Friday, December 28, 2012
Keysound Christmas specials
2012: Dusk & Blackdown + Wen + Gerv LV + Logos + Visionist + E.m.m.a.
Download 2012 HERE.
Dusk + Blackdown
Dusk + Blackdown + "High Road"
Double Helix (LHF) "LDN VIP"
J-One "Lost Focus"
LV & Okmalomkoolkat - Sebenza (DJ Clock AM:PM Mix)
Big Space - Coco Savage
Mogrigo - Heavyweight
LV & Okmalumkoolkat - Animal Prints
DVA & Big Space - Long Street
Brandy - Baby (Walton refix)
LV & Ruffest - Siyavaya
KW Griff "Bring in the Katz (L-Vis 1990 dub)"
Mickey Pearce "Socks Off"
DJ Funeral "Last Breakfast"
Youngstar "Pulse X (Logos Steel Pulse remake)"
Mumdance & Logos "In Reverse"
Jam City "The Courts"
Logos "High Station demo mix"
Total Freedom "Surgeon Luv"
Biggie Dan "DTM Gone Mad VIP"
MssingNo "Loose Bally"
Visionist "Cant Hurt Me No More
Filter Dread "Garage Falvas"
Timbah "Lady Rainicorn"
Samename "Mishima Curse"
Visionist "Cant Lose This Shadow"
E.m.m.a. "Encarta Intro"
E.m.m.a. "Cherry Favour"
E.m.m.a. "Dream Phone VIP"
E.m.m.a. "Shoot the Curl"
E.m.m.a. "Mood Ring"
Missed our previous Christmas specials?
2011: Dusk v Blackdown v Amen Ra (LHF) v Vibezin v LV v Logos v Visionist.
Download 2011 HERE.
2010 Dusk + Blackdown Rinse FM Christmas "vinyl only" <<< BKWD special
Download 2010 HERE.
2009: Dusk + Blackdown ft LHF, Kowton, Joy Orbison and El-B
Download 2009 HERE.
All tracklists here. Photo by Nico Hogg.
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Blackdown: OK so to start off, I'd like to go back to the origins of how you found your sound, this dark rolling flex. Can you tell me how you got to that?
Beneath: It was getting into Funky I think. I was making tracks before around 134ish and that, trying to make dubstep really. But then when I got into funky properly I sort of saw it as a template for what I wanted to do. Which is something dark and UK.
Blackdown: Why do you like dark as a musical flavour?
Beneath: It just suits me, the kind of person I am I guess. It's a good soundtrack for thinking about things. I used to walk round my estate at night smoking spliffs listening to Youngsta sets from '04-05 and I'd just think about loads of shit. The kind of stuff that you start to think about as you become an adult. Worries, paranoia, questions.
Blackdown: Let me flip the question: fundamentally, why don't you make gloriously colourful, happy, euphoric music?
Beneath: Cus I'm not a happy person? I dunno I guess some people make that kind of music to express themselves and make themselves happy but I just bury myself in this dark kinda vibe, its the only thing I know really. The way I see the world is pretty dark, I mean look at the world today, its fucked. I think of happy europhic music as being quite escapist as well but with darker stuff I feel like its more about facing your fears, sort of, you know what I mean?
Blackdown: Totally. My take on the appeal of darkness in music is that there's a reality to it. Years ago, a friend of mine described what it was like becoming depressed. She said she'd fall through this state from being optimistic to where suddenly she'd see things as they really are. The problem with full depression of course was that she'd then fall too far and be unable to see anything but the worst in everything nor be able to come back.
To me I think I relate to darkness in music as it has an honesty to it, that things aren't relentlessly upbeat or positive and people who act like that seem delusional. So it's not that the music is depressed or negative, but it's honest and real and as a life choice I'd rather know the truth than be deluded but "happy".
Beneath: Yeah exactly man. Like when I was listening to those Youngsta sets I was maturing as a person, seeing the world through a new perspective and the music fit so well with what I was thinking about. It made me happy listening to it because I understood what they were saying, the producers that is.
Blackdown: Happy is a funny word in that context though right? funny/strange not funny/haha.
Beneath: Yeah I guess so.
Blackdown: So you said "dark and UK", what is it about being UK that's important to you too?
Beneath: Well before I was into the UK stuff, jungle, d&b, dubstep etc, I was into like house and techno but it was pretty bait stuff to be honest but when I got into the UK stuff it just related to me so much more cus it was coming from where I was from, it resonated with me more. And whats the point trying to sound like your from Detroit or Berlin or somewhere else if your from the UK, thats just bait. We have a great history of music in this country, I wanted to add to it.
Blackdown: What I think's interesting is the issue of music from your local tradition being something you more strongly relate to, as if it taps into something more fundamental in you than something, say, from further away... does that make sense?
Beneath: Yeah definitely. All the music that I was listening to before wasn't really making me feel or think anything that strongly but the UK stuff just tapped into something in me
Blackdown: Did you feel you were part of something broader or going your own way, when your mentality changed to knowing where you were going..?
Beneath: Well I was listening to people's music and watching there movement/scene whatever you wanna call it but I wasn't really part of it personally but on a broader scale I probably felt I was part of something because I understood their music and what they were saying and how they felt.
Blackdown: It's a funny balance though, right? Because on one hand you talk about being part of a broader tradition (UK), on the other you found your own way, your own path, during periods of essentially solitude (walking round the estate.
Beneath: Yeah I've never really noticed it though. I just thought maybe if I can do something in a similar vein maybe I can become part of something or make my own thing.
Blackdown: For the record I don't think this is a binary, either collective or solo, scenius or genius, I think it's both - and stronger for it - though people differ on where they fit on the scale. Some artists argue that they work alone and their ideas come from their own personal source of talent, in isolation: they are a genius. Whereas people (Eno and more recently Simon Reynolds) argue for "scenius" within dance music scenes that there's a collective exchange of ideas, that they come from a pool & community of people who bounce off each other.
Beneath: I think your right it's both. Although I don't really feel like a belong to a scene I've taken a lot of inspiration from what other people have done or doing but I haven't tried to replicate them exactly, I've tried to do something different.
Blackdown: Let me ask about another binary: the past/present. One of the things I love about your music is the sense of rhythm & the focus on interesting percussion and I see such a strong contrast between it and so many flavours right now. With the exception of maybe juke, many current popular or emerging styles (brostep, dungeon halfstep, tech house, minimal, trap, grime, road rap, jackin' etc) don't prioritise interesting percussion. OK yeah so you could find the odd exception in each of those scenes but generally the drum patterns are not the focus, rhythmic simplicity is more important as they foreground other elements. But your sound is different and seems to draw from older ideas, maybe from ones that are obscured to people if they only consume current music..
Beneath: I dunno, I just like drums. I love jungle, I love funky. Both have great drums. Yeah, drums are an important thing to me. That's what I loved about funky so much coming directly from a long period of listening to dubstep, the halfstep stuff anyway. When I got into funky I got more into the earlier dubstep/dark garage stuff as well
Blackdown: The roots of dubstep stuff?
Beneath: Yeah. All the early stuff that had more percussion in, I'd heard it before but I started to appreciate it more after funky.
Blackdown: Do you think good drums are a dying art?
Beneath: Nah not really but there might not be as much as emphasis on "different" drums at the moment
Blackdown: Right. So, who are your all time drum programming heroes and why?
Beneath: Erm, Source Direct. Sometimes in their tracks that rhythms are hard to get into but when you do they are fuckin' amazing and they jus roll oooouuuuuttt.
Blackdown: Hahah I always was a Photek man m'self...
Beneath: Similar vein tho. All the DMZ crew, maybe less Coki but Mala and Loefah, "Jungle Infiltrator," "Indian Dub," "Conference," "B", "Chaniba," "New Life" etc. Even the halfstep stuff; Loefah "Midnight", everything is so rigid but it still has a sick groove. The hats are amazing in "Midnight." The drums in "Conference" are uplifting to me, bare hyperactive and meditative at the same time.
Blackdown: That's quite a pair of differing emotions to achieve!
Beneath: Also with Mala tracks it can take you ages to actually hear all of what the drums are doing, he brings stuff in and out all the time, it's so free. Cooly G: she's my favourite drum programmer from the funky end of things, really raw, tough, hard but lots of groove.
Beneath: Ricardo Villalobos: not always but when he gets all funky and weird he's next level. Even the simple stuff is good to be honest.
