Since featuring on Noisia's Vision imprint and on her dark, experimental sister Invisible Recs Joe Seven has become a respected name in the world of electronic music. His widely varied productions have seen outings on some of the scenes most revered labels.
This year has seen his release with Consequence on Exit and also a solo release on Exit. Originally from Manchester Joe relocated to Melbourne in 2001 and quickly rose to the top of the local Drum and Bass scene there.
Originally from Manchester Joe Seven has been living in Melbourne, Australia since 2001. He has been a respected member of the local drum and bass scene there or a number of years.
As a DJ he has performed alongside veterans such as Goldie and Marcus Intalex and has also hosted the drum and bass radio show on Kiss.
We caught up with Joe to find out what he's got coming up next…
Example : So Joe you've been extending your discography this year since your first successes last year on vision and invisible. How would you describe your style?
Joe Seven : Devoloping
Example : Who would you say has influenced your sound both in Drum and Bass and also other genres?
Joe Seven: For me the 90's is where the heart of drum & bass is so people like Jonny L, Krust, Optical & Ed Rush, Future Forces, Photek, etc. Outside of club music I think i've been influenced the most by films; anything by John Carpenter in the 80's, Ennio Morricone's soundtrack for "The Thing" and of course, Vangelis for "Bladerunner".
Example : What was the first piece of music you bought and why?
Joe Seven : I honestly don't remember the first piece of music I bought, but my first memories of music are a hazy mixture of Motown, Gustav Holst and Jerry Goldsmith.
Example : You're originally from Manchester and relocated to Melbourne. Both cities have strong Drum and Bass scenes. How would you compare them and do you have a favourite?
Joe Seven : I cant compare the two. When i lived in Manchester it was growing up through the beginning's of Drum and Bass and I discovered the whole thing there. The whole city was alive with all kinds of music round then…It was a special time. I don't think anywhere else is ever going to live up to that. Melbourne has had a long history of having a strong scene, but It's changed a lot in the last 10 years. There is still a passionate and healthy underground n the city though, thanks to a few tireless promoters.
Example : What inspires your productions ?
Joe Seven : Everything. i have gotten a lot of inspiration from the people i have worked with; Consequence, Nik Roos, dBridge and the Exit / Autonomic family… I should thank them for that. The Autonomic podcasts and the freedom that came with them has also been hugely inspiring so got to thank dBridge & Instra:mental for that too.
Example : An interesting fact ?
Joe Seven : Bottled water in Melbourne is exactly 4 times as expensive as it is in Manchester.
Example : What have you got coming up for the end of 2011 and into the future?
Joe Seven : My single on Exit Records "All Prologue / Untitled Monotron" is due soon, We did a They Live remix for Airdrop thats coming around October and there are some other shady little projects…Im moving to London towards the end of the year to get back deep into work. Id like to write another album…
Example : 3 tunes that are never out of your box at the moment ?
FD started to make his name in 2010 with a string of releases on heavyweight labels such as Metalheadz and Critical. With over 10 years experience as a DJ and promoter FD has a sound composed of an array of influences, including Garage, Techno and of course Drum and Bass.
In 2011 he's been following on from his successes with further releases on Critical Modulations and a lot more to come including a release on Noisia's Invisible imprint. We caught up with FD to find out a bit more about him…
Example :So FD our questions are finally here. Your bio says you've been involved in drum and bass for over 10 years on the promoting and DJing side. What prompted you to get in the studio?
FD: That statement should include the studio too I guess as I started trying to first make tunes in ‘99 as well – but with a friend who was already a capable engineer and writer. I sat there, told him my ideas, was probably quite annoying and got a bit wasted.
We wrote some ok stuff though considering. About 5 years later, I finally sorted my own set up and went from there. I already well and truly had the bug by then though and it was something I really wanted to spend my time doing. For me, its just another integral part of the puzzle – in some ways, the most important (which is why its what I really want to pursue) but just another piece of the puzzle, a way to get deeper into it all.
It also gives me such amazing satisfaction when I write something I actually like. It’s kind of like nothing else to be honest. And then hearing it out and seeing it work, it’s amazing. For me, that’s a rarity though, I generally dislike all my music which can be upsetting. But when I do like it, it feels very very good and so I just have to keep going and pushing myself.
