#005 TC S-X BOILER ROOM ADDISON GROOVE DJ EZ SPZERO76 FREE AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2011 WWW.TRAPMAGAZINE.CO.UK
WIN A SEASON PASS TO
BRAVE NEW WORLD
EVERY BASS COVERED MUSIC | FASHION | ART
%5, 67 2/
6 81'( 5*5281' 086, & 6( $621 2F W REH U 'H F H PEH U ZZZ EU L V W RO L QPRW L RQ F RP
#005 AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2011
FACEBOOK: Search ‘Trap Magazine’ TWITTER: @trapmagazine EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
REGULARS. HYPE THINGS WORTH GETTING EXCITED ABOUT
MONKI SEE, MONKI DO
TRAP X THE DAILY STREET
BOSS SELECTIONS DJ’S TOP TENS PLUS IN-DEPTH CHARTS
FASHION SKATE CITY
BASSPOINTS THE HOTTEST EVENTS ON PLANET BASS
FRONT COVER: Nero by Laura Lewis. WORDS: Jon Cook, Oli Marlow, Kasha Malyckyj, Sam Bates, Belinda Rowse, Sam Collenette, Jeryl Wilton, Amy Stiff, bassmusicblog.com, Sophie Thomas, Sean Kelly, Jon Carter, Tim Rayner, Adam Scotland, Dave Cotgrave, Curtis Moldrich and Lungile Mhlanga. PICTURES: Laura Lewis, Zachery Saitoti, Sim Higginson, ASHES57, Sam Neill, Sebastian Matthes, Tom Bunning, Jacob Bours, Josh MG, Shifteye. 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: Leo @ Darling, Adam @ Backdrop, Ben @ Run, Carly @ Don’t Panic, Baz @FOO, Rob, Tom & Ollie @ The Blast; Johnny & Jack @ Outlook; Danna @ Takkako, Scot @ Fabric, Lee & Courtney @ Muzik Hertz, Sophie @ MTA, Tim @ Campus Skate, Steve @ Cooshti, Lisa & Suz, Louis, Rich & Sid @50/50, Cheba & Sam @ WOC, James @American Apparel, Jerry@Lazy Oaf. TRAP MAGAZINE, Unit 14, The Coach House, Upper York Street, Bristol BS2 8QN.
e p y h G GETTIN WORTH THINGS ED ABOUT... EXCIT
DETONATE ALL DAYER WIN TICKETS! On Sunday 9 October, Nottingham’s Detonate will be taking over all three rooms of Rock City for an all-day rave that promises to kick off the student year in style. At the time of going to press, the line-up is still very hush-hush, but with Trap cover stars Nero and dubstep superstar Skream headlining, you know this is going to be one massive party. Taking place from 3pm to 3am, we’d recommend keeping an eye on the Detonate website for more details. Trap has a pair of tickets to give away, for the chance to win just email email@example.com with your date of birth and postcode a winner will be selected at random. WWW.DETONATE1.CO.UK
We’re extremely proud to announce that we will be producing a special edition of Trap exclusively for this September’s Outlook festival in Croatia. When you buy the official lanyard and line-up, you’ll also receive a 64-page magazine programme produced with all the same love and attention that goes into every issue of Trap. Packed with essential info, arena guides and artist interviews and features, if you’re one of the lucky 10,000 headed out to Croatia this year; make sure you grab your copy!
PIRACY IS A PAR
UK BASS CULTURE
RINSE TURNS 17
After spending a couple of years working on his second album, Toddla T got par’d hard last month when a German journo leaked a promo copy of his new LP online, forcing the release date forward. Luckily for Toddla, the album is sick so damage should be minimal.
YouTube bass-music phenomenon UKF are linking up with the guys behind SW4 for an unprecedented bass-culture celebration at Alexandra Palace on 25 November. With an expected sell-out capacity close to 10,000, this is set to be the biggest event ever of its kind.
One for all the sneaker-heads out there, Adidas Originals iPhone app is now available in the app store. Using 3D imaging, the app lets you take a picture of your desired kick before then recommending a matching style and locating the nearest store you’ll find them.
Bastion of bass culture RinseFM turns 17 in September, and to celebrate are once again linking with FWD>> to throw their biggest ever dance at the massive Brixton Academy. After a year that’s seen the Londonbased radio station turn legal, the guys at Rinse have plenty celebrate...
NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL It’s that time of year again, you have permission to blow a whistle or horn all day and spend far too much money on chicken; Notting Hill Carnival is just around the corner. Red Bull Music Academy are back for the fourth year running on Monday 29 August, teaming up with Diplo & Switch’s Major Lazer once again to invite the likes of Dillon Francis, Oneman b2b Jackmaster and many more to smash up the space beneath the Westway. Tickets are available exclusively from 10 August from the Red Bull website. Meanwhile, Deadly Rhythm return for their annual carnival after-party on Sunday 28 August, keeping true to the soundsystem culture at the heart of carnival to bring Rodigan, Dillinja, Trojan Soundsystem and The Heatwave indoors for a very special-looking dance at Brixton’s Plan B.
SEE NO EVIL / HEAR NO EVIL
After five amazing years, 2011 will see Manchester’s Warehouse Project close the doors for the last time on the Store Street venue that has become its home. After another stunning season of events, NYE will see a 17-hour party to bring the curtain down on an amazing era for raving up North.
Few genres combine better than D&B and reggae, a fact not lost on the Run Tingz collective who unleash their self-titled label’s sixth release this month. Featuring Serial Killaz, Tenor Fly and Blackout JA, the Run Tingz crew are living up to their name. WWW.RUNTINGZRECORDINGS.CO.UK
London's premier skate shop Slam City Skates is celebrating 25 years of providing the capital with the freshest garms and footwear with a brand new website. Also, watch out for a film called ‘City Of Rats’, which will be out this autumn. WWW.SLAMCITY.COM
Following a string of heavyweight releases, Need For Mirrors have started their own label, Zoltar. The label will act primarily as a vehicle for their own output, with a strong visual concept running through each release. The first installment, ‘Alabama’ / ‘Erotic Relapse’, is out now.
By the time most of you are reading this, one of the most depressing streets in Bristol will have been transformed into the largest permanent street art exhibition in Europe. Over three days, beginning 19 August, dozens of the planet’s most respected street artists will adorn the walls of Nelson Street in the city centre with some of the largest individual artworks on the planet. And amazingly, after the weekend’s activities are over (which includes three wicked looking after-parties), it’s all staying put. The brainchild of legendary graffiti artist Inkie, this will no doubt provide a city with an incredible contribution to the art form the deserved status as one of the street art capitals of the world.
IN:MOTION LAUNCHES In 2010, a former skatepark tucked away behind Bristol’s Temple Meads train station announced itself as a major force in underground music with the launch of the debut In:Motion series. Bringing many of the world’s biggest and most respected DJs, acts and club brands to the huge warehouses and compact rooms of Motion, the season attracted visitors from far and wide and gave Bristol’s notoriously party-friendly residents another couple of reasons to get messy every weekend. Marking the completion of the venue’s transition from a skatepark that occasionally hosted raves, to a fully functioning, amazing sounding and completely unique nightclub, 2010’s season marked Motion as one of the UK’s best venues, while setting expectations high for 2011... 30 September will see the launch of this year’s season, and over the following three months the likes of Rinse vs FWD>>, Cocoon, Hospitality, Bugged Out, Bloc, Annie Mac Presents and many more promise to pack out every night of every weekend. At the time of going to press, most of the line-ups were yet to be announced, but the Hessle Audio party on 15 October, featuring Jamie XX, Jamie Woon and the full HA crew, and the enormous Shit The Bed the night before with Caspa, Redlight, Ms Dynamite and more (see below) are indications of what to expect in the space of just one weekend! WWW.BRISTOLINMOTION.COM
TRAP SHITS THE BED
Anyone who goes raving in Bristol will know all about Shit The Bed. Taking place five times a year at Motion, STB is the biggest event of its kind in the South West and brings together all the varying forms of bass-music that we at Trap love. And from October onwards, kicking off with the STB taking place as part of In:Motion, Trap will be hosting our very own room at the West Country mega-rave... Keep your eyes on the STB facebook page for details of the HUGE line-up. WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/THEBLASTAKASHITTHEBED
BUNGA BUNGA Bunga Bunga is a night in the Steel City; Sheffield. I’ve only managed to make it up there once, but it was a vibe! Run by the badman himself, Big Dutty Nathan… ha ha! I really like the mix of people the night brings and the way it heavily supports local talent - like Checan and Squarehead, two young producers I like to play on radio. If you’re about town, I suggest you go see wagwaan.
NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL There’s only one party to check on the weekend of 26 August – Notting Hill Carnival. Catch heads like Urban Nerds, Girls Music and Major Lazer all throwing parties that weekend. I’ll be down at Eastern Electrics on the Sunday, playing alongside Dark Sky, TWilliams, Jesse Rose and more...
BESTIVAL Also September is the month of one the last, but best (pun intended), festivals of the year, Bestival. Catch me playing alongside the other Rinse heads taking over a stage on the Saturday… let’s all pray it doesn’t rain.
RinseFM’s Monki is one of the most onpoint DJs around righ her own weekly sho t now. Hosting w on the now-legal radio station and reg sickest raves in tow ularly playing at the n, we’re proud to inv ite Monki into the pages for the first of a regula of Trap. Read on r column from the 19 -year-old South Lon everything she’s rat doner, sharing ing in the coming mo nth…
ONE TO WATCH
ZULU This guy landed in my inbox a few months back and I’ve been supporting tracks like ‘Kwaito’ and ‘Bulawayo’ on Rinse and in the raves ever since. Raf Daddy (Half of The Two Bears) was listening in one Thursday and pretty soon after, I heard Zulu will be releasing on Toddla T’s label, Girls Music. Big up!
I LOVE ...
MELE ‘Starlight Express’ Mixpack Huge track forthcoming as part of an EP on Mixpack. This was made while Mele was sitting on his bed. I hate that he can do that.
KOOL KIDS CLUB Kool Kids Klub has a great party vibe and is, to my knowledge, the only night that’s playing this sort of music in Southend. It’s had DJs like Jackmaster, Toddla T, Oneman, Lil Silva, French Fries, Mele and loads more. Held in the upstairs of a bar, it’s dark and dingy and a bit of sweat box, but that’s one of the reasons why it’s great. Plus, they have cool t-shirts.
WELCOME REALITY THE DEBUT ALBUM OUT 15TH AUGUST INCLUDES INNOCENCE, ME & YOU, GUILT & PROMISES WWW.THISISNERO.COM
FOUND NEW UK BASS SERIES LAUNCHES AT LONDON’S HIDDEN.
hype WIN A SEASON PASS TO
You can win a Season Pass to FOUND, giving you free guest-list entry to all 12 Friday events in the series. For your chance to win, just email your name, date of birth and post code to firstname.lastname@example.org. A winner will be selected at random and the competition closes on 23 September 2011. All entrants must be 18+ and provide valid ID for entry. One winner will receive a FOUND season ticket entitling them to free, guest list entry to all 12 events in the Friday series. All entrants must be 18+ and provide valid iD for entry.
While these sorts of ‘seasons’ or ‘series’ of events have become increasingly popular over recent years, FOUND offers a completely different take on the concept. With the venue’s WWW.FOUNDSERIES.CO.UK
capacity split between three rooms, rather than having to focus on filling a massive main arena, FOUND can reach deep into the underground for the programming of its events. Justin Martin opens the series on 30 September, and from here the quality never drops, as the likes of Eglo Records, Butterz, Quarantine and Black Butter join impeccably curated in-house events Trix and Momentum on the 12-week roster. We’ve seen most of the line-ups all the way through to Christmas and every single one is sick.
On 30 September, London nightclub Hidden will be given a fresh lease of life with the launch of FOUND. Over a period of 12 weeks, the South-London venue will play host to some of the finest bass-centric line-ups anywhere in the capital, inviting an erudite selection of artists, labels and events to breathe new life into its three rooms and offer another alternative to the well-trodden East London circuit.
WORDS: KASHA MALYCKYJ
Heads up ladies, we know that anything past September is the last thing on your mind, but it really is time to start thinking about your autumn wardrobe.
