Download: Premidist - Tru Heds [WAV]
Monday, 26 March 2012
Download: Premidist - Tru Heds [WAV]
Despite claiming this one as favourite of those he's made, Benton today has simultaneously captured the early waves of the British summertime, celebrated reaching 2000 followers on Twitter and avoided troublesome sample clearances by giving away this smooth jungle-tinged roller for free. That he's giving away one of his favourite tunes, furthermore, can only suggest big things are to be expected from his debut LP, 'Reflections', which is due to drop this year on N-Type's Wheel & Deal Records.
Download: Benton - Alicia
Saturday, 24 March 2012
Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Saturday, 10 March 2012
For the latest in our features series we're taking the tempo down by a few notches to focus on the garage-led sounds of a nineteen year old producer from Brighton: Etch. Coupling tight, swinging rhythms with dark, grimey basslines similar to those pioneered by the likes of Zed Bias, El-B, Horsepower Productions and Darqwan at the turn of the century, Etch provides an update to the sound by drawing in influences from the musical landscape which was to develop as a result of the experimental work of these proto-dubstep producers; he is undoubtedly a young talent to be keeping a close eye on. We caught up with him to get his take on this, and he's also contributed a fresh selection to our exclusive mix series.
Hedmuk: As an introduction for those who may not yet be familiar, what's your name, where do you come from and how would you describe your sound?
Etch: Yo, I'm Zak I'm from Brighton and I'm currently living in South London studying sound design at Ravensbourne University. I like to think of myself as a Brightoner forever though. I make 130-140bpm bass-forwarded, 2-step-vibed music' as much as I love dubstep and could easily just describe myself as a facet of dubstep, I try to keep away from the term because it's a bit of a two-edged sword: in one way it describes myself relatively easily and it will attract an audience, but then in another way the term dubstep has come to mean a lot of things that people look down on and that I personally don't really like. So 120-140 bass music does the job for me. And don't even get me started on the term 'future garage' (laughs).
H: Would you say that you've had a musical upbringing, or was it something that you picked up yourself? Had you been involved in making music in any other forms previously to Etch?
E: Primarily I've found music out for myself, such as dubstep and IDM etcetera, but initially I was drawn to music that was just...different to what was being fed to me everywhere else. I think the first things that turned my head were my uncle's old rave records, stuff like Altern8, Manix, Joey Beltram, 2 Bad Mice etcetera. He always used to be playing those when I was real young, but it kind of embedded in me; I still love those records and have them myself now, all that 1992-1996 borderline jungle/hardcore stuff is probably my favorite type of music despite my music sounding more like garage.
I went through a bit of a gothy phase too which eventually lead me to Nine Inch Nails and Joy Division, who I still love and take a lot of influence from. And then mainly the urge to start producing music came from drum & bass. I was put onto it by some mates when I was about 12-13: always the darker stuff like Technical Itch, Calyx, Limewax old Dieselboy mix CD's. It was the curiosity of how all that stuff was made that eventually got my to pick up a really early version of FL Studio when I was about 14 and that's where it all began, and I still use that software. From then 'til about the age of 17 all I made really was drum & bass.
H: You linked up with Vekta Records last year to put out the RGB EP and the RGB Remixes EP; how did this come about? Have you any plans for more releases like these?
E: The Vekta thing came about through a mate putting me onto David who runs Vekta. He wanted to put something out by me and I had already started work on something I was just going to put out myself, the idea around it was 3 tunes that kinda related to the colours of the track titles in my opinion: like Green, when I heard that synth I used for the first time it just made me thing of green, the same with Blue; and Red was just angry and dark.
I was proper happy with the remixes EP; Palace's remix of Green is just unreal, the same to my boy Ampersand's remix of Blue. It's amazing to hear other peoples take on something you originally created, it's really refreshing and it really influences you to go and make more music. I'll probably have more stuff coming up with Vekta in the future.
H: Tell us a bit about the mix you've laid down for us.