Beneath: Amazing really. Danny Native. I think I prefer him over Cooly really, both different sounds tho, but he has amazing drums.
Blackdown: Danny's drums are great but his arrangements need to develop more for me. We've been battering "Allwhere" recently though. Amazing, sour and rolling with an awesome set of vocal samples.
Beneath: Yeah they could do with more development, they are great for mixing with though. I could go on for ages.
Blackdown: Five more?
Beneath: Well there's Shackleton, I haven't listened to alot of his stuff to be honest apart from a few Skull Disco bits and the new thing he did but yeah his drums are next level, I don't listen to alot of his stuff 'cus Im scared of it, it's too good to listen to you know what I mean; makes you realise how far you away you are from reaching his kinda level. Gotta say El-B 'cus before I got the roots of El-B, garage and swing was lost on me and that was a revelation listening to him. Proper club drums, but not bait club drums.
Beneath: El-P: but that might be just his tracks in general, he has really weird off drums tho but somehow retain a groove.
Blackdown: That's interesting, since I'm not sure i've heard you talk about hip hop much before...
Beneath: I love hip hop, I'm just picky about what I listen too, like most things and its only recently that I've got back into it through being obsessed with Company Flow/Cannibal Ox. I know the drums aren't off in this one but I do love El-P's drums, sounds like Loefah to me.
Beneath: I think it might be just hip hop drums in general, when done well anyway and he's my favourite producer from that scene.
Blackdown: So you know around the time of "Horror Show" i.e. Loefah coming up with halfstep, he was sharing studio space with Spacek/Morgan Zarate. I always felt there might have been some kind of imbibing of that hip hop vibe from that proximity.
Beneath: Yeah there probably was… Theo Parrish. The release he did last year or early this year called "Shut the Fuck Up." Drums are sick.
Beneath: And the fact that you know he's mixing it all down live, just jamming at his desk, bringing the drums in out, changing up the processing, make me appreciate them ever more.
Blackdown: So, do you think of yourself as a perfectionist? I sense a level of standards from you, or concern around sonic standards, that's rare in people relatively early in their production career.
Beneath: Yeah definitely. I want to be the best at what I do and I always try and do things to the highest standard that I possibly can. I'm not ultra critical of other peoples stuff though like I am my own.
Blackdown: You reserve the biggest criticism for yourself and your productions?
Beneath: Yeah but I do that for everything I do. All the work that I did at uni I was like "thats shit" cus I was comparing it to other works of a really high standard made by professionals. So when I'm trying to mix stuff down I'm comparing it to producers who have really good mixdowns but I'm obviously a long way of those kinda standards I think
Blackdown: The concern I have is, while I'm all up for agonising about mixdowns - and me and Dusk do it a lot too - there is a stage you can go beyond that where you edge into paralysis and all you hear is the mixdowns not the emotion the music is trying to evoke. I'm just hoping you never get there!
Beneath: I'm like that now with some tracks to be honest. I just get sick of them though and scrap them.
Blackdown: Be careful!
Beneath: Yeah I know the dangers but I cant help myself
Blackdown: Futility! OK, lets take a different line: how do film and music interact for you?
Beneath: Good one. I never really thought about it before how they interact for me personally. I remember the music bits were my favourite parts or at least the ones that I would remember the most when I was younger but even when I studied film at college and uni, music didn't really interest me that much, I was more interested in sound in general; music can be a bit bait in films I think. For my final work in my degree I designed the sound for two films but I didn't use any music in either of them cus I thought it was a bit obvious.
The films could have had music in them but worked a lot better without any music. I hate music when it's not needed in films, like it's just been put there to help the viewer feel what they are supposed to feel. I guess the film I worked on were pretty empty though in their feeling, they weren't exactly happy films, so the exclusion of music helped to emphasis that sense of loss and confusion that they were trying to convey. They have a lot of similarities though in their form and function. Like how they are structured, what they leave out and what they pull apart. Writing a film and writing a song are similar I guess. You have different sections and you can manipulate each section to take the listener/viewer where you want to take them.
Blackdown: What films have especially good soundtracks for you and what is it about the soundtrack that is so effective?
Beneath: Well I think David Lynch's films always have great soundtracks but not for the musical moments where a track is played, I cant really remember any moments like that to be honest, its more for the overall vibe he creates through sound. He uses a lot of low frequencies in his soundtracks, just rumbles and stuff; a lot of eerie sounds. Yeah his films are eerie themselves but I love how it sort of sounds like there is nothing to it when there is, you really need to watch them in a cinema where you can feel it rather than hear it. It's like the big sound system, dark room club thing. Darkness and low frequencies, the womb and all that.
Taxi Driver for the parts where the taxi is gliding through the street of New York at night and you have got those big cascading sort of drums and that soothing saxophone of whatever it is. I cant remember any other musical moments in that film apart from that, those images and sounds are so strong they have written over everything else in my head about that film.
Clockwork Orange is pretty fucking amazing as well for its sounds. I think Delia Derbyshire or Daphne Oram did some sound design for that or something but yeah. It mixes up alien sounds with like classical music, they blew my head when I watched it the first time. Film and music really interest me when there is a strong juxtaposition between the image and the sound, when it makes you think. To be honest I cant really call of the top of my head that many cus I think music and film isn't that important to me. Yes when its done right it can take moments and images in films to new levels but a lot of the time music doesn't work for me in films. Its information that I don't need. You'd think I'd know where I'd stand on it after years of studying it but I don't.
Blackdown: You say "I think music and film isn't that important to me" but your sound is cinematic in a way: stripped back, spacious...
Beneath: I think those sort of influences come from the part of UK music though rather than films.
Blackdown: Ah OK, despite your degree?
Beneath: Yeah, I mean a lot of stuff that I learnt on my degree was more theoretical I guess, like when I make sound design for a film, I'm influenced by certain music, not from films but like Source Direct. Obviously it depends on the film
Blackdown: Can you tell me about you slowing the bpms down, from 126 to the 110bpms, as your newer unreleased material has, and why you feel the urge to head down there and I guess by implication, where do you see your sound going now?
Beneath: I ain't gone as low as 110 yet, well I've done a few things but Im mainly finding that tempo interesting cus theres more room for experiments cus generally there ain't alot of music being made at them slower tempos on a darker kind of vibe.
Blackdown: Is it important to you to have your music somewhat isolated from others?
Beneath: Yeah was just about to say I kind of feel the need to move away from the 130bpm thing cus its a thing already. I'm not looking to create a thing or anything tho but I just felt a bit more comfortable making stuff at that slower tempo at the beginning of this year.
Blackdown: Your music has a huge emphasis on drums. At what point, when you drop the bpm, does the sense of momentum or energy implode?
Beneath: It doesn't, I think. It can but its just like any other tempo, you can make stuff sound fast or slow. Remember "Internal," I think thats like 116bpm but to me there's more energy in that than the 5 snare funky thing I've been making at 130bpm.
Blackdown: So it's about drum density rather than tempo?
Beneath: Yeah exactly. I think another thing about moving down tempo is that less people are likely to play it cus there ain't as much variety of music at that tempo. I suppose that can be seen as backing yourself into a corner though but at the same time it gives you room to breathe I think. I'm all about pushing new stuff anyway so if I've got people making new music at that tempo I'm sound.
Blackdown: You say "less people are likely to play it" - does that appeal to you? Many producers, who crave attention or recognition, would find that an alien position to take.
Beneath: Maybe yeah. I keep saying to myself when Im writing stuff, this definitely ain't career music.
Blackdown: Maybe or definitely?
Beneath: Well yeah it does appeal to me that less people are likely to play it 'cus then I can just play it myself. Or maybe a few others who are on the same tip.
Blackdown: The glorious thing I've noticed over time is that the more people want to make music to be accepted the less it often means or stands out, whereas those who go their own way regardless of what people think - people see that for what it is and believe in it. That's how I've felt about artists I believed in anyway
Beneath: Which artists?
Blackdown: Oh just the ones I've banged on as my musical heroes for ages: El-B, Kode9, Mala, Burial etc
Beneath: Yeah all legends.
Blackdown: Sure, but I guess they share the trait that they went their own way. And that can mean a lifetime of obscurity, or sometimes, paradoxically, the opposite happens.