We love effortlessly cool Australian label Mink Pink, and even more so after seeing their A/W 11 collection. Sticking with a flawless formula of vintage-inspired designs and nods to current trends, this collection is a fine mix of rich autumnal colours, luxe fabrics and cosy knitwear. Key pieces from the range include these skinny fit leopard print jeans and sheer chain-print shirt. WWW.ASOS.COM
BRAND TO WATCH
GUTS AND GLORY Guts and Glory is a small UK-based label with big ideas… Starting out on canvases and customising clothes for friends, the brand present an eight-piece collection of illustrated t-shirts. Quirky graphics in black, white and red stand out on a crisp white background, and capture the label’s sense of humour perfectly. WWW.ROKTIC.COM
ACTUAL PAIN Go grab yourself a piece of the latest offering from US brand Actual Pain. Aptly named 'All Them Witches', the collection consists of a fresh batch of tees and hats covered in the classic dark imagery the brand is known for. Available in the UK now, we’re feeling the 'Coven' and 'Script logo' styles. WWW.ACTUALPAIN.ORG
GIRLS WE HATED IN HIGH SCHOOL Ultra-cool shoe designer Jeffrey Campbell has branched out and created a spin-off bag label called ‘Girls We Hated In High School’. We’re in love with this collection, which combines colour pop brights and rainbow Navajo prints with suede fringing and tassles. WWW.JEFFREY CAMPBELLSHOES.COM
FREEDMINDS 'High Quality Contraband' is a new collection by San Francisco label Freedminds. The brand design around the themes of "community, rebellion and success through struggle" and have produced a superior selection of t-shirts, loose fitting vests and sweatshirts. We love the laidback luxe vibe, as captured in their look-book, shot on location in LA and featuring members of the hip-hop collective Odd Future. You'll find the full range on the Freedminds online store. WWW.THEFREEDMINDS.COM
SWAMP81 X DONUTS Record label SWAMP81 joins force with streetwear emporium Donuts for a series of tee-shirt collaborations that we canâ€™t wait to own. Referencing the model numbers of classic 1980s synths and drum machines, these super-limited tees are the first in a series of collabs that everyone from beard-strokers to hipsters will be fighting for. Keep an eye out for the finished tees, coming in both white and black. WWW.DONUTSTHESTORE.CO.UK
In the first of a regular series of features with the guys at online streetwear bible The Daily Street, Trap showcases three of the best summer accessories to take you through the tail-end of the season and beyond... Words: Adam Scotland
‘Sunpocket Original The Sunpocket II is an affordable and compact alternative to high-end eyewear and signals an end to shades stored on T-shirt necks. Coming in a range of colours, the sunglasses are 100% UV protective and the foldable frame makes the Sunpocket II a practical option for brighter days. www.urbanoutfitters.co.uk
‘INDCSN 5-Panel Cap While fitteds are old news and the streets are full of lurid snapback caps, UK brand Indcsn have things just right with their 5-panel caps. These chino twill offerings keep things simple and come in a selection of colours, all featuring a simple logo tab on the front, with adjustable fastening on the reverse. www.indcsn.com
‘Herschel Survey Backpack You’re always going to need somewhere to keep your accessories, and the Survey pack from Herschel Supply Co represents the perfect blend of heritage style and modern functionality. Complete with a red and white striped interior, the Survey Backpack is a clean and rugged piece of kit that’s built to last. www.urbanindustry.co.uk
For more, go to www.thedailystreet.co.uk
The biggest DJs in the game share the secrets of their selection...
GOING IN DEEP
‘DBRIDGE YARDBROUGH & PEOPLES ‘Don't Stop The Music’ I adore this track; I often finish my sets with it. It's a statement of my intent to want to keep going. I also love how young people have no idea what it is and constantly ask me who it’s by. I'm basically showing my age when I play this. SATIN STORM ‘Satin Storm’ This is a classic bit of old-skool. I never really heard it being played out back in the day, but it was always played on pirate radio and was always on a mixtape in my walkman. Reminds me of Rush FM.
FIVE STAR ‘Can't Wait Another Minute’ The UK's answer to Jackson Five!? Poptastic! As cheesy as they may seem, I used to really like them. I think they knew how to write a strong hook and as I've gotten older I've appreciated them more.
EXIT RECORDS APOLLONIA 6 ‘Sex Shooter’ Prince producing at his sleazy best. I recently rediscovered this; it's got everything I love about a Prince tune - sultry lyrics, Linn drums and a great hook. The video is great too; scantily clad women with big hair. Electric Blue Beat. I've added this to my hit list of songs to look out for when I go crate digging. The fact you can't buy it on iTunes adds even more appeal to me. FUTURE FORCES ‘Strontium Jazz’ (Dillinja Rmx) I remember how excited I was when we heard that Dillinja had agreed to do the remix. I'm a huge fan and was still forging my career in D&B, so it felt we'd reached a certain step having someone like him remix our tune. When it arrived we were both blown away, I think it's the first example of him using that style break, which he then went on to utilise in his great tracks on Test and the ‘Cybotron’ album. This track still causes trouble on the dancefloor. Also if my memory serves me, the original never came out...
SCRITTI POLITTI ‘Boom! There She Was’ A friend of mine got me into this group - I loved the ‘Cupid and Psyche’ album, then they released ‘Provision’ in 1988. I had this album on heavy rotation. I think he still has one the most distinctive voices in UK pop, and I'm heavily influenced by his chord progressions and melodies.
ED RUSH & OPTICAL ‘Mystery Machine’ D&B techno funk! This is how to rock a groove, something that a lot of people have forgotten how to do. Clever edits, bleeps and whistles are all well and good, but can you roll? This is on my wish-I’d-made-it list, along with Krust’s ‘Futures Unknown’.
LOOSE ENDS ‘Don't Be A Fool’ One of the UK's most successful R&B acts. It's hard to pick a favourite song by these guys, they wrote so many; 'Hanging On A String', 'Look How Long'; but I picked this one because I love the use of the break. I love the fact that they kept hold of their British identity whilst being a part of a very American scene. Alongside Omar and Mica Paris, they were singers I look up to for what they did for UK soul music.
MATRIX ‘Mute 98’ For me, Matrix was one of the best electronic soul musicians around, one of the original exponents of pairing light and dark elements - aggressively beautiful. His album ‘Sleepwalk’ was a landmark release and one I think future generations will look back on and revere. He, alongside Photek, was able to produce songs you could both play out and at home, something I still strive for and another lost art in D&B. PRINCE Pick a song, it doesn't matter, he's a G. That is all!!
DOCTOR P. CIRCUS
1. DOCTOR P ‘Tetris’ 2. FLUX PAVILION ‘Bass Cannon’ 3. ROKSONIX ‘Music In Me’ 4. COOKIE MONSTA ‘Bubble Trouble’ 5. FUNTCASE ‘50 Caliber’ 6. EPTIC ‘Fools’ 7. SKRILLEX ‘Cinema Rmx’ 8. NERO ‘Crush On You’ 9. SERIAL KILLAZ ‘Fresh Style’ 10. SLUM DOGZ ‘Bad Ass’ Rmx
1. ENEI ‘Machines’ 2. CULTURE SHOCK ‘Protection’ 3. L 33 ‘Step Ahead’ 4. S.P.Y & KASRA ‘Surface’ VIP 5. EMPEROR ‘Vapour’ 6. ENEI FT. RIYA ‘No Fear’ (Spectrasoul Rmx) 7. XTRAH ‘Contortion’ 8. DUB PHIZIX ‘Break It’ 9. LONDON ELECTRICITY ‘U Gotta B Crazy’ (Enei Rmx) 10. BREAK & DIE ‘Slow Down’ VIP ROYAL-T. BUTTERZ
RACKNRUIN. BLACK BUTTER
1. RACKNRUIN FT SEROCEE, NAVIGATOR & ILLAMAN ‘Righteous’ 2. HOSTAGE ‘Energise’ 3. ALPINES ‘Cocoon’ (RackNRuin Rmx) 4. ROSKA ‘Blame The Speakers’ 5. MORCEE ‘Bad Boy Style’ 6. RACKNRUIN FT NAVIGATOR & SLARTA JOHN ‘Territory’ (Woz Remix) 7. FOAMO ‘Vibrations’ 8. BAXTA ‘Work It’ 9. LOADSTAR ‘Berlin’ 10. RACKNRUIN FT ADIYAM & LADY CHANN ‘Darkness’ PHAELEH. AFTERGLO
1. PISTONSBENEATH ‘Resonate’ 2. DJ MADD ‘Pitfall’ (Phaeleh Rmx) 3. SYNKRO ‘Tribe’ 4. KILLAWATT ‘Wobbly Forest’ 5. DIZZ1 ‘Gone Soon’ 6. KILLAWATT ‘Binary’ 7. LAS ‘Power Surge’ 8. KILLAWATT ‘I Need You’ 9. BIOME ‘Space’ 10. PHAELEH ‘In The Twilight’
1. TERROR DANJAH FT RUBY LEE RYDER ‘Full Attention’ 2. SWINDLE ‘Pineapple’ 3. P MONEY & BLACKS ‘Boo You’ 4. WILEY ‘It's Wiley’ (Royal-T Rmx) 5. THE STREETS ‘Same Old Thing’ (Outlaw Breaks Rmx) 6. ROYAL-T ‘Don't Call Me Baby’ 7. TRIM ‘I Am’ 8. DOK ‘Sidedok’ 9. P JAM ‘Arizona Skyz’ 10. ROYAL-T ‘Orangeade VIP’ TOMB CREW. BLACK BUTTER 1. OMB CREW FT RUBI DAN, JUXCI D & ILLAMAN ‘Watch This’ 2. WOZ ‘Seen’ 3. JOHN ROMAN ‘Sala’ 4. WARRIOR ONE FT ROYSTON WILLIAMS ‘Wavey’ 5. DRUMS OF DEATH ‘I Can't Take It’ 6. AC SLATER & XAPHOON ‘Believe Me’ 7. HOSTAGE ‘Energise’ 8. THE LIVING GRAHAM BOND ‘Buckshot’ 9. MISTA MEN ‘Double Dip’ 10. KID CHAMELEON ‘Searchlight’
IN DETAIL KUTZ ‘Void’ Dark as fuck! This half-step roller changes in to a pounding 8bar-type skank; it reminds me of ‘Pulse X’, but with some next level production quality.
DISMANTLE ‘Computation’ One of the biggest tunes around at the minute! Another track that will be dropping on Wheel & Deal in September.
DISMANTLE ‘Detonate’ In the same vain as ‘Word Dance’ (out on Wheel & Deal), this track brings dubstep, funky and crackhouse together.
DREAM ‘Last Time’ Dream steps up with a Dr P-style, high-pitch bass roll out! A new artist who is sure to make a stir in the scene if he carries on making club smashers like this.
SURGE ‘Swaying Mantis’ I smash this at nearly every rave I play; dubplate special style. There’s a real cinematic darkness to it, and some seriously sick percussion. Will be out soon on Wheel & Deal. KRAFTY KUTZ ‘Pounding’ Ft Dynamite MC (N-Type Rmx) I just finished this full-vocal dubstep remix. It’s been getting a great reception in the clubs and the original is sure to smash it.
WHEEL & DEAL
SOAP DODGERS ‘Water Landing’ A big, dark half-step roller from Soap Dodgers, being battered by myself and Youngsta and lined up for release on Tempa! Watch out for these guys; they’re sick! TAIKI & NULIGHT ‘Grotesque’ Forthcoming on Biscuit Factory... the bassline on this biscuit is a dirty wrongon! Love that! BENTON ‘Smash that Badger’ VIP I’ve had this on dub for a while, and it destroys dances! It’s soon to have a vocal mix, so keep an ear and an eye out.
HIZZLEGUY ‘Drunk Dub’ (Dismantle Rmx) Hizz-hop in the grinder; another big tune from a talented new artist from Brighton. Forthcoming on Hatcha’s Sin City .
