantastic Mr Fox is one of the most criminally underrated producers around at the moment, as he exemplifies once again with the ‘Evelyn’ EP. Picking up where the preceding ‘Sketches’ EP left off, he amalgamates an R&B flourish into the 2-step leanings of ‘Sketches’, drawing for soulful vocals and colourful synths. An absolute must have.
NEED FOR MIRRORS ‘Super Earth EP’ (Nu Directions)
VARIOUS ARTISTS ‘Scientist Launches Dubstep Into Outer Space’ (Tectonic)
Ask anyone who knows their dub to name a favourite producer and, more often than not, the name Scientist is what you’ll hear. Now, in a stunning coup, one of dubstep’s most revered labels, Tectonic, has enlisted the legendary engineer to rework 12 tracks from the cream of the genre's producers including Mala, Shackleton and Kode9. Over a year in the making, the results are breathtaking as Scientist gets to work joining the dots between dubstep and one of its most obvious pools of influence. Enhancing the dread vocals of Kode 9’s ‘Abeng’, breathing organic life into the modernism of Guido’s ‘Korg Back’ and overhauling Mala’s ‘City Cycle’ into furlongs-deep dub, the ambition of this project is only matched by its brilliance.
After recent outings on some of the scene’s premier labels, Need For Mirrors (AKA HLZ and DJ Mosus) drop this experimental extended player on Andy Mystic’s Nu Directions imprint. Expect razor-sharp production awash with sci-fi atmospherics providing four tracks of expertly crafted D&B. Highlights include the heavily rotated ‘Panoramic Views’, ‘Moving Pictures’ and, for the collector, the CD version contains bonus track ‘Lasers’. Whether your a DJ or home listener this release has got something for you.
SURVIVAL FT CHRISTINA NICHOLA ‘Hand It Over’ / ‘Operator’ (Audio Tactics) Survival links up with singer Christina Nicola for their third collaboration in as many releases. With a downtempo album forthcoming from the duo, this 12 on Survival’s own Audio Tactics imprint once again demonstrates both his production genius and Christina Nichola’s haunting vocal capabilities. Moody and foreboding, yet beautiful and delicate, this is pure quality from one of D&B’s most underrated producers.
EACH ISSUE, TRAP CASTS A LIGHT ON THE PARTIES AND PROMOTERS THAT ARE AT THE VERY HEART OF OUR SCENE. THIS MONTH, WE HEAD WEST TO BRISTOL TO HEAR FROM THE GUYS BEHIND A NIGHT THAT WE AT TRAP AND THOUSANDS OF YOU LOT DEEPLY LOVE… ‘SHIT THE BED’.
SINCE ITS FIRST EVENT BACK IN 2007, SHIT THE BED HAS GROWN TO BECOME ONE OF THE BIGGEST RAVES IN THE UK AND EARNED A REPUTATION AMONG RAVERS, DJS AND FELLOW PROMOTERS THAT’S SECOND TO NONE. WITH A MUSIC POLICY THAT DEFIES DEFINITION, THE FIVE STB PARTIES THAT TAKE PLACE EACH YEAR CONSISTENTLY SELL OUT THANKS TO MIND-BLOWING LINE-UPS THAT TAKE IN ALMOST EVERY ANGLE OF ELECTRONIC, BASS-HEAVY MUSIC. With their next massive rave at their current home Motion only weeks away, Trap caught up with two of the three brains behind STB, Rob Cracknell, Tom Hoyle (the third is Oli Ball) for an insight into one of the most exciting events in the country… TRAP: HOW DID STB START? Tom: “The first STB was on 6 May 2007 at Clockwork. It was so sweaty the paint came off the walls.” Rob: “It was basically a bigger version of our regular night that’s still running now, The Blast. I guess it was an old-skool and jungle night really. We booked Congo Natty at a time when they weren’t playing that much and we’ve always loved Ratpack, so they were there too. The booking we were most excited about though was Nicky Blackmarket b2b Kenny Ken with Fearless, doing a two-hour jungle set.” Tom: “It sold out, it was amazing. We’d hoped to get about 700 in, but we went well over capacity. Everybody loved it, despite how hot and busy it was.” Rob: “After that, I think people looked at our night and started to think ‘Maybe they’re not just dickheads,’ and started to take us a bit more seriously.”
