Thursday, 19 December 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: ACRE INTERVIEW



In a look back across what's been a pretty fascinating year, I caught up with Lost Codes star Acre on his 2013 for Sonic Router.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: LIFE AT 140 #16



In my latest 'Life At 140' column for Clash Music, I took a look back at grime across November and selected my top five tracks; includies efforts from Boofy, Mr Mitch, Murlo, MssingNo and Big Narstie x True Tiger.

Read up in full over at Clash here: http://www.clashmusic.com/features/life-at-140-16

Saturday, 14 December 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: CASPA x RIKO - FULL INTERVIEW



I caught up with Caspa and Riko a few weeks ago for Clash Music who were only able to put a condensed version live. You can check that here: http://www.clashmusic.com/news/mad-men-caspa-x-riko-chat-to-clash

I thought I'd put the full transcript live for those who might want to read more - enjoy!

Caspa and Riko are an unlikely pairing on paper but their meeting of minds on new collaborative track 'Mad Man' is a stand out feature on Dub Police's forthcoming 45-track compilation 'Past, Present, Future'. Minimal and stripped back but with bags of dance floor potential, it seems to represent the past brought up to speed and captures the same energy and excitement that characterised dubstep's early beginnings.  With this in mind and after it featured as our track of the day on Monday, we managed to catch up with them both on the origins of the track, the success of crossover sounds and what we can expect in 2014..

'Mad Man' features on the new Dub Police 'Past, Present, Future' compilation - can you tell us a bit about it? How did it come about?

Caspa: The original track was called 'Madness' and we did that in late 2009, maybe early 2010. He got the track and everything sounded okay but I felt it needed something else, it wasn't quite good enough so we left it for a bit. I think he thought it was all done and dusted at the time..

Riko: Yeah I thought it was done to be honest but I didn't hear anything until I got a call a few months ago to say Caspa had used the vocal and re-made the track. It just sounded like a completely new tune, but I was really happy with it.

Caspa: I wanted to take the tune back to basics, no compromises you know? I was looking through a lot of old vocal packs on my computer one day, found Riko's and put it over the intro to what I'd been working on - it sounded sick, like it was always meant to be for that tune. We'd called the old tune 'Madness' so I wanted to work that into the new one and we came up with 'Mad Man'. For me, I love it because I didn't have to think about it too much, I didn't try to do anything other than what I've always done. I think that's why people are into it.

Riko: When I heard it for the first time, I said to Caspa, 'Do you need a hook?' but he just said 'Nah' (laughs). I think the whole structure of it, the way it's just a verse then a drop rather than being built around a chorus really works man. 

Could you tell us a little bit more about the compilation itself?

C: We've had over 500 releases on the label over the last 10 years or so, it'll be 10 years next year actually. It's a chance for us to put together a compilation to showcase everything we think has defined and will hopefully continue to define the scene. It's also us making a stand point; we've been there from the get go. When times are bit flakey and different like they are now, we're showing that we're putting the music first, everything else comes afterwards. It's also a way to showcase the different styles of music we've put out too.

How does 'Mad Man' compare to what you'd normally vocal? What made the track stand out for you? 

R: The original track was sick so I just thought, 'Yeah, I'll spit to this' and so I got a few 16s down and whatever. I normally get just grime or bashment stuff sent to me so it was new, but it's probably closer to bashment, it's on a similar wave. In that sense, it just felt like my cup of tea straight away. 

Was Riko someone you'd always wanted to work with?

C: Gary at Dub Police was linked in with a lot of guys from back in the day and I first asked about Riko a long time ago. The thing is, I didn't wanna just put a tune out for the sake of it, it had to be right - it wasn't good for either of us to do it any other way. The fact that we've got it right now just makes it something to be extra proud of. I want to work with him on more stuff in the future as well..

R: There's a lesson there to all young musicians and people in the music game too - if it's not right, just be patient and wait. We left it so long I actually forgot those lyrics but i remember them now so when I go to bookings I've got a few extra 16s to squeeze off (laughs). 

Why do you think the dubstep/grime crossover sound works so well?