E: The mix is just collection of tunes I love, my own tunes and some stuff that people around me have been making that I really think deserves a heads up, such as stuff from my boys Niall Lancaster (Nausea) and Ollie Stallard (Atlas). Also bits from J-One, My Nu Leng and Wen, who are all huge. I also missed out a tune I was going to drop by a producer and wicked DJ who's been holding it down for years: Theo Bennett (Sepia/Brown Noise). I put in some of my old garage faves and some old halfsteppers I still love, finished it on a jungle vibe because that is pretty much all I've been listening to lately. So yeah, it's basically just an amalgamation of what I love and take most of my influence from.
H: Finally, are there any forthcomings, bookings or anything else in the pipeline that you'd like to put the word out about?
E: I have a forthcoming release on Nineteen89 Recordings, a label that's just starting up. It's got some wicked releases lined up from Rumah and J_Boa and it's got a really cool artistic direction, I can't really comment on the release dates and whatnot though, it's all very hush-hush at the moment, but follow them on Facebook/Twitter to keep updated. I'm also playing at the next Eyes Down night on March 31st in North London alongside Whistla and Blue Daisy, check them on Facebook for updates on that. I'm also working independently on a series of remixes of my favourite old Jungle and Hardcore tunes which I will release via bandcamp with a cool artistic direction, hopefully with some assistance from one of my housemate who does graphics and illustration. Other than that just keep your eyes out on my Twitter, Wordpress, Facebook and Soundcloud for upcoming releases and shows!
Download: Etch - Hedmuk Exclusive Mix
Etch - Miracle [Dub]
Photek - The Rain (Etch Reflected Refix) [Dub]
J-One - Droplets [Dub]
My Nu Leng - Clockwork [Free via Hedmuk]
Etch - Tek-9 [Dub]
Atlas - Level Feeling [Dub]
Nausea - Girl, Tonight I’m Gonna Have You On The Floor [Dub]
Ray Hurley - Vicious (Sovereign Dub Mix) [White]
Ghost - 2000 [Ghost]
El-B - El Brand (Dub Mix) [White]
Etch - Spaceman Riddim [Dub]
Loefah - Rufage [DMZ]
Dismantle - Time’s Up [Terrain]
Wen - Takin’ Over [Dub]
Digital Mystikz - Ancient Memories (Skream Remix) [DMZ]
J Sweet - Marxman Remix [White]
Jon E Cash - Hoods Up [Black Ops]
Wiley - Stormy Weather Instrumental [Southside Recordings]
Roni Size & Reprazent - New Forms (feat. Bahamadia) [Talkin' Loud]
Goldie - You & Me [FFRR]
Friday, 9 March 2012
Next week sees the amazing Submotion Orchestra embarking on a month-long tour of the UK, including dates in London, Sheffield, Leeds, Brighton, Bristol and Exeter. First stop, though, is arguably city-of-the-moment for UK bass music: Manchester, and long-running clubnight Hit&Run. In anticipation of this show, and the tour itself, we caught up with Taz, who plays keys in the band, to ask him a few questions about Submotion and their forthcoming live shows.
We've also secured three tickets for Monday night's Hit&Run and two copies of the group's outstanding debut album, the aptly-titled 'Finest Hour', to give away, more details of which can be found below.
Hedmuk: To introduce the band, who is involved, what roles does each member play within the group and how would you describe the music that you make together?
Taz: Hello there. We've got Ruby Wood on vocals, Si 'Bobby' Beddoe on trumpet, myself Taz Modi on keyboards, Chris 'Fatty' Hargreaves on bass, Tommy Evans on drums, Danny T on percussion, and Ruckspin on FX and production. We're a dubstep-influenced band, but try to bring as many influences and sounds as possible to the group. We're all into a lot of different styles of music, and also enjoy mixing things up to see what happens, and all of that is part of the Submotion sound. People sometimes have difficulty trying to describe what the music sounds like, and that's OK with us - you don't need to pinpoint the style of any music in order to enjoy it.