PHOTOS: Josh MG
Back in June, some of the most important voices in the history of underground British music gathered at Londonâ€™s Cargo for a show unlike any other before. For that one night, a cross generational, all-star line-up of the voices that helped shape the British underground - from dancehall to jungle, reggae to grime - could all be found on one stage paying homage to the soundsystem culture that laid the foundations for the bass-centric musical genres that we at Trap adore. From legendary voices of jungle and ragga such as General Levy and Glamma Kid, to drum & bass and grime icons Skibadee, Riko and Wiley, to modern-day UK dancehall dons Lady Chan, Mr Williamz and Stylo G; all were in attendance to toast the mic over a backbeat of classic dancehall and bashment provided by Showtime masterminds The Heatwave. For those that couldnâ€™t make it down, here we present a selection of photographs of some of the biggest artists performing at what was a truly legendary occasion. Watch out for the DVD of the show available soon from www.theheatwave.co.uk
NOT PLAYING AROUND’
Now, TC is well and truly back, with a fresh focus and new record label all of his own. Called Don’t Play, the label’s first release – the Dread MC featuring ‘Concrete’ and ‘Burning Starlight’ – has thrown the eyes of the underground, and Radio One’s tastemaker DJs, back on to TC. With Don’t Play’s second release set to drop in September, and a massive remix competition underway on TC’s facebook page, Trap tracked him down to his awe-inspiring studio to find out more about the label and what exactly he’s been up to... EZ TC! WE’VE NOT HEARD FROM YOU FOR A WHILE... WHERE’VE YOU BEEN? “Yeah, the last thing I put out was my album and the singles from that; it’s been three years! I’ve been busy though. I’ve done quite a few remixes; Rihanna ‘Rude Boy’, Tinie Tempah ‘Frisky’, Damian Marley & Nas ‘As We Enter’, which have all been great projects to work on. And I’ve just remixed Cee Lo Green’s new single, so I’ve been making music the whole time. I’ve got a lot of tunes now... it’s all ammunition for the new label.” YOUR NEW LABEL... IT’S CALLED DON’T PLAY. WHAT’S BEHIND THE NAME? “I guess it’s reverse psychology; ‘Don’t play this record!’ Tell people not to do something and they will want to do it... But really, it’s because I’m not playing around anymore; I don’t want to do things by halves. I think I’m at a stage now where I can choose my own path, and I’ve been around long enough to know how things work.” THE FIRST SINGLE ON DON’T PLAY - ‘CONCRETE’ AND ‘BURNING STARLIGHT’ - HAS JUST BEEN RELEASED AND FEATURES DREAD MC ON BOTH TRACKS. SHOULD WE EXPECT MORE TRACKS FROM YOU TWO? “Dread’s great, but I don’t think so; he’s working very heavily with Redlight now. I guess it was just a happy accident that we found ourselves in the studio. ‘Burning Starlight’ is a D&B track, but ‘Concrete’ is dubstep. I was going through a time when I was really enjoying making 140bpm stuff, Dread was round and jumped on the track and freestyled over it. I just recorded it and edited it to make the tune. I’ve been really pleased with the fact that the pioneers like Hatcha, NType, Benga, Skream all playing it out in the raves; it gives it a bit of credibility in my eyes.”
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT DUBSTEP AS A WHOLE AT THE MOMENT? IS IT STILL CAPTURING YOUR INTEREST? “I think it’s being arse-raped by Radio One right now and a lot of the people that used to make it are doing something else. I went through a stage of playing half an hour of dubstep in a two-hour set, but now there’s a lot of other exciting music around. There is a lot of dubstep I love though – I’ve just helped Joker out mixing some vocals for his new album, and that is incredible. We’re mates, but we connect on a production level, we’re always finding new things to share in the studio; he’s a sparring partner. He’s definitely influenced me and my music.” “The big thing for me right now is half-time D&B, or ‘drumstep’. I could play a whole set of it; the Cee Lo Green remix I’ve just done is a drumstep track, and ‘Burning Starlight’ has that half-time beat. I’m really feeling that vibe, not many people are on it yet. It’s got a hip-hop vibe; it’s a head-nod thing...” SO, WHAT’S THE MUSICAL AGENDA FOR DON’T PLAY? ARE YOU PLANNING TO MIX UP THE GENRES? “I’d like to get remixes in other genres, but the label is gonna be D&B and 140. The next single ‘Tap Ho’ is a straight-up drum & bass track. I’m not gonna jump on any bandwagons, I think mostly I’m gonna stick to the D&B aspect. I play other types of music in my DJ sets but I never feel comfortable until I get back to the drum and bass and I know I can drop three tunes together or whatever. I know it, inside and out.” D&B IS STILL THE ONE FOR YOU? “Yeah I love it. It’s changing a lot though, but I like that. There’s some amazing music out there right now and I think the new guys are having so much more influence on what is going on; Netsky is someone who could break a tune now. And Camo & Krooked too, I rate them so much. They’ve got an amazing work ethic and I think their tunes are sick; I’ve just done vocals for a couple of tracks off their album. “Also, I think dubstep has been a blessing for D&B. Dubstep has taken away all the people that were making half-hearted drum & bass; now every kid that wants to start making music is making dubstep not D&B, and D&B has been left clear for the guys who had heart and stuck with it. It’s beautiful that so much less is coming out; it’s given us a breath of fresh air. SO YOU’RE FEELING PRETTY GOOD ABOUT LIFE BACK AT THE FORE OF THE UNDERGROUND DRUM & BASS SCENE AGAIN? “Yeah, definitely. Artistically I feel I have a lot of freedom. My own label is underway; I’m happy. And I definitely don’t wanna go do the major label route, I don’t wanna sell kids the idea of being a sex freak like a lot of pop tunes I hear seem to! I guess I’m just always looking for a new challenge, and right now, for me that challenge is Don’t Play!” ‘TAP HO’ IS OUT LATE SEPTEMBER ON DON’T PLAY.
JUST A FEW YEARS AGO, TC WAS ONE OF DRUM & BASS’S BIGGEST NAMES. WITH A DISTINCTLY DANCEFLOOR ORIENTATED SOUND AND THE THEN UNPRECEDENTED HABIT OF TAKING TO THE MIC AND SINGING OVER HIS TRACKS, TC WAS A BREATH OF FRESH AIR IN A DRUM & BASS SCENE THAT WAS STILL LEARNING NOT TO TAKE ITSELF TOO SERIOUSLY. HOWEVER, AFTER COUNTLESS SMASH SINGLES AND AN ANTHEM-PACKED DEBUT ALBUM IN 2007, THE BRISTOL-BORN PRODUCER SEEMED TO STEP BACK FROM THE SPOTLIGHT, PREFERRING TO PLY HIS TRADE REMIXING MAJOR ARTISTS AND KEEPING VERY MUCH OUT OF THE OFTEN POLITICAL GAMES OF THE ESTABLISHED DRUM & BASS CIRCUIT.
DDetonate etonate & N Nottingham ottingham TTrent rent SStudent tudent UUnion nion ppresent resent
SSUNDAY UNDAY 99TH TH OCTOBER 2011 2011 OCTOBER 33PM-3AM PM-3AM
ROCK R OCK CITY CITY & R ESCUE ROOMS, ROOMS, RESCUE N OTTINGHAM NOTTINGHAM
DETONATE D ETONATE A LL-DAY AYER 22011 011 ALL-DAYER
+ LLOADS OADS M MORE ORE T EA NOUNCED! TOO B BE ANOUNCED! LLTD TD EARLYBIRD EARLYBIRD TICKETS TICKETS AVAILABLE AVAILABLE N NOW! OW! VISIT V ISIT WWW.DETONATE1.CO.UK WWW.DETONATE1.CO.UK OOR R SCAN SCAN HERE: HERE: GGET ET TTICKETS ICKETS DDIRECT IRECT TTOO YYOUR OUR PPHONE: HONE: TTEXT EXT DETONATE DETONATE TTOO 882500 2500 N NOW! OW! DDETONATE ETONATE IPHONE IPHONE APP APP
Download tthe Download he iiPhone Phone AApp pp for for FFREE REE - SSearch ea r c h ‘‘Detonate’ Detonate’ iinn the the AApp pp Store. Store.
((standard st a nd a r d m msg sg ccosts osts aapply) pply))
et aall ll tthe he llatest atest nnews ews on fforthcoming orthcoming aacts cts aand nd eevents, vents, plus plus rregular eg ular FACEBOOK FACEBOOK GGet competitions competitions aand nd cchances hances ttoo w win in gguest uest llist... ist... w www.facebook.com/detonateuk w w.facebook.com /detonateuk
TWITTER TWITTER FFollow ollow uuss @detonateuk @detonateuk
AT BOILING POINT’ BOILER ROOM
WORDS: Oli Marlow PHOTOS: Ashes57
IN 2011, INTERNET VOYEURISM IS RIFE. HUMANS, BY NATURE, ARE CURIOUS. NO MATTER HOW TIGHT YOUR SECURITY SETTINGS MAY BE, YOUR MERE PRESENCE ON ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORKS SUCH AS FACEBOOK MEANS THAT YOU CAN BE UNDER THE SCRUTINY OF ANYONE WITH AN INTERNET CONNECTION AND A CORRESPONDING ACCOUNT. PEOPLE WANT TO SEARCH OUT AND INVESTIGATE OTHER PEOPLE’S ONLINE LIVES, POSSIBLY CELEBRATING OR WALLOWING IN THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THEIR OWN EXISTENCE IS EITHER ECLIPSING THAT OF OTHERS OR ISN’T AS BRIGHT AND JOYOUS AS THOSE OF THE VERY ONES THEY’RE E-STALKING.
People want to watch, a fact that’s obviously not gone un-noticed. Online broadcasting has risen in popularity since the advent of Ustream - a platform that enables you to broadcast sounds and moving pictures live. Ever since RinseFM DJ Oneman began ‘yardcasting’ (aka mixing live from his bedroom) on Ustream at random intervals, there’s been a glut of DIY DJ sessions that have bought another branch of reality to virtual life. The London-based Boiler Room is one such influential outfit. Having grown over the last year from a small and intimate fly-onthe-wall style DJ session held in an East London office, Boiler Room has stamped its own indelible mark on the world of bass music. Beaming out live performances and DJ sets from collectives such as Standard Place, Hotflush, Young Turks, Swamp81, Hessle Audio and Hyperdub, they’ve transmitted sets by the cream of the crop, presenting each one neatly - whether as a live event or after-thefact, as a podcast or on-demand video clip. From super humble beginnings, Boiler Room has snowballed to the point where they’ve hosted sets from globally revered selectors such as Theo Parrish, Jamie XX and James Blake, and the team behind it are travelling the globe, documenting performances from events like SXSW, Sonar Festival or Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Festival. “The energy surrounding the music scene in London is at boiling point right now,” Thristian bPm, one of the tight-knit crew behind the Boiler Room, tells Trap from his Hackney base. “Somehow we've managed to bring that footloose energy together and broadcast it around the world. It's quite raw, and given the fact that it's a broadcast and not a club session, the DJs that come down feel a certain amount of freedom when their on the wheels.”
The Boiler Room is active and streamable live most Tuesday nights between 8pm and 11pm, a regular event that enables viewers across the globe to be united in concentration or to feel part of the experience from the comfort of their desk chair. It’s changed a lot; blossoming from a concise group of people crammed into the actual back room of a warehouse to a weekly event held at Corsica Studios, one of London’s leading venues located in the south of the city. “We got kicked out of the initial space as it became too small for the amount of people that were turning up each week. The police turned up due to noise complaints and the landlord decided to build a Tesco downstairs,” Thristian informs us smiling wryly at the memory. “We use Room Two at Corsica Studios now; it's great. In my opinion it has the cleanest soundsystem in London and unlike the random warehouse spots we’ve taken over in the past, it's fully equipped, so we don't need to drag in and set up a soundsystem every time.” “The first Boiler Room that we did with Loefah and Jon Rust was great,” says Reecha, a regular Bolier Room guest on the Dirty Canvas and Standard Place broadcasts. “It was still in the original
space in Dalston Lane and it was just us lot plus about 10 friends. There wasn't any hype or any notion of a guest list. It didn’t really feel like anything proper, like a radio show or a club night, bar Loefah's 30-minute solo set we pretty much just took turns playing records, getting on the mic and manning the chat room. I think it worked because it took what Steve (Oneman) was just doing on his own in his room and made it a bit more structured and more social, so people wanted to tune in.” Whether it’s for the upfront tracks, the out of the ordinary sets or expressly to poke fun at the one guy who insists on standing oncamera the whole time, randomly flailing his limbs in an awkward appreciation for the music, trying to catch the eye of one of the MCs performing in front of him, as if they’ll at some point pass him the mic and he’ll unleash a torrent of lyrical spray that will make him an instant internet sensation overnight; it seems that live DJ sets are just something people want to watch. The Boiler Room’s simplicity and popularity is another example of the kind of weight and unfathomable impact the internet has had on the accessibility of modern music. “I think they've tapped into a demographic of people who don't get to see a lot of these artists or DJs very often,” muses George FitzGerald, the Hotflush signed artist who recently made his debut in front of the camera after attending several sessions as an audience member. “There's also the fact that Boiler Room is, very admirably, a blank canvas for people to do something different. It's refreshing to see DJs playing stuff they wouldn't otherwise play in a ‘money’ set...”