Beneath: Just noticed that the people you just mentioned are all apart of one thing though really
Blackdown: Well how about Wiley too or even the experimental jazz guys from the Impulse Records era like Coltrane in the early '60s.
Beneath: Did they do it consciously though or just naturally?
Blackdown: It's a good question, probably hard to generalise but I do suspect built into those who wish to innovate is the urge to find clear water between themselves and others, no?
Beneath: Yeah I think so. Dont you think that kind of thing with Keysound?
Blackdown: Yes, increasingly I think keysound is isolated but I don't seek it out overtly - whereas I think some label owners like say Kode9 do - but now it's happened I've come to see it as an opportunity.
Beneath: How did it happen with Keysound then?
Blackdown: Well… I'm a stubborn fucker, I know what I believe in and feel strongly and if fashions change and people go another way and I try that and really don't connect with it, then… I don't care - I will go our way anyway, rather than seek validation from others or follow fashion.
Beneath: Is that why you're not releasing house/techno stuff lol?
Blackdown: YES. Unless it's got some dark rawness and the beat is corrupted and funky i.e. you or Kowton, but Joe's even stuff wasn't straight techno to be honest, it had that dread. He too was massively into early Youngsta - that's how I first got to know him, he was sending me his dark halfstep dubstep as Narcissist, back in like 2005.
Beneath: It was interesting what you and Pinch were talking about on that Fact interview. I can't decide who I agree with.
Blackdown: Which bit?
Beneath: "tempo or mood"
Blackdown: yeah I want various moods within the same tempo/genres, diversity within a coherent community but not chaos.
Beneath: What would be chaos?
Blackdown: "Eclectic" DJing? Randomised selections? 1. UKG track -> 2. random d&b; 3. r&b -> 4. funk etc. It'd be jarring.
Beneath: yeah that is all over the place...
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Dusk + Blackdown Rinse FM November show DOWNLOAD HERE.
Tinashe "Boss (Ryan Hemsworth Remix)" [RCA]
Brenz "She Got Them Super High Blazed Green Eyes" [It's A Bass Thing]
Moony "Borrowed Time" [Tenn Music]
Walter Ego "Rebound" [Unreleased]
Funkystepz "Vice Versa" [Unreleased]
Batu "Rope" [Unreleased]
Facta "Montpelier" [Unreleased]
Paleface "Dark Skunk" [Mischief Music]
Mumdance & Logos "Drum Boss" [Unreleased]
Lakosa & iO "Home early (Pedro123 remix VIP)" [Madtech]
Mumdance & Logos "In Reverse" [Unreleased]
Double Helix "Love Zone" [Unreleased]
Eomac "Space Hopper" [Unreleased]
Wen "Commotion VIP (unfinished version)" [Unreleased]
Octa-Push "Green Limo"
Trevino "Under Surveillance" [Applepips]
Octa-Push "Kate Push"
E.m.m.a. "Untitled" [Unreleased]
Mickey Freeze "Midnight Walk" [Unreleased]
D Double E and Donaeo "Not Having That" [Unreleased]
Wen "In" [Unreleased]
Wen "Swingin (Darktime Refix)" [Unreleased]
Fresh Paul "Satyr" [Unreleased]
Alex Coulton "Too Much Talk (Beneaths 350 Remix)" [forthcoming 92Points]
Walter Ego ft Trim "Set Off" [Girls Music]
MssingNo "Skeezers" [Unreleased]
Luke Leadbelly "The Tale of Kukulkan" [Unreleased]
Pedro123 "Slush (Checan Remix)" [Get Some Records]
Sines X Lockah "Jeans Tight, High Heels" [Unreleased]
Sepia "Observer" [Unreleased]
Tj The Jackal ft. LenZeZ "Window (Bonus Track)" [Free mixtape DL]
Rude Kid "Pure Garage" [Unreleased]
Eomac "We are all going to die (Beat Mix)" [Unreleased]
Sully "Simple Things" [Unreleased]
Octa-Push "Glimpse" [Unreleased]
Patrice & Friends "Patron on Deck" [Free download]
dÉbruit "Ata (LV Remix)" [Civil Music]
- All our shows are archived here.
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
DJs: they like to "take you on a journey," or so the DJ cliche goes. But what kind of journey?
It's a good question and one I suspect many DJs would struggle to articulately spell out to you. Perhaps then a picture would tell the story better.
I forget when I first thought about it, but for a while its been in the back of my head that you could plot the different types of DJ sets as graphs, with x = time and y = intensity.
So I finally got round to having a go on the tube the other day and got a little carried away. See what you think... did I miss any?
It's a good question and one I suspect many DJs would struggle to articulately spell out to you. Perhaps then a picture would tell the story better.
I forget when I first thought about it, but for a while its been in the back of my head that you could plot the different types of DJ sets as graphs, with x = time and y = intensity.
So I finally got round to having a go on the tube the other day and got a little carried away. See what you think... did I miss any?
- Haha people keep asking what graph our Rinse sets are. Download them here and work it out for yourselves!
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
RA.336 Dusk and Blackdown
Dusk + Blackdown ft Farrah "Lonely Moon (Android Heartbreak) (demo version)"
Double Helix "LDN VIP"
Logos "King Mob VIP"
86 Baby "Word of Mouth"
Dusk + Blackdown "We Ain't Beggin'"
Balistiq Beats ft Jamakabi "Concrete Jungle (Yardman Riddim) (Beneath's 350 remix)"
Walton "Cool It VIP"
Gremino "Rupi VIP"
Logos "Error 808"
Walton "All Night"
Cooly G "Trying"
Seany B "Klambu refix"
Mella Dee "Confetti"
Dusk + Blackdown "Dasaflex"
Mista Men Ft Detboi "I Move Closer"
Funkystepz "Royal Rumble"
Blackdown "Wicked Vibez"
In addition we've given a full interview to Rory Gibb over at The Quietus, check it here.
And ahead of our Fabric date, badman Wen has recorded a mix and chatted to Sonic Router. See you on the 16th!
Friday, November 02, 2012
Dusk + Blackdown Rinse FM October show DOWNLOAD HERE.
Carrion Sound "Channel" (unreleased)
Marcus Zimmerman "Bastian" (Sound Pellegrino)
Jeremih "Fuck U All the Time (shlohmo remix) (free DL)
Amen Ra "Star Body" (Unreleased)
Mella Dee "Play With My Emotions" (unreleased)
Caski "Buss It" (Unreleased)
Jook10 "Tribal Lord" (Soulserious)
Bassjackers & Apster "Klambu (Beneath refix)" (free DL)
Mista Silva ft Skob, Flava & Kwamz "Boomboomtah (Hagan remix)" (unreleased)
Hagan "The Music" (Unreleased)
Beneath "Prangin'" (Keysound Recordings)
Jook10 "Riddim Teacha" (Soulserious)
Dusk + Blackdown ft Shantie "Next Generation" (Keysound Recordings)
Mite "Stuck in the Floor" (unreleased)
Disclosure "Boiling (El-B remix)" (unreleased)
Sepia "Because Of Me" (unreleased)
Mickey Pearce "Socks Off" (Swamp81)
We Sink "Cat o' Nine Tails" (Symbols Recordings)
Della "Young Kid" (unreleased)
Fresh Paul "Polite House" (unreleased)
Etch "Take Me" (unreleased)
Slick Shoota "Glory Days (Ovrkl Remix)" (Hyperboloid)
Gremino "Monster (130 VIP)" (unreleased)
Sublo "Snow Blind" (unreleased)
Unknown "Untitled" (unreleased)
Breen "Walk" (unreleased)
Visionist "Just A Quick Reminder" (unreleased)
Bloom "Zing Panther" (unreleased)
Bloom "Maze Temple" (unreleased)
Manikan "Tequila Jackson (Original Mix)" (forthcoming Seclusiasis)
Samename "Devil Eyes" (unreleased)
Taal Mala "Solar Orbit" (forthcoming Tenn Music)
Samename "Okishima Island" (unreleased)
Sublo "Sweet No. 9" (unreleased)
Rabit "Avatardub" (unreleased)
Mr Mitch vs. Clipse "It's the First Time" (free DL)
Dexplicit "Bullacake (Samename refix) (unreleased)
Roachee & Trim produced by Starkey "F64 (Remix)" (taken from "The Nangest EP Vol 1")
Davinche "Eyes on U (Moleskin edit)" (unreleased)
- All our shows are archived here.