H: The story behind your formation is an interesting one: can you tell us a bit about the initial York Minster gig came about?
T: The gig at York Minster was an experiment to mix contemporary dubstep with classical music, and in an amazing location. Only Tommy, Ruckspin and Fatty were involved in that and the results were pretty variable to be honest, but it got them all thinking about doing something further along those lines. They got some more people involved and we started to jam and experiment, and slowly it all started to come together. So it actually was more a catalyst for getting the group together, rather than our first actual project.
H: With a strong jazz element running through the band, to what extent do you feel that the freedom of expression commonly associated with the genre has lead to your unique amalgamation of traditional and more modern styles to achieve Submotion's unique sound?
T: To a large extent. We've found that audiences really respond to seeing a group of musicians play bass-heavy music, and doing it all live, and we've always tried to get the energy and excitement that comes from improvised music into what is actually quite a tightly structured set. You're only able to go so 'free' - it's a thin line between pushing the sound of what you're doing through improvisation, and just getting a bit self-indulgent; but hopefully we've managed to avoid doing that! We do want to try to use some of the expressive qualities of jazz to play the tunes a bit differently every time we gig, and I think audiences can pick up on that, and respond well to it.
H: You're often referred to, perhaps unfairly, as a 'dubstep band'; how far do you agree with this label? Do you find it constricting in terms of how you're able to promote yourself, or can it equally be beneficial?
T: Like I said before, we're happy to be related to dubstep, since that's where the roots of our rhythms and the space of the production come from, but there's a lot more in it [than that], and most people can see that. it's always constricting to label someone's music, but that's the nature of marketing these days whether you like it or not - people think they need something concrete to name something. Our way of getting over narrowing interpretations of it is just to play in as wide a variety of places as possible, to as wide an audience as possible - we've done grotty dubstep nights, jazz festivals, concert halls, outdoor festivals, all sorts of places - and we've managed to fit in OK at most of them. Part of that is due to the mixture of sounds in our style, but really most of it comes from the fact that audiences are a lot more happy to accept music that's not easy to categorise than marketing and advertising people give them credit for.
H: How do you approach a live show? Is it a case of following a strict setlist or something more freeform?
T: We do usually follow a pretty strict setlist to be honest. We always have a few tunes in reserve, and have been known to change things around quite quickly, but when we tour we do stick 90% to a pre-agreed setlist. But we try to interpret the tunes differently each time, so that people who see us multiple times can get something different from it. We also used to do a lot of fully improvised gigs, and still try to fit a few in whenever the chance comes up.
H: Finally, what are your plans for Submotion Orchestra once this tour is finished? Can we expect more releases, another album?
T: The second album is 70% finished at the moment, and it should be coming out in the latter part of the year. It should be pretty interesting - there'll be enough to please fans of the first album, but also some stuff that should surprise people a bit. We've also got a full summer of festivals lined up and another UK tour in october, so there won't be much rest for us...
To be in with a chance of winning free entry to Monday night's show (which will also gain you free entry to the afterparty hosted, once more, by Hit&Run) and a copy of 'Finest Hour' just email your answer to the following question, along with a valid postal address to which prizes may be sent, to email@example.com with the subject 'Submotion Competition':
On which label did Submotion Orchestra release their debut EP, the 'Submotion EP'?
The competition will close at 12 noon on Monday the 12th of February, at which point two names will be randomly selected by an independent third party to win entry to the show/afterparty along with a copy of the album, and a third will receive the runner-up prize of entry to the show/afterparty.
For more details on this Monday's event in Manchester, including how to get hold of tickets click here.
Reportedly as a result of clearing out old tunes (perhaps spurred on by Sleeper's similar decision yesterday), Biome has given away this free bit today. With his characteristic mid-range lines, big kicks and brooding sub-bass this is one which followers of the Manchester producer's recent rise to prominence will no doubt be keen to add to their collections.
Download: Biome - Specimen