#002 SPECTRASOUL JAMMER & MUMDANCE SBTRKT LOGAN SAMA CHEBA
At the beating heart of the bass-music generation.
january | february 2011
CHASE STATUS TRUE TO THEIR ROOTS
NO MORE IDOLS THE NEW ALBUM OUT 31ST JANUARY INCLUDES ‘END CREDITS’, ‘HEAVY’, ‘LET YOU GO’,
‘HYPEST HYPE’ AND ‘BLIND FAITH’
IT’S A TRAP... Hello and welcome to the second issue of Trap Magazine, your one-stop resource for the all latest on the world of bass-heavy music, fashion and street art. For this second instalment, we’ve outdone ourselves, bringing you a whole load of interviews with some of the biggest and most interesting DJs, artists and producers around. On top of that, we’ve got plenty of fashion, reviews, news and listings to get you through the two most depressing months of the year. So once again, 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
BOSS SELECTIONS DJ’S TOP TENS PLUS IN-DEPTH CHARTS
SCENE REPORT DRUM & BASS ARENA AWARDS 2010
TRAP X THE DAILY STREET
FASHION IN WITH THE OLD...
STREET ART CHEBA
EVENT FOCUS BASSLACED
FEATURES. JAMMER & MUMDANCE
CHASE & STATUS
FRONT COVER: Chase & Status by Laura Lewis. WORDS: Jon Cook, Oli Marlow, Kasha Malyckyj, Sam Bates, Belinda Rowse, Sam Collenette, Jeryl Wilton, Callum Reece, Amy Stiff, bassmusicblog.com, Mike Burgess, Sophie Thomas, Pinot. PICTURES: Laura Lewis, Lisa Wormsley, Zo Om, Zachery Saitoti, Craig Minchington. Sim Higginson, ASHES57, Ben Price EDITOR: Jon Cook CREATIVE DIRECTOR/DESIGN: Andy Hayes FASHION EDITOR: Kasha Malyckyj SALES & ADVERTISING: Iain Blackburn MARKETING & DISTRIBUTION: Justin Iriajen SOCIAL NETWORKING: Amy Stiff WEB: 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, Sam & Trev @ WoC. TRAP MAGAZINE, Unit 14, The Coach House, Upper York Street, Bristol BS2 8QN. WWW.TRAPMAGAZINE.CO.UK
THE HOTTEST EVENTS ON PLANET BASS
katy b live dates dj marky fabric live launch shit the bed club listings
BASSPOINTS KATY B LIVE DATES FEBRUARY
2010 has been a phenomenal year for London songstress Katy B. First she turned an old Benga track into the sing-a-long rave anthem of the summer ‘Katy On A Mission’, then came her collaboration with DJ Zinc on ‘Louder’ and after spending the autumn performing alongside Magnetic Man on their nationwide tour she’s rounding off the year with a zeitgeist seizing collaboration with Ms Dynamite on ‘Lights On’. Despite now being a bonafide pop star in her own right, there could be no better representation of the underground bass music scene we love than Katy B. With an album in the works, 2011 is set to be huge for the young Londoner, if you’ve not yet seen her perform, make sure you catch Katy touring alongside Tinie Tempah throughout February.
19/02 Manchester O2 Apollo 20/02 Nottingham Rock City 22/02 Glasgow O2 ABC 23/02 Leeds Academy 24/02 Birmingham O2 Academy 25/02 London HMV Hammersmith Apollo 26/02 Southampton Guildhall 27/02 Brighton Dome 28/02 Plymouth Pavilions
CLUB LISTINGS JAN / FEB 2011 FRIDAY 31/12/10 TORQUE @ B45, BRISTOL Marcus Intalex, Commix, Alix Perez & Spectrasoul, Ulterior Motive, Messy MC. URBAN NERDS X ATG NYE @ SECRET WAREHOUSE, LONDON Mala, Roller Express, Nicky BM, Navigator, Sukh Knight, Rack N Ruin, P Money.
FABRICLIVE 55 DJ MARKY LAUNCH PARTY FRIDAY 4 FEBRUARY @ FABRIC, LONDON DJ Marky is one of the greatest DJs to have ever touched a Technics 1210. The ever-smiling Brazilian’s career has spanned nearly a quarter of a century, pushing him to world-wide acclaim for his energy-packed DJ sets. It’s surprising it’s taken this long, but Marky has finally been asked to provide a mix for the always impressive FABRICLIVE series. The launch party takes place on 4 February and delivers a wicked line-up that includes DJ Zinc, Donaeo, Scratch Perverts, Oneman and the Urban Nerds fam alongside Marky himself.
FRIDAY 07/01/11 HOSPITALITY @ FABRIC, LONDON Danny Byrd, Shy FX, Emalkay, Roska, SPY, Stenchman, Cyantific, Synkro. FRIDAY 14/01/11 NU MOTION @ CAFE 1001, LONDON Need for Mirrors ‘Super Earth’ Launch Party. Need For Mirrors, Sam KDC, Andy Mystic, MCs Mantmast & Burley FRIDAY 4/02/11 BASS RATE (FT SOME PLACE)@ CABLE, LONDON Borgore, BAR9, Wrongton, DC Breaks, Klose One. SATURDAY 22/01/11 BUNCH OF CUTS @ CABLE, LONDON Calibre, dBridge, Doc Scott, Klute, Marcus Intalex, S.P.Y, SP, DRS.
It’s nights like Shit The Bed and their embrace of all different sorts of bass-heavy dance music that inspired Trap to be born. Consistently booking a combination of the biggest and the most cutting-edge artists from across the full spectrum of bass-centric music, STB has earned a reputation as one of the most essential raves in the UK. For their seventeenth instalment, STB is bringing yet another eye-popping line-up to Bristol’s massive Motion club. With Benga, Sinden, Breakage, Mistajam, Donaeo, Pearson Sound and Douster already confirmed, and a whole lot more yet to be announced, STB are kicking off the New Year in style.
DEVOTION @ CONCORDE, BRIGHTON LTJ Bukem, Sigma, Delta Heavy, Conrad. FRIDAY 28/01/11 SPECTRUM TENTH BIRTHDAY @ EWER STREET WAREHOUSE, LONDON Ms Dynamite, Joker, Doorly, 16 Bit, Pendulum. SATURDAY 05/02/11 THE BLAST @ THEKLA, BRISTOL Plastician, Smutlee, Funkineven, Koast. HOSPITALITY @ CARDIFF SU, CARDIFF High Contrast, Reso, Danny Byrd, Bar 9, Netsky, Koan Sound, Wrec, Dynamite. FRIDAY 11/02/11 BASSLACED @ CABLE, LONDON Shy FX, Redlight, Girl Unit, Silkie, Mensah, 16 Bit. ROTATION @ BACKLINE LIVE, GUILDFORD Friction, Subterra & Dekko, Bazil & Lean, More TBC. FRIDAY 4/3/11 HESSLE AUDIO @ LIFE, BRIGHTON Pearson Sound, Ben UFO, Pangaea + more. EVERY TUESDAY BIGGER THAN BARRY @ MINT CLUB, LEEDS All the best bass-heavy sounds, every Tuesday during term time.
SHIT THE BED SATURDAY 15 JANUARY @ MOTION, BRISTOL
1. STREET CASUALS
Street Casuals is a new online store offering menswear from some of Trap’s favourite brands including Penfield, Dunderdon, Actual Pain, Rockers NYC and the super-limited One Denim. Based in the UK, the site is a one-stop gateway to hard -to-find and limited-edition pieces, as well as offering accessories and footwear. These are our top picks from what’s available now... STREETCASUALS.COM
2. LACOSTE LEGENDS December marked the anniversary of the legendary L .12.12; a polo shirt created by Rene Lacoste in 1933 that has stuck through time with its authentic, classic look. To celebrate the occasion, Lacoste has teamed up with 12 hot collaborators, including the likes of iD, Stones Throw, Colette, Shoe Master, and Jazzie B. These collaborators have created 12 original kicks that represent both Lacoste and themselves. Our favourites include the Nash Money inspired Sneaker Freaker kick featuring a moccasin stitch crafted onto a chukka style boot, and French electro producer Sebastien Tellier's classic mid shoe with a futuristic strap, reminiscent of the Air Yeezy. Pick up a pair at Foot Patrol, 80 Berwick St, London. WWW.FOOTPATROL.CO.UK
3. URBANEARS When rocking that statement look, it doesn’t always have to end at your freshest kicks or that vintage snap back. Trap fully recommends Urbanears to continue that look right through to your accessories. Urbanears come in a wide range of colours and styles and are for everyone that likes their music loud and their style on point. URBANEARS.COM
4. EVOL HEIST If you’re looking for that perfect gift for someone special (yeah, we’re talking to the guys right now) or you’re a lovely lady that likes to rock a sexy black body-con with statement accessories, Evol Heist jewellery has it covered. Beautifully designed and handcrafted, these edgy perspex pieces are top of our wish list. Choose from the ‘Starry Nights’ collection, or turn to the dark side with a ‘Touch of Evol’ and transform your hand with the skeleton bracelet. If that still doesn’t satisfy your appetite, Evol Heist also offer a custom-made service. EVOLHEIST.COM
5. DIAMOND SUPPLY CO X CASSIE X ESTEVAN ORIOL Put a hot R&B singer in some sexy lingerie on the front of a fresh tee, and you’ve got a winner right away. Diamond Supply Co and notorious photographer Estevan Oriol, (famed for his hip-hop photography) have teamed up with the first lady of Bad Boy Records, Cassie, to create these sexy-without-being-seedy t-shirts. Grab one of the four designs, in either black or white colourways, from premier skate store FiftyFifty. 5050STORE.COM
6. 5PREVIEW 5preview is the brainchild of print designer and illustrator Emeli Mårtensson who, after growing tired of working for a big Italian fashion house, decided to print her own t-shirts to sell online. The big, black and bold prints on tailored white tees (or vice versa) proved popular and their signature upside down Chanel CC ‘Cavour’ design secured the brand’s status as a cult label, spawning many high-street copycat versions. Ironic, when you consider that the concept of 5preview is to play on familiar logos such as Chanel, YSL and Louis Vuitton, and to manipulate iconic symbols such as the Eiffel Tower and Mickey Mouse. Log on to 5preview’s online store where among the amazing tees you’ll find super-cool jewellery and handbags, as well as this season’s collection of oversized hoodies and college sweaters – we’re loving the fit of the super-snug 55 jacket! 5PREVIEW.BLOGSPOT.COM
7. HAPPY FEET You’ll have the coolest (and warmest) feet in town this winter with a pair of Happy Socks. Check out this Giles Deacon collection of limitededition designs, which gives you a different print for everyday of the week. HAPPYSOCKS.COM
The biggest DJs in the game let us in on the tracks they’re playing right now…
‘BEN UFO HEAD HIGH ‘It's A Love Thing (Piano Invasion)’ Power House 101 Hard Wax affiliate Shed comes out with one of the most welcome surprises of the year with this fearsomely percussive tribute to old-school piano hardcore. LEROSA ‘Tanned Legs’ Uzuri Spearheading Uzuri Recordings, Lakuti has been a lynchpin of the London house scene for years. This tune, driven predominantly by broken beat patterns and powerful low end, is something of a departure for the label, yet its grounding in traditional Chicago sounds roots it firmly within the framework of contemporary house music. PEARSON SOUND ‘Blue Eyes’ Hessle Audio This is the B-side of the most recent release by David Kennedy, aka Ramadanman/Pearson Sound. Despite my obvious bias, I don't think many would argue that it rounds off what has been an extraordinary year for the producer.