Friday, October 26, 2012
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
They say one of the biggest issues in helping keep young inner city men on the right path is positive male role models that they can relate to.
Raised in part in the Tiverton Estate, by all accounts Robyn Travis lead a pretty road early life - he came from a family of drug dealers so those were his role models - so perhaps you might not think he makes an obvious candidate for a role model, But he's changed and after that change, he can speak from a position of both experience and reflection.
His life is outlined in his book, "Prisoner to the Streets" the launch for which is tomorrow at the Bernie Grant Centre. Its powerful message is: "DON’T LIVE THE LIFE I LIVED."
On a related note, I heard youth worker Patrick Regan by chance on local radio during the riots last summer and bought his book "Fighting Chance."
Like Travis, he also has direct experience of people growing up in difficult situations and he also wants to get a different point of view out there. In the face of negative media coverage over gangs and the cultures that surrounds them, his book is the stories of those who began in those situations but found themselves a better path. They never make headlines of course, but their struggle and stories deserve to be heard.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Dusk + Blackdown Rinse FM Sept 2012
Da Altered Natives "Natural Freak" [Tenement Yard Volume Three]
Hagan "Malfunktion" [unreleased]
Funkineven & Fatima "West 2 East" [Eglo Records]
LV "Siyevaya Rev" [unreleased]
Da Altered Natives "Allwhere" [Tenement Yard Volume Three]
Detboi "Sliding Floors" [unreleased]
El-B Ft Juiceman - Buck & Bury (Caski Remix) [unreleased Ghost]
Pangaea "Middleman" [forthcoming Hessle]
Dubchild "Don Dadda ft Creed (dub)" [DPR]
Sepia "Look Around You" [unreleased]
Brunks "Untold" [unreleased]
Enyo "Poltergeist" [unreleased]
Emma "Untitled" [unreleased]
HXDB "Up (Bassmynt remix)" [SoundsOfSumo]
LV "Come to me" [unreleased]
Detboi "Different Techniques" [unreleased]
Mavado "Dem A Talk (Marcx Dub)" [unreleased]
Macker "CCCP2" [unreleased]
Major Notes "O'Beasity" [Holy Rollers]
Visionist, Beneath & Wen "New Wave" [unreleased]
Epoch "The Steppenwolf" [unreleased]
Parker "Frost" [unreleased]
Moleskin The fantasy between (y)our lips [unreleased]
Logos "Steel Pulse" [unreleased]
Macker "Fifth Element" [unreleased]
Fresh Paul "Blaster" [unreleased]
Amen Ra "Testament" [unreleased]
Epoch "The Avenue" [free download]
Rabit Satellite [unreleased]
Facta "Kingdom (dub)" [unreleased]
No fixed abode "Certified" [unreleased]
Logwad "Bump" [unreleased]
LV "Izibozl" [unreleased]
Chesslo Junior "Alpine Riddim" [forthcoming WotNot]
Carrion Sound "Channel" [unreleased]
While you're listening to the show, read this interview with us.
And catch the Keysound family back together again, Nov 16th:
Fabric Room 3
Dusk & Blackdown
United Vibez (Amen Ra LHF & Vibezin)
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Monday, September 17, 2012
Over the summer I chatted to Gilles Peterson for the "Mala in Cuba" sleeve notes...
Blackdown: Hey Gilles, great to chat to you. So first of all, I’d love to know, really, about the beginning of this project. I didn’t raise it with Mala, I didn’t know whether it was appropriate or not but the funny thing is back in the day he always really wasn't sure about albums. And maybe he got over that with “Return II Space,” but what’s so great about this project is that Mala really seem to be comfortable with the album format for so many years, and it’s like, even in some of the interviews I’d done with him, it’s apparent on the record why he’s really resistant to it. So, I just think it’s fantastic that you got something of that length out of him.
Gilles: Yeah, yeah. Well, I’m delighted as well. I don’t think there was ever any sort of definite concept to the album. I mean, I was a fan of him and what he represented for many years… and his aura. In a way I just I went to the club…
B: Yeah, I remember seeing you there!
G: …Well, yeah, so that’s good because I only ever went once. Yeah, so, I went to the club and I remember Mary Anne Hobbs was at the door (laughs). It was probably about four years and it had been going for a while but… but it was quite a big deal for me because that was a Saturday night, and I work every Saturday night. So I really made the effort to go to Brixton.
B: And cancel a gig!
G: On a Saturday and all that. Anyway, the point was, I was discovering his music through Soul Jazz really because they were pretty quick at stocking that kind of sound. And I just kept an eye on him all that time really, and played the odd record on the radio that I liked and stuff. And then the Cuban project sort of came along and I wanted to have a second “alternative” approach to the project, just to make it more exciting for me really because, obviously, these projects that I do, under the Havana Cultura banner, they’re actually quite an amazing opportunity for a label like mine to be able to go and do something that’s funded by a brand. It reminds me a little bit of when Island Records used to do weird concept albums and stuff. In those days labels used to throw money at fusion projects or world music… like Kip Hanrahan or Bill Laswell.
So, for me, it was brilliant to work with an initiative like Havana Cultura, run by a French guy called François Renie, out of Paris. Fundamentally, for him, it was about me guiding people towards their website – havana-cultura.com. Havana Club is jointly owned by the Cuban government and Pernod Ricard, which is a French company, and the deal seems to be that they have to give something back and promote Cuban culture. So, they have a website called Havana Cultura which is a really passionate sort of guide to all things Cuban and cultural.
So, whether it’s art or dance, or music... They basically gave me carte blanche to go over there and discover what is currently happening in Cuba. So, I went over there, recorded an album – ‘Havana Cultura: New Cuba Sound’ – a few years ago, and we did a remix version of that too. And then for the second album – ‘The Search Continues’ – which we went and did last year, I was very keen to have a twist, and to be able to do my straightforward version, which was kind of me taking rappers, singers and musicians and having a nice platform for them. But, equally, I wanted to do something a little bit more experimental and just out of the blue, which was basically this kind of clash, this sort of Britishness and…
B: I’m glad you describe it as a “clash” because it’s interesting for me to find out if there is some kind of overlap between Mala’s take on sound system culture and Cuba’s roots. And maybe there are, like overlaps but maybe there aren’t. It’s not the first thing I’d think of for Mala to do, so yeah, “clash” is maybe a good one for it.
G: Yeah, I mean, I just wanted to have fun. I’m in such a good place to do this sort of project, I wanted to throw more things at it just so that there’d be more surprises to be had. I’ve always been a believer of just throwing stuff in… even some things that you just don’t think are going to work at all… and then, usually, things come out of negatives, as such. I knew that.
Anyway, for me, I just had an instinct and I just thought it would be really good. I wondered if Mala would try it because dubstep is a big part of British music culture over the last however many years and on one hand you’ve got the success of the Benga’s and the Skream’s, and the Skrillex’s, and whatever, and then you’ve still got this kind of foundation which belongs to Mala and what he has kind of created.
I’d done interviews with him on the radio and for a lot of reasons I was impressed by him and I thought it would be really interesting to see how he would react as a sort of Jamaican Englishman, coming from all that culture that we come from, who didn’t know anything about Cuban music, just throw him over there and see how he responds to it. And like I’m sure some people would have just gone: “Oh, where’s the local McDonalds?” and “I just want to stay there for three days and I’m actually not at all interested in the culture or anything.” Whereas, obviously, Mala was fascinated.
I mean, on one hand it was kind of like he’s an intelligent guy and he’s interested in the world… and the fact that he was from Jamaica, which is the island next door and Cuba’s there and it’s just so different, and they speak a different language and they’ve got different roots and stuff. But I thought, “Let’s throw him in”. So, I actually went over there, with him, just to sort of test the waters and see, just as a sort of holiday really. I was like: “Oh, do you want to come over to Cuba for a few days and see what you think of it? I’m not asking you to make an album or anything, I’m just I’m going so maybe there’ll be something in it”.
B: See what happens...
G: I was in such a privileged position to be able to offer him that haha. Which is great. And then he came over and for a couple of days we hung out and it was great. And then I had this studio booked with Roberto Fonseca, who’s kind of really important to the new Cuban sound because, I mean, on one hand he’s a pianist who’s world renowned as a jazz sort of prodigy. He came and played with Buena Vista Social Club, so he’s obviously touched that huge kind of Cuban heritage side, but then on the other hand, he’s totally young and modern, and interested, and global and worldly, and fascinated by everything. So, he’s just an incredible person. So, it’s been great.