C: It's all London basically. Everything was together here back in the garage days and over time new sounds have developed but eventually everything was always gonna cross paths again. I think grime and dubstep have both done that. They're both pretty similar in terms of tempo and style as well..

R: Yeah I agree but even then, the fact they're still similar but manage to sound proper different is deep.

C: As soon as I hear 'Mad Man', I hear London. It's got the grime element, the dancehall element, the dubstep vibe. It's just a London tune, it couldn't be made in any other city. 

It's also worth noting that if fits on the 'Future' disc - can we expect more along similar lines looking to the future?

C: I think a lot of people have taken it in different ways. The future for me is taking it back to my roots, focusing on the kinda tunes I an make with my eyes closed, that's what I should have been doing all along. I want to get back to that sound but push it forward. It's really down to how you perceive future - my future is definitely going back, before going forward.

Where do you think dubstep stands at the moment?

C: For the last ten years it's been on a constant rise but the bubble's burst a little bit. 

R: From an outsider perspective, it does still seem massive though..

C: Yeah it still is. When any sound goes commercial though, it pops and people jump off but i've never cared about those people anyway. It's the people who've stuck with it and carry on doing it that keep it moving. It's one hundred percent not dead, all the shit's just been filtered out I guess - sometimes you need a good cleanse. The good labels stay, the good artists stay and the good nights stay - we just build back from that. I think even more so as well, because stuff's not on radio like it used to be, people think it's not as big anymore. When you can make something not for the radio and radio play it, that's it, you've smacked it again. We didn't even try with 'Mad Man' and it's been played everywhere, it feels like we're back starting out again. It's the most exciting when it's like that.

Looking forward, following the compilation, Dub Police have a North American tour starting at the end of the month. How do American audiences compare to the UK?

C: America's been really good since 2008 for me. I first played there in 2006 but it's got better and better - I'm actually bigger there than I am here weirdly enough. It's still a very strong scene but I have noticed that recently American's have come to a point where they're cautious about spending their money. It feels like you've got to be showing them something new to get them out now so i'm conscious of keeping things moving and not relying on the past. The internet makes everything so immediate and current, nothing's new for very long anymore so I think as a label and as an artist, I'm trying to stay ahead of the game a little bit. i think the tour will be killer though. I actually want to spend a few months out there next year and plant a few seeds in the towns and cities I've not had chance to visit yet. 

As for 2014, what can we expect from you both?

C: To keep putting stuff out that I'm really into. I'm focusing on working with people i respect and want to work on tunes that change the game a bit you know? Aside from that, ever since I started, I've always just wanted to make music and play it out so if I can carry on doing that then that's, as cheesy as it sounds, still the dream. I have got an album coming out on New State and Dub Police called 'Dubstep Sessions' in January and I want to have my next album finished. We could maybe do something for that mate? 

R: Yeah, definitely man.

C: I'm also gonna do a remix album for my LP 'Alpha Omega' which isn't going to be just based around dubstep. There'll be some drum 'n bass and a few garage style mixes too hopefully. There's just a lot going on basically. 

R: I've just done the 'Rise Of The Farda' mix CD so there'll be another one of those next year probably. I recorded a tune with Chase and Status too and that's just come out on their latest album. More of the same really though man, I'm just trying to stay relevant. If you're not doing anything right now, you quickly become forgotten about so it's important to stay busy. 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: LOLGURLZ & THE ORACLE - RED PILL AND BLUE PILL EP



Lost Codes have been responsible for three game-changing EPs already this year and their final release of 2013 sees LOLgurlz & The Oracle step up to the plate with their four-track debut, 'Red Blue and Blue Pill', an EP I reviewed for Hyponik.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: PICK YOUR OWN - NOVEMBER



November's staff picks over at Hyponik include efforts from Visionist, DJ Haus and Evian Christ, but I plucked for tracks by Logos and Lost Codes' latest recruit Dark0. 

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: INTERVIEW - CASPA & RIKO



With Dub Police's new compilation 'Past, Present, Future' out now and chronicling nearly 10 years of releases, I managed to catch up with label boss Caspa and Riko for Clash Music. The pair collaborated on new track 'Mad Men' which I featured as Clash's track of the day last Monday. I'll post the full interview transcript on Uncle Albert next week.