HESSLE AUDIO A MADE UP SOUND ‘Rear Window’ (Shattered Mix) Delsin David Huisman’s house-orientated project has generated a lot of attention over the past year, and this 12” only further cements his reputation as one of the most talented and prolific artists in his field. This effortlessly hypnotic tune is the B-side of his release for Delsin, and has been a crucial part of my sets for the past few months. UNTOLD ‘Stereo Freeze’ R&S This 12” for recently reinvigorated Belgian label R&S displays Untold’s diversity across both sides, but ‘Stereo Freeze’ deserves credit as being one of the only tunes in my sets recently that justifies regular reloads. FUNKYSTEPZ FT LOUISE WILLIAMS ‘Whispers’ Dub RinseFM residents Funkystepz will be dominating the London house music press next year. Admirably diverse in their productions, two of their darker instrumental cuts have recently been signed to Hyperdub, yet they still remain able to produce gorgeous, seductive pop-house such as this tune featuring Louise Williams on vocals. BLAWAN ‘Bohla’ Dub 2011 will be an excellent year for Blawan if this track is anything to go by, removing his trademark percussion from its usual context and framing it around an acid house template. ADDISON GROOVE ‘5 Minutes Of Funk’ Dub That I could’ve picked at least six Addison Groove tunes for this top ten is evidence enough that the talented producer of 808-led drum-machine funk is going to have no difficulty following up on the success of ‘Footcrab’. SCUBA ‘So You Think You're Special’ (Joe Remix) Hotflush Fans of Joe’s previous work may be surprised by this release, a 120bpm jilted house remix of Hotflush owner Scuba. After hearing this for the first time, the piano riff was rooted inescapably in my head for weeks.
AARON CARL ‘Crucified’ (Xdb Remixes) Millions Of Moments These remixes by Sistrum Recordings' XDB were released shortly before the tragic death of Aaron Carl earlier this year, a fantastically talented and under-rated producer of Detroit house, whose discography spanned everything from the vocal cuts that recently dominated London pirate radio - such as Nick Holder's remix of Oasis - to the sleazy, jacking booty house of ‘Down’ and ‘Wash It’.
S.P.Y. METALHEADZ / INNERGROUND 1. LOGISTICS & ILL.SKILLZ ‘Untitled’ Dub 2. S.P.Y ‘Favela’ VIP Metalheadz 3. S.P.Y ‘By Your Side’ Spearhead 4. CALIBRE ‘Even If’ Signature 5. SURVIVAL ‘Sky’ (Break Remix) Dub 6. S.P.Y & TOTAL SCIENCE ‘Low End Theory’ Dub 7. RUFIGE KRU ‘Terminator’ (S.P.Y VIP) Razors edge 8. FRICTION & KTEE ‘Set It Off’ (Icicle Remix) Shogun Audio 9. Q PROJECT & 8BITS ‘T4’ Innerground 10. MARKY & S.P.Y ‘Mystic Sunset’ Innerground APPLEBLIM. APPLE PIPS 1. AXEL BOMAN ‘Esteban Pellegrino’ Hypercolour 2. KOWTON ‘She Don't Jack’ Idle Hands 3. SHACKLETON ‘Man On A String’ Woe To The Septic Heart 4. OBJEKT ‘The Goose That Got Away’ Objekt 5. JULIO BASHMORE ‘Battle For Middle You’ Dub 6. ORPHAN101 ‘Propa’ Apple Pips 7. MARCUS INTALEX ‘Lino 2 Wino’ Soul:R 8. ARKIST ‘Rendezvous’ Apple Pips 9. BASS CLEF ‘Promises’ (Peverelist & Appleblim Rmx) Blank Tapes 10. ARP101 ‘Flush’ Eglo BODDIKA. NAKED LUNCH / SWAMP81 / INSTRA:MENTAL 1. COSMIN TRG ‘Separat’ Dub 2. BODDIKA ‘Sometimes’ Swamp81 3. JOY ORBISON ‘Kiss Me Quick’ Dub 4. BODDIKA ‘Grand Prix’ Naked Lunch 5. INSTRA:MENTAL ‘When I Dip’ Nonplus+ 6. LOWTEC ‘Wonderkidd’ Nonplus+ 7. ADDISON GROOVE ‘Night to Remember’ Dub 8. BODDIKA ‘You Tell Me’ Nonplus+ 9. INSTRA:MENTAL ‘Sun Rec’ Semantica 10. INSTRA:MENTAL ‘Thomp’ Nonplus+ MENSAH. HENCH / DEEP MEDI 1. DJ FIRST AID & PULSAR ‘Bombaclat’ Gutter Funk 2. ADDISON GROOVE ‘Work It’ Swamp 81 3. MENSAH ‘D.U.T.T.Y’ Dub 4. BODDIKA ‘2727’ Swamp 81 5. JOKER ‘The Vision’ Dub 6. MENSAH ‘The Gambia’ Deep Medi 7. 16 BIT ‘FRZR 9000’ MTA 8. ARKIST ‘Trapped In Tivoli’ Dub 9. MELÉ 'Trappin' (Mensah Rmx) Grizzly 10. DROP THE LIME 'Hot As Hell' (Mensah Rmx) Ministry Of Sound
SKREAM. RINSEFM / MAGNETIC MAN 1. YOUNGMAN MC ‘Do U Know’ Dub 2. LETHAL BIZZLE ‘Pow 2011’ (Skreamix) Dub 3. BENGA ‘Electro West’ Tempa 4. BODDIKA ‘Grand Prix’ Naked Lunch 5. BREAK & DJ DIE ‘Slow Down’ Symmetry 6. SKREAM ‘Sea Sick’ Dub 7. SKREAM & EXAMPLE ‘Shot Yourself In The Foot Again’ Dub 8. YOUANDEWAN ‘Zeal’ Disfigured Dubz 9. SKREAM ‘Phatead’ Dub 10. P MONEY ‘Left The Room’ (Skreamix) Dub DELTA HEAVY. RAM 1. DELTA HEAVY ‘Midnight Express’ Ram 2. PHACE & MISANTHROP ‘Desert Orgy’ Neosignal 3. PYRAMID ‘Cruel’ (Skism Remix) Funkatech Records 4. BROOKES BROS FT ROBERT OWENS ‘Beautiful’ BBK 5. NERO ‘Welcome Reality’ MTA 6. CULTURE SHOCK ‘Footloose’ Ram 7. DELTA HEAVY ‘Space Time’ Ram 8. ZOMBIE NATION ‘Squeak’ UKW Records 9. LOADSTAR ‘Terror Drone’ Ram 10. DELTA HEAVY ‘Minus’ Ram REDLIGHT. DIGITAL SOUNDBOY / MTA 1. REDLIGHT FT WRETCH 32 ‘So High’ Dub 2. REDLIGHT ‘Source 16’ Dub 3. JAMIE GEORGE ‘Flying Saucer’ Dub 4. REDLIGHT ‘To The Sky’ Dub 5. JULIO BASHMORE ‘Battle For Middle You’ Dub 6. REDLIGHT ‘Gash’ Dub 7. REDLIGHT ‘System 9098’ Dub 8. TODDSKA ‘Gal From England’ Dub 9. BENGA ‘Electro West’ Tempa 10. MS DYNAMITE FT MC DREAD ‘Light It Up’ Dub CUTLINE. NSFW / NEVER SAY DIE 1. DANNY BYRD & NETSKY 'Tonight' (Cutline Rmx) Hospital 2. 501 'Somewhere In Time' (High Rankin Rmx) NSFW 3. SKRILLEX 'Rock N Roll' Mau5trap 4. CHASE & STATUS FT TAKURA & SUB FOCUS ‘Flashing Lights’ 5. CUTLINE ‘Let Me Go’ NSFW 6. DOCTOR P ‘Big Boss’ Circus 7. THE PROTOTYPES ‘Cascade’ (Cutline Rmx) Infrared 8. MEDICS ‘Supersonic’ NSFW 9. DOWNLINK ‘Factory’ EX7 10. MILLIONS LIKE US ‘Step Out Of Line’ NSFW
NU:TONE FT NATALIE WILLIAMS ‘Do You Like It’ One of many forthcoming tracks from Dan Nu:Tone. I just love how this track drops. CHASE & STATUS ‘Blind Faith’ (Loadstar Remix) Xample and Lomax have been called in by Chase & Status to do the drum & bass duties on their latest single. There’s a real 'If We Ever' kind of atmosphere to their remix. BROOKES BROTHERS ‘Beautiful’ Ever since I first heard this tune, it’s been stuck in my head. Eight months later, I still can’t get enough of it.
HOSPITAL SHAMEBOY ‘Strobot’ (Netsky Remix) It was an honour to be asked to do a remix of this Belgian electro classic. Every time I’ve played it so far, it seems to work really well on the dancefloor. HAZARD ‘Bust A Move’ This guy is a hero of mine, and is always keeping it fresh with his productions. This is such a good track. NERO ‘Me And You’ The next single from Nero. It’s got a really strong melody and, for me, is definitely one of the better releases of this sort of dubstep around right now.
CAMO & KROOKED ‘Shoreless’ My personal favourite track from the Austrian duo’s forthcoming EP on Viper.
DANNY BYRD FT NETSKY ‘Tonight’ (MJ Cole Remix) I just love looking at this track credit and seeing the name MJ Cole! He gave mine and Danny’s original track a really interesting twist, check it out.
CHASE & STATUS ‘No Problem’ One of the D&B tracks from their new album. I can't stop singing it... such a good vocal.
JAMES BLAKE ‘Limit To Your Love’ Something a little bit different, but I had just had to include it. You can’t do anything but love James Blake’s voice.
scenereport. DRUM & BASS ARENA AWARDS 2010 ON THURSDAY 2 DECEMBER 2010, DRUM & BASS ARENA HELD ITS SECOND ANNUAL AWARDS FOR THE D&B SCENE IN THE PALATIAL SURROUNDINGS OF THE CLAPHAM GRAND, SOUTH LONDON. TRAP WENT ALONG TO GET YOU ALL THE RESULTS FROM AN IMPRESSIVE EVENING OF LOVE FOR THE EVER-ENDURING GENRE...
Awards ceremonies are always controversial. Whether it’s the red-carpeted Oscars or some provincial vegetable-growing competition in a marquee, the act of selecting and then awarding the ‘best’ is inevitably contentious. In the elitist world of underground music therefore, the mere idea of an awards ceremony for a particular genre is always guaranteed to kick up a fuss.
DNBA AWARD WINNERS 2010: BEST DJ: ANDY C BEST PRODUCER: NOISIA BEST MC: SKIBADEE BEST NEWCOMER PRODUCER: NETSKY
The winners were a mixture of predictable, deserved and, thankfully, surprising, with Andy C winning the millionth ‘Best DJ’ accolade of his career, Messy MC grabbing ‘Best Newcomer MC’ and Hospital Records grabbing a clutch of trophies for their artists and raves. The full list of winners can be read on the right, and praise goes to DNBA for having the guts, vision and organisational skill to ensure D&B has a celebration it can be proud of.
BEST NEWCOMER MC: MESSY MC BEST NEWCOMER DJ: CAMO & KROOKED BEST LABEL: HOSPITAL RECORDS BEST SINGLE: LOADSTAR ‘LINK TO THE PAST’ BEST ALBUM: NETSKY ‘NETSKY’ BEST EVENT: HOSPITALITY BEST PROMOTER: HOSPITALITY BEST CLUB: FABRIC BEST D&B TV SET: AMC BEST VIDEO: FRESH ‘GOLDRUSH’ HALL OF FAME: DJ HYPE
With all this in mind, DNBA deserve credit for biting the bullet and attempting to give the scene they serve a reputable evening to applaud the brightest and busiest from amongst its ranks. This isn’t the only awards ceremony D&B has to offer, but looking around the Clapham Grand from the balcony, it was definitely the most civilised. With the nominees sat at circular tables to the front of the stage, and the paying public lining the surrounding balcony, despite the proliferation of booze and bass, this was a seriously respectable celebration of all things drum & bass.