B: So have you known him a while?
G: I met him on the first record. I was just really lucky that I just happened to… when I went out there to do my sort of checking-everything-out-before-I-make-the-record-type-of-visit, I was doing interviews for the radio as well and I was doing two or three things at once and when I interviewed him, I was like, “Actually, this is the guy to make the record” because he speaks good English and he gets, I mean, he doesn’t fully get my scene, but he definitely knows the difference between…
B: He’s open to it?
G: Yeah, he’s open to it and he was fascinated by some electronic music, and by dance music in general. So, it was like, “Oh, wow!” So he realised that certain people have heard of me… so, he was a bit fascinated by me. So, in a way, we kind of got on really well because we both worked it. So, for this new record I didn’t use Roberto as much because he was kind of quite jazz. Almost too jazz. It was good for the first record but for the second record, I wanted it to be a little bit, slightly different. I didn’t want him to kind of monopolise it because he’s so… because he is so prodigious he tends to almost frighten people, a little bit haha. He was that good.
So, I didn’t want him as involved in the making of my version of the album this time, but I did have him for a day, on that little testing visit with Mala. So, I introduced them. We went to the studio and I just thought it would be really good to ask Roberto… because obviously I wanted to start working on ideas for this… my version of the album, and so, I wanted to take rhythm tracks back to London with me, so that I could start working on compositions around them. And I thought, “This is quite good for me to kind of explain to Mala about the heritage of Cuban music, by asking Roberto play different Cuban rhythms to Mala”.
B: So, when you talked about a culture clash, I guess, in the back of my head I thought, on the other hand they also share a sense of importance of rhythm.
G: Yeah. I mean, between Jamaica and Cuba you’ve got a lot of different rhythms that have that – whether it’s mambo or cha cha cha, or Mozambique or descarga or the gun shot rhythm (laughs), or whatever, this is basically where it’s all from. So, I kind of wanted to explain to Mala about the essence of what makes Cuban music and how Cuban music has had such a huge influence on a lot of other music around the world. So, that’s where we went in the studio and I just asked Roberto to record, with a trio, and we had a couple of other instruments that we dropped in there. I can’t remember what else we had, but we had a couple of more traditional instruments in the studio as well, and literally recorded like twelve or thirteen rhythms.
And so, we recorded all that and that kind of, obviously, made Mala quite interested. He was like really fascinated by all that. And then we kind of had something to take back to England with us, musically, which he could then kind of live with and give himself time to try and understand it. We threw a lot at him in a very short space of time out of nowhere. And you’ve got to remember as well, that this is Mala, who’s somebody who’s got his labels, and he’s DJing and so I’m sort of, actually, throwing a lot at him in one go. And he’s going to need his own time to kind of to kind of put it all…
B: Mala is somebody who really does take his own time and feels his way through things, he feels, a way that things feel right or not to him.
G: Yeah. And that’s I suppose, that’s the other reason the project kind of ended up working because I don’t think I ever made him feel pressure in any way, I mean, apart from the fact that, well “You into this?” I didn’t kind of go, “Okay. Well, I’ve taken you to Cuba, now I want you to make me two tracks in two weeks time”.
B: And that’s one part of the process that I’m quite curious about your input and methods because obviously, I can see you’re doing this pretty amazing way of sort of pulling different people together, and sometimes, I guess, you might need to be really proactive in some, in other scenarios you might need to be a bit more, 'sit back and let things happen.' How do you choose what to do and how to be the person that, either actively or just subconsciously gets things together?
G: I don’t know. I mean obviously, I’ve been doing this for thirty years now, like A&Ring or being on one hand I’ll be headlining gigs myself, or on the other hand, I’ll be interviewing people, or I’ll be interviewed, or I’ll be A&Ring or I’ll be mentoring, or whatever I’ve been doing all aspects of the sort of music thing for quite a while. So, I’m still a mad music fan. I’m still somebody who’ll go and buy magazines and read them, and, not because I want to read about myself, but because I want to kind of find out about things. I’m still a fan in a lot of ways. And I think that with someone like Mala, or someone like Roni Size or groups like Masters at Work when I do the records of all of those people, or Carl Craig I think that I’ve found my place because I could talk their language, in a way. I wasn’t competing with them, as a producer, there was no sort of rivalry there, which is weird. I think that’s probably helped me slightly… I find myself in quite a good place that is close enough yet not too close.
B: So, does that mean, if you have this, a position that’s slightly removed, that you can, they’re open to like overt persuasion and more subtle persuasion, or that it’s just the balance sits right and you don’t really need to think about either really?
G: Yeah, I just think the balance is right. I think that I think that with all these things, I mean, I think persuasion is probably quite a good word because I mean, with Mala, actually, to be honest with you, I wasn’t thinking, okay, I’m going to do it in such a way that in a year’s time I’ll have this great album that could be a Mercury Prize winner.” I didn’t think like that haha. Obviously not to say that it’s going to be that, but, I just, I don’t know. The other thing is with the music industry these days, I mean, of course, you’re thinking about running your business and you’ve got people, who work for you and all that stuff, and you want it to work well, but I think that, equally, there’s so little to gain in the music industry these days. You can only do things and enjoy them, almost. Because if you’re going to try and deal with it to make money or whatever, I think you’ll be fucked really.
I don’t, so, for me, I’m just trying to have fun really. And I just wanted to have fun, I wanted to get to know Mala better and I wanted to… I thought he was a really interesting guy, and I thought and I thought, “Let’s just try…” I mean, really it isn’t any more complicated than that. I mean, literally he’s a really cool bloke, and I really respect what he does, I think he’s really relevant in terms of where he fits into this history, whether it’s sound system culture, club culture, or whatever.
B: He did sound like, talking about it, that he has really been through hell and back to do it, that he struggled, and it was a complicated thing for him to go through.
G: Definitely, definitely. When I spoke to him a couple of… just after he delivered the final record we went out, and he was like, “I was so close to saying that you can have your money back and here’s the record I got. I can’t keep with it” haha. But I kind of sensed that was happening anyway, a lot of the time, so I just left him to it really. And then, I think we were quite lucky and I think Simbad helped a lot as well…
B: Yeah. He said that Simbad was really crucial at a key point.
G: Yeah, he was crucial at that key point because he could just give him a little bit of that more traditional production value, and lessons about arrangement and this and that. He’s a musician so, actually, I think that was really… and Simbad is… Simbad is a mad guy so, I don’t know if you’ve met… have you met Simbad? Do you know him?
B: I haven’t, no but I feel like I must have heard his stuff before.
G: Everybody loves Simbad. He’s one of those guys who’s just totally, he’s so pure. He’s such a pure person. And especially in England, everyone’s like always after something or they’ve got another, they’ve got their own sort of agenda or whatever. He’s just totally honest and pure, and a nice bloke. I mean, I know that sounds weird, and people actually find him, they find that disconcerting because they think he’s got to have another agenda, but he’s not. I mean, I’m overstating it, but he’s one of those really unique blokes haha. Does my head in sometimes haha but he’s too nice. But, anyway, yeah, he came in good because he understands… he, because, again, he’s another one he’ll have the Koli Geet album, or he’ll listen to a new thing on Hyperdub and he’s right on top of that culture, musically. So, he can have those conversations with Mala. So, those two elements together and at a time when Mala was probably going through a moment of doubt, definitely gave the record a boost.
B: He sort of described it as getting himself into a maze or like fifteen different mazes at once, and couldn’t find his way through. And it sounds like a little bit of classical training from Simbad allowed him to see the route through.
G: Yeah. Yeah. I’d say that. I think that definitely I mean, I, again, I had absolutely nothing to do with any of that stuff. I literally let Mala get on with his stuff, send me some demos, I thought they were sounding good. It didn’t sound like it was quite, kind of getting to the next level two months later and I thought these guys get on really well, let’s send Simbad over there. That is probably that’s what good A&R is, I suppose.
B: It’s like a really great England substitution.
G: Yeah, it is hah. It was a good substitution.
B: You send Walcott on.
G: I send Walcott on, and exactly. So, yeah, and that’s what’s come out and we’re there.