In the meantime, you can read a condensed version via Clash here: http://www.clashmusic.com/news/mad-men-caspa-x-riko-chat-to-clash

Monday, 25 November 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: CASPA x RIKO - 'MAD MAN'



I was given the opportunity to choose Clash Music's 'Track of the Day' for the first time in a while today and opted for Caspa & Riko's throwback smash 'Mad Man' - think dubstep as it used to sound with Riko on shower down duties. Lethal.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: P-MONEY



I caught up with P Money a few weeks ago for Clash Music who were only able to put a condensed version of the full interview live - you can check that here: 

http://www.clashmusic.com/news/round-the-clock-p-money

Thought I'd put the full version up on Uncle Albert for those interested to read more - see below - enjoy!

"Is this gonna be about clashing?" are the first words P Money greets me with, as we sit down to talk at the Rinse FM offices; make no mistake about it, for all the big name collaborations and sell-out worldwide shows, he's never left his roots. Touted as one of the best of his generation when first making waves back in 2007, P has grown to embody the best of the old and new schools in what has been a difficult period for grime MCs trying to make their mark.

As a keen performer, a big part of his success has been matching studio diligence and a penchant for radio with meticulously executed, high-energy live shows. Musically, his appeal is as far-reaching as it gets too, with his sound not only incorporating grime but dubstep, collaborating on tracks with a whole host of the genre's big hitters and demonstrating, although not to everybody's taste, a versatility that few others can match. 

It's this versatility that remains vitally important to his fans too; where others have been criticised for experimenting with new sounds, P has retained the faith of his core grime following, whilst discovering a completely new fan-base thanks to the global success of dubstep. Striking the right balance between raw, gully grime MC and commercially viable artist has therefore not only enabled him to appease fans, but also flourish creatively and from speaking to him, you can tell that he's fully in control of where he wants to be. Now a big part of Rinse's thinking too, it feels like this is just the start for P Money. With a new EP in the offing, we got chatting..

Where would you say you're at as an artist right now?

"There's different stages of your career I think. The come up days were back with 'P Money Is Power' and 'Money Over Everyone'. I was actually having a conversation with Logan Sama about this yesterday. Around 2006, maybe 2007, I was on his show with Griminal, Chipmunk, Little Dee and back then we were classed as the youngers of the scene - we were the young guys with all the hunger just wanting to do everything. Now I guess i'm at the stage where I'm representing grime as one of the bigger, more established artists, a big dog really (laughs). To be honest though, it's only just starting for me now. These EPs and my album are the first proper P Money releases. Earlier in my career, I'd feature on lots of tracks but nothing was ever mine, nothing was ever a straight P Money release. Now, everything feels like it's falling into place."

How do you think you've developed since first breaking through?

"I've still got the same hunger and determination but now I think about things a lot more. Before, when I was younger, I'd write something and record it without a second thought and without proof reading anything. Now, I make sure every lyric makes sense and that everything is clear, especially when I'm recording. It's also really important for me to make sure everything I say in the studio, I can also do on a stage as well, because the two environments are very different. Aside from that, working with different producers and engineers has helped me see things in other ways too."

You've managed to bridge the gap between experimenting with new sounds but staying in touch with grime - how do you think you've managed that?

"Subconsciously, I think people realise that I've been involved with different types of music from the get go. My first mixtape was full of different stuff - I had dubstep on there, an RnB track, even some old school garage, but i still attacked every tune with the same hunger, the same passion and I think people took that on board. It almost felt like i was introducing fans to new music, rather than just leaving them behind and I think some people can forget to do that. When I go to Germany say, I'll play 'Eskimo' or 'Pulse X', watch the crowd go mad and then let them know that this is grime from 2004. The same goes if I play a dubstep tune, I make the point of letting the fans know and that way, I keep them with me."

What do you think makes it so hard for MCs coming through now to bridge the same gap?