JAN / FEB 2011 ADAM F ALIX PEREZ ANDY C BAILEY BENGA CASPA DJ HYPE DJ MARKY DJANGO DJANGO (LIVE) DOC SCOTT DOM & ROLAND DONAEO (LIVE) EL-B ELIJAH & SKILLIAM EMALKAY EROL ALKAN
FABIO FILTHY DUKES GIRL UNIT GREG WILSON HANNAH HOLLAND HATCHA HAZARD HEY TODAY! HORSEPOWER PRODUCTIONS KITO LOADSTAR LOGAN SAMA LONDON ELEKTRICITY LTJ BUKEM MARCUS NASTY
N TYPE NETSKY ONEMAN ORIGINAL SIN ORIS JAY PAUL CHAMBERS (LIVE) REDLIGHT ROSKA SCRATCH PERVERTS SHY FX SKISM SPOR TERROR DANJAH THE OTHERS TOMB CREW ZINC
77A Charterhouse Street, London EC1. T 020 7336 8898. Opening Times: 10PM — 6AM. £15 Admission, £10 students. £6 After 3AM unless stated otherwise. Please note: fabricfirst members go free throughout January, with a guest at half price, except 7th January 2011 fabric Operates a 24Hr drinking license. Advance tickets are available from our website www.fabriclondon.com FABRICLIVE 54: David Rodigan – Out Now // FABRICLIVE 55: Dj Marky – 17th January // FABRICLIVE 56: Pearson Sound / Ramadanman – Coming Soon
WHAT DO YOU GET WHEN YOU CROSS AN ULTRA-HIP, CURIOUSLY NAMED BRIGHTON-BASED DANCE MUSIC PRODUCER WITH ONE OF GRIME’S LONGEST STANDING AND MOST RESPECTED MCS? TRAP SENT SOPHIE THOMAS OVER TO JAMMER’S YARD TO FIND OUT...
IT’S EARLY DECEMBER AND WHAT FEELS LIKE A MILLION TONNES OF SNOW HAS DESCENDED ON CENTRAL LONDON OVERNIGHT. JACK ADAMS, AKA MUMDANCE, EMERGES FROM THE LIVERPOOL STREET STATION BRANCH OF MCDONALDS, ONE CHEESEBURGER IN HAND AND A SECOND MID-MASTICATION, LOOKING DEAD BEAT BUT ULTIMATELY IN GOOD SPIRITS. AS WE SET OFF DUE EAST TO JAMMER’S HOME (THE ONE THAT NOTORIOUSLY HOUSES THE BASEMENT STUDIO IN WHICH THE GRIME SOUND WE KNOW TODAY FIRST TOOK SHAPE), ADAMS CHATS ANIMATEDLY ABOUT THE NINE-DAY STINT IN FRANCE FROM WHICH HE’S JUST RETURNED. HAVING GRABBED STUDIO TIME WITH BRODINSKI AND CANBLASTER WHILE ABROAD, ADAMS DESCRIBES HIS NEWLY REPLETE HARD-DRIVE OF UNDERGROUND FRENCH PRODUCTIONS, ONLY TO BE INTERRUPTED BY A TEXT FROM JAMMER REQUESTING THAT WE BUY HIM A TUNA SUB EN ROUTE (WHITE BREAD, TOASTED, STRICTLY NO CHEESE.) The trip across the channel is just the latest adventure in what’s been an incredible year for the 26-year-old DJ and producer. 2010 has seen Mumdance continue to take his bass-packed, genreblurring DJ sets across the globe, while dropping a debut record for Diplo’s Mad Decent and collaborating with the likes of AC Slater and Drums Of Death. And while he comfortably rubs shoulders with the biggest names in house music, Adams is just as at home and respected within the world of grime, as the release of his ‘Tarahtid’ EP on cardinal grime imprint No Hats No Hoods proves. Alongside Trim, that record features the unmistakable vocal contributions of grime original Jammer, who’s had quite a 2010 himself, with the release of his debut LP ‘Jahmanji’ on Ninja Tune subsidiary Big Dada. With sandwich in tow, we arrive at Jammer’s looking like a pair of premature carol singers bearing fishy gifts. Greeted by Jammer in a gem-studded hoodie and characteristically flowing dreads, we sit down with a cuppa while the pair excitedly reminiscence about the time they turned the room into a makeshift studio, complete with botched vocal booth partitioned with old curtains. The boyish energy that defines the artists’ relationship is palpable. The pair tussle for control of the speaker system, eager to show one another their latest discoveries and the beats they’ve each been working on. Adams selects a new Canblaster production to Jammer’s unbridled excitement, cranking the tune up to the gigawatts exclaiming, “What, this guy is French? That is pure dirt! This is a proper grime beat, Jack!” You can tell what the atmosphere must be like when the duo manages to link for studio time: frantic, impulsive, yet artistically productive. The two seem like the most unlikely match. The picture is almost comical; you could imagine the pairing being pitched for a chalk-and-cheese criminal duo in a farcical bank heist film. But for some reason, their combined sound works and is continually played out in grime and house sets alike. “You see, Jammer and I are very different and that’s why we work well together,” Adams admits. “I tend to over-think things while Jammer just makes stuff as a vibe. It just comes from him. It’s been really good to work with him because it’s taught me to let the sound come from something spontaneous and that’s definitely improved my music. Since working with him, he’s taught me to make music for myself. Rather than saying ‘I want a tune to sound like this’, I just go in the studio and see what comes out.” “That’s what creating something is,” states Jammer between sipping his tea, rolling up and answering various phone calls. “I’ll sit in the studio, make a little loop up, roll a zoot, might be chatting about something for a bit, smoke a little bit, go back to the loop and then within an hour, I’ll be like, ‘Did I just fucking make that?’
I BELIEVE IN THE SONICS OF THE MUSIC. I GO INTO THE STUDIO AND EVERY SINGLE SOUND IS GETTING RIPPED DOWN.
TOP 5 MUMDANCE & JAMMER TRACKS: 1. MUMDANCE ‘Samirs Township’ ft Jammer & C Gritz 2. JAMMER FT BBK ‘Ten Man Roll’ (Produced by Mumdance, Shortstuff & Brackles) 3. EVIL NINE FT EL P ‘All the Cash’ (Mumdance Rmx ft Jammer) 4. BLACK LIPS ‘Veni Vidi Vici’ (Mumdance Rmx ft Jammer) 5. EL GUINCHO ‘Kalise’ Mumdance Rmx ft Jammer
I’ve been like that bare times and when the tune is finished I’ve been like, ‘Rah, I actually made that tune. That’s actually sick!’ That’s what I make music for; to sit there and think ‘I’ve done that’. If you go into the studio with a fixed idea, it’s never going to come out like that. I compare it to going out; you should never plan your nights out. If I plan something, I’ll be looking forward to it, but the night never lives up to your expectations. If you go out on an unexpected one, then you’ll just have a blinder.” Indeed, it’s the ‘performative’ quality of live gigs and partying that establishes a true home for the Jammer/Mumdance sound. Club crowds are guided through a Mumdance set by Jammer’s exuberantly entertaining presence, which in turn allows Mumdance’s mixes to take a wild and wonderful journey through punchy grime, soulful house, bubbly internationally-influenced electro and all the way back again. “I think we’ve broken down lots of barriers; when I first started I was sick of going to a club for a drum & bass night or garage night and hearing the same tunes over and over again. My wave of DJs and producers,” adds Adams with meek caution, “has been the first to mix it up and play whatever we want. And that’s the norm now. It’s good to know that I was a part of breaking down the barriers between genres in a way. It’s a lot more fun now.” “Remember when I phoned you up the other day and I was like; ‘What we planned to do has actually worked!’” Jammer gestures eagerly, “That alone feels good.” With underground grime producers arguably making some of the most innovative, musically aware instrumentals the movement has seen in years, it’s clear to see why Mumdance’s mutant strain of bass music has become accepted within the, at times cagey, grime community. Equally, Mumdance’s reputation has opened doors for Jammer to play to crowds he never would have before their celebrated ‘10 Man Roll’ collaboration on Jammer’s ‘Jahmanji’ LP earlier this year. “My music is more world-accepted, so it’s good because we get to go round Europe together. And if I ever get asked to do a remix, the only people they ask for are Jammer or maybe someone like Tempz. Even though they can’t understand the words, they understand the presence. Jammer’s got such presence and energy; he’s the best live MC without a doubt.” “It’s almost like a sign language. Music’s weird; it brings so many different people together,” adds Jammer. “I’ve been working with Toddla T as well and I’d say he comes under the same bracket as Mumdance. They’re a good part of the scene because they take the theory of the music a lot more seriously. I believe in the sonics of the music, you can see that in what I’ve done with my album. I go into the studio and every single sound is getting ripped down.” With the promise of solo LPs from both Jammer and Mumdance in 2011, both artists are clearly set to continue to be important parts of what is an increasingly exciting time for UK bass-heavy sounds as they spread across the globe. “I grew up on a lot of American music, but now my son, my nephews, every kid I know listens to us,” says Jammer. “That’s all they know. They know Lil’ Wayne, but now they’ve got something of their own; people that talk like them, people that talk about what they know, people that dress like them. They can look around and say, ‘Now I can do something!’” “I’m excited to see where your next album is going to go,” Adams says looking at Jammer. “Put it this way,” Jammer replies, “this next one is no compromising; saying what I want. You know I’ve never stuck to the rules anyway bruv…”
WELSH-BORN, BRISTOL-BASED PHOTOGRAPHER ZOOM TAKES SICK PHOTOS. SOME OF YOU MAY RECOGNISE HIS GLORIOUSLY WIDE-ANGLED STYLE FROM THE TODDLA T & REDLIGHT SHOOT IN THE LAST ISSUE OF TRAP, WHICH TYPIFIED ZOOM’S LETTERBOX-SHAPED ENCAPSULATIONS OF URBAN ENVIRONMENTS WRAPPED AROUND FULL-COLOUR SUBJECT MATTER. WITH HIS FIRST SOLO EXHIBITION NOW RUNNING AT DONUTS IN BRISTOL, WE DECIDED TO GRAB A FEW WORDS WITH ZOOM AND BRING YOU A TASTE OF WHAT HIS SHOW HAS IN STORE.
How would you describe your photography? “Urban? Aggressive? Humorous? Fuck knows. I always try to keep things evolving and my work distinctive. Trying to develop a recognisable style is tough with some many other photographers in the world, but I’m getting there. Hopefully, you know when you see one of mine.” How did you get into taking pictures? “I picked up my first camera about six years ago and started taking photos all day, every day. No specifics, just anything that got in my way. It’s easy to ‘get into’ photography quickly, as it has a beautiful randomness about it. Growing up with dyslexia, I was always shit with words, so I guess my world has always been a visual one. Photography just felt right.” What are the inspirations and influences in your work? “Graffiti has been a massive influence. Early graff pieces, where you'd get a character as the main subject with lines and shapes flowing away from it; you can see the same kind of structure with my street portraits if you look close enough. My work process is also similar to how most graff artists work; get something down on paper first, then build from there. It’s rarely random these days; I start with an idea, an image I want to create and I design the picture.
My shots are more about creating a piece of art, than just snapping what’s there in front of me. “Mainly, though, I just get really inspired by the people that are around me. I live in Bristol and spend a lot of time in London with all different kinds of creative people. The Bristol community I live in, everyone’s on it; it’s a constantly evolving scene. I have a large circle of good people around me who are always building and planning and thinking creatively. Everything seems to link up in Bristol in some way, so inspiration for new projects and ideas is always there.” Tell us more about the exhibition at Donuts? The exhibition will be running for a month from 10 December. I'll be featuring some new stuff and you'll see some older work in there too, as this is my first solo show. Basically, Donuts is going to be visually bombed for a month. I'll also be launching my new streetwear brand thirty5million - it’s kind of an extension of my photography work. The brand gets going with a range of very limited t-shirts featuring something I’ve been working on called 'The Boogieman Project' huge prints of clown masks I’ve bought and worked on. They look mental. As for 2011, I just want to keep on going forward, working hard and having fun. Zoom’s solo show is on now at Donuts, 8 Perry Road, Bristol.
I ALWAYS TRY TO KEEP THINGS EVOLVING AND MY WORK DISTINCTIVE.