B: I think what’s most amazing about it is, just as, definitely as somebody who’s listened to Mala’s music right from well, dubplate really, so before “Pathwayz,” it was just that, I think it has a uniqueness of the sounds he’s chosen, because they are all organic instruments and all Cuban organic instruments, that like having that number of tracks with the same, or related instrument families, and then Mala’s approach to each of them, musically differently, but like with different melodies and so on, it makes it really coherent and also really unique because it doesn’t entirely sound like anything Mala’s done before, but there are elements that are very familiar to what he’s done before.
G: Yeah, I mean, it’s all of that. I just love watching people… I just love the spell that he casts on people when he’s either DJing or when that record goes on. People who don’t really know whether they like that music or not… Mala’s got an incredible… he gets everybody with his music. It’s very… it’s hypnotic.
B: It’s a very direct extension of who he is inside. That was the funny thing was that, Emily, who works for you, asked me to write a biog for Mala the other day and I wrote one and it didn’t feel like… I couldn’t write a normal biog for him, like a normal 'list of achievements' type thing. I wrote really what I felt was the essence of Mala’s music.
And then after that Mala reminded me on the phone that I’d done one for him about five years ago, he’d compared it to that and they were very similar. And it was like, it’s because that’s in essence still who he is, like that sense of trying to generate unity and connection through - in a positive way – his music. And I honestly think people connect with that in a way that subconsciously they don’t realise what he’s trying to do, but it’s very powerful. And I don’t know if all musicians have that kind of message sometimes. Maybe they should do but…
G: He found his reason for being, that’s for sure and he’s advancing it. And, I think, this project is coming at a very interesting time as well because, of course, of where that movement has gone, and all the different directions it’s gone and also I think a lot of people missed what he was doing five, six, seven years ago because it was too ahead and they weren’t ready for it. And now… they’ve subconsciously heard that sound, and now, when we go and drop this record, I think a lot of people are going to be ready for it. More than they would have been at the time. And I think the dubstep movement, whatever, if you want to call it that these days, I think it could kind of give it some new sense of… well give it that direction again. Or I mean, I don’t know if you want to call it dubstep, that’s a bit of a weird term, but it’ll be interesting to see… it’s just funny to hear the likes of Skream and Benga and those people, because they all really love him, don’t they?
B: Totally, yeah.
G: I mean, he’s really important to them.
B: He’s revered.
G: Yeah, revered, so, it’s going to be it’s kind of making everybody go, “Hang on a minute. Where are we coming from?” and that’s quite… I’m really interested in all that.
B: Yeah, and I think it’s true… I think there is a danger that dubstep will make itself irrelevant, or what most people think is dubstep, will make itself irrelevant. And maybe, arguably, already has sort of en masse perhaps already has and so, I think an album like this could be, like you say, influential in that direction. And the best thing about it, is though, that it still maintains a lot of the sound system values and the intensity from that culture. The impact of his music rather than it just being really mellow and not having the counterpoint of the bass or the drums and so on. It’s got that both sides to it.
G: That’s why I was really pleased when I heard the record it had, it does get rude and naughty at times. I was really pleased he didn’t make because it’s very easy to sort of make a record, ‘oh Gilles Petersen is involved and it’ll end up becoming a little bit jazzy, oh, here’s a trumpet or whatever’ that’s easy, I’m very aware of that with some of the projects that I’ve done and tried to keep them as dark as possible.
B: You go round telling people to be ruder haha?
G: A bit because that’s what I love about it. That’s why I love Masters at Work because Kenny Dope’s going to get dirty and that’s always been my thing. Roni was another example of that, when we did Reprazent. It was just fresh at the time, but it still had a big essence of the ruder side of drum & bass at the time. So, with this record, I was just delighted that it was just the right amount of melody arrangement but without forgetting what it’s about and where it’s coming from. So, I think that’s the most satisfying part of this record because it doesn’t ever really go into a kind of cool sort of lounge music thing. Because it could so easily have become that.
B: Totally. Well, sort of. I mean, except, of course, it’s Mala and Mala being Mala, it never would have. But, yeah, yes, I totally mean that you could see how a lighter dubstep remix could have gone in that direction. But, yeah, it’s brilliant that it didn’t, and it’s much stronger for it. It didn’t make as much sense to me the first few times I heard it, and so I had chance to listen to it loud and with the bass properly up, and suddenly you hear both working together and in harmony rather than the upper registers by themselves.
G: That’s important. That’s really important. I mean, we did this party in Paris last week. We did a listening party there, and the sound system wasn’t right. So, we had to go and get a sound system at the last minute, into the venue. But, it was great, yeah, we were really lucky, how it was, definitely the spirits were with us, and we had like forty, fifty people in there, and it was amazing because it sounded great. And we just listened to it from the beginning to the end, and everybody got it and it was really important. So, we’re doing one here, in London, in a few weeks time as well. We’re going to do one in New York. So, it’s really important for us to kind of present the record to the people who are going to be the tastemakers, and the people that are important, and the journalists and all that stuff. And we really want them to listen to the record the way it should be heard because, in this day and age I mean, I’m getting all this music sent, I’m just I’m making my decisions over my little, shitty little laptop speakers. And so it’s important to try and make sure people can experience it in full sort of three hundred and sixty degrees.
B: It totally didn’t make sense to me, entirely, until I’d heard it up with the bottom end properly so I can see why you want to present it in those environments rather than somewhere else.
G: Yeah. So, hopefully, people are getting that.
B: Cool. Well, I mean, I think that’s most of the picture of… as I need it, unless there’s other bits that you think we haven’t covered?
G: No. I’m delighted, I mean, one of the nice stories, actually, it was… I don’t know, I’m sure he told you about it, was when we went over there on the, I think it was the first visit as well, he did a party. We got him to DJ over there. So, that was… he kind of did the first official dubstep party in Cuba, in Havana. And at this event, which was kind of this the cool kids were there, the ones that the little the sort of the, like in any society, it might be communist but you’re still going to get your cooler kids and your so that kind of nice venue, pretty girls and good crowd and stuff. And he was banging it out, and they were kind of they were… the crowd was kind of hip to the music, they were very interested by it all. And literally, I don’t know if he told you this, but suddenly there’s this bloke who starts playing the trumpet, and he sounded brilliant. I was like, “Well, I got to get him in the studio tomorrow”. And that’s a really nice sort of… nice moment in the record, and it’ll be great when he comes over to play trumpet when they’re doing some shows, hopefully, in the autumn.
B: Are they going to do a live project out of it?
G: Yeah, yeah. We’re going to do it. I mean we’re going to, I mean I say live, in my head, I’m seeing the Roundhouse, I’m seeing Mala, some percussion I’m seeing Changuito playing congas, who’s like a proper legend, Cuban musicians, some wicked visuals, a bit of piano, maybe, with Roberto just coming in for a couple of but I’m seeing the kind of sound system, but with Cuba, and three thousand people bouncing like it was, like DMZ. I’m seeing that for sure. I think that’d be amazing. So, yeah, I think, I think Mala’s going to be… in a way Mala’s quite modest, isn’t he? He doesn’t quite realise, in a way, who he is, and I think that he is not far from being able to… I mean, I saw Nicolas Jaar last year at the Roundhouse and I was like, “Oh, God!” This is sold out on a fucking Wednesday in February, snowing outside. I was like, “My God there is a world for this”… Mala would just murder this. So I’m hoping that he’s going to be really up for doing all that stuff.
B: Well, that will definitely get to a new audience as well.
G: Nice one, Martin.
B: Alright. Thanks, Gilles.
- "Mala in Cuba" is out now: A&R by Mr Gilles P, music by man like Mala, sleevenotes by me. Read my 2004 Digital Mystikz interview here and 2007 Mala interview here.
My Roots of ( gratitude to) Gilles Peterson
So... it was fun interviewing Gilles because he, alongside others, really influenced me back in the day. Around '98/99 if you got a remix for Talkin' Loud you were obviously hot property, and the album projects were all serious business. So here's a bunch of tracks Gilles released, compiled or first lead me to. Respect.
Roni Size / Reprazent "Brown Paper Bag"
Nuyorican Soul "I am the Black Gold of the Sun (4hero remix)"
Krust "True Stories"
MJ Cole "Sincere (2000 dub)"
Incognito "Out of the Storm (carl craig planet remix)"
Soul Dhamma "Flower (The Underwater Garden Dub)"
The Isley Brothers "Ohio"
Joyce "Aldeia De Ogum"
John Martyn "Solid Air"
Bigup Tasha, James and Mark who remember these times too. Memory flood...