BOILER ROOM IS A BLANK CANVAS FOR PEOPLE TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. IT'S REFRESHING TO SEE DJS PLAYING STUFF THEY WOULDN'T PLAY IN A ‘MONEY’ SET.
As it stands, the Boiler Room has quickly become one of the quintessential places to hear music online, cornering a niche in the bass-music market affably. Having grown from a small crew of interested parties, it’s now recognised worldwide - there are even events popping up in foreign countries that stream the Boiler Room sets over a club PA with groups of friends attending and, most probably, dancing. “It’s great that it’s got to this big, global level but it’s definitely changed into more of an event,” Reecha offers, regaling Trap with more tales of the early shows, the rum sessions and the small group of artists hungry to be involved. “We're growing quite steadily,” Thristian agrees, “the understanding and appreciation for what we do is great. We get to brainstorm ideas every day between ourselves and the people wanting to get involved.” “Crossing over from being in the crowd to actually performing at Boiler Room was definitely a strange sensation,” FitzGerald offers, trying to rationalise his own experiences on both sides of the camera. “It feels a bit more like you’re an actual musician when people are standing around scrutinising your every move on the decks - not to mention some of the more deranged heads on the forum watching live... that all adds to the enjoyment of playing there, though.” Whether you’re watching live and simultaneously keyboard warrioring your way through the colourful chat room during the three-hour show, or you’re using it as a radio, picking sets from artists and collectives to soundtrack your day, you’re tapping into something that the invention of the internet has given us. In the beginning, the internet broadcast may have been glitchy, buffer heavy and poorly staffed (if at all) by stock webcams, half cocked and pointing at the ceiling, but that hasn’t stopped an outfit such as Boiler Room seeing the potential in something that’s genuinely innovative and so constantly rewarding.
BOILER ROOM IS LIVE MOST TUESDAYS FROM 8PM WWW.BOILERROOM.TV
2011 WILL BE REMEMBERED AS THE YEAR THAT DUBSTEP WELL AND TRULY HIT THE MAINSTREAM. CHASE & STATUS, MAGNETIC MAN, KATY B AND DJ FRESH HAVE ALL BROKEN THE POP CHARTS IN A YEAR THAT WILL BE REMEMBERED AS THE MOMENT THAT THE UNDERGROUND BUBBLED OVER INTO POPULAR CULTURE, AND THE REST OF THE WORLD FINALLY SAT UP AND NOTICED WHAT WE’D ALL KNOWN FOR YEARS... Leading the way, with four Top-Twenty singles and a sound that fuses the traditional dubstep template with elements of electro, rock and sci-fi cinematics are Nero. Dan Stephens and Joe Ray, alongside regular vocalist Alana, have broken new ground for the genre, taking their interpretation of dubstep to the top of the charts and around the world. However, with a sound that owes more to the production values of drum & bass and the sonics of 80s soundtracks, rock and electro, than it does dub or dark garage, Nero’s success hasn’t come without stirring controversy in the bass music underground. PHOTOS: Laura Lewis
Now signed to Chase & Status’s MTA records, which itself operates as a division of major record label Mercury, Nero release their debut album ‘Welcome Reality’ in August and look set to become one of the biggest names in the world of electronic music, pushing dubstep to wider notoriety than could ever have been imagined at the genre’s genesis less than ten years ago. Trap trekked over to Mercury Records HQ in West London and met with the guys a few weeks before the release of ‘Welcome Reality’ to find out more about the album, working with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, their thoughts on dubstep and, of course, their love of science-fiction movies... Hi guys. First things first, how did you two meet and begin working together? Joe: “We met through mutual friends when we were about 16. We used to chill together and write tunes, nothing serious. We got really into D&B, started going to One Nation and those sort of raves; Fabric, Bagleys, Coliseum, those places. After going raving a lot, we got the bug. The science behind the music intrigued us. We wanted to be behind the decks.” Dan: “Yeah, the love that DJs and producers got, we wanted that. That power to get the crowd going berserk; we knew we had to be producers to get there. We got our first tracks signed while at university in 2001 and had our debut release on DJ SS’s Formation, and carried on producing D&B for a good seven years after that.”
In 2008, your dubstep remix of The Street’s ‘Blinded By The Lights’ turned a lot of heads and signalled your switch to dubstep. You were doing well in drum & bass; why did you decide to re-focus your attentions? Joe: “It was getting harder to do anything new in D&B. We’d known about dubstep for a while, but we weren’t so interested in the traditional dubby, stripped-back sound it had at first. I guess Skream’s ‘Midnight Request Line’; that really made us want to produce some dubstep. And when we did, it was like ‘Wow, this is a whole new thing!’ We felt we could be original and lead a sound.” Dan: “D&B is restricted by the fast tempo of the music. There’s only so much you can squeeze in. Dubstep just felt fresh, it gave us a new lease of life as producers. It made us think ‘Maybe we were meant to be writing at slower tempos all along.’” As you yourself have said, you weren’t so interested in the traditional sound of dubstep. To many who fell in love with the genre at its birth, people like yourselves and Skrillex are considered to be the spawn of Satan for the directions you have taken it. What’s your take on this and do you even consider the music you make to be dubstep? Joe: “No, not really. Our music is at a dubstep tempo, but the new single ‘Promises’ has more in common with a rock tune really. We can understand when people say ‘This isn’t dubstep’, of course we can, but we’re just doing our thing, we write the music we want to write. We look back at the acts
“WE’RE JUST WRITING ELECTRONIC MUSIC. IF IT UPSETS YOU, THEN DON’T THINK OF US AS DUBSTEP.”
like Chemical Brothers or Daft Punk; when you went to see them it wasn’t like you were going to see a big beat or breaks act, you were going to see The Chemical Brothers. In our heads we’re just electronic music producers; that’s what we want to be.” Dan: “The thing for me now is; what is dubstep? I think the only thing it now means is a song that’s written around 140bpm, with the half-step beat. It’s easiest for us to be billed and described as dubstep, but we’re just writing electronic music. If it upsets you, just don’t think of us as dubstep.” Joe: “I understand what people say, but the public’s perception of dubstep comes down to radio. The radio is never gonna play the real purists stuff at 5pm.” Dan: “Music has to evolve. People understandably get upset when things change and move on, and they feel like they’ve lost something that was very personal to them. But it can’t stay the same forever. What really links our sound and the different genres we touch is the bass. That’s what unites it. We’re quite happy for what we do to just be called electronic music.” Joe: “We’re just writing the music we want to write. We’re not conscious of what bracket that will fit us in. We’ve felt free to merge the kind of stuff we were into when we were kids, random 80s disco, the rock stuff, films – and we’ve tried to combine that with the modern dancefloor sound.” Dan: “We try not to draw any influence from within dubstep; we draw influence from outside. I think that’s clear. We want to create an album like ‘Discovery’ by Daft Punk – timeless music. Writing ‘Welcome Reality’, we’ve been conscious of making it future proof.” So, tell us about the album... Dan: “It’s 14 tracks, mostly at 140bpm. There’s some half-time D&B on there, some electro, ambient bits, as we said before, it’s all bass music. There are seven tunes featuring Alana, our singer. It’s nice to have a constant collaborator vocally, it gives us an identity.” Joe: “It was three year’s work, so it’s a complete mash-up of influences. Soundtracks to films like Blade Runner, the cinematic aspect, that’s an obvious influence.” Dan: “I think the one thing that carries through the album is a sound and imagery of 1980s futurism. Like Joe said, things like Blade Runner where the future was depicted as dark and dystopian. In the 60s and 70s the future was always white and clean, then in the 80s, it got grim and post-apocalyptic. It’s such an amazing look, you think about those 80s spaceships; all industrial and dark.” One look at the film-poster style album art, your recent videos and the sound of the record itself definitely all suggest you guys are big sci-fi fans...
emotions, a vision of the future where humanity is on the edge... it’s captivating.” Dan: “It’s a futuristic film noir. It hadn’t been done before. It’s so quintessentially 80s; the costumes, sets, dialogues. It’s a cult film because everything is right about it. Joe: “Which cut though?” Dan: “The director’s cut’s the one; the ending is better. And Akira, too... Visually, it’s unreal. The detail in the drawing, you can see why it was the most expensive film ever made at the time. The city in Akira has been really influential on us and what we’re doing. It’s so well imagined.” And finally, you recently collaborated with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra to perform a ‘dubstep symphony’ live on Radio One. How did that come about? Dan: “We got approached by Radio One. They’d been talking with the BBC Philharmonic, who had just moved to a new concert hall in Salford, so as part of the promotion for that they wanted to work with all the BBC radio stations. For the Radio One collaboration, they went for that real clash, to play something they never really would, and I guess that was us. When we got the call, we didn’t even have to think about it; it was an honour. We said yes straight away.” “We both had a good foundation for it – we’re both big classical music fans and we’ve both had classical training. I’ve did music A-Level and played cello for 15 years, and Joe’s a great classical guitarist. It seemed like a perfect thing for us to do.” Joe: “We began writing it on the computer using orchestral sound libraries. Once we’d composed the main body of work, we had a bit of help with the arrangement - it’s a 90-piece orchestra, so we had to make sure everyone was being used. We realised after the first rehearsal that the whole cello section were only playing one note! So we had to go back in on it. It was nerve-wracking; we were a bit out of our comfort zone.” Dan: “Originally we just thought we’d be composing it, not actually in the orchestra ourselves. But it ended up with us playing elements, triggering samples and stuff. It was scary. But I know that is one thing we’ll look back on and think it was an amazing experience. I hope it opens up doors for us –we’d love to do film music, score a sci-fi maybe...” Joe: “Yeah, Blade Runner 2! We’re just waiting for that call!” Dan: “We had a little bit of trouble to get it sounding right, we recorded it all the parts, and we’ve re-mastered it and that will be on the deluxe version of ‘Welcome Reality’. The orchestra was recorded well, but we went back in on our side. So this will be the first time that people will hear it as we envisaged it...” A ‘Director’s Cut’ almost?
Dan: “Yeah we are; me more so than Joe. Blade Runner and Akira are two we really share, though. And Aliens too...”
Dan: “Yeah, it is – our true vision.”
Joe: “Blade Runner is an amazing film. That weird dystopian mixture of industrial and personal, androids battling with
‘WELCOME REALITY’, AND THE SINGLE ‘PROMISES’ ARE OUT NOW ON MTA/MERCURY.
’SPZERO76 SPZERO76 IS THE BRISTOL-BASED ILLUSTRATOR, DESIGNER AND ARTIST WHO HAS PROVIDED THIS ISSUE’S AMAZING PULL-OUT CENTRE-PAGE POSTER.
HIS VIVID, COMIC BOOK INFLUENCED STYLE AND TALENT FOR CAPTURING A MOMENT IN TIME GRABBED TRAP’S ATTENTION WHEN WE CAUGHT HIS RECENT SHOW AT THE WEAPON OF CHOICE GALLERY, AND WE KNEW WE HAD TO BRING HIS EYE-POPPING, FULL-COLOUR CREATIONS TO WIDER ATTENTION. FLIP OVER THE PAGE TO CHECK THE POSTER SPZERO76 SCRIBBLED JUST FOR US, AND READ ON FOR AN INSIGHT INTO THE MAN HIMSELF...