NERO ME & YOU OUT 3RD JANUARY 2011 ON VINYL & DOWNLOAD INCLUDES
ME & YOU WELCOME REALITY PLUS REMIXES FROM
DIRTYPHONICS DANGER / KAMUKI www.mtarecords.co.uk www.myspace.com/mtarecordsofficial
‘GOING IN DEEP spectrasoul
SPECTRASOUL HAVE A REPUTATION AMONG DRUM & BASS HEADS THAT’S SECOND TO NONE. VITAL MEMBERS OF DJ FRICTION’S IRREPRESSIBLE SHOGUN AUDIO MOVEMENT, THE DUO HAS RELEASED MUSIC ON ONLY THE VERY FINEST, MOST RESPECTED LABELS IN DRUM & BASS. BEAUTIFULLY DEEP AND ETCHED WITH GROOVE, YET POWERFUL ENOUGH TO MOVE ANY DANCEFLOOR, SPECTRASOUL’S STUNNING MUSICAL PRODUCTIONS ARE A FAR CRY FROM THE SOULLESS, SYNTHETIC RAVE FODDER SO MANY UNFORTUNATELY ASSOCIATE WITH D&B. TRACKS SUCH AS ‘ALIBI’ AND ‘ORGANISER’ FOR CRITICAL, ‘MELODIES’ FOR EXIT, ‘GUARDIAN’ ON METALHEADZ AND THEIR STUNNING COLLABORATION WITH ALIX PEREZ ON ‘FORSAKEN’ HAVE ENSURED SPECTRASOUL ARE ONE OF THE MOST TALKED ABOUT AND RESPECTED ACTS IN D&B TODAY.
Although they’ve currently got nothing to sell, and their debut album isn’t due for at least another 12 months, the strength of their music over the last few years meant Spectrasoul were top of Trap’s list for this issue’s D&B feature. We tracked down Dave Kennett and Jack Stevens, the two guys behind the name, to find out more about their origins, motivations and inspirations. How did Spectrasoul come about? J: “I met Dave in 2005, he used to run a night in London called Repercussion. Me and some of my mates went up from Brighton to a Metalheadz night Repercussion put on at Egg in Kings Cross, I met Dave there. We started swapping beats over AIM and then eventually ended up in the studio writing tracks together. It just worked.” Dave: “I was working for Shogun part-time down in Brighton, helping run the label. I was sharing a studio with Friction and K.Tee that was in the same building as the Shogun office; Jack came down and it just seemed to click. We made our first batch of tunes and had to come up with a name, some of the other names were hilarious. We’ve got the scan of the notebook they were written in; maybe we’ll put it in the album sleeve.”
Your first release came on Shogun subsidiary LTD, how important have Friction and Shogun been in your success?
before anyone else. They really helped us to mature in the way we produced. They’ve always been supportive and it’s nice to be on a bigger label that’s still prepared to release music that isn’t just aimed straight at the masses.” Your music is renowned for its deceptive simplicity, and is remarkable in the way it manages to sound perfectly balanced and full with very few elements? For the budding producers out there, how do you do it? J: “We never leave any sounds in our tunes that aren’t doing a job. We never overcrowd the track and we’re very selective about the sounds that we use; they all tend to be doing something, rather than just filling out the spectrum of sound. The main thing we focus on is getting the drums right, then the rest falls in around that. We tend to use samples not synths, so we hunt out the right samples, get a riff going and let the tune write itself. We don’t overwork it or put any sounds in that aren’t necessary. “The other part of it that’s really important is the arrangement of the tune itself. A lot of people don’t realise that the format of D&B lends itself very well to the format of a song – the whole verse, chorus, bridge idea – it keeps the track interesting and works really well with D&B. Our tracks ‘Melodies’ on Exit and ‘Forsaken’ with Alix Perez; those two tunes are very much song structured. It’s like the listener can understand that something’s happened from section to section, but might not be able to put their finger on what exactly it is. It’s the subtle changes that make a tune.” Dave: “We’ve always been self-taught when it comes to production. When we tell people how we produce, they don’t usually believe us. I guess you could compare it to the old hip-hop way of working, where it’s very raw and we use a lot of samples. Our production is very raw, we’re still learning every day. I can’t sit in the studio all day and all week, I have to do it in phases. We both need other influences, not just from music, from all over the place. If you take a step away, it lets you come back with a different aspect. I guess that’s the reason why our stuff sounds like it does.” So what are your influences? What inspires the Spectrasoul sound?
D: “In one word, instrumental. It’s so important to have someone like Ed (Friction), who knows how the industry works. He’s been our role model; he’s always helped us with advice. And as well, the technical side of things, we know he’s always there if we need a bit of help in the studio.”
J: “Before D&B, I was really into garage and hip-hop growing up. I was really into rock, too. I still can’t stop listening to Cinematic Orchestra; they’re probably my main influence. I don’t listen to a lot of D&B, at the moment I’m really into Little Dragon, AIM, Bonobo, Amon Tobin... And I really love D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Boards Of Canada...”
J: “Because we shared the studio with Friction and K.Tee, we were already on their radar; they always got our tunes
D: “I listen to a lot of music people might be surprised by. I love bands like Warpaint and Beach House; I like music
with a heart that beats, a bit of emotion and soul. I’m a massive fan of Cinematic Orchestra too, and I really I love Four Tet. Besides from music, I’m really into photography. I’m not like Goldie, I don’t draw pictures of what I want things to sound like, but I’ve definitely got an audio-visual link in my brain. I get influence from taking photos and general creative activities. It sounds really cliché, but just being out in the world inspires me. I love travelling, world influences.” And finally, the music Spectrasoul produce couldn’t be further away from a lot of people’s preconceptions of what D&B is. To many, D&B isn’t the most credible genre around; does this bother you? J: “It can be a bit annoying that the fact what we make is ‘drum & bass’ and what x jump-up producer plays at a huge rave is also ‘drum & bass’ – that for me is disheartening. I don’t know whether it’s as bad as people make out in terms of its credibility – a lot of respected DJs and musicians still think highly of D&B. I do get that thing of having to explain what I do and people looking at me and thinking; ‘oh, that sort of drum & bass...’ “I don’t wanna push the idea of giving the music more names, but it’s difficult to articulate what it is we do without saying ‘we make drum & bass, but...’. It’s not credibility, it’s creative freedom; a lot of people in D&B haven’t got that creative freedom to write whatever they want. A lot of people evolve and change, and that’s what we’re considering now; where we’re going and what we’re going to do from here. I’m not saying we’re going to give up D&B at all; that is not going happen. But we are thinking about where we can go with our sound and evolve in order to give us a bit more creative freedom.”
IT’S NICE TO BE ON A BIGGER LABEL THAT’S STILL PREPARED TO RELEASE MUSIC THAT ISN’T JUST AIMED STRAIGHT AT THE MASSES.
‘Duck Hunt Words: Suﬀocake, Grizzlee Mcee & Synamatix
Fashion is a funny thing. We know it’s a cliché, but it really does go around in circles, and the latest resurgence in all things heritage and work-wear has produced (or reproduced) the humble yet classically designed Duck Boot. Now, we know you may be raising your eyebrows, but this iconic piece of footwear has come a long way since LL Bean’s 1912 eﬀort, originally designed as a solution to protect his feet from the cold and wet while out hunting. Bean’s boot consisted of a rubberised sole and lightweight leather upper. Aer a few initial teething problems that saw 90 of the ﬁrst 100 pairs manufactured returned, the boots became a ﬁrm favourite with sportsmen, soldiers and sailors the world over. More recently, the duck boot has been adopted by a huge number of brands, from the high street to the underground, and its inﬂuence can now be seen throughout the fashion world. Pointer Footwear, Gourmet, Visvim and Timberland are just a few of the brands that have adapted LL Bean’s classic. Even the big boys of men’s fashion and sportswear, such as Ralph Lauren, Adidas and Nike, have had a go, keeping the work-wear design classic alive and relevant to the modern, forward-thinking fashion lover. Take a look at Gourmet, a brand that prides itself on using only the highest quality materials. ey simply added an air unit to the sole of their ‘Quadici’ shoe, ﬂipping the duck boot’s appeal to an entirely different target market with one small tweak, as well as confusing and stunning sneaker heads! It’s the silhouette here that makes it a stand out - clean lines ﬂow from back to front, leading the footsteps in the right direction. Nothing beats a piece of footwear that looks as good from the top as it does in proﬁle. Gourmet have since expanded their line to include ‘e 21’, a premium high-top duck boot with a napa leather upper that brings things nicely back around to Bean’s original. e ‘Quadici’ and ‘e 21’ will most likely sit at the top of the duck boot desire list for many streetwear fans. However, plenty other brands have been dipping their footwear’s toes into the duck pond too, so keep your eyes peeled for more interpretations of this design classic.
Founded in the summer of 2009, website e Daily Street does its bit to inform and update any style hungry girl or guy on the latest happenings in UK fashion, music and art.
Consistently coming with hot-oﬀ-the-press content, the guys behind the site really know their stuﬀ, so Trap invited them to talk us through this season’s duck hunting and work-wear trend…
‘Field Coat’ £150
For the tail-end of this year, HUF have created a splendid piece of design with their Field Coat. e fully ripstop outer and button-over storm ﬂat on the front make this ideal for harsher conditions, while the hood zips away under the collar when necessary. is M65-styled coat is a seven-pocket monster, with four patch pockets and a larger zip pocket on the front, as well as two on the inside, nestled within the thermal waﬄe lining. www.urbanindustry.co.uk
‘Chore Jacket’ £110
It’s not always about wearing the freshest threads by the newest up-andcoming brand. Sometimes it’s just about ﬁnding that durable, comfortable garment that’s stood the test of time and still works today in terms of style, colour and design. Take the ‘Chore Jacket’ from Carhartt. is coat is built to keep you warm and that’s it, standard. You won’t ﬁnd any ﬂashy, tech-airsystems to help regulate temperature or anything like that on this piece of outerwear, no sir! Made from 12oz Dearborn 100% cotton canvas that’s both heavyweight and heavy duty, the coat also boasts a quilted lining that’s rugged to the touch, proving that staying warm is key. www.thecarharttstore.co.uk
e ﬂat cap is a staple piece of headwear for anyone who considers themselves a true gent, or, anyone looking to pull oﬀ the true British hunting look. Brixton Hooligan has produced a clean-cut version that can be effortlessly incorporated into any look, on the street or in the woods. Complete with luxurious satin-style lining and an underside peak, this is one important accessory. www.urbanindustry.co.uk
TRAP MEETS WITH TWO TRUE BASS-MUSIC SUPERSTARS TO HEAR ABOUT LIFE ON A MAJOR RECORD LABEL, WORKING WITH JAY-Z AND RIHANNA, SUPPORTING THE PRODIGY AND THEIR BOLDLY AMBITIOUS NEW ALBUM ‘NO MORE IDOLS’... WORDS: JON COOK PHOTOS: LAURA LEWIS
Chase & Status are Saul Milton and Will Kennard, two young Londoners who’ve taken drum & bass and dubstep to the mainstream without any compromise. Born from the underground D&B scene, the duo gained wider notoriety in 2008 with the release of their debut album ‘More Than Alot’ for Andy C’s Ram Records. Featuring numerous guest vocalists over a bass-heavy mix of D&B, dubstep, hip-hop and more, ’More Than Alot’ proved to be a landmark record, helping to usher in the multi-genre, anything goes attitude that has so refreshed the UK club and rave scene in recent times. In the two years since ‘More Than Alot’ dropped, Will and Saul have been busy undergoing some changes themselves. Although still regularly found smashing up raves with their DJ sets, the guys have signed to a major label, Mercury, worked with Jay-Z, had Snoop Dogg demand to version their dubstep behemoth ‘Eastern Jam’ and played live shows at a whole host of festivals including The Prodigy’s Warrior’s Dance. It’s to that background that the duo’s second album ‘No More Idols’ is set to drop on 31 January. Featuring an impressive and intriguing roster of featured artists, and representing the full spectrum of bass-heavy music, from D&B and grime to electro, hip-hop and dubstep, Chase & Status are quite clearly on the cusp of something huge. In spite of all their success and their recent elevation to top-ten artists, Will and Saul are not the kind of guys to forget their roots, and were only too happy to take time out of their intense schedules to meet with Trap for a few hours on a very cold Friday afternoon in central London.