Tunnel vision to be honest. I think the MCs now see certain things and forget others. Look at Eskimo Dance - every young MC's dream is to get booked for Eskimo Dance and get a reload but then what? They don't see other guys like myself performing all over the world. They don't think about radio or songs or writing lyrics that cater for everyone - you can't just run around using the 'n' word expecting people to be comfortable with it anymore. I think all of that holds people back. Then again, it's up to us in certain positions to show them that there is a bigger world out there."

You invested quite a bit of time working with a variety of dubstep producers - what was that like? Is there a different energy? Did you have to adapt much?

"It showed me a lot actually. Obviously they're very bass-orientated and you have to understand the scene, I think you need to be a fan to make a track with it really. Knowing when to stop, when to let a tune breathe is one part that springs to mind - it's ok to let people feel the beat. I used to think MCs were the only thing that mattered but dubstep made me realise that the instrumental is equally as important. Producers are similar to MCs in that world too; they're very proud and they know exactly what they're doing and how they want things to sound. They're not afraid to advise you to try new things either, where as with grime, producers are generally less hands on in that sense.  There's definitely a business mind to lots of them as well."

Your track 'I Can't Stop' testifies to the amount of time you spend performing. Do you think that's played a part in how you've developed too? 

"One hundred percent. The live shows are my favourite bit really. You feel the energy of a track when you see it and hear it live, you get the full package. A tune on it's own is great but you get everything there in front of you when it's being performed live. I can act out my lyrics, I use gestures to emphasise certain bars, I go as mad as the crowd. They've been a big part of my career definitely … and that's also where you get most of your money (laughs)."

Grime MCs were originally brought up on pirate radio and jumping on sets whenever an opportunity arose, where as now, as you pointed out in your interview with Despa recently, things are more geared towards the YouTube generation. Where do you feel you fit in? Are you more old school in your outlook?

"I think YouTube had a massive impact on us all but I think people have got lost in it. We never had it before and we still made tracks, we still made money? That whole way of thinking has just taken over now though. Don't get me wrong, it's an amazing promotional tool to use as an artist, but it doesn't guarantee you an income or a career just because people can see you on a screen."

You're also heavily involved with Rinse - how important have they been in your career?

"It was the station to be on long before I even made it here and still is today in my eyes. Everybody chases after Radio 1 but for me personally, I always say to people you need to get on Rinse. I mean Rinse hosts regular raves, sick shows and they've made people the artists they are today, given people that platform - it's the home of the underground really. Personally, It's always been the goal to get on board but even since I've been here, it's never stopped. The team are always moving - just look at Katy B, Skream, Benga and where they are now. All of them have all played here, started out here - that's got to say something about the place." 

Your new EP 'Round The Clock' is out via Rinse soon - can you tell us a bit about it?

"It's the best EP in the world (laughs). Nah, I think first and foremost it shows a bit of diversity. If someone was to compare it with something, i'd probably saw it's a bit like some of the stuff Dizzee Rascal did with 'Boy In Da Corner' in the sense that it's just quite raw. 'Round The Clock' is essentially a diss track and the chorus is full of swearing, but you can still rave to it. 'Mad' is just straight grime to be honest which was something I wanted to put across with the EP. 'Changes', which features C4, is more about me and what i'm going through and experiences I've had. I really like that track actually. The last track 'Missing' is more dubstep and it's based on a girl and what not - there's another track that'll be out soon that it links in with actually. Everything I release from now until the album next year fits together like a story. There's also the Cause & Effect remix of 'Round The Clock' on the EP too and that nails the garage and house vibe, it really goes off. I don't listen to house that much but that garage element really brings it out."

As you pointed out, C4 features on 'Changes' - is he someone you've been impressed by? Are there any other names you've been keeping an eye on?

"Yeah, I've seen him quite a few times and we've been on radio together. I like the way he works, I like his choruses and I can tell he takes his lyrics into consideration and how they represent him. Merky Ace is another, his heart for grime is so pure - you can't help but just take it all in and vibe to his music. I listen to a million producers too but I work with and listen to Swifta Beater the most. I've got a lot of time for TRC and his younger brother CRT as well."

Instrumentally, the genre's flying at the moment  - what do you listen out for when it comes to thinking about tracks to vocal?