Tom: “When I was in halls at uni, I lived with guys that were into hard house, free parties, whatever, and it was really difficult to find a club that we could all go to together. Half of us wouldn’t wanna go to a D&B night, half wouldn’t wanna go to a house night. Now, I think it’s better, people don’t care so much and you have nights like ours with D&B, electro, dubstep, house all on one line-up.” Rob: “STB’s got that eclecticism, but we always make sure at least a third of the line-up are new acts that have never played before at our nights. We want the music to be completely on point and credible, but then you also want to have that beaming face – don’t get me wrong something like Renegade Hardware is an incredibly sick night, but if you can combine that sort of musical integrity with a party that means people leave with a beaming face and getting laid, then that’s the ultimate.” YOU’RE KNOWN FOR BOOKING THE BIGGEST AND BEST ARTISTS, AT EXACTLY THE RIGHT TIMES. BUT BEYOND THE HEADLINERS, YOU HAVE A HEALTHY LIST OF RESIDENTS, TELL US ABOUT THOSE… Rob: “One of the best things about STB is the family – Eddie K, Interface, Koast, the Signal guys, Dub Boy, Fireman Sam, C- Stike-Z, Rachel on front of house. It’s a family; everyone’s down the club early, we all drink together afterwards, there’s a really tight vibe and that helps.” Tom: “All those guys, every time we book them they excel. We’ll walk into a room and think ‘What’s going on here?’ and it’ll be the residents destroying it. Rob: “And its great to see everyone getting bigger – Dub Boy, Eddie K, Interface are all doing really well, so we’re really lucky to have those kind of guys around us, that’s a massive, massive thing…”
AS YOU SAY YOURSELVES, THAT FIRST STB HAD QUITE A SINGULAR FOCUS IN TERMS OF MUSIC POLICY, WHEREAS NOW YOU’RE RENOWNED FOR THE BREADTH OF STYLES YOUR LINE-UPS COVER. HOW DID THE NIGHT EVOLVE INTO THE MULTI-GENRE MASH-UP IT’S BECOME?
AND FINALLY, FOR ANY BUDDING PROMOTERS OUT THERE, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE SECRET OF YOUR SUCCESS?
Tom: “We started to really mix up the rooms when we moved from Clockwork to Lakota, after a Skream two-hour set in room two. We didn’t realise quite how big he was getting – after that we knew he had to go in the main room. From then on the biggest acts went in the main room, regardless of what sort of music they played.”
Rob: “I remember Ken Mac from Hardcore Beats saying to me: ‘Without the ravers, there’s no rave’. That’s why you’ve always got to make sure the ravers get the best from a night. If you go to a rave, you’ll never be able to get that time back again, so we have to smash it – we want every STB to be special
Rob: “We were incredibly lucky to come up at a time when music just changed. Dubstep came through, but we never had any worries of being labelled bandwagon-jumpers, because we were there at a time when it just happened organically. We never felt like we had to jump on any bandwagon.”
T: “Those nights when we were younger and we’d come home talking about it for days afterwards. If we can create that experience for someone, then that’s pretty special”
Tom: “Don’t take yourself to seriously”
THE NEXT TWO SHIT THE BEDS ARE TAKING PLACE ON 15 OCTOBER AND 4 DECEMBER AT MOTION IN BRISTOL.