“I think this album has really been shaped by the live show that’s developed over the last couple of years,” begins Will as we take shelter from the cold in a slightly shabby cafe nestled among the sex shops and book stores of Soho. “Working with the band brings a totally different dynamic. Whereas before, with ‘More Than Alot’, we were writing tracks to smash up a club like Fabric, this was more us thinking; ‘Is this gonna work on tour?’ That’s changed things a bit. Now, it’s just about energetic music with lots of bass and lots of energy. It’s a progression; we’ve been trying to push ourselves, working with singers, trying to do something new.” “There are lots of songs on this album,” Saul agrees from across the table. “We’ve gone and got another heap of brand new exciting talent for this album...and a few names you’ll recognise too.” It’s this use of vocalists that’s enabled those from outside the worlds of dubstep and D&B to latch onto and understand the duo’s music, and driven the Chase & Status name skywards. With the presence of a vocalist, a track becomes a song, commercial radio can jump on board and school girls can sing along. It’s a simple strategy to success for any producer, but a difficult one to achieve with credibility intact. ‘More Than Alot’ showed that Will and Saul had it cracked, but ‘No More Idols’ steps things up a level, and includes no less than 15 featured artists. From underground heroes such as Tempa T, to undiscovered talents such as Delilah and Liam Bailey, to Number-One hit artists such as Dizzee Rascal and Tinie Tempah; this is a hugely ambitious project.
WHEN YOU’RE WRITING SONGS FOR PEOPLE LIKE RIHANNA, YOU GET INTO THAT FRAME OF MIND; YOU’RE NO LONGER THINKING ABOUT WRITING DANCEFLOOR DUBSTEP OR D&B.
“We’ve got some amazing features on this record,” declares Saul. “Clare Maguire, who’s just won a Q Award, Liam Bailey who’s on our new single ‘Blind Faith’, he’s a super talented soul singer from Nottingham, a girl called Delilah, Mali who sung on ‘Let You Go’. He’s only 17, and he’s got the makings of a superstar already. And obviously, we have the very calm, quiet and mild mannered Tempa T.” “Tempz is great – exactly what you’d expect,” says Will. “In the studio, he’s jumping around; shouting, blazing energy, more than anyone we’ve worked with. I think we channelled it on that record. That’s the classic example of one of those tracks that works so well live and at festival... it’s an absolute monster when we perform it. “The Clare Maguire track is a big moment on the record, too. Her voice is just phenomenal. Again, it’s the kind of song that wouldn’t have been on the first album but works here. There’s ‘Brixton Briefcase’ with Cee Lo Green and a track called ‘Embrace’ with White Lies; we’re massive fans of theirs. There are two tracks with Plan B; ‘End Credits’ is on there and a new one called ‘Fool Yourself’, which also features Rage who’s our front man. And then we’ve got Dizzee Rascal on ‘Heavy’ and Tinie Tempah too. He’s blown up into this huge mainstream act so, similar to the way we got Dizzee to do something really grimy, it was an opportunity just to do something cool and pretty hard.” While the underground credibility they’ve long enjoyed has meant Will and Saul have never had any trouble enlisting the
hottest talent to vocal their beats, the opportunities presented by signing to Mercury have clearly helped the duo to grow creatively. But exactly how did two underground dance music producers end up sharing a label with the likes of Pixie Lott, Meat Loaf and Elton John? “Just before ‘More Than Alot’ was actually released, we started to get offers from majors,” Saul reveals. “So we shopped around, had a lot of meetings with different labels, wining and dining. Mercury seemed the best fit for us.” “Other labels we met, we felt they wanted to push us in a certain direction and bring us into a world we weren’t up for going into. Mercury were very open minded,” Will confirms. “And we kept Ram Records in the mix too,” Saul adds. “All our vinyl releases come out on Ram. Mercury understood we wanted to still be involved with them, and we are heavily involved with them, we play at the Ram nights, and all our D&B comes out on vinyl on Ram.” “That was important to us; we still love all that music, that’s what we’re about,” Will affirms. “Obviously being on a major gives you a chance as an artist to move into new worlds, but at the same time, you don’t stop loving drum & bass or dubstep or whatever. Having Ram involved has enabled us to keep doing what we’ve always loved at the same time.” The guys are in a lucky position, still maintaining their connection with Ram and the underground D&B scene, while also able to call on the many benefits being on a major
label brings. But what are the disadvantages of signing on the dotted line for a music industry megapower? As Will explains, they’ve have been careful to avoid the horror stories you so often hear of once-bright fledgling artists being snapped up and then creatively suffocated by their labels. “There can be disadvantages, but we knew what they were from others and our own experience. Pressure to have a top-ten single, or suddenly become a boy band; that’s not something we were ever prepared to do, and Mercury knew that from the off. Yeah, it can be a lot more pressure; there’s a lot of money riding on your success, that can mess your head up a little bit. That combined with what people call second album syndrome; it’s been hard work getting this album done.” “It has,” Saul agrees, knodding sternly. “And we’ve been doing a lot of production for other people as well during that time, which slowed up the process. When you’re writing songs for people like Rihanna, you get into that frame of mind; you’re no longer thinking about writing dancefloor dubstep or D&B, you’re thinking about writing cool pop music. So, going back to writing Chase & Status stuff, we had to get our minds back into that process.”
IN OUR HEADS WE’RE STILL THOSE KIDS WRITING BEATS FOR RENEGADE HARDWARE.
Yes, you did just read that correctly - Saul just casually mentioned writing songs for Rihanna... The same Rihanna who’s had multiple Number-One singles and is one of the biggest stars on planet earth. How did that happen? It’s a question that Saul is obviously well versed in answering: “To cut a long story short, our manager Jho Oakley had a meeting with her people, he played them the album, they loved it, Rihanna loved it. They got our number, called us up, asked us if we wanted to do something. We agreed of course and the music was made. I feel it was a strong testament to what we did a couple of years ago on ‘More Than Alot’. “It’s the same with the way Snoop Dogg jumped on ‘Eastern Jam’,” adds Will, “turning it into ‘Snoop Dogg Millionaire’ – suddenly the whole world knew about it.” Having a pop star use one of your tracks on her album is one thing, but to have Snoop Dogg hear one of your tunes and love it so much he hunts you down and re-records it... that’s about as big as it gets. “It felt surreal,” Will says when asked about their link up with the Doggfather. “It happened very quickly, literally overnight. I guess it was frustrating that we couldn’t get more involved and fly out there to work with him on the track. They changed it a little; it was good but we thought we could have done it better had we been involved. But at the same time, we’re not going to complain!” “It opened a lot of doors,” adds Saul. “Since then we’ve done the stuff with Jay-Z – ‘DOA’ – we’ve worked with Drake, Kardinal Offishall; we’ve had to turn down a lot of work over the last year, to focus on the album.”
“It’s a nice position to be in,” Will continues, “it’s a lot of work, but it’s what we love doing and we want to keep that going.” With so much success, do they ever find themselves stopping and thinking; “What the fuck? We started off as D&B producers and now Snoop Dogg’s asking for our tracks...” “It’s funny, in our heads we’re still those kids writing beats for Renegade Hardware,” says Will, giving us the answer we wanted to hear. “Other people say ‘Oh, you’re not, you’ve moved on from that now.’ But if you see us DJing, we’re still banging out the hardest drum & bass, and we feel like we did 10 years ago.” Nothing proves this statement to be true more than the time, effort and money that Will and Saul have invested in their own record label, MTA. In spite of the nationwide tours, the top-ten singles and all the rubbing shoulders with international megastars, as the guys have already made clear, the underground scenes in which they made their names are still hugely important to them and their respect for their roots runs extremely deep. “MTA is just a label for good music,” Saul states. “Obviously we’ve had some D&B and dubstep from Nero, we’ve had Redlight’s non-descript ‘What You Talking About’. And we’ve got 16-bit signed to us; they turned round and said to me; ‘We don’t make dubstep”, and I’m like ‘You do, it’s all 140bpm.’ And they said ‘No it’s UK Bass!’. So I said, you know what, I’m gonna steal that and use it in an interview, so I am. UK Bass – I think that’s a great description of what’s going on at the moment.” “The label is so important to us,” says Will, “having signed people like Nero and realising that these are two young guys, just like us, and their future is in our hands. It was a hobby to start with and now it’s a massive responsibility; we really want to do those guys justice, and everyone on the label. We want turn it into like what XL was – a really big, cult indie label.” And as we grab our coats to leave, despite all the success and the exciting new horizons ahead, as Saul closes the interview, there’s a glimmer in his eye that proves no matter how many US rappers they work with, however much money they earn, deep inside, both he and Saul will always be those drum & bass obsessed kids watching Andy C smash up The End... “You never forget where you’re from. We’ve just got some real big studio speakers that are basically just like being in a club. The other day we spent about six hours playing old Konflict, Matrix, Stakka & Skynet and Cause 4 Concern tunes really fucking loud; we had to turn it off because it was too loud in the end. But we we’re just sat there, remembering, thinking ‘Wow!’ All that old stuff is a big reason why we’re sat here now talking to you. Goldie, Omni Trio, Konflict, Ed Rush & Optical; there was so much amazing music back in the day and even now it’s all still so inspirational. I’ll never forget that, never forget the love. I don’t think I’ll ever love anything as much as I did those kind of tunes the first time I heard them. The whole scene is still deeply special; you know, remembering being at The End and seeing Andy C triple drop tracks to wanting be in that booth, to be him. And for it to actually happen, and then to be where we are now... it’s unbelievable.” ‘NO MORE IDOLS’ IS OUT 31 JANUARY, SINGLE ‘BLIND FAITH’ FT LIAM BAILEY IS OUT 24 JANUARY.
‘BEHIND THE MASK SBTRKT WORDS: OLI MARLOW PICTURES: THOMAS COOKSEY
“IT’S NOT SO MUCH ABOUT WEARING A MASK AS CREATING AN ARTISTIC PERSONA THAT BEFITS THE WHOLE CHARACTER I ENVISAGE THOUGH THE MUSIC,” EXPLAINS SBTRKT, A PRODUCER WHOSE 2010 HAS SEEN HIM RELEASE A BUNDLE OF RECORDS ON RESPECTED LABELS SUCH AS TEMPA, NUMBERS, YOUNG TURKS, RAMP RECORDINGS AND ITS OFFSHOOT BRAINMATH. CHOOSING TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS, HE PERFORMS IN A MASK, ROCKING THE FULL TRIBAL FACE REGALIA IN AN ATTEMPT TO SHUNT THE HYPE MACHINE’S FOCUS FROM THE PERFORMER TO THE MUSIC.
soundsystem inherent to his work. But more than that, it’s SBTRKT’s ideas and how he executes them when playing live - the tracks he blends them with and how he does it - that really enthrals.
“Much of dance culture is about throwing as much light as possible on a producer and their whole image, home town and musical tools,” he tells Trap, from his London base. “Some people know me, others don’t, but it’s irrelevant in terms of feeling the music. The idea is based around the culture of mask wearing in African, Asian and other tribal societies, where wearing a mask evoked the spirit of something or someone else. Without the wearer, the masks become just an object; it’s only through the West’s fascination that they became objects of art and their real meaning got skewed.”
“I’ve worked at building a method of playing out that complements my production style and the way my ear and brain works,” he continues. “I collected and played vinyl for years but it doesn’t feel appropriate with the options and ideas I can make happen now. It’s a personal choice I guess...”
“Music for me has always been like a drug; I’m not content without creating or writing music,” he enthuses, “and that emotional rollercoaster comes through in each thing I write - hence the change in tempos and beats. I wouldn’t put my finger on any given genre as being the main thing that influences me, but the swung rhythm has definitely always been a driving force for me throughout all music genres. From jungle and techno to UK garage and broken beats, that swing is definitely something that’s more interesting and inspiring to listen to and create.” “I started out as a drummer and I always hated playing really straight rhythms. When I was seven, my grandma who lived in Nairobi, Kenya gave me a spin drum (basically a stick with a double-sided circular drum on top with two tied-on beaters, which when you swing from side to side hits each respective side) and I used to twiddle that round for hours, just creating beats with it.” SBTRKT’s tireless enthusiasm certainly shines through in everything he puts out, along with the gloss he pours into production. His tunes always seem to sound modern; thick with low end, as if they were birthed at the cutting edge of plug-in technology. Giving his basslines the space to really impact, there’s an evident knowledge of how to tame a
I THINK WHERE THE TOOL BECOMES IRRELEVANT IS WHERE IT GETS INTERESTING.