"Bass (laughs). I like instruments a lot though, I like to hear tracks that build slowly with loads of different sounds. If you hear 'Round The Clock' live, it goes off but if you sit and listen to how it's produced and all the elements that come together, you realise how well it's been made and I love that."

Looking ahead, what can we expect going into 2014? Can we look forward to anything with OG'z?

"Yeah, we're working on an EP and we might do an album but if not, it'll definitely be a mixtape. As far as myself goes, you can expect more videos and more releases in the run up to the album, which should be out in March. I'm also launching my own brand / night at the moment called 'MAD#', which I want to build into a community in a way ideally. It might not always be me headlining, but the idea is to great residents performing with local acts, as a gig that moves around venues across London. It'll hopefully give people a platform and help the scene in the process because I don't feel there's enough events out there, especially for young MCs. Having new talent perform alongside big names will do the scene a lot of good I think - unity is the key."

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: BIG NARSTIE x TRUE TIGER



I caught up with Big Narstie and True Tiger last week at Apartment 58 to discuss their new joint EP, 'Hello High' - probably one of the funniest interviews I'll ever do. Ever.

Read in full at Hyponik here:  http://hyponik.com/2013/11/big-narstie/

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: LIFE AT 140 #15



In October's 'Life at 140' column for Clash Music, I took back at grime post-war dub and summarised the best releases and events, as well as picking out my top five tracks of the month. Look out J Beatz (pictured) and Sorrow - his latest EP 'Warring' is absolutely lethal. 

Sunday, 17 November 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: MSSINGNO x GOON CLUB ALLSTARS


I wrote a few short words on MssingNo's debut EP for Goon Club Allstars over at Sonic Router that I doubt do it all that much justice. Up there with Rabit as best debut of 2013 - a game-changing record. 

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: P MONEY - ROUND THE CLOCK



I caught up with P Money ahead of the release of his new EP, 'Round The Clock' for Clash Music at the Rinse offices yesterday. The original interview was quite a bit longer but Clash have posted a condensed version to check out for the time being. I will post the interview in full on Uncle Albert next week.

Monday, 4 November 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: HYPONIK STAFF PICKS - OCTOBER 2013




Hyponik Staff Picks are always difficult but I opted for tracks from Major Grave and Mr Mitch in October's round-up - make sure you check the other selections too!


PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: MELLA DEE - RIPE TRAXX



Mella Dee's debut 12" for new imprint Shabby Doll is a masterclass in rude, swinging bassline house, a niche he's made all his own this year, and I chose B-side 'Ripe Traxx' as Track of the Day over at Clash Music. 

You can stream in full and read what I had to say about it here: http://www.clashmusic.com/news/track-of-the-day-411-mella-dee

Monday, 28 October 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: MUMDANCE & LOGOS - GENESIS EP



I wrote some words on Mumdance & Logos' brilliant 'Genesis' EP for Keysound over at Hyponik - an absolute masterclass in production. It's out next Monday.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: LIFE AT 140 #14



My latest 'Life At 140' column for Clash Music took a look back at the world of grime in September. Expect war dubs, a tribute to Depzman and a slew of new music plus my top five tracks of the month. 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: MERKY ACE - PLAY YOUR POSITION



Merky Ace's 'Play Your Position', the second instalment of his two-part LP series for No Hats No Hoods, was released this week and I caught up with him to talk through  it all for Sonic Router. HOUEGH!

Thursday, 10 October 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: DJ CABLE x MAGIC - WAR REPORT MIX



Following last month's mass producer war dub exchange, DJ Cable and Magic (No Hats No Hoods) joined forces to curate a mix and showcase the best efforts. I wrote a few words on the whole thing for Sonic Router - you can stream the mix exclusively too. Look out for Samename's dub in particular. 

Monday, 7 October 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: OIL GANG



Following the Boxed Rinse FM takeover last Sunday, I wrote a few words on Oil Gang's set for Sonic Router - you can stream the mix podcast exclusively too. Expect a shed load of new label material..