Well, it took us four years, lots of tea, pizza and tired nights but it's out on digital, CD and vinyl. Hope you like it. To celebrate the occasion I'm giving away a track that was made during the process (~2010), called "Ridge."
The thing is, when people talk about Wiley’s eski sound, as they have been recently, they mention his glacial square waves – and that’s cool. But what’s utterly cold is his merging of a track’s elements. In his anthem “Eskimo” the bassline is both the melody and the rhythmic driver, it’s EQed so it provides bottom-end momentum but also catchy, sing-a-long mid riffage.
With “Ridge” - which I named as a contraction of the slang “garridge” - I’d been sampling hundreds of UKG tunes in 2010, especially the donk-y marimbas, and wondered ‘what would happen if you applied Eski-think to them?’ What was the minimum number of elements I could reduce the track to and it still sound “garage-y?” How many could you merge and it still worked? The result is “Ridge.”
UPDATE: DiS have done a Keysound profile and given away a mashup dub I did with Durrty Goodz.
Saturday, September 01, 2012
So, we're releasing an album and having a party to celebrate, at the club night that made us first want to make music over a decade ago and in the venue we most like playing.
Keysound, well as the saying goes, it's a family affair so we'd love you to be able to join us, Sully, LHF and Beneath. To that end I'm giving away 5 pairs of tickets to the party. Want some freeness? This is how you enter.
Imagine you were playing Plastic People, what one record would you like to hear on that system?
What fresh MP3 would you draw into the Serrato, what upfront CDr would you slip into the Pioneers? What untouchable dusty vinyl classic would you pull from its sleeve or 10" dubplate would you like to see spinning on those decks?
Leave a comment below (I'll publish them as soon as I see 'em) and 5 of you will win pairs of tickets. It'd be nice to see ya. You can enter as many times as you like, that's cool.
OK so the winners of the +1 each are...
- Kate Phillips
- Kieran Swain
- Ash Oglina
- Smoove Kriminal
Please get in touch!
Thursday, August 30, 2012
So last night I was a guest on Will LV's NTS show to talk with Laurent Fintoni and Rogues Foam to chat some waffle about genres.
Some articles that brought this debate about here, here and here. Rory Gibbs' thoughts were fantastic.
And while you're here, LV's siiiiick new album for Hyperdub is here. Loving the videos too...
Blackdown v Beneath v Wen v Visionist Rinse FM August 2012
Dusk + Blackdown "Lonely Moon (Android Heartbreak) ft Farrah" [forthcoming Keysound Recordings]
Bias & Gurley "Roll (Blackdown's 'a debt repaid' remix)" [Keysound Recordings]
Blackdown "Apoptosis" [forthcoming Keysound Recordings]
Dusk + Blackdown "We Ain't Beggin'" [forthcoming Keysound Recordings]
Blackdown "Untitled" [unreleased]
Blackdown "'Ridge" [unreleased]
Blackdown "Wicked Vibez" [forthcoming Keysound Recordings]
Blackdown "R in Zero G (lost mutant cousin version)" [unreleased]
Blackdown "R in Zero G" [forthcoming Keysound Recordings]
Dusk + Blackdown "This is London (2011 riots remix)" [unreleased]
**Beneath in the mix**
Beneath "Wonz" [unreleased]
Beneath "Illusion" [unreleased]
Beneath "Tribulation" [unreleased]
Beneath "PVO" [unreleased]
Beneath "Future Shock" [unreleased]
**Wen in the mix**
Wen "Untitled" (Ft. Dot Rotten) [unreleased]
Wen "Lo-Fidelity" [Forthcoming South Fork Sound]
Wen "Swingin'" [unreleased]
Wen "Takin' Over" [Forthcoming South Fork Sound]
Wen "Nightcrawler" [unreleased]
Wen "Spark It" [unreleased]
Wen "Walk Tha Walk" [unreleased]
Wen "Empress (130 Mix)" [unreleased]
Wen "Commotion" [unreleased]
Wen vs Epoch "Hydraulics" [Forthcoming Egyptian Avenue]
**Visionist in the mix**
Visionist "Control This" [unreleased]
Visionist "Revolt" [unreleased]
Visionist "NGF" [unreleased]
Visionist "2 Sides 2 Every Coin" [unreleased]
Visionist "Mr.67" (klp edit) [unreleased]
Youngstar "Pluse X" (visionist remix) [unreleased]
Visionist "Snakes" [unreleased]
Visionist, Beneath & Wen "New Wave" [unreleased]
Double Helix "LDN VIP"[unreleased]
Double Helix "Illusion of Time" [unreleased]
LV "Animal Prints (feat. Okmalumkoolkat)" [Hyperdub]
Balistiq Beats "Rise of the Machines (Yardman riddim) ft Riko (Sully remix)" [unreleased]
Emma "Marina" [unreleased]
Luna Beduin (LHF family) "The Island" [unreleased]
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Keysound Allstars vol 1: Walton, Gremino, Visionist & Vibezin
Out now on 12" vinyl and digital. Hear the entire EP here:
The 12” is illustrated by specifically commissioned photos of the tower block grime godfather Wiley grew up in Bow by London Nico Hogg (read more about Nico here).
Shout to the original “Allstars” dons: the Allstars label releasing incredible under-cover remixes by former jungle don and proto-dubstep godfather Steve Gurley with Chris Mac. Also the seminal Tempa label, who continued the “Allstars” tradition with cuts from El-B, Artwork and Geeneus.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Dusk & I were back on Rinse last Thurs 11pm.
Download the AUDIO HERE.
Funkystepz "Bizzaro" [unreleased]
Shy One "Blackwidow" [forthcoming DVA]
Funkystepz "Star9" [unreleased]
Jook10 "Jump Up" [Soulserious]
Jook10 "Ghost Hunter" [Soulserious]
X5 Dubs "From Dem Ah" [unreleased]
Jook10 "Funky Junky" [Soulserious]
LV feat. Okmalumkoolkat "Animal Prints" [Forthcoming Hyperdub]
Mista Men "Rush On Me" [unreleased]
Riffs "I Don't Care (Original Mix)" [Totter]
Samrai "Hear Me Now [unreleased]
Bombé "Tell (Riffs Remix)" [Full Fridge]
Compound One "Calling Out (Qualifide Dub)" [forthcoming]
KG "808 (Fis-T Remix)" [Free DL: http://www.semaphoreartists.com/]
Visionist "Funk" [unreleased]
LV feat. Ruffest "Uthano Lwakho" [forthcoming Hyperdub]
Beneath "Half Dead" [unreleased]
Macker "Euthymol" [unreleased]
Beneath "You & Me remix" [unreleased]
J-One "The Way You" [unreleased]
Gremino "Rupi VIP" [forthcoming Keysound 31 12"]
Walton "Cool It VIP" [forthcoming Keysound 31 12"]
Vibezin "A Little Higher" [forthcoming Keysound 31 12"]
Visionist "Come In" [forthcoming Keysound 31 12"]
Dusk "Focus (Blackdown VIP)" [Keysound 32 12"]
Moleskin x Wolffcubb "That episode of star trek where everyone goes missing" [unreleased]
Goon Club Allstars "The Housten moonwalk riddim" [unreleased]
Goon Club Allstars "Goon Plate" [unreleased]
Moleskin "Pulskimo" [unreleased]
Moleskin "Murdah in the dancehall (club mix)" [unreleased]
Fresh Paul "Sunblazed"
unknown "Rhythm" [unknown]
Planas "Better Days" [unreleased]
Lewis James "Peroxide Blonde" [Forthcoming Raid Systems]
P Money "Dubsteppin (Club mix)" [Forthcoming Rinse]
JME "Murkin (Spooky remix)" [unreleased]
Oris Jay "Boosi" [Texture]
TS7 "Grade A (Walton Remix)" [Forthcoming Coyote]
Oris Jay "I'm Chosen ft MC Ranking" [Texture]
Surkin & Todd Edwards "I Want You Back" [Sound Pellegrino]
J-One "Sacred" [unreleased]
LV feat. Okmalumkoolkat "Safe and Sound" [forthcoming Hyperdub]
Goon Club Allstars "Love sequence" [unreleased]
Guido "Something Wkd" [unreleased]
Oris Jay "Heavy ft Rodney P" [unreleased]
August show will be 23rd 11pm. Me (Blackdown) v Wen v Visionist v Beneath. Dubplate showcase.