From talking to SBTRKT, quizzing him on various aspects of his career to date and where he plans to take it, it’s obvious he fully believes in doing what he wants; feverently following his plan, his ear and his own direction. So far, it’s an approach that’s bought him high-profile club appearances, support slots on tours with Modeselektor and Canadian band Holy Fuck and releases across a handful of superbly incisive imprints - over which he plans to release a series of limited-edition 12”s next year in conjunction with an album project for the Young Turks label. “The main focus from now on is a SBTRKT debut album, which will hopefully be released around April 2011. That’s been what I’ve spent most of my time and efforts on over 2010,” he notes. “There’s definitely been a different storyline with each label and release. I was keen to showcase my sound on labels that represented what I was up to, and Ramp and Brainmath definitely helped me with that. Since I began though, I’d been in contact with Young Turks, and we’d exchanged ideas too. They heard my tracks before I’d even put a name to it all.” “Young Turks supports very different artists and identities rather than being the focus of any particular music scene or sound. It’s generally that approach that appeals to me most, as I know they aren’t in it for the moment or just looking for the next greenest field after my record is out. The most important thing for me is to find a home to grow musically and just get on with writing, rather than emailing labels to get records released. Right now, I’d say people in general seem more open to artists showing varying sides to their persona and not being stuck to one particular groove or sound set.” ‘STEP IN SHADOWS EP’ IS OUT NOW ON YOUNG TURKS.
In taking such an anonymous stand, SBTRKT has seemingly succeeded in his mission, given his impeccable hit rate as a producer and as a collaborator. Throughout 2010 his stock has risen remarkably, cleverly using his remixes for artists such as Tinie Tempah, Basement Jaxx, Mark Ronson and M.I.A. as tangible promotion tools to shine a light on his own tireless production work. Work that ranges from the dark, clipped garage of his single-sided release on Brainmath, ‘Laika,’ to the soulful collaborations he’s making with vocalist Sampha, and beyond into club-banger territory with tracks such as ‘Break Off,’ ‘Nervous,’ which features vocalist Jessie Ware, and unreleased jams such as ‘Ready Set Loop.’
“I only really looked into using Ableton seriously in the last two years,” he reveals when probed further on his weapon of choice when performing live. “Essentially I find myself getting more creative with my mixing, rather than in a traditional mix/cue/tempo scenario. A lot of artists don’t really showcase Ableton at its best, so it gets a bad rep, but I think where the tool becomes irrelevant is where it gets interesting.”
IN WITH THE OLD... Inspired by early-90s Navajo prints and bright clashing colours, Trap takes a fresh look at vintage classics, choosing one-of-a-kind pieces from some of our favourite stores.
LOGAN SAMA WORDS: FIRE MAN SAM. PICTURE: ED LAKE.
LOGAN SAMA HAS THE ONLY 100% GRIME SHOW ON LEGAL RADIO, REPRESENTING THE GULLIEST UK UNDERGROUND SOUND ON THE FM DIAL FOR OVER FIVE YEARS. HE IS A FOCAL POINT FOR THE SCENE AND A DJ WHO ALWAYS HAS A BAG FULL OF DUBPLATES AND SPECIALS. LOGAN STARTED OUT PLAYING UK GARAGE IN HIS NATIVE ESSEX AT THE TURN OF THE MILLENNIUM, BUT MADE HIS NAME AS A DJ BY EMBRACING THE CHANGE IN THE SCENE AS IT WENT DARKER AND DEVELOPED INTO THE GRIME SOUND. KNOWN ON PIRATE RADIO FOR SHOWCASING THE BEST MCS THE GENRE HAD TO OFFER, HE HAS CONTINUED EMPHASISING THE UK’S BEST VOCAL TALENTS WITH HIS COVETED SLOT ON KISS FM. AFTER A GREAT YEAR FOR GRIME, IT WAS ONLY RIGHT TRAP SPOKE WITH LOGAN SAMA TO DISCUSS THE FUTURE FOR A SCENE THAT HAS SIMULTANEOUSLY GONE POP AND HAD AN UNDERGROUND RESURGENCE IN 2010...
For those readers who don’t know you already, who is Logan Sama? “I present the biggest grime radio show in the universe. I came up from RinseFM and have been holding down the show on Kiss now for over five years.”
Coming to the end of 2010, what are your reflections on the last year? “It’s been a year of acceptance and progress. Obviously everyone is seeing these artists getting mainstream recognition for their
crossover tracks, but also acts like D Double and Tempa T have been getting respect from outside the grime scene. In 2010 we’ve heard DJs from outside of grime playing tracks that would never have played them before.” Why do you think that is? “It’s the trickledown effect of ‘UK MCing’ being a viable commercial entity. It’s not because it’s suddenly got better. I see people playing ‘Next Hype’ in 2010 who wouldn’t have touched it when it was made in 2008. It’s a general changing of attitude from DJs.” Have you noticed an improvement in the opportunities for grime artists to perform live? “There still aren’t enough events and there still aren’t enough promoters who realise the power of an artist actually doing a proper DJ set rather than just a 10-minute PA. But towards the tail end of this year, when I’ve had the opportunity to DJ next to acts like P Money and Blacks at Goonies, or Newham Generals at Murkage, or even on tour DJing for Ghetts, people are starting to see the powers that a grime DJ holds and how it amplifies the energy and excitement of the MCs’ performances.” Has the rise of dubstep and the collaborations between grime and dubstep artists helped the scene? “Definitely. In the same way that grime MCs are crossing over into the pop world with their mainstream music, the underground has used the popularity of dubstep like a slingshot to catapult themselves to the forefront of many underground events.
At the tail end of the year we have seen tracks like ‘Game Over’, Skepta’s remix of ‘Hello Good Morning’ and ‘POW 2011’. Do you see this as an indication the authentic grime sound can be taken into the mainstream? “Yes. All it takes is education of the masses. The naff synth / r&b / house crossover sound that was so popular for acts in the charts is slowly dying out and naturally people want something a bit harder, more authentic. As long as the song writing is up to scratch, like on ‘Hello Good Morning’ or even Skepta’s new track ‘So Alive’, then it can get accepted as a good record by the masses, rather than just ‘a good grime record’. The ultimate aim is to have the artists making tracks that would be viewed both as a big grime track for my listeners, and just a big track for a wider audience.” Some mainstream media seems to be enthusiastically covering the day-to-day movements of artists who came from grime; The Sun has almost become a grime blog recently. What do you make of this, considering the mainstream media’s previously negative coverage? “It just shows that the interest is there from the public, because The Sun wouldn’t cover something if it wasn’t beneficial to them. Obviously, I’m a bit wary, because the tabloid media has that ‘build them up then tear them down’ approach to covering artists and music, but while the sun shines, make hay...”
What are your top three tunes of 2010? “For me, if I play out in a club it would be D Double E – ‘Street Fighter Riddim’, D Double E – ‘Bad to The Bone’ (Woooo Riddim) and P Money & Sukh Knight – ‘Slang Like This’.” What was your personal highlight of 2010? “I had the most fun I’ve ever had at a grime event DJing at Goonies in Birmingham this year. I had an amazing time touring with Ghetts on Kano’s tour, I played in New York for the first time in my life and I finally, after ten years of waiting, got to DJ in a garage rave after the legend that is DJ EZ. It’s been a very good year.” Who are your tips for 2011? “Scrufizzer will do a lot next year. Producers like Nu Klear and Teeza will also go on to show people they have a lot of talent. In terms of guys cementing their status in grime, Kozzie will go from strength to strength as an MC and look for a massive come back from J Sweet and Alias on productions.” What should we look out for from Logan Sama? “There’s an end-of-year round up mix coming on 31 December. 2011 sees the launch of numerous EPs on Adamantium Music and Earth616, my two labels. And the project known as 'keepinitgrimy' will appear like the spaceships in Independence Day and block out the sun...” Catch Logan Sama anytime on Kiss using the player online: WWW.TOTALKISS.COM/LOGAN WWW.KEEPINITGRIMY.COM
P Money is playing out every week with Sukh Knight and Doctor P off the back of his collabs with them and that’s spreading our sound further.”
27-YEAR-OLD STREET ARTIST CHEBA IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FIGURES IN HIS HOME CITY OF BRISTOL’S WORLD-RENOWNED GRAFFITI AND STREET ART SCENE. AFTER SPENDING HIS TEENAGE YEARS DAUBING THE CITY’S WALLS WITH HIS TRADEMARK CARTOON FACES, CHEBA WAS ARRESTED AND GIVEN A SUSPENDED SENTENCE FOR CRIMINAL DAMAGE IN 2005. DETERMINED TO TURN AROUND HIS MISFORTUNE, IN 2009 CHEBA OPENED THE WEAPON OF CHOICE GALLERY (AND BEGAN PROMOTING HIP-HOP PARTIES UNDER THE SAME BRAND) IN BRISTOL WITH CLOSE FRIEND SAM BRANDT, AND HASN’T LOOKED BACK SINCE.
KNOWN FOR HIS DECEPTIVELY SIMPLISTIC CARTOON CHARACTERS, CHEBA COUNTS SOME OF THE MOST RESPECTED NAMES IN GRAFFITI AMONG HIS FRIENDS, AND HAS BEEN FEATURED IN THE ‘GRAFFITTI WORLD’ AND ‘CHILDREN OF THE CAN’ BOOKS. AFTER A YEAR THAT’S SEEN WOC BRING KRS-ONE AND SUGARHILL GANG TO BRISTOL, CHEBA’S FIRST SOLO SHOW IN EIGHT YEARS, THE LAUNCH OF HIS FIRST VINYL TOY AND HIS UNMISTAKABLE ARTWORK BECOMING MORE AND MORE NOTICED, TRAP CAUGHT UP WITH THE BRISTOLIAN FOR A FEW QUICK WORDS...
How did you get into graffiti? “When I was younger I used to put up stickers for my brother’s band, so I thought I’d do it with my own art and doodles. I didn’t really have anything to promote; I just drew up stickers and plastered them everywhere. I started to meet other artists doing it and eventually met more writers. I got to know CM crew, one of Bristol’s most prolific crews at the time and went bombing constantly with them or on my own. I got a little hooked.” You got caught by the police in 2005. Did that drive you to make a legal career out of what you do? “It made me want to paint more to be honest. It’s hard to get out of the habit; I have to leave all my pens and paint at home if I’m going out or I’ll just end up drawing on everything on the walk home. I guess if I hadn’t been caught, I’d still be painting illegally and probably wouldn’t be running a gallery.” How would you describe your art? “Bold and clean, mixed with mess.” What was the thinking behind setting up the gallery? “It was really to promote artists, to let them take over the space and do what they want with it. And hopefully inspire the younger ‘uns to pick up a pencil.”
Tell us more about the vinyl toy... “I always wanted to make a 3D version of one of my characters but never knew where to start. A sculptor recently added me on facebook who’d worked on various film sets and adverts. Really, he did most of the work. It’s nine inches tall and is on sale now at WoC or on my Bigcartel website. His halo glows in the dark.” Being from Bristol, what’s your take on the Banksy hype? Is it a positive thing, or does the circus that surrounds his name annoy you? “I think he has done good things for Bristol and the scene. He’s managed to play the media from the start, which no other writer has really been able to pull off. It’s making more people aware of graff and making it more accepted, which can only be good.” Any shouts? Big up everyone who’s helped out with WoC and come to support our events, big up Sam Hoekon, Lokey, Inkie, all the Bristol writers, Buggsy, Striker boy, Tangent books and Trap mag! CHEBA.BIGCARTEL.COM WEAPONOFCHOICEGALLERY.CO.UK
REVIEWED BY JON COOK, JERYL WILTON, BELINDA ROWSE, SAM BATES , SAM COLLENETTE, CALLUM REECE, DAVE COTGR AVE, DUB BOY, PINOT & BASSMUSICBLOG.C OM
DRUM & BASS
A MORE COHERENT AND POLISHED ALBUM THAT’S OUTSTANDING IN EVERY WAY.