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: HYPONIK STAFF PICS - SEPTEMBER



The monthly Hyponik staff picks are always tough but in September's edition, I went for tracks by Arctic and Nightwave, who's back with a new EP on her new label 'Heka Trax' after a two year hiatus. Check out the other staff selections too, including Altered Natives tongue-in-cheek war dub for Slackk. Lethal. 

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: TRC - YOU & ME (BENEATH REMIX)



I wrote some words on TRC's forthcoming EP for Bristol's Crazylegs as Sonic Router premiered Beneath's take on the colourful rhythms of 'You & Me'. Great to see TRC back on vinyl. 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: KEYED UP - DREAM JOURNEY EP



In and amongst a stellar cast of names that have cemented Bristol's status as one of the UK's leading lights for innovative 140 cuts, Keyed Up is the latest to really grab my attention. A producer of merit for some time, his latest EP on in-house imprint 'Space Goon' is a testament to the city's association with the purple-inspired, Joker-esque strands of crossover grime meets dubstep that took the scene by storm back in 2009. 

Entitled 'Dream Journey', it's a cohesive, theme-led three-tracker that, although borrows from Joker stylistically, certainly sings it's own tune. First track 'TranZit' builds slowly, almost recreating some sort of sonic day dream, before crashing into life with trademark square wave synths and 'Stratos' continues that theme with aplomb, joining the dots between the dreamy atmospherics and rugged club-worthiness. B.P.D.R's remix of TranZit rounds things off with a bit more punch, with jazzy keys and tribal drum patterns giving the original a far funkier feel. A really enjoyable listen.

Keyed Up's 'Dream Journey' EP is out now on Space Goon Records. 

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: MR MITCH - SUAVE EP



Mr Mitch's latest EP 'Suave', released this week as both a 12'' and digitally via Run Music, showcases his hip-hop leaning beats and penchant for melodies perfectly. An intriguing talent for a few years now, it seems he's starting to develop a niche that he's really comfortable with. 

I wrote a few words on it all for Hyponik - have a read here: http://hyponik.com/2013/09/mr-mitch-suave/

Monday, 16 September 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: LIFE AT 140 #13



My latest 'Life At 140' column for Clash Music took a look back at the world of grime in August, including the surprise release of Riko's long awaited new mixture, 'Rise Of The Farda'. Top tunes of the month from Arctic, Boofy & Lemzly Dale, TC4 and lots more also feature.

Read up in full over at Clash here: www.clashmusic.com/features/life-at-140-13 

Friday, 13 September 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: SR MIX #163 - SAGA



Ahead of the release of his debut EP for Lost Codes, incidentally one of the best instrumental grime EPs this year, I caught up with Saga for Sonic Router. His mix makes for essential listening too.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: GRIME vs DUBSTEP



Clash asked me to give my thoughts on this morning's twitter debate, namely between Wiley and Skream, about grime vs dubstep; which genre is stronger? I concluded probably neither. Introductory paragraphs are from Mike Driver. 

Monday, 2 September 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: HYPONIK STAFF PICKS - AUGUST



As part of Hyponik's new staff picks feature, I got asked to choose five releases that have blessed my ITunes more than most throughout August. Look out for more staff picks over the next week too.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: MURLO & FAMOUS ENO - ARIEL



I wrote a few words on Murlo & Famous Eno's 'Ariel' single, complete with a barnstorming Spooky remix, for Hyponik. One of the tunes of the summer. 

Thursday, 22 August 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: DARKNESS - WAVEFORM EP



18 year-old producer Darkness' debut EP 'Waveform' on Spyro's 'Dragon Punch' imprint is one that might have gone under the radar amidst the hustle and bustle of a thriving instrumental scene, but it certainly merits praise. A five-tracker, including one collaborative effort with label head Spyro himself, there is enough here to suggest that he's another to be added to the ever-growing list of talented producers ready to make their mark. 

On 'Derpina Derpington', Darkness opts for crushing 808s and sci-fi bleeps in a style more conducive to the genre's trap-inspired cuts, whilst 'Wesker' looks to  strung-out distorted synths and orchestral strings for it's kicks. 'Kraken', probably the EP's stand-out track, bangs a little like some of Deeco's recent tunes only darker, with strings again providing gothic, haunted undertones. 'Airport' features Spyro and is the surprise for me, a far mellower cut that could easily pass as a dubbed-out soundtrack to Theme Hospital (big up those that remember), whilst final track 'Storm Trooper' looks to heavy 808 pressure again, although is a little more subtle in it's delivery. All in all, a very promising debut.