#002 OUT DECEMBER 2010
16.10.10: THE BLAST PRESENTS
SHIT THE BED
GREEN VELVET LIVE / CLAUDE VON STROKE / ANDREW WEATHERALL APPLEPIPS with SCUBA / RAMADANMAN / APPLEBLIM / AL TOURETTES / JULIO BASHMORE / VENT / OCTOBER 10PM - 5AM £16 ADV
SUB FOCUS - LIVE / TODDLA T / REDLIGHT / STARKEY / DJ FEADZ 16-BIT / ED RUSH / RAFFERTIE / NU:TONE / BEN UFO / SPECTRASOUL / EDDIE K / EATS EVERYTHING / DUB BOY / ARSEQUAKE / DUBIOUS / SIGNAL DJS / FIREMAN SAM RORY POWER / THE MUSKETS 10PM - 6AM £16 ADV
22.10.10: SAN CITY HIGH TOUR
23.10.10: CRAZY LEGS vs URBAN NERDS
KISSY SELL OUT HADOUKEN! (LIVE)
30.10.10: JUST JACK HALLOWEEN
05.11.10: THE GUNPOWDER PLOT
06.11.10: D-STYLE PRESENTS
SMERINS ANTI-SOCIAL CLUB THE INVISIBLE CIRCUS
LOS ALBERTOS (LIVE) / DEEKLINE / YES SIR BOSS (LIVE) / ED SOLO DOGSHOW (LIVE) / CHEEBA (AV SET) / MR BENN / BEATSY COLLINS YOSHI / BONFIRE AND FIREWORKS!!! 10PM TO 5AM // £12 ADV
SCRATCH PERVERTS / JOKER / DJ HYPE / GROOVERIDER / MISTAJAM ALIX PEREZ / JAKES (DJ SET) / BAR9 / D*MINDS / EDDIE K & BEEZEY LOADSTAR (XAMPLE & LOMAX) / TEK ONE / KOMANAZMUK ROCKWELL / FRED V & GRAFIX / KAPACITY / SPECIAL GUEST: D DOUBLE E / HOSTED BY: DYNAMITE / DREAD / KOAST & MORE 10PM TO 6AM // £16 ADV
12.11.10: ANNIE MAC PRESENTS
13.11.10: NINJA TUNE XX
LEE MORTIMER / MAN LIKE ME: LIVE / THE SQUATTERS KITCH & SYNCH / STATIX / THE OTHER TRIBE / PRESSURE DJS / THE BANDIT PLUS VERY SPECIAL GUEST 10PM - 5AM £12 / 15 ADV
DMZ 3HR SET FEAT MALA, LOEFAH & COKI / BREAKAGE PINCH / DOC SCOTT / PEVERLIST / CRAZY D, SGT POKES / DREAD MC / DISCIPLES (2HR SET) / DUBKASM (LIVE) / JAH LOKKO / DOWNBEAT MELODY / ALTERED NATIVES / RSD / ROB SMITH / DUB BOY & ATKI 2 / BLAZEY / ZOID B2B BUF 10PM - 6AM £14 ADV
RUSKO / BOY 8 BIT / IDIOTPROOF / CONGOROCK TOTALLY ENORMOUS EXTINCT DINOSAURS: LIVE / MOWGLI SOLO / DUBIOUS / PARDON MY FRENCH DJS / DISRUPT:ON INC 10PM TO 6AM // £14 ADV
EZ / DEADBOY / MZ BRATT / STICKY / ILL BLUE KLOSE ONE & RATTUS RATTUS / SCRATCHA DVA / MOSCA MORE TBC!!! 10PM - 5AM £12 / 15 ADV
WILL SAUL / SUBB-AN / MARTYN / JOY ORBISON FUTUREBOOGIE / DAN WILD / TOM RIO / SUPERULTRAMEGA 10PM - 6AM £10 LTD ADV
MIXMASTER MIKE / STEINSKI / THE BUG FT FLOWDAN: LIVE DJ FOOD & DK (AV SET) / JAMMER: LIVE / DJ VADIM QEMISTS / KING CANNIBAL / CHEEBA (AV SET) / DOP ALLSTARS 10PM TO 6AM // £16 ADV