The jump from drum & bass roots to multi-genre worldwide superheroes seems like a large leap for most producers, but anyone who grabbed Trap cover stars Chase & Status’ debut long player ‘More Than Alot’ will know that this duo are anything but average. Having smashed preconceptions by diversifying into dubstep and UK hip-hop on that album, Saul Milton and Will Kennard are back with their follow up ‘No More Idols’, an even braver and more ambitious body of work. Successfully traversing the major label deal is a tough balancing act, but Chase & Status manage to pack this long-player with guest appearances from the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Tempa T, Tinie Tempah and previous collaborator Plan B without losing any credibility, while simultaneously creating a more coherent and polished album that’s outstanding in every way. ‘Hocus Pocus’ and ‘Flashing Lights’ are personal favourites, but the whole album is undeniably accomplished and essential for any bass music fan.
CHASE & STATUS No More Idols (Mercury)
EMALKAY ‘Crusader’ / ‘Power Tool’ (Dub Police)
STARKEY ‘Space Traitor Vol 1’ (Civil) Following up the acclaimed ‘Ear Drums and Black Holes’, Starkey takes his street bass sound to the edges of the cosmos on a journey deep into the mind of the Starkbot. Lead track ‘Robot Hands’ slides in with warm atmospherics peppered with synths before the onslaught of pounding beats and bass wreak havoc on your ears. The solemn mood of ‘Playing With Fire’ is like a funeral march to the moon, while ‘Holodeck’ is bound to tear up a few systems, and 'Paradise' is just that; so light and breezy it’s like your floating off in to the distance with the lush vocals of Brighton's Anneka as your guide. ‘Lenses’ is a jittering hi-fidelity widescreen meteor storm of a tune and rounds of this glimpse into Starkey’s world with a flourish.
MAXWELL D ‘Text Text Text’ (White)
After doing the rounds on dubplate for ages, Maxwell D’s brilliant voicing of Sticky’s Fugitive riddim finally gets a release. Maxwell D is on fire here urging his girl to stop playing games and give him what he wants. This track is a prime funky bashment banger, with Maxwell D’s distinctive UK ragga flow riding the string-laden riddim to perfection. Forward!
Dubstep don Emalkay serves up his next slice of naughtiness for Caspa’s Dub Police, proving he’s definitely no one-hit wonder. The first taster of the forthcoming album from the man behind ‘Look At You’, these are two hugely impressive tracks that cement the Brummie’s status as one of the most promising talents in the genre. ‘Power Tool’ stomps while ‘Crusader’ rolls out jungle style. Badness.
VARIOUS ARTISTS ‘Sub Depth Volume 1’ (Sub Depth) This first 16-track album compilation album from Bristol-based Sub Depth records features a selection of the finest music from artists representing the young label’s sound. Elements of UKG, UK funky, dubstep, D&B and myriad other related bass genres can be found in this compilation. The consistency in sound and quality over the course of the record is testament to the vision of the label and talent of the artists. Standout tracks include Numan’s purple-style ‘Secrets’, DOM HZ’s infectious West Coast styled ‘You’, Vandera’s ‘Move On’ and Lostlojic’s ‘Last Goodbye.’ This isn’t an album for the club, but is best consumed while zoning out with the headphones turned up high. A compilation of bass music beyond the instantaneous and obvious, that makes for an interesting and rewarding listen.
VARIOUS ARTISTS ‘Hospitality 2011’ (Hospital) Following last year’s installment of this series, released through New State, Hospital bring the franchise back home to collate and combine the biggest D&B anthems of this year’s sure-to-be dancefloor favourites into one neat package. Without a named DJ fronting the mix, the NHS crew are relying heavily on the reputation of their events to carry this compilation from the stores to the iPods and CD players of the masses. Fortunately for Hospital, their status is undeniable, as is the tracklist for this LP, which takes in tunes from Danny Byrd, Netsky, Sigma & Logistics, London Elektricity, Blokhe4d, The Prototypes, Cutline and plenty more. Covering the majority of the D&B spectrum, and costing the measly sum of just five English pounds, this comes highly recommended.
ROYAL T ‘Damn It!’ EP (Boogaloo City) This first release from Bristol grime pioneer DJ Blazey’s label comes from Southampton’s Royal-T. ‘Damn It!’ takes influences from dirty dubstep rave tunes and is driven by a breakbeat that makes it a force on a club system. The excellent ‘Side Effect’ sits alongside a remix from Mensah & Superisk and the wicked ‘Damn it!’ vocal by Bristol crew Central Spillz.
VYBZ KARTEL ‘Dumpa Truck’ (VP)
S-TYPE ‘Medusa’ EP (Phuturelabs)
PEARSON SOUND ‘Blanked’ / ’Blue Eyes’ (Hessle Audio)
Vybz Kartel owned 2010. After a slew of massive hits, Kartel delivers his latest smash on the ‘Smokin’ riddim. ‘Dumpa Truck’ continues Kartel’s scintillating run of form with an X-rated bashment monster. This is no-holds-barred slackness that’s as hilarious as it is erroneous. Essentially an ode to his woman’s large derriere, you don’t need much imagination to work out Kartel’s desires. A girls’ anthem right here.
Glasgow’s S-Type jumps all over the current trend towards big synths, strong hooks, hands-in-the-air harmonies, and R&B-style beats, and does it very well indeed. ‘Medusa’ is the soundtrack to the best Tom Selleck film you never saw, while ‘Terry Nutkins’ sounds like it could be on the next Young Jeezy album. Fans of Girl Unit and Taz Buckfaster should hunt this down without delay.
Shifting focus to the Pearson Sound moniker, Hessle Audio co-owner and 2010’s breakout producer David Kennedy (otherwise known as Ramadanman), unleashes two thunderous cuts of new-school mentalism. Taking sub-low sonics to another level on both of these tracks, he balances his thin, fizzing percussion on top perfectly, asserting his domination of dancefloors once more.
Another issue of Trap, another review for Skinnz, who’s making up for his five-year absence with this first full solo 12" on the highly respected Boka imprint. The winner is the A-side, ‘Keep It Gutta’, which chops and screws a Slim Thug vocal over juke-inspired Timbaland drums and epic (but not trancey) synths. The flip, ‘Euphorbia’, goes for spiky grime drums with emotional, pumping chords.
PHACE, NOISIA & MISANTHROP ‘Desert Orgy’ / ‘Stagger’ (Neosignal)
SHY FX FT KANO, DONAEO & ROSES GABOR ‘Raver’ (Digital Soundboy)
German producers Phace link up with countryman Misanthrop and Dutch trio Noisia for two of the most delicious pieces of dark D&B we’ve heard in some time. ‘Desert Orgy’ smashes a cinematic intro aside for ten-tonnes of utter filth, but it’s ‘Stagger’ with Noisia that knocks our heads off every time. The track name says it all; this is a stuttering, twisted piece of future filth.
Available free to download from digitalsoundboy.com, this one of the finest pieces of UK bass music around right now. An ode to the lost days of jungle, ‘Raver’ is a kick-heavy, vocal-topped piece of bass-heavy perfection that exemplifies everything that’s so exciting about Shy’s Digital Soundboy movement. Remixes come from Breakage and MJ Cole, and this is a tantalising taste of Shy’s ‘Larger Than Life’ LP due for 2011.
NERO ‘Me And You’ / ‘Welcome Reality’ (MTA)
TAZ ‘Gold Tooth Grin’ EP (Numbers)
MUMDANCE ‘Tarahtid’ EP (No Hats No Hoods)
Tipped by the BBC and signed exclusively to C&S’s MTA imprint, 2011 is set to be Nero’s year. Ahead of the release of their debut LP in the spring comes this powerful 12” that pushes the dubstep sound to its most epic and synth-laden. Combining massive guitars, catchy synths and a female vocal, this won’t be everyone’s idea of dubstep, but there’s no denying the genius behind such an ambitious track.
The Glaswegian Numbers imprint showcases some home-grown talent with this four-track EP from Taz. A varied affair, the EP veers from silky smooth G-funk on title track ‘Gold Tooth Grin’ to jarring grime on the catchy as hell ‘Robogrime’, right through to punishing electronica on ‘Strike First’, all tied together by some tough percussion and vibrant synths. Impressive stuff.
The Brighton-based Mumdance has long been known for his tropical take on some of the rowdier dancefloor music around, and he continues that trajectory on the title track of his latest 12" for No Hats No Hoods. Enlisting MCs Trim and Jammer, the A-side is crazy musical and hyper, while to balance it out, the flip-side ‘Whatimasaynex’ is all taught electro and thumping kick drums.
SKINNZ ‘Keep It Gutta’ / ‘Euphorbia’ (Boka)
MISTA MEN ‘What You Do’ (Greenmoney Recordings)
DJ MARKY ‘Fabric Live 55’ (Fabric) For most of you, the world ‘dependable’ probably doesn’t sound very exciting; almost certainly conjuring up images of people in their mid-40s with mortgages and 2.4 children. As unexciting as that word may be, it’s definitely one we’d use to describe DJ Marky. No matter where or when you hear a Marky set, you can always depend on it being seamlessly mixed and infused with his obvious passion. So it’s a pleasure to see London superclub Fabric sign him up for his ‘Marky & Friends’ nights, and even more so that they asked him to provide their latest FABRICLIVE compilation. Sliding effortless between tracks from the likes of SPY, Calibre, Die & Interface and Culture Shock, Marky once more proves that he’s one of the most excitingly dependably DJs in the game.
DANNY BYRD ft NETSKY ‘Tonight’ / MJ Cole & Cutline Rmxs (Hospital)
The third single Danny Byrd’s ‘Rave Digger’ LP is probably Trap’s least favourite track from the album, but with two remixes as strong as these, we couldn’t not give it a mention. MJ Cole’s garagetempoed reworking predictably oozes class while the increasingly impressive Cutline turn out another staggering slice of half-step D&B.
Debut signing to Greenmoney’s own record label, Mistamen produce bass-heavy 4x4 house beats with major throwback UKG influences. ‘What You Do’ is a bass-laced UK funky rhythm with ‘Pon Di Floor’-esque synth vibes and an infectious female vocal hook; the standout of the release. Backed up by a slick rework from south Wales 2-Step dons C.R.S.T and 4x4 UKG vibes of ‘Hold On’.
VARIOUS ARTISTS ‘Mosaic - Volume One’ (Exit)
Anyone prejudiced enough to think that drum & bass these days is little more than a soulless genre of electronic music produced with the primary aim of making dancefloors full of gurning kids sweat their football shirts off would do well to take a listen to this record. The first compilation project from dBridge’s infallible Exit Records, ‘Mosaic Volume 1’ delivers 22 timeless, awe-inspiring pieces of electronic art that just so happen to be D&B. With tracks from highly lauded producers including Scuba, Skream, Commix and Instra:mental alongside new talents such as Synkro, Mode and Indigo, this is a rich and powerful collection of work that is certain to cast some much-needed credibility on an enduring and varied genre.
VARIOUS ARTISTS ‘Night Slugs Allstars Volume 1’ And Beyond’ (Night Slugs) 2010 has undoubtedly been a great year for the Night Slugs imprint and it’s testament to the quality of their roster that they can release a compilation like this after only a year in existence. With a tracklist that boasts some of the biggest tunes of this year, it’s a bold statement about the quality of music in 2010. Featuring contributions from all of the established Night Slugs stable and first airings for Optimum and Jacques Greene - who provides one of the highlights with ‘What You Want’ - the compilation takes you through some of the most exciting house mutations around and beyond. From Girl Unit’s absolutely huge R&B jam ‘Wut’ to the slinky ‘Booty Slammer’ courtesy of Velour, this is essential listening.
KATY B FT MS DYNAMITE ‘Lights On’ (Rinse) Katy B is set for superstardom. After an incredible 2010 that saw the 21-year-old Londoner elevated from underground goddess to top-ten troubling pop star, Katy enters 2011 with this collaboration with the resurgent Ms Dynamite on the Geeneus produced ‘Lights On’. Backed by a remix from Rinse golden boy Skream, this is simultaneously a brilliant pop record and an underground anthem.