Hello SPZero76! Please introduce yourself... “My name is Keith Hopewell but I go by the tag of SPZero76, which stands for Solo Productions Zero Talent Since 1976! I’ve been drawing since I was a kid and it was the only thing I was ever interested in at school. I’ve lived in Bristol, on and off, since way back in 1996 when I moved here for uni, although I’m originally from South Yorkshire!” How would you describe your work? “I was recently described as Dark Disney, which I loved... I’m keeping that tag! I’ve been influenced since childhood by comics, music, movies and pop culture in general. My art is very colourful and quite cartoony, but every image has a dark undertone.” How do you find inspiration for your art? “I’m lucky enough to get inspiration from most things! Sometimes I can just see a shape, which will lead to a character design or even a whole scene. I’ve even had some of my best ideas in my sleep! It’s easier to find things that influence me these days - I just have to surf the net. Back in the day, I used to get a lot of influence from club flyers. I bought a Japanese folk tales book the other month, along with Greek mythology and the Street Sketchbooks. That’s loads of influence and ideas in four books. “Also, I run an art project through Facebook, called ‘Collaberation Nation’, which has almost 100 artists involved. Each one brings ideas and inspiration, and as the project sees lots of the artists working together, it’s hard not to get influenced!” In your work as an artist, what have been your biggest and proudest achievements? “That has to be the exhibition at Weapon of Choice Gallery with Loch Ness, which was the culmination of the last eight months work put together on canvases. I’ve worked live drawing alongside Loch Ness a lot this year and we’ve been lucky enough to get job after job painting shops and bars, as well as canvases and digital work. “The thing I’m most proud of is ‘Collaberation Nation’! The project sees artists working together to create amazing pieces that change and evolve with each stage. ‘Collaberation Nation’ has evolved too, from being a silly idea to being recognised and respected by many artists, and has seen us create a range of tees, have our own room at Upfest Urban Paint Festival and win Secret Wars, alongside Squirl and Loch Ness, over the same weekend against some amazing artists.” What are your plans for the future? “I always set a milestone to try to achieve. My last was to have some of my art on tees and have an exhibition at Weapon of Choice. I now have art on ‘Collaberation Nation’ tees, Treacle Clothing Tees and Spunky Tees and have just had a show at WOC. My next milestone is a bit further away - having a show in New York and getting my work into some international art magazines. Maybe I should try for London first!” In a dream world, what would be your ideal commission or project? “It would be nice to take ‘Collaberation Nation’ on the road and visit lots of cities around the world to do live drawing and exhibitions with the artists. It would also be great to work on a piece with Stan Lee, Banksy, and Jamie Hewlett. Then I could hang it on my wall!” And finally, any shouts? “I wanna thank my Missus, Caz for putting up with my shocking conversational skills "Art! Art! Art!" and to anyone who has supported my art throughout the years! Thanks!”
“GREAT MUSIC OF ANY GENRE IS TIMELESS”
WORDS: Sophie Thomas
WHETHER YOU LOCKED INTO HIS BREAKFAST SHOW ON FREEK FM, HIT THE DANCEFLOORS OF TIME AND ENVY (PEACH SCHNAPPS AND LEMONADE IN HAND) OR JUMPED AROUND YOUR LIVING ROOM TO ‘PURE GARAGE III’ AGED 13, DJ EZ’S STRAIN OF CROSSOVER UNDERGROUND GARAGE MANAGED TO TOUCH THE MASSES AT THE TURN OF THE MILLENNIUM. THOSE TIMELESS, SUMMER-INFUSED VOCAL PRODUCTIONS THAT CAME TO TYPIFY GARAGE MUSIC NEVER LEFT EZ’S RECORD BAG, AND IN 2011 STILL HAVE DANCE FLOORS LOCKED JUST AS THEY DID 12 YEARS AGO. Today renowned as one of the most technically skilled DJs of all-time, EZ’s influence remains as strong as ever in the world of UK bass music and, despite an 11-year stint on Kiss FM and a multi-platinum compilation series under his belt, it’s remarkable to see his selection skills still take a powerful hold over underground club crowds today. Trap caught up with this true legend of bass-music culture for a quick chat about his achievements to date, the evolving nature of radio broadcasting and who he’s eyeballing for the future.
EZ, it’s an absolute honour! How are you? What are you up to? Still playing out loads? Any time to get into the studio? “I’m well, thank you. Extremely busy at the moment, no time to even sleep! I’m in and out of the UK with gigs, my schedule is just non-stop. Unfortunately, no time for any studio work right now, but after the summer season I’m hoping to get in there again, even though my bookings always increase in UK once summer is over.”
You’ve been on Kiss for over a decade; do you think that radio culture is still as prolific as it was 10 years ago? “In terms of legal stations, I think that they’re much more diverse and open minded than they were when I was first on radio. I think they feel that they have to compete with the pirate station network, as there is clearly a market for underground music, as is now being shown in the music that is currently in our Top 10. Young, talented artists are being given chances that they previously never would have been given. As far as my radio show on Kiss, I believe my show is as popular as it ever was. It’s the best platform possible to stage new music.”
Do you miss the freedom that comes with broadcasting through pirate stations? “It’s true that on legal radio you have not just the station management, but independent bodies such as the radio authority monitoring shows. I have to say, though, with my radio show, I have just as much freedom as I did when I was on pirate. I guess it’s easy because my show is all about the music. And I get on really well with everybody at the station - this year I’ve been on Kiss for 11 years, which I think is unbelievable! I love doing my show on Kiss and it’s an achievement that I’m very proud of, as it was always one of my goals when I was on pirate radio.”
What key productions led you to embark on your garage journey? We hear you were playing hardcore before you discovered your love for garage… “I stumbled across a pirate station playing some US and UK 4/4 garage tracks. There were a few tracks in particular that caught my attention and started my whole garage journey. Those tracks were produced by the legendary Todd Edwards. Today, he’s still, and always will be, my favourite producer and remixer.”
Why do you think garage has such a timeless quality? Tracks you were playing out in the early 00s still get massive responses in the raves... “Great music of any genre is timeless. If you loved a track when you first heard it, you’ll love it for years to come, in my eyes. I guess there’s always that nostalgic aspect too, remembering the time around when the tracks were released and where you used to go, what you used to do, you know? Relating music to fond memories.”
Who are you watching right now, production wise? “There’s a surprising resurgence going on right now with well known producers such as Dem 2, Wookie, Dreem Teem and others remixing and producing new tracks, which is great news! There are also loads of club nights happening plus compilation albums surfacing…”
Do you still look back fondly on the ‘Pure Garage’ series? Did you ever expect to have such a huge outreach? “Of course, I’m very proud of ‘Pure Garage’. I think, to date, the figures are somewhere around 1.5 million plus copies sold. It was a big step in my career and a huge honour that I was asked to mix a compilation by such a massive record label as Warner. It was also a big platform for the UK garage genre and great to be a part of a project that could push the music to a more commercial market.” DJ EZ IS SET TO HEADLINE THE PARADISE CARNIVAL WEEKENDER ON MONDAY 29TH AUGUST.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Shifteye Photography. facebook.com/shifteyephotography STYLED BY: Kasha Malyckyj. MAKE UP: Katie Smith. MODELS: Naomi and Layth. Shot at Campus skatepark Bristol. www.campus-skatepark.co.uk
Layth wears: T-shirt Statecide at fiftyfifty £25 Shorts Carhartt at Cooshti £49.99 Shoes Vans at fiftyfifty £63 Hat Diamond Supply Co at fiftyfifty £40 www.5050store.com
This page Naomi wears: T Shirt Stussy at Rollermania Shorts American Apparel £24 www.americanapparel.com Opposite page Top American Apparel £23 Skirt Lazy Oaf £38 www.lazyoaf.co.uk
Layth wears: Hat Diamond supply co at fiftyfifty £40 Sweatshirt fiftyfifty £45 Naomi wears: Tshirt Stussy at Rollermania www.rollermania.com Shorts vintage Shoes Nike SB at fiftyfifty £62
Layth wears: Tshirt Stussy at Cooshti £35 Shorts as before Bag Herschel Supply Co at Coosht £55.99 Hat as before Shoes as before www.cooshti.co.uk
This page Naomi wears: Vest Reverse £23 Shorts American Apparel £38 Shoes Vans £37.99 Sunglasses vintage Cazal at WOC £375 www.weaponofchoicegallery.co.uk Bag Stylist’s own Opposite page Dress American Apparel £36 Boots vintage
This Page Layth wears: Tshirt Nike SB at fiftyfifty £25 Shirt Stussy at Cooshti Chinos DC at fiftyfifty £57 Hat Statecide at fiftyfifty £20 Opposite page Naomi wears: Top American Apparel £23 Shorts H&M £7.99 Sunglasses Vintage Laura Biagiotti £75 at WOC Belt Vintage
808 MINDSTATE’ ADDISON GROOVE
WORDS: Jon Cook
Eschewing the synths and half-step rhythms with which he built the Headhunter name in favour of a sound born almost entirely from a vintage 1980s drum machine, Williams new musical persona takes as much influence from house, techno and Chicago’s juke scene as it does dubstep. With its booming 808-basslines and tribal 4/4 grooves, the music bearing the Addison Groove brand exemplifies the fresh rhythmic territories currently being explored by many producers who cut their teeth with dubstep but are now leaving that genre to continue its evolution in other hands. The track that started it all for Addison Groove was the gargantuan ‘Foot Crab’ for Loefah’s SWAMP81 record label, which was followed by more genre-twisting works for Pinch’s Tectonic and Martyn’s 3024, inspiring Williams to begin hauling his drum machine to gigs and producing tracks live in front of audiences at clubs such as Berghain and Fabric – two of the most respected platforms for electronic music in the world. The dancefloors of the Berlin or London are, however, a far cry from the sleepy suburban street that Trap arrives at to meet Williams in his home studio. Greeting us with a broad West County accent at his door, we climb the stairs to the top of the house and a room packed with records, vintage synthesisers, the compulsory Mac and, of course, a very retro-looking Roland TR-808 drum machine. Unable to keep his hands off the antiquated machine, Williams begins bashing the 808’s very retro brown and orange buttons, and within seconds has a drum groove looping round the room. “Once ‘Foot Crab’ came out, and was getting bigger and bigger, that’s when I decided to do the live thing with the 808,” he says, introducing a cowbell to his impromptu performance. “I thought; ‘I’m using the 808 in my tracks, I can do something different here and use it on the good soundsystems I get to play on because I come from dubstep.’ My live show basically came from me wanting to play my drum machine on a big soundsystem! It was quite selfish really; I didn’t think ‘let’s do a live thing so people can enjoy it.’” With his own unique twist on performing live as Addison Groove earning William’s plenty of praise from crowds and bookings from promoters, life is obviously pretty good for the 27-year-old right now; as the whiteboard packed with remix projects and tour dates hanging on his studio wall attests. But it wasn’t always this way; despite his youthful looks and warm persona, Williams didn’t have the easiest of starts in life, growing up in one of Bristol’s most deprived areas: “Yeah, I’m from the ends. The end of the world in some cases...” he says forcing himself to step away from the 808 for a moment. “I think it used to be a lot worse than it is now. Most nights of the week we’d be looking for a car to nick, bike to nick, bong to smoke. I would get in quite a lot of trouble and so did all the people I hung around with. When I was about 17, I got kicked out of home and I left this area. I only came back two years ago.”
So how long after leaving home was it that Williams began to get into music production?
“Well, I got into DJing first when I was about 15. I stopped when I was about 21; the youth hostel I lived in kept getting robbed and I thought ‘If I keep my decks here, they’re gonna get nicked.’ So I started to get into making music. I was friends with Ice Minus – I knew them from D&B, which is what I loved at that time. I’d watch them make music in their studio, but I didn’t take it that seriously. I felt ‘What’s the point in making drum & bass when so much has already been done with it?’ If I wanted to make music, I wanted to make something a bit different.” That something different arrived for Williams in 2005, when, by a combination of chance and timing, he found himself immersed in
IT’S IMPORTANT FOR ME TO MAKE SOMETHING THAT I FEEL HAS ROOM FOR ELABORATION, THAT I CAN DO SOMETHING WITH...
the emerging world of dubstep. As the sound began to take early root in Bristol, Williams stumbled upon the genre almost by accident, yet within a short time had become one of the most rated producers in the genre, signing to template-laying label Tempa and having his records drawn for by the very biggest selectors around. “I learnt about dubstep through grime. I started playing on a radio show with a friend of mine, Orphan 101, and started buying grime for that. If I was making D&B, I would have wanted to do the Ed Rush & Optical sort of sound, so I wanted to bring that into grime, which I guess made it dubstep. It all happened super fast. I’d only been making dubstep a few months when I got the call from Tempa. It was mad.” Singles, EPs and a debut album, ‘Nomad’, followed for Tempa, and Williams established himself as one of the best producers that dubstep had to offer, regularly touring the world and spreading the Headhunter name far and wide. So why decide to start again, under a name that was completely unknown and with a totally different sound? “I was playing out a lot as Headhunter, so had no reason to knock it on the head. A few years back I was looking on YouTube and discovered juke. I thought, ‘What is this, people going nuts to this crazy music?’ I went on Beatport, looked at the Juke Recordings catalogue and bought it all. I thought ‘Right I’m gonna start my sets with this shit.’ I did that for about a year and a half before it got noticed. It wasn’t until January 2009, I played at Fabric, I played 45 minutes of juke in Room 2 and it was rammed. It was the first time it went off. Then in April 2009 that’s when I made ‘Foot Crab’. “I played ‘Foot Crab’ three or four times and no one gave a shit. They just wanted to hear Headhunter play dubstep. Then I gave it to Pinch and Peverelist. They both said the same thing; ‘That’s the best tune you’ve ever made.’ I was like ‘What?’But they were right. I realised people were into it, so I thought ‘I’m gonna run with this.’ Not necessarily juke but Addison Groove; 808, samples and always a vocal. “I chose the name Addison Groove because Addison was the biggest unisex name of 2008 and Groove because I like the names Grooverider and Easy Groove. I didn’t want anyone to know who I was, if I was a guy or a girl. So when a lot of people started playing ‘Foot Crab’, I thought ‘This is really cool, no one is aware that I’m Headhunter.’ So I went with it, and it got bigger. And that was good; to know the music was judged or its merits of the music, rather than who I was or knew. And to be working with a fresh sound; it’s so important for me to make something that I feel has room for elaboration, that I can do something with...” But how exactly would Williams describe his sound? Having just mentioned that in the last few weeks he’s made a track that Boys Noize, Modselektor and the mighty Diplo are all playing - hugely diverse sounding DJs, who just happen to be three of the biggest names in dance music – does even he know what his music is? “It’s a good question. There is a juke influence, but it’s not juke. There’s elements of house, techno, dub everything – people just say Bass Music now days. It’s a good name for it, but at the same time, it means something wider –that could be anything; drum & bass, garage, a bassist from a jazz band? “But that’s the beauty of it now; listen to the music now, what Bodikka, Ramadanman, those people are doing - it’s a bit of everything. As soon as you release yourself from something specific, in my case from making dubstep, everything just flows.” Watch out for the first release on Addison Groove’s self-titled label in the autumn, and more Headhunter tracks coming on Black Box.