You can also download all the Dusk & Blackdown Rinse shows back to 2002 HERE.
Exclusive Om Unit Cosmic Bridge mixtape: HERE
Kromestar (feat. Team Starfleet) - Outer Limit (CBR002)
Om Unit vs Kromestar - Solar Cycle (CBR001)
Kromestar - Don't Make Sense VIP (CBR003)
Danny Scrilla - X (Moresounds dub) (Un-released)
Moresounds - Analog Steak (CBR004)
Moresounds - Analog Steak (Danny Scrilla remix) (Un-released)
Danny Scrilla (feat. Om Unit) - Hunch (CBR006)
EAN - Flow (Om Unit remix) (CBR005)
Moresounds - Weeda (CBR004)
Danny Scrilla - Street Sound (CBR006)
EAN - Darknet (CBR005)
Om Unit interview
B: So I think the first time I noticed your music was the "Digidesign remix" but I bet you were up to stuff long before that. How did you get the "Digidesign remix" and can you describe what you were up to before that?
Om: I had been working before that as 2tall. That was the pre-cursor to everything I'm doing now. It was a little more homespun and rough around the edges. I think I refined my approach to making music after the last 2tall album "softer diagram" and I went quiet for a bit just approaching things differently, learning more before coming out again as Om Unit.
The "Digidesign remix" was just something I made as I love the melody. Turns out that Joker liked it and allowed me to cut it to white label and after Plastician and Joker supported it in their sets.
B: So it was a refix?
Om: Yes, just a personal thing, Joker did send me one part to use once in the version once he had heard a rough cut
B: Nice. And what tempo was it?
Om: I think 92bpm or 90.
B: So do you see it as a precursor to what you're doing now with Cosmic Bridge?
Om: Absolutely. the sound and feeling is of the same lineage, to me at least.
B: So what's interesting is when I came to the Cosmic Bridge releases recently I connected it with juke and the re-emergence of interest in those higher tempos, as much as that 2009 "Digidesign remix". Is that fluke or a contributing factor?
Om: There's tinges of that footwork flavour in the "Moresounds EP" and the EAN records. That's really just down to my taste as the A+R side goes really, so I guess I'd say it's a contributing factor but I certainly don't think to myself "oh yeah wicked this is a footwork record let's put it out" - I'd rather hear something that has it's own twist on a style that is instantly convincing. I think you can hear that across all the Cosmic Bridge releases.
B: So was it like, you were already working at those tempos and then suddenly the juke thing was running nicely in parallel to it?
Om: Well you can hear the influence in my own music but Cosmic Bridge as a label is more about sound system music than trying to be soup du jour but there's certainly the flavour of footwork in some of the records as I've said. However there's even larger influence coming from far less hip and more interesting music such as dub, hip hop, jungle and synthpop.
B: I just think its interesting because, the elephant in the room in dance music is tempo. Perhaps Ableton DJing and other newer technologies are changing that but for so long most genres had narrow tempo ranges so DJs could beat mix them within +/-8 bpm. So this made me think how brave you were to be running at 80 bpm!
Om: Basically I'm taking risks when I play out now, I think it's much more challenging to pull off your own thing convincingly, but when you do your own thing well there's enormous satisfaction in that. Now there seems to be a growing group of people on the same tip making stuff from 80-85bpm with a mish-mash of different vibes to it, so we all feed each other. Plus to be honest a lot of house music bores the shit out of me. I'm more into the subs, but most dubstep parties dried up. Thank god for Vivek's system night though! I'll tell you what as well, playing all over Europe there are hundreds of people making tunes at 80bpm
B: Nice how come?
Om: It's just they exist only on the internet or their own parties
B: Haha, no focused scene, in real life!
Om: Should there be?
B: Well things that exist but just not on the internet, must exist in real life… no?
Om: Can of worms! Anyway fuck a scene. Good music is timeless, something things are seasonal. Whether it's only on the internet or only on a ltd 7" run makes no difference, to me at least. If someone created it and shared it, great!
B: So, the 80 bpm thing, do you feel it's trying to make some kind of rhythmic paradox, kinda fast & slow but even more extreme than halfstep dubstep?
Om: There's no paradox to it, in my eyes. I think a rhythmic paradox might be something far more twisted and interesting. I like this term that Boomkat came up with "slowfast."
B: That's what I mean…
Om: But really its a slow backbeat with double time percussion if you will. I think that the switchups you find in juke and footwork music have allowed people to experiment more rhythmically and I think that's brought about some progression in terms of people's drum programming and yes it's certainly more extreme than the 70/140 dubstep/grime angle I think, literally because it's just faster plus a lot of dubstep producers got very lazy. Maybe the 140bpm format has been explored loads and people want to hear different stuff.
Download the amazing Phillip D Kick "footwork jungle" refixes:
B: Can you tell me about the story of how Phillip D Kick came about?
Om: It's as simple as a synthesis of 2 styles I was mixing together in my DJ sets, I thought to myself 'what would happen if I took these classic jungle tunes and put that chicago footwork twist on them.' I think I was kind of the first person to do this, and I've heard it catch on quite a lot since, I have to give a shout to Machinedrum who had the same idea that same week too! I saw him Tweet about it and hit him up, that's actually how Dream Continuum came about. I decided to use an alias to keep it low-key until I had finished the 3 volumes of 4 tunes. It lead to gig offers, remix offers all sorts. It was a great experiment that I'm proud to have seen through to completion.
B: Beyond the refixes, do you think it could lead into its own space, that's neither juke nor jungle? that original productions rather than refixes, could emerge from it?
Om: I think it has/is happening, there's trap/jungle/footwork being blended. I am not sure if it'll ever be anything but a synthesis, but at the same time I don't think that's a problem.
B: It's tricky that balance right, the point between blending two known forms and a third unique form emerging, or indeed in some cases not emerging...
Om: Well perhaps most things start like that but there's a line where something becomes independent.
B: Totally. So can you tell me more about the Dream Continuum?
Om: That's me and Machinedrum, we released one record on Planet Mu called "Reworkz" it's essentially three jungle footwork reworks. I think that this record and the Phillip D Kick stuff are all still really good DJ tools.
B: How connected are they in vibe to Cosmic Bridge? what are the similarities/differences?
Om: Well the link is me I guess. I feel like if you create anything it's somehow linked to everything else you create. I don't see an obvious link. Cosmic Bridge is really my pet label to release great music by other people or collaborations that I make. I guess the similarities are that people can still play the music in the same set much as I do.
B: Yeah, the tempo thing...
Om: Its similar but most of the Cosmic Bridge stuff is more focused on the slower/heavier/dubbier side. And tends to be more up in the 85bpm range. as i say, to me it's music that you can play out and references those things. I am a lover of synthesis
B: Of bringing differing things together?
Om: Yeah I think the most interesting stuff for me at the moment is between the genre borders.
B: Where things are more blurred?
Om: No not blurred: still well conceived. There's a lot of pseudo stuff but you can hear when something is well realised.
B: Do you have an over-arching sense of the vibe of Cosmic Bridge, what makes sense for it and what doesn't?
Om: I find it hard to explain, and can't fully verbalise. I guess Cosmic Bridge is a representation of that bass heavy downbeat dancefloor driven sound but not genre exclusive.
B: Can you talk about the relationship between tempo and drum density. Like the juke refixes of jungle tracks or the cosmic bridge tracks at 85/170...
Om: I think it's a simple as quanitzed 16ths providing the movement, with a steady downbeat. At 80/160 you have more room to play. Once you get up to 85bpm things tend to sound better a little stripped down.
B: I guess what I'm asking when do you decide to strip back and when to add density. Because if you go too dense you're into drum & bass territory, and if you go too light, then it risks lacking in momentum...
Om: The track should decide for itself and what I mean is if you feel where it should go you just let this happen.
B: Sure except with the Cosmic Bridge stuff generally you're not going either beatless or full on d&b tearout...
Om: No that sound I guess focuses on the "one". 4/4. I think that's where the dub reference ties in. Moresounds for example blends the dub feel with the skittish footwork percussive elements.
- For more info cosmicbridgerecs.com
- Soundcloud www.soundcloud.com/omunit
- Buy Om Unit's new EP on Civil Music