Central Spillz is the Bristol-based collective of five MCs and one producer who’ve been smashing their hometown to pieces over the last couple of years with their vibe-packed live shows. Consisting of producer Superisk
and MCs Koast, Mackie Skillz, Shadz, C-Strike-Z and Redskin, Spillz already have quite a pedigree from their own individual projects within the world of dubstep and bass music. While there’s plenty of evidence of the group’s rowdy rave-razing abilities on tracks such as ‘What You Know About’ and ‘Find A Way’, this LP shows a deeper, more pensive
side to the crew, with tracks such as ‘I Wish’ and ‘Monday’ gilding Superisk’s dreamy space shanties with heartfelt performances from Spillz’s quintet of MCs. With Shadz and Redskin providing the hooks between which the crew’s tight and incisive flows can shine, ‘Space Travel’ is a worthy representation of six notable talents.
SPOOKY ‘Spartan’ EP (No Hats No Hoods)
HEADHUNTER ‘Chasing Dragons’ (Idle Hands)
MIKAL ‘New World’ / ‘This Moment’ (Shogun:LTD)
Spartan is the Grime instrumental of the year, with a rousing sample from the film ‘300’ acting as a call to arms in the club. This is a firing riddim, about as subtle as a sledgehammer, its heavyweight bass and quick-fire percussion make this pure grime hype. The EP also contains a subtle Martelo rework and another bouncy energetic Spooky banger, ‘Top 3 Selected Remix’.
On this new 12” for Bristol-based label Idle Hands, Headhunter takes a break from his jukeinfluenced work under the Addison Groove moniker. ‘Chasing Dragons’ is driven by a tough, pared down soca rhythm, which pierces through the film of ethereal pads, while ‘Lost Prophet’ drifts into dreamier territory, with the groove coming from the ebb and flow of percussion and the insistent bassline.
Having recently signed tracks to Goldie’s Metalheadz, Mikal rocks up for Friction’s label with a couple of tracks that have the Shogun sound all over them. ‘New World’ is a bleeping, spacious head-shaking groove that’s pure rhythm. ‘This Moment’ brings a deeper vibe, but is no less impressive. Big things to come from Mikal.
DZA ‘Bullseye’ EP (Black Acre)
R1 RYDERS ‘Full System’ EP (R1 Ryders)
The ever-impressive Black Acre imprint unleashes DZA’s ‘Bullseye’ EP. Coming courtesy of Russian beatmakers DZA & Mujuice and featuring the vocals of Shadowhuntaz MC and Non Genetic, ‘Bullseye’ is a tough, bitcrushed 8-Bit bomb, playing its sharp computer game melodies off against a gangsta swagger. Australian producer Dizz1 is on the remix.
R1 Ryders’ ‘Full System’ EP retains the production vibes established in their epic ‘Full Throttle’ EP, but diverges from their signature funkitek sound. ‘Cyber’ is an 808 and bleep filled atmospheric dubstep headnodder. ‘On Ur Marks’ has a bassline reminiscent of Coki in parts, while standout ‘Just A Feelin’ has the trademark R1 Ryders sound.
DAVE KELLY ‘Turn It Up Riddim ’ (Mad House) New Dave Kelly riddims are always an event and this, his first since 2007’s ‘Overdrive’, is no exception. ‘Turn It Up’ is classic dancehall material, with pounding sub bass, snatches of abstract melody and minimal driving drums. Pinchers leads the charge with ‘Amazing’, with further cuts coming from Cham & Timberlee, Bounty Killer and Fambo, with Cham’s solo cut ‘Dat Mi Say’ the pick of the bunch.
CENTRAL SPILLZ ‘Space Travel’ (Durkle Disco)
RACKNRUIN ‘Synthetic Heart’ EP ‘Sub Slayers’
VARIOUS ARTISTS ‘Critical Sound of Drum & Bass’ (Critical) After eight years in the game, Critical celebrates its fiftieth release with this 19-track anthology of highlights past, present and future from one of the most credible and consistent labels in drum & bass. With a focus on the deeper, more mature side of the sound, over the years Critical has released more than its fair share of seminal tracks from some of the very best producers working in the scene, and in doing so earned a reputation that’s second to none. This compilation celebrates nearly a decade in business in style with past glories such as Breakage’s ‘Staggered Dub’, Total Science’s ‘Redlines’ and Rockwell’s ‘Underpass’ sitting alongside fresh beats from future stars such as Enei, Pessimist and Stray. Here’s to another 50 releases.
GEORGE FITZGERALD ‘Don't You’ / (SCB Edit) (Hotflush)
George is back with ‘Don't You’ the anticipated follow up to ‘The Let Down’. The vocal samples nod to his associate Joy Orbison, but Fitzgerald achieves a deep style of progression, reminiscent of house and techno, that’s uncommon in UK bass music. On the flip, Scuba brings a turbulent techno edit under his SCB guise, rounding up a strong release for Hotflush.
In an age where ‘breaks’ has become something of a dirty word, a new breed of producers are slowly turning the tide, drawing inspiration from jungle and turning it into 2011-style 140bpm bass music. The ‘Synthetic Heart’ EP from RackNRuin spearheads just this idea, throwing in apaches and rave stabs with wanton abandon and a satisfying new-school aesthetic.
MURDERBOT FT MC ZULU ‘Vibe Is So Right’ (Sleazetone) Chicago’s Murderbot & MC Zulu come heavy with this unique hybrid of UK funky, bashment and jungle. Set at a house tempo, the track combines an elastic jungle bassline, alongside driving carnival rhythms, amen snares and a mesmerising dancehall vocal from Zulu to create an eclectic and devastating combination. File under ragga-jungle-house. This track is quite unique and all the better for it!
THE PHANTOM ‘Phantom’ EP (Senseless) Poland has become something of a hotspot for thugged-out dance music of late with people like Sentel and Zeppy Zep cropping up almost everywhere. The Phantom is another essential Polish producer, and his debut release for Senseless is a powerhouse tool for a melodic workout. With standouts like ‘Night Game’ and ‘Girl’ standing up solidly to their counterparts and remixers alike, it’s a sterling debut.
BECOMING REAL FT TRIM ‘Spectre’ EP (Not Even) ‘Like Me’ is the superbly fierce, chipped grime production from Becoming Real that gets swallowed by Trim’s trademark laconic flow. ‘Showdown In Chinatown’ is more of a melodic expression that welcomes the 8-bit percussion craze as Trim tumbles his words over the beat. Combined with a DJ Rashad, juke tempoed remix of ‘Like Me’ they make up this bolshy statement from Becoming Real.
DELS ‘Trumpalump’ (Ninja Tune) Ninja Tune drop the second single from the forthcoming album of touted MC Dels. Joe Goddard’s progressive instrumental provides a fittingly abstract backdrop for Del’s unique lyricism, which slides effortlessly from sharp wit and cerebral wordplay to deep introspection. This tidy package comes with remixes courtesy of Goddard and hyped wordsmith Ghostpoet, Paper Tiger and Gwilym.
VARIOUS ARTISTS ‘Wheezie’ EP (Individuals) Juke influences again on this four tracker for the Well Rounded sub-label Individuals. In fact, this is pretty much a straight-up UK take on the sound, with the same high tempos and booty-obsessed samples, but with an emphasis on bass pressure and rave accessibility that places it firmly in the UK bass music world. Great stuff, best played near girls.
THE MAIN EVENT #002
‘BASS LACED THIS IS THE PART OF TRAP WHERE WE CAST A SPOTLIGHT ON THE PARTIES AND PROMOTERS THAT ARE AT THE VERY HEART OF OUR SCENE. FOR OUR SECOND INSTALMENT, WE HEAD UP NORTH TO NOTTINGHAM TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT A NIGHT CALLED ‘BASSLACED’ AND ITS PLANS TO CONQUER LONDON... Basslaced has only been running since 2008, but in that time has grown from a small, purely dubstep event into one of the biggest parties in the northern half of the UK, with a reputation for attracting the very best names in bass music. Despite regularly smashing Nottingham’s huge Stealth club to pieces with their parties, the guys behind Basslaced have even greater plans for 2011, with their inaugural event at London’s Cargo set for February. We caught up with Tom Edgar who, along with James Busby, promotes Basslaced to hear more about the night, its plans for expansion, and their take on the scene from a promoter’s perspective... HOW DID BASSLACED START?
“I started promoting around three years ago, in a small out-of-town bar and have built things up from there. James has been running Detonate in Nottingham for 13 years and DJs under the name Transit Mafia. The first Basslaced was in May 2008 at a venue called The Social in Nottingham. The city was lacking a good dubstep promotion and we wanted to do a night that put the city on the map for dubstep. Youngsta was the first act we booked, which came about through a chance encounter at Black Market records where he worked. After that we decided to go monthly and from there we’ve never looked back; the first monthly event with Hatcha reached capacity within an hour of opening.”
“In 2010 BassLaced moved to Stealth, which allowed the night to kick into another gear. We launched at Stealth with Caspa, David Rodigan, Shy FX and quite a few more and the event sold out in advance. We took a risk with the line-up and it more than paid off. Rodigan said it was one of his favourite gigs in a while so that made it feel pretty special too. Since then, things at Stealth have been great with some serious line-ups coming through; we were the
first people in Nottingham to put on Katy B back in March and hosted Roller Express this October. We had just had a Digital Soundboy night too.” WHAT’S NOTTINGHAM LIKE FOR A RAVE THEN? “Nottingham really goes off; you get a great mix of local people and students and they all rave it up together. When I first came to the city, it was all about D&B for me and what genre of music you were into defined you as a person in many ways. Now, with the advent of dubstep, it crosses so many boundaries that everyone is in it together and dubstep really seems to have created one big blurring of the scenes. People in Nottingham love dubstep but they’re really open to other stuff as well; Roska smashed it last Friday.” YOU STARTED OFF AS A PURELY DUBSTEP NIGHT NOT THAT LONG AGO, BUT HAVE NOW BOOKED PLENTY OF ARTISTS FROM THE WIDER ‘BASS MUSIC’ SCENE. AS YOU YOURSELF HAVE JUST SAID, WHAT WERE ONCE VERY SEGREGATED GENRES HAVE BEEN RAPIDLY MERGING TOGETHER IN RECENT YEARS. WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON ALL THIS FROM A PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE? “I think it’s because dubstep has bridged the gap between a lot of different genres. It no longer looks weird having someone like Sinden or Jack Beats on the same line up as Caspa, and then Caspa can sit well with someone like TC; it all ties in. DJs are now much more aware of this and they want to avoid being pigeon-holed so they’re requesting to play in rooms with acts from other genres. I think it gives people much more of an option than they’ve had in the past, which is great because music is all about expression and seeing how different people do things. It’s like a country being multi cultural I guess; it brings about new influences, which help people develop their ideas.” YOU’RE KICKING OFF BASSLACED EVENTS IN LONDON IN FEBRUARY. TELL US MORE... “Yeah, our first event is at Cable on 11 February with Shy FX, 16-Bit, Redlight, Silkie, Girl Unit, Mensah and Goli & Ashburner. We’re going all out on it, so it should be a huge night. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE WITH YOUR NIGHTS IN LONDON? IT’S A BIG STEP UP FROM NOTTINGHAM; HOW ARE YOU PLANNING TO COMPETE AND WHAT DO YOU THINK BASSLACED CAN ADD TO “London is my home; it’s where i grew up so I’ve always known that I was going to go back there one day. I think it’s got a huge scene with a lot of choice but at the moment outside of the top bracket of Fabric and Rinse/FWD stuff there isn’t too much. We want to combine forward-thinking bookings with already established acts in a great venue, and I think the line ups we’ve got booked do that. BASSLACED’S FIRST EVENT IN LONDON TAKES PLACE 11 FEBRUARY AT CABLE. THE LINE-UP IS STUPID; MAKE SURE YOU CHECK IT.
THE BASS MUSIC SCENE IN THE CAPITAL?
#003 OUT MARCH 2011
Music : Fashion : Art --- Chase & Status // SBTRKT // Jammer & Mumdance // Spectrasoul // Zoom // Logan Sama // Cheba // plus more...
Published on Dec 21, 2010
Music : Fashion : Art --- Chase & Status // SBTRKT // Jammer & Mumdance // Spectrasoul // Zoom // Logan Sama // Cheba // plus more...