WORDS: Oli Marlow PHOTOS: Ashes57
WORDS: Sam Bates
n 2010, there was one instrumental production that defined the year in grime. ‘Woooo Riddim’ was made in 20 minutes, several years before, by a Dirty South hip-hop obsessed teenager from Wolverhampton. Causing a huge buzz, an unprecedented numbers of MCs rode the wave of hype around the track and version after version appeared, with every type of vocalist you could imagine jumping on the 808-heavy instrumental. Mutating and cross-pollinating with just about every strain of bass music going, remixes came thick and fast, and what began as a little-known instrumental quickly became one of 2010’s most ubiquitous underground anthems. The producer Sam ‘S-X’ Gumbley, still only eighteen, got into making music at a very young age. “It was just in school really,” he explains, “people I used to chill with did music, so I just kinda followed them. I got a copy of FL Studio when I was 12 or 13 and I thought about getting rich from it – so I carried on!” Unsurprisingly, S-X says, he owes a lot to the unexpected success of ‘Woooo Riddim’. “I made it like three or four years ago and I just slept on it. For it to do what it did, considering I thought it was just a throwaway, is crazy! That track put me out there; fortunately I had the other stuff ready to back it up. It really was the start of my career and enabled me to get to where I’m at now. It’s not the best beat I’ve made, but I guess that doesn’t matter; a hit is a hit, man.”
The huge and immediate success of the track has enabled S-X (who grew up and lives in a place with no recognisable history in bass music) to avoid many of the usual problems that come from being detached from the heart of the music industry in London. “I’m really lucky,” he agrees, “because ‘Woooo Riddim’ just blew up and before I even knew what real grinding really was I was up there! People hadn’t even heard other beats and were saying I was the best grime producer… crazy!”
Although S-X came to prominence through the grime scene, running throughout his music are clear and notable ‘Dirty South’ hip-hop influences. When asked how he’d describe his style, S-X’s response is one that’s likely to agitate some of grimes notoriously tribal fans; “I’d like to class myself as a
hip-hop producer to be honest, though I’m just a ‘music’ producer really. I listen to a lot of southern hip-hop, from old-school UGK to all the new artists. I grew up listening to it and I’ve always done it. When I see my favourite artists performing at big award shows like the Grammys etc; that’s pretty inspiring. It makes me want to grind much harder and get more out.” But as the teenager reveals, he hasn’t just been busy watching and listening to the biggest names in US hip-hop, he’s been busy actually working with them and planning his next collaboration as he moves higher up the chain. “I’ve done two records with artists from Young Money , so that’s gonna be sick!” he says with obvious enthusiasm. “I’ve done a few more too, but I’m just working on some album stuff right now. I think my ideal collaborations would be Lil Wayne or Drake. Hopefully you’ll see what happens!” Away from the glitz and glamour of the US hip-hop scene, S-X has already worked with some of the biggest names in the UK, including the likes of Skepta, P Money, D Double E, Dizzee Rascal and Roll Deep, while providing remixes for the likes of Roots Manuva, Toddla T and more besides. And while S-X proclaims his favourite UK MCs to be Skepta, JME and Giggs, he hasn’t forgotten Stay Fresh, his hometown crew and label. Stay Fresh have gone from strength to strength since S-X’s productions shone a light on their work, receiving plenty of hype and praise for their collective talents, which S-X explains is indicative of a healthy scene developing in the midlands. “There are quite a few raves from what I know. Stay Fresh are killing it right now. They’re doing a lot of shows and also working on some new singles and mixtapes. A lot is coming out this year! And then there are MCs like Trilla and many more. The Midlands scene is definitely getting a look in; I think one day it will all just be grime, but you get Midlands grime and London grime, like how there’s West Coast hip-hop and southern hip-hop.” Asked for his plans for the future and what we should look out for, S-X demonstrates a natural confidence that leaves you in little doubt that the teenage beatsmith has his trajectory set for the very top. “Expect to see me in a lot of UK album credits,” he says, “hopefully in the charts, and doing some US stuff!” If he carries on at this rate, S-X might be the one winning those Grammys soon... TWITTER: @PRODUCERSX YOUTUBE: SXMUSICTV
RAM RECORDS PRESENT
LOADSTAR BERLIN// HIT THE GROUND OUT 29TH AUGUST 2011
Available on 12” Vinyl and all Digital Formats.
HAMILTON BRAINSTORM// ECHOES OUT 15TH AUGUST 2011 Available on 12” Vinyl and all Digital Formats.
RAM100 OUT NOW Available on 2x12” vinyl and 14 Track Digital Bundle. Ram Records LTD, PO Box 70, Hornchurch, Essex, RM11 3NR. T: +44(0)1708 445851/227753 F: +44(0)1708 223558 E: email@example.com
REVIEWED BY: BASSMUSIC BLOG, SAM COLLENETTE, DUB BOY, LEYLA EROGLU, JON CARTER, SEAN KELLY, OLI MARLOW, DAVE COTGRAVE, JERYL WILTON, FIREMAN SAM, JUSTIN IRIAJE N, NICK HILLS, CURTIS MOLDRICH, JON COOK & LUNGILE MHLANGA.
TODDLA T ‘Watch Me Dance’ (Ninja Tune) What does energy sound like? What noise does personality and irrepressible enthusiasm make? Well, something a little bit like this; the second album from Sheffield-born DJ and producer Toddla T. Famed and well-loved for his incendiary DJ sets that take in everything from 4/4 bassline to dubwise D&B, ‘Watch Me Dance’ shows a different side to the Steel City badman as he rejects simply rolling out an LP packed with singles or club bangers, and instead opts for an album soaked in the influence of the Jamaican music scenes of which he is such a vocal fan.
The shadow of dancehall and reggae looms large over this record, from the lovers lilt of ‘Lovely Girl’ to the bleeping dancehall of ‘Cherry Picking’ and ‘Body Good’, and the bashy ballad of ‘How Beautiful It Would Be’, ‘Watch Me Dance’ represents an exciting and unique fusion of two very different, yet infinitely entwined music cultures, and sounds just as good on your headphones on a grey bus journey through Peckham as it would blasting from a soundsystem on a sunny beach in Negril. Toddla, we are watching you dance, and we like it.
The much-battered Roots Manuva collaboration ‘Watch Me Dance’ acts as a both opener and statement of intent for Toddla’s sophomore long-player, taking obvious inspiration from Prince with its funk-ridden bassline and 1980s drums, and setting the tone for what’s to come. From here, the album works through ten more tracks that all fit neatly aside each other, unified by a focus on uplifting bass-driven grooves decorated by some of the best voices in both the UK and JA, including Ms Dynamite, Wayne Marshall, Donaeo and Timberlee.
VARIOUS ARTISTS ‘Pepper Riddim’ (Big Ship)
TREVINO / INSTRA:MENTAL ‘Chip’ / ‘Pyramid’ (3024)
In recent years, Stephen ‘Di Genius’ McGregor has been one of the most exciting producers in dancehall. ‘Pepper’ is the latest in a long line of smash riddims to come from the Big Ship camp. This is a typically melodic affair that comes with fantastic voicings from Mavado, Shabba Ranks (reminding us he’s boss!) and Di Genius himself, plus plenty more solid offerings from Elephant Man and Bramma amongst others.
New name to me here, but Trevino outshines Instra:mental on the flip of this 12 for Martyn's 3024 label. Taking many of the currently hot electro soundscapes and techniques, but utilising them to genuinely emotionally affecting ends, 'Chip' has dancefloor propulsion, interesting sonics and realmusicality. This isn't to diss 'Pyramid', which does the Instra:mental thing as well as any of their other tunes, but 'Chip' is the one for us.
VARIOUS ARTISTS ‘Ram 100’ (Ram)
A one-hundredth release is a milestone for any record label, and in dance music is one that would usually be reached before a decade in business. It’s taken legendary D&B imprint Ram Records nearly 20 years to reach theirs, clear proof of the label’s commitment to quality control. And that commitment is something Ram demonstrate here on this special centenary release, calling upon no less than 14 producers to commemorate the moment. Noisia remix ‘No Reality’, Sub Focus delivers the massive ‘Stomp’, while Culture Shock continues to carve his electroinfused niche on ‘Machines’. Recent signings Wilkinson and Hamilton really shine with the explosive ‘Refugee’ and amen switch-up of ‘Sound Boy’ VIP respectively, and show that even after two decades in the game, Ram are still leading the way.
MARTYN ‘Ghost People’ (Brainfeeder) One of the most interesting producers in electronic music returns with a predictably brilliant album for a label that may take some by surprise; Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder. Stepping away from the slouchy, stuttered LA grooves for which the Californian label has become world-renowned, ‘Ghost People’ is a bold addition to the imprint’s discography, bringing with it the distinct influences of Martyn’s previous work in the UK-born sounds of dubstep, 2-step and D&B, while evoking scattered memories of early US house, garage and techno with its relentless grooves. As such, the 3024 boss remains as indefinable and uncategorizable as ever with this record, something he clearly revels in, and is to the benefit of everyone who loves their bass-heavy music to sit squarely on the cutting edge.
SEBA ‘Nightrider’ EP (Nu Directions) Seba, best known for his dreamy ‘nine-minute-plus’ masterpieces on Bukem’s seminal ‘Good Looking’ imprint in the late 90’s, is back to his very best for this release on Nu Directions. ‘Nightrider’ has been around for a while now and finally sees a release with a stack of remixes that bring it bang up to date from Survival, Eveson and Komatic and Technicolour. Throw the menacing ‘shadow boxing-esque’ ‘Sharkskin’ into the package for good measure and you have yourself a release that ticks all the boxes.
THE COUNT & SINDEN ‘Mega Mega Remix’ (Domino) After earning rave reviews for their debut album ‘Mega Mega’ last year, which served up an unashamedly dancefloor collection of pop-tinted electro, Herve (The Count) and Sinden return to take things back to the underground with this genrecolliding remix album. Enlisting some of the hippest names of the moment from a whole variety of musical styles and sounds, ‘Mega Mega Remix’ offers a unique, partyfocused glimpse into the current trends and latest sonic mutations that are currently turning heads and moving feet in the ever evolving world of dance music. With the likes of XXXy, Lone, Hot City and Canblaster all onboard, ‘Mega Mega Remix’ delivers everything from bass-heavy house to moombahton, dubstep and old-skool rave on a record that reminds everyone of Herve and Sinden’s unbeatable ear for picking the right tracks, at the right moment.
DESET ‘Virus’ EP (Gobstopper)
UK Dancehall is on the rise and Stylo G is at the forefront of its resurgence. Produced by his brother Kode Star, formerly of Crazy Cousinz, this is an innovative UK Bass influenced bashment rhythm. The lyrics reference clichés associated with being a ‘Yardie’ and are a celebration of Jamaican youth culture. A memorable chorus and sub-heavy rhythm mark this as a high-point in UK-based dancehall's resurgence.