The Waveform EP is out now and available from all good digital outlets. 

Saturday, 17 August 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: LIFE AT 140 #12



My latest Life At 140 column for Clash Music takes a look back at grime in July. From Wiley returning to Big Dada to Last Japan's 'Darsk', it was another busy one - check out my top five tracks of the month too.

Read in full over at Clash Music here: http://www.clashmusic.com/features/life-at-140-12 

Monday, 12 August 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: DJ SPOOKZ - BRING THE BEAT BACK



I wrote a few words on DJ Spookz' debut four-track EP, 'Bring That Beat Back', for No Hats No Hoods over at Sonic Router. Club bangers galore.

Read in full over & stream the EP exclusively over at Sonic Router here: http://www.sonicrouter.com/2013/08/premiere-dj-spookz-bring-that-beat-back-no-hats-no-hoods/

Friday, 9 August 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: MURLO - ADDER EP



I wrote a few words about Murlo's debut EP 'Adder' on Unknown To The Unknown for Sonic Router - it's really, really good. You can also stream all 3 tracks exclusively ahead of it's release next Monday. 

Thursday, 8 August 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: TOYC - RUFFER / KEYFRAME



I caught up with TOYC for Hyponik ahead of the release of his debut 12'' ('Ruffer' / 'Keyframe') with Bristol's Crazylegs, complete with remixes from Bloom, Youngstar and Altered Natives. You can stream the Altered Natives rework of 'Ruffer' exclusively and take a listen to the mixtape he put together too. 

Read in full over at Hyponik here: http://hyponik.com/2013/08/climbing-toyc/

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: E.M.M.A - BLUE GARDENS



With her debut LP on Keysound released this week, I caught up with E.M.M.A to talk all things Blue Gardens for Hyponik. Look out for spaghetti westerns..

Read in full over at Hyponik here: http://hyponik.com/2013/07/e-m-m-a/

Sunday, 28 July 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: ARCTIC - THREE STRIPES



Liminal Sounds announced their arrival back in January with a series of cutting edge takes on Youngstar's iconic 'Pulse X' from the cream of up-and-coming grime-leaning producers that turned heads the world over. Although they've had to wait a little while, their latest foray is equally as exciting, with Arctic, fresh from releasing his debut 'Shook' EP with me at Coyote, presenting the 5-track 'Three Stripes' EP. 

What I've always admired about Arctic is his ability to turn his hand to a multitude of styles without losing an ounce of credibility; with Shook he demonstrated his flair for making high-end 8 bar grime but Three Stripes gives a more well-rounded overview of just what he's capable of. 'Off Peak' for example, eski breakdowns aside, sounds more in line with some of the rolling club stompers Artifact has come with over the last year, whilst 'Seeps', to quote Oli Grant, 'sounds like robots lightsaber duelling in a k-hole' - I couldn't really put it much better myself. 

Title track Three Stripes sees a return to more familiar grime banger territory, although, in similar fashion to Seeps, pushes that unique, de-constructed, almost disjointed style that Arctic manages to work so well into every track. His use of vocal rips is also always remarkably on point. The VIP cut of Off Peak also makes a welcome addition whilst Breen, himself one of 2013's most exciting breakthrough producers, does all sorts of damage with his fiery, 8-bar rework of Three Stripes.

All in all, a great outing for Liminal and one that will enhance the reputations of both label and artist. Chuffed for them both.

Three Stripes is out August 5th on both 12'' and digital.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: MERKY ACE - ARE YOU MAD x UNLIMITED FLOWS



Merky Ace, fresh from the release of his storming debut LP 'All Or Nothing', is back with a video for his third release from the album. 'Are You Mad x Unlimited Flows', filmed on set in Prague, is another barnstorming effort full of the gritty swagger that is fast becoming his trademark. I wrote a few words about it over at Sonic Router.