The second release from Donky Pitch comes courtesy of Barcelona-based beatsmith Nino. The ‘Classe De 1984’ EP features five original tracks, each exploding with enough hyperactive funk-soaked synths, rattling drum lines and warped low-end to force the sun out from behind the clouds. Top class remixes come courtesy of Offshore, Kelpe and Krsur to complete a great package.
OM UNIT & KROMESTAR ‘Solar Cycle’ / ‘Merkabah’ (Cosmic Bridge)
ENEI ‘Stonehead’ EP (Critical)
We’re loving the slow, but supremely weighty, vibes that Om Unit is bringing to the table at the moment. Anyone who’s seen a recent OU show knows that by dropping the tempo, but keeping the bass intact, Mr Unit may have stumbled onto the next big thing - not quite house, not quite hip-hop, but something that allows the best of the above to co-exist and complement each other.
Wow. D&B really doesn’t get much better than this, and like so much of the best of the genre these days, this EP comes from far beyond UK shores. Enei is the latest Russian to master the art of making ocean-deep D&B, and here drafts in the vocals of Riya and the remixing skills of Jubei to balance out the headsy nature of the beats and bass.
DIZZ1 ‘Decay’ / ‘Gone Soon’ (Black Acre)
HYBRIS & RIDO ‘The Prague Connection’ (Metalheadz)
This single sees Australian producer Dizz1 ditching his usual hip-hop constructions for a powerful dancefloor work out. ‘Decay’ bounds along on relentless bass pulses, letting the tight rim-shots skip off the surface to maintain the momentum. On the flip, ‘Gone Soon’ is driven by galloping snare hits, which cut through the haunting atmosphere to complete another strong release from Black Acre.
This latest release from Metalheadz comes from Czech-based duo Rido and Hybris. Kicking off with the dark techy vibes of ‘First Contact’, ‘Focus’ continues the vibe, with precise bass and awkward beats reminiscent of Noisia. The deep rolling ‘Please Exist’ provides nice variation, while ‘Memento’ rounds off the EP with an amen workout. A precise cinematic sounding release, this is another great edition to the ‘headz catalogue.
ARKIST & KIDKUT ‘One Year Later’ / ‘Vanilla Imitate’ (Hotflush)
BREAK / VILLEM ‘Something New’ / ‘Do You Wanna’ (Symmetry) Symmetry keeps standards high with this new double A-side, and label-boss Break continues to share his releases with other artists, this time inviting Villem to share the honours. 'Something New' builds in typically atmospheric Break style, before dropping into one of the sickest bass-lines we’ve heard in a very long time. Villem goes in all soulful on the flip, and exemplifies the vintage sound of Symmetry’s releases.
OLD APPARATUS ‘Zebulon’ / ‘Hammerhand’ ft Mowgli (Deep Medi Musik) Mala’s Deep Medi label provides the vehicle for the second otherworldly offering from mysterious producer(s) Old Apparatus. ‘Zebulon’ is a bewitchingly icy construction of shattered snares, deep subs and ghostly vocals that sounds like the offspring of Portishead and Vex’d, while ‘Hammerhand’ sees Mowgli’s intricate flow find its way through crumbling drum lines and malfunctioning synths.
Two of Bristol's quickest-rising producers team up here to provide more concrete evidence that the city of bass is turning its attention to house music. ‘One Year Later’ is a simple 4/4 roller that somehow does nothing for seven minutes but manages to be completely gripping all the way through. ‘Vanilla Imitate’ is a standard garage vibe - it's catchy and works well, but lacks the freshness of the A-side.
STYLO G ‘Call Mi A Yardie’ (Blessed Youth Entertainment)
TC ‘Tap Hoe’ (Don’t Play)
VARIOUS ARTISTS ‘Bass Culture’ (UKF) To a large slice of the internet’s population, UKF represents a place to check out the freshest and most exciting bass music on the planet. For a lot of artists it’s the greatest promotional tool around for getting their dubstep and D&B tracks heard. However, to many bystanders it’s regarded as a semi-evil empire sticking its fingers in every musical pie around. Wherever you stand on that sliding scale, you’d be stupid not to recognise UKF as an emerging power in bass music, and their latest compilation CD only exemplifies their fast burgeoning status. Packed with devastating dubstep and drum & bass, mainly aimed at the dancefloor, ‘Bass Culture’ may leave a sour taste in the esoteric mouth, but there’s no doubt the masses will be queuing up for second helpings.
PRITCH & TRIM ‘Stereotype’ (Planet Mu)
Between them they have more names than it is possible to keep track of, but here Mark Pritchard and Trim join forces under the simple moniker of Pritch & Trim. Trim’s tongue in cheek wordplay and off-hand flow work perfectly with the bloated funk of the beat on ‘Stereotype’, while on the flip, ‘Kiss My Arse’ is a creaking slice of broken dancehall brought to life by Trim’s laconic banter.
TC is well and truly back. Following up the massive success of the debut single on his newly established label Don’t Play, the Bristol-based producer returns to the fore with one of the most battered D&B anthems of the summer. There are few producers who can better engineer a track than TC, and it’s this skill that turns the deceptive simplicity of ‘Tap Ho’ into a groove-ridden, peak time dancefloor weapon.
L-VIS 1990 'Neon Dreams' (PMR)
Night Slugs co-founder L-Vis 1990 marks a change in musical direction with his debut album PMR Records. Having made his name over the last few years with the sort of bass-heavy, genre-mashing club records that have defined recent times, ‘Neon Dream’ is a far cry from the music L-Vis 1990 himself once christened ‘HyperBass’. This is a house music record, and little else – those expecting an album full of Night Slugs style club tracks will be sorely disappointed. Continuing the vibe first revealed by his ‘Forever You’ single featuring Javeon McCarthy last year, this is silky smooth dance music that drips with soul. Collaborators include Julio Bashmore, TTC and Teki Latex, providing added depth to an album that is the sound of a producer happily maturing and finding his own way.
RUSTIE ‘Glass Swords’ (Warp) Emerging in 2007 as part of Glasgow's Numbers crew, Rustie has forged a unique corner in UK bass music with his intense hypercolour productions. From his classic remix of Zomby’s 'Spliff Dub' to the essential ‘Play Doe’ / ‘Tempered’ 12 with Joker, his glistening meta-grime has always stood firmly on the cutting edge. 'Glass Swords' sees Rustie’s trademark sonics taken to otherwordly dimensions, bursting with 80s funk fizz, lazer bass and earsplitting synthlines. Lead single 'Ultra Thizz' is all breakdowns and build-ups structured around whip-crack snares and stabs. 'Death Mountain' and 'Cry Flames' deal in soaring hooks and crushing low end, all locked to neck-snapping slinky grooves. With a wealth of stylistic u-turns, every track is essential listening, and the intensity never really letting up till the end. This is an outstanding debut album.
SKINNY FABULOUS & BUSY SIGNAL ‘Rave Out’ (Kubiyashi) St Vincent’s Skinny Fabulous teams up with Jamaica’s Busy Signal to voice a bubbly, house flavoured soca riddim track from Barbados’ Kubiyashi Productions. The groove is rolling, bass heavy and complimented by mad synths. ‘Rave Out’ is a proper Caribbean connection tune, which perfectly captures the raw energy and pop sensibilities that makes a proper summer banger. There’s no doubt that this one will get you raving.
VYBZ KARTEL ‘Kingston Story’ (Mixpak Records) resulted in a rich and eclectic musical backing for Kartel. The New York producer’s haunting melodies, heavy sub bass and minimal drums combine with Kartel’s powerful tales of ghetto life, girls and his own controversial and ever-perplexing persona to devastating effect. The album is enthralling from start to finish and further proof that despite all the controversy and crazy statements, Kartel is really running things right now.
THE PROTOTYPES ‘Born To Rise’ / ‘Your Future’ (Shogun Audio)
TOMB CREW ‘Watch This’ EP (Black Butter)
IFAN DAFYDD ‘Miranda’ / ‘No Good’ (Push & Run Records)
We've listened to D&B’s nerdier quarters moan about how The Prototypes seem anomalous with the Shogun Audio ethos, but here at Trap, we don't agree. Friction’s Brighton-based label releases slickly produced, uniquely composed slices of D&B mastery, and this 12 is no different. Both sides are grizzly tear-out beasts, more suited to a sweaty rave-up than a bedroom chin stroke. Nerds beware.
Serious carnival vibes here from Tomb Crew, calling up Rubi Dan and Juxci D to join their own Illaman on the mic for the lead track on this four-track EP. ‘Watch This’ is a bashment infected slice of UK rave music, while ‘Top Ten’ delivers crack house, ‘Ode To Tom & Jerry’ resurrects some hardcore jungle vibes and ‘Yaphet Kotto Stole My Steez’ brings a bassline flavour to a wicked EP.
The debut release from mysterious producer Ifan Dafydd will no doubt serve to further fuel the intrigue into his remarkable talent. ‘Miranda’ skitters and bounces simultaneously with soft piano chords laying the melodic bed for the pitch shifted vocals and swirling synth lines. ‘No Good’ brilliantly re-appropriates the Amy Winehouse vocal with jazz-inflected synths and deep bass hits.
D DOUBLE E FT. DIZZEE RASCAL ‘Bluku Bluku’ (Dirtee Stank) This latest single from D Double sees label boss Dizzee Rascal briefly return from his pop adventure to spit a venomous verse almost as good as the angry angst-ridden vocals of his teenage years. D Double continues the momentum of his recent underground smashes here, referencing his own distinctive slang in the chorus. Produced by S-X, this is a grime banger.
LOADSTAR 'Berlin / ‘Hit The Ground' (Ram Records) Simply put, if you like big dancefloor tunes, you will love this single. The Bristol-based duo of Xample and Lomax has been owning things this year, and this latest 12 continues that trend. 'Berlin' leads in with a soft atmospheric intro before unleashing a series of trademark Loadstar basslines fit to shake any dance. On the flip, 'Hit the ground' does similar damage complete with added Reece bass. Classic Ram.
TRIM ‘I Am’ (Butterz) Somewhat of a veteran in grime, former Roll Deep member Trim has been MIA for a minute or two, but his return comes in a form that will see his fans return full force. 'I Am' shows a radio-friendly Trim deliver applaudable content on a smooth TRC produced beat, demonstrating his ever expanding musical versatility. Preditah's grimier remix adds just enough to complete a strong release.
Dancehall albums are often a collection of a few hot singles and plenty of filler. With ‘Kingston Story’, Vybz Kartel teams up with renowned New York producer and Mixpak boss Dre Skull to buck that trend and create a brilliant set of expertly produced songs. Leading on from their first collaboration, 2009’s ‘Yuh Love’, Kartel and Dre Skull have created an album of stunning cohesiveness and originality. Dre Skulls’ impressive handling of production has
SQUAREWAVE, SUKH KNIGHT & MR K ‘Tribesman’ EP (New World Audio)
NERO 'Welcome Reality' (MTA / Mercury) Nero is one of the biggest names in electronic music right now. The duo’s debut album, ‘Welcome Reality’, comes after a year that’s seen them become the latest producers to rise from the world of underground bass music to conquer the charts. With four singles already released from this album, and with two of those – ‘Guilt’ and ‘Me & You’ breaking the Top 20, you’ll know what Nero sound like these days – incredibly engineered and overwhelmingly cinematic, fusing the established dubstep template with electro house influences and sci-fi soundscapes. The 1980s is the primary theme here, both sonically and conceptually – from the sci-fi cover art to the boogie of ‘Must Be The Feeling’ and stadium rock of ‘Promises’. Love or hate their sound, ‘Welcome Reality’ really is a complete album, and the brutal power and intense drama of tracks such as ‘Innocence’ leave little doubt that very few can engineer a dance record quite like Nero.
WOZ ‘Seen’ EP (Black Butter)
This is the second featured EP from Black Butter this issue, but music this fresh needs shouting about. Woz is a mysterious, Bristol-based producer who won the RackNRuin remix competition a few months back, and is now rewarded with his own EP for the ever on-point BB. Dancehall, grime, funky andeverything else collide gloriously on all four tracks, providing the sort of beats that fans of Redlight will adore.
Heading up a four-track EP on New World Audio, Sukh Knight and Mr K return to the label alongside Squarewave on ‘Tribesman’. As the name suggests, this is tribal dubstep infused with indigenous swagger, while the whole EP seems like it was made for grime MCs to spit over. Spacious beats make way for heavily weighted basslines and a particularly London attitude across a variety of flavours.
N TYPE ‘Wheel & Deal Dubstep Vol.1’ (Wheel & Deal) The last few years have seen an explosion of dubstep compilations. From the mildly offensive efforts you see lining the shelves at Tesco and Sainsbury to the likes of UKF and Get Darker, some come with an endorsement from the underground and others simply smell of a desperate attempt to be ‘down with the kids’. Into this murky void steps N-Type, one of dubstep’s original DJs. Taking the sound of his RinseFM show and distilling it into a grimy collection of the hottest Wheel & Deal dubplates from a host of artists, including Coki, DJ Madd, Matt U, Phaelah, Lemon D and loads more, N-Type turns in a dubstep CD that’s actually not chock-full of Skrillex tracks and the latest Nero remixes. If that sounds like your particular brand of 140bpm then we suggest you check it out.
COSMIN TRG 'Simulat' (50 Weapons) Having garnered acclaim with releases on Rush Hour, Hessle Audio and Tempa to name a few, Cosmin TRG’s debut album ‘Simulat’ comes courtesy of Modeselektor’s boutique 50 Weapons imprint. Since first rising to prominence, the Romanian producer’s constantly evolving style and unwillingness to retread old ground has marked him out as a vital talent and this album will further cement that position. Characterised by its beautiful handling of warmth, depth and texture, the album builds a journey through a series of carefully constructed 4x4 manipulations, detouring through deeper ambient pieces along the way. TRG brings his indefinable qualities equally to the minimal thump of lead single ‘Fizic’ as he does to the delicate melodies and smooth bassline of ‘Less Of Me More Of You’ or the dusty shuffle of ‘Ritmat’, creating an album that draws the listener in from start to finish.
SETSPEED ‘Komu’ / ‘Detail From A Larger Work’ (Bass Music) Setspeed drops the tempo from 140 and into more refined territory. ‘Komu’ takes slow, electro beats with found-sound textures and builds up to a catchy analogue midsection that recalls Boards of Canada or classic Autechre. The flip, meanwhile, subverts future garage, burying a skippy beat under layers of abstract harmonics. Not peak time bangers, then, but an engaging listen.
NEW SINGLE OUT 7TH AUGUST INCLUDES NEW LIFE AND REMIXES FROM CALVIN HARRIS & SKRILLEX TAKEN FROM THE DEBUT ALBUM
WELCOME REALITY OUT AUG. 15TH
16BIT•DINOSAURS/BOSTON CREAM NEW SINGLE OUT 29TH AUGUST www.thisisnero.com www.facebook.com/16bitmusic www.facebook.com/MTARecords
BASSPOINTS CLUB LISTINGS AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2011 SATURDAY 20 AUGUST SHOGUN AUDIO @ CABLE, LONDON Friction, Icicle b2b Distance, Alix Perez, dBridge, Spectrasoul, Total Science b2b SPY, Rockwell, Presha, SP, Mantmast. FRIDAY 26 AUGUST RUN @ MOTION, BRISTOL Benga, Friction, Hype, MistaJam, Brookes Bros, Flux Pavillion, Hazard, Marcus Intalex, Icicle, Doctor P, Mensah, Koast, Jakes, IC3 + more. PLAYAZ @ FABRIC, LONDON DJ Hype, Pascal, Original Sin, Hazard, Taxman, Friction, Blame, Goldie, Aliz Perez, Commix, Total Science, Jubei, Kenny Ken & The Ragga Twins, Fabio.
URBAN NERDS CARNIVAL WARM-UP 27 AUGUST @ XOYO, London
SATURDAY 27 AUGUST WFS PRESENTS CHEW THE FAT @ CABLE, LONDON Zinc, MJ Cole, Hot City, Foamo, Green Money, Marco Del Horno b2b Last Japan, French Fires + more.
Trap favourites Urban Nerds return for the fifth year running with another wicked Notting Hill warm-up party, linking up with Reggae Roast for two rooms of Carnival-inspired bass goodness. German duo Schlachthofbronx make for the perfect headliners with their tropical, bass-heavy sound, alongside the monstrous A1 Bassline and the frighteningly young Mele, while Reggae Roast residents Exel and Moodie are joined by masters of dancehall The Heatwave to complete another sick Nerds line-up.
SUNDAY 28 AUGUST EASTERN ELECTRICS @ GREAT SUFFOLK STREET WAREHOUSE Maya Jane Coles, Jesse Rose, Riva Starr, Zombie Disco Squad, Paul Woolford, Dark Sky, Icicle (live), T. Williams, Monki, Seams (live). MONDAY 29 AUGUST DEVIATION CARNIVAL WEST @ THE PARADISE, LONDON DJ EZ, Zinc, Alexander Nut, Scratcha DVA, Benji B, Lil Silva, Semtex + more. DEVIATION C’VAL EAST @ CAMP BASEMENT, LONDON Kode9, Wookie, Benji B, Waajeed, Dego + more. HOT WUK CARNIVAL BASHMENT @ EAST VILLAGE, LONDON The Heatwave, Sticky, Navigator + guests. THURSDAY 1 SEPTEMBER 4 POINTS @ EAST VILLAGE Craggz & Parallel, Need For Mirrors, Siren (Vicious Circle & Universal Project), Eveson & Sam KDC. FRIDAY 2 SEPTEMBER 51*27 @ THEKLA, BRISTOL Kingdom + guests. THURSDAY 8 SEPTEMBER REBEL INSTINCT @ THE NEST, LONDON DJ Krust, Need For Mirrors, Benjamin One, Mark Day, Square Wave + more.
SATURDAY 3 SEPTEMBER AUS MUSIC @ XOYO, LONDON Will Saul, Appleblim, Midland, Deadboy.
FRIDAY 9 SEPTEMBER OFFICIAL TOOTS AFTERPARTY @ BRIXTON JAMM Dub Pistols (live), Don Letts, The Heatwave, Reggae Roast + more. NIGHT SLUGS @ FABRIC, LONDON L-Vis 1990 & The Neon Dreams (LIVE), Bok Bok, Julio Bashmore, Jam City, Girl Unit, Kingdom, Sinden, Boy 8 Bit, Mele, Illum Sphere.
WAREHOUSE PROJECT FROM 17 SEPTEMBER @ Store Street, Manchester After five years in the Store Street space beneath Piccadilly Station, Manchester’s groundbreaking Warehouse Project has unveiled the final series of events to take place at the now legendary venue. As ambitious as it has been successful, WHP blazed a trail that many have since followed, programming three months of stellar line-ups into one glorious season, hitting just as the students arrive in town and closing on New Year’s Day. With a programme of events other similar ventures could only dream of, expect everyone from DJShadow to Jack Beats to Seth Troxler and James Blake at the 24 events lined-up for what will be a fitting end to a memorable era.
BASSPOINTS CLUB LISTINGS AUGUST / SEPT / OCT 2011 FRIDAY 16 SEPTEMBER PACK LONDON VS. BASSLACED @ CABLE Redlight, Silkie, Chasing Shadows, Truth, Slugz & Boyson SATURDAY 17 SEPTEMBER RINSE FM 17TH BIRTHDAY @ O2 ACADEMY BRIXTON Line-up to be announced.
With a huge Hospitality taking place at Brixton Academy on 30 September, one week later it’s Bristol’s turn for one of the biggest brands in dance music to bring their party to town. Part of the In:Motion series at Bristol’s Motion club, this mammoth rave is the Bristol launch for Camo & Krooked’s debut LP, and the Austrians are joined by an all-star roster of support including the likes of Danny Byrd, Netsky, High Contrast and Loadstar. While the main arena might not be everyone’s tastes, the second room is a lesson in credible bass-driven music and features MJ Cole, Mele, Tomb Crew, Kahn and loads more, and Med School take care of room three.
EXODUS / DMZ 8 OCTOBER @ Vox Warehouse, Leeds The DMZ fraternity once again make the mission up north for another link up with Exodus at the Vox Warehouse in Leeds. Saturday 8 October sees Mala, Coki, Pokes, Crazy D and guests testing the valves and shaking the cabinets of the mighty Iration Steppers soundsystem with only the very latest and greatest dubplates. Meanwhile, DMZ original Loefah brings his groundbreaking SWAMP81 label to the North in the second room, inviting Boddika and Chunky to rep the developing sound.
THE BEGINNING OF THE END @ WHP, MANCHESTER DJ Shadow, Skream & Sgt Pokes, Sbtrkt, Hudson Mohawke, Jackmaster, Africa Hi-Tech, Mark Pritchard & Steve Spacek, Falty DL. FRIDAY 23 SEPTEMBER SUBDUB @ VOX WAREHOUSE, LEEDS Iration Steppas Sound System, The Disciples, Dubkasm Ft Solo Banton, Benny Page, Remark, Marcus Visionary, Exodus, Steppa, Tonn Piper. FABRICLIVE 59 LAUNCH @ FABRIC, LONDON Four Tet, Caribou, Jacques Greene, Pearson Sound, Ben UFO, Pangaea, Peverelist, Lunice, Alexander Nut, Funkineven, Josey Rebelle, Fatima. GIRLS GO FREE @ STEALTH, NOTTINGHAM Dark Sky, Residents + guests. TEMPO CLASH @ CORSICA STUSIOS, LONDON Kromestar, SlugaBed, Seiji, Blue Daisy, Kid Kanevil, Laurent Fintoni + more. FRIDAY 30 SEPTEMBER HOSPITALITY @ BRIXTON ACADEMY Line up to be announced. FOUND @ HIDDEN, LONDON Justin Martin plus special guests in Room One. A1 Bassline, Dem 2, Kasrave in Room 2. LICKED BEATS @ CABLE, LONDON D*Minds, Spyro, Die & Inja, Dismantle, Royal-T, Submerse. SATURDAY 1 OCTOBER PHONICA 8TH BIRTHDAY @ GREAT SUFFOLK ST WAREHOUSE Joy Orbison, Visionquest, Benoit & Sergio, Soulclap, Simon Rigg, Soho + more. SUBVISION @ LAKOTA, BRISTOL 16 Bit, Nicky Blackmarket, Funtcase, Jakes, DJ Derek, Komonazmuk. SATURDAY 8 OCTOBER APE BIRTHDAY @ WHP, MANCHESTER Nero, Caspa, DSB Soundsystem, Redlight, David Rodigan, Naughty By Nature, Instra:Mental, Oneman, Mary-Anne Hobbs, Tonn Piper. SUNDAY 9 OCTOBER DETONATE ALL-DAYER @ ROCK CITY, NOTTINGHAM Nero, Skream, Netsky, Loadstar + many more.
HOSPITALITY 7 OCTOBER @ Motion, Bristol
THE HEATWAVE BIRTHDAY BASHMENT @ BIG CHILL HOUSE, LONDON Free terrace party to celebrate The Heave’s eighth birthday featuring very special guests. JULY METALHEADZ @ CABLE, LONDON David Rodigan, Breakage, Marcus Intalex b2b Klute, dBridge b2b Jubei, Commix, Lenzman, Mikal, Neighbourhood in room 2.
COMING SOON ALEXANDER NUT ALIX PEREZ ANDY C : ALIVE BENGA BEN UFO BOK BOK BRACKLES B2B SHORTSTUFF BREAK CANBLASTER CARIBOU CASPA COMMIX CROOKERS PRESENT DR GONZO CULTURE SHOCK DANNY BYRD DEADBOY
DELTA HEAVY DJ EZ DJ HYPE (2 HR SET) DREADNOUGHT (LIVE) ED RUSH AND OPTICAL EROL ALKAN FABIO FILTHY DUKES FOUR TET FRICTION FUNKINEVEN GIRL UNIT GOLDIE HATCHA HAZARD ILLUM SPHERE J MAJIK AND WICKAMAN JACQUES GREENE (LIVE)
JAKES N TYPE JAKWOB OBJEKT JAM CITY PANGAEA JARVIS COCKER PASCAL JUBEI PAUL CHAMBERS (LIVE) JULIO BASHMORE PEARSON SOUND KASRA PEVERELIST KENNY KEN & ROCKWELL THE RAGGA TWINS RONI SIZE KINGDOM SABRE LOADSTAR FEAT TEXAS SCRATCH PERVERTS & AD LONE SKREAM LUNICE STARSLINGER L-VIS 1990 & STOPMAKINGME THE NEON DREAMS (LIVE) SUB FOCUS MARCUS INTALEX THE OTHERS MENSAH TODD EDWARDS MISTAJAM TOTAL SCIENCE