Example : Who influences your productions outside drum and bass?
FD: I hope and think that’s where most of my influences come from. I’m always trying to find new music that I like. If I’m not looking a lot, I feel like I’m slacking and missing out. I can like anything if it’s good (to my ears) and it just depends what I find or am exposed to.
I’d like to say I was a little ahead of the current hype (thanks to mate Ben, who is well ahead of the hype!) but Little Dragon are amazing – proper pop music. My girlfriend is Finnish so constantly showing me crazy Finnish stuff I’ve never heard of – but often incredible.
I’m also really into 4.4 stuff at the moment – Skudge, the way they are not house and not techno, Shed who is constantly pushing out killers (check his Wax, EQD and STP aliases),
Sigha who is pushing English techno to a new renaissance, are just a few examples there. Also hip hop, the feel, the sound, the sampling techniques – Premier, Pete Rock, Dilla, Q-Tip, RZA are just a few names.
Old music is also really important to me as this is what I grew up on – so Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis was on in my house almost on the daily so this has and had a massive influence on me. I’m also into a lot of bass music that I guess used to be called Dubstep
(which seems is now as much of a swear word to Dubstep heads as D&B became a swear word to D&B heads!) as a lot of these guys are really pushing boundaries right now – Pearson Sound, Pangaea, Objekt, 2562 are just a few.
Example : What was the first and last piece of music you bought and why?
FD: “Bad” by Michael Jackson – I have no idea why now, pulled into the hype I guess! I wish it had been Thriller instead haha – amazing album. The last was Boymerang’s “Balance of The Force” – I finally found a really good copy on vinyl at a flea market with the proper silver plastic cover and inner sleeves – back of the net!
Example: What have you got coming next in the pipeline?
FD: The collab with Zero T, ‘After All’ on Noisia’s Invisible label, is out at the start of September and Fracture and myself have just sent off the masters for a Subtitles 12”, ‘Galvanise’ b/w ‘No Rest’, which I’m chuffed about.
I’m also really pleased to have a tune on the forthcoming Sun and Bass compilation album and a 12” for Warm Communications, a label I’ve always wanted to do something with and really respect. I’m also working on more stuff for Critical of course and a few others bits too, and a couple of collabs, so a few things.
Example : What 3 tunes are never out of your box at the moment?
FD: FD – Blue Sky Research Naibu – Use of Weapons (Fracture & Neptune’s Astrophonica Remix) Ulterior Motive feat. Code:breaker MC – It’s On
The Parisian producer Von D is swiftly gaining acclaim on the dance scene. He is establishing himself as a key man to watch, due to his unique studio style, and his latest work is definitely worth listening to. He has been remixed by dubstep producers Tes La Rok and Skream and included in mixes by three time DMC world champion DJ Craze, as well as acclaimed by BBC tastemaker Gilles Peterson. Overall this producer is certainly one who refuses to be pigeon-holed.
The scope of this album is vast- it crosses a whole range of different feelings and moods, and I think it succeeds in creating a beautiful blend of sounds borrowed from different genres. The first track ‘Love Music’ introduces the more soulful side of the album, and is one of quite a few smooth and sleek sounding beats. Warm sounding piano chords wash over the drums and ride with Phephe’s soft hypnotic vocals.
After listening to the first track I find myself feeling a little sleepy actually. In a way it’s a brave choice for a first track, but it sets the listener up well for the slightly more percussive tune ‘Watching You’ which follows. The vocals are equally nice, bouncing off an arpeggiated synth sound past half-way in the track. ‘You’re the one’ opens with a jazzy piano which continues throughout the track, typical of the mature and stylish sounds.
After track 3 I’m wondering what other gears this album will be able to push us to, and bang on cue the harder, more bass heavy ‘From Jupiter to Venus’ shakes up our journey’s direction. It has nearly an 80’s charm to it, in the way the rigid drum-beat marches and the retro sounding synths are used.
The real stand out tune on this album would definitely be ‘Maximum Boost’ featuring Spyda and Foreign Beggars. It’s a banger which kicks you onto your feet if you’re not there bouncing already. What seems an unlikely collaboration between the vocalists serves as a testament really to Von D’s style bringing different elements together for a top end result. The variation of this album seems to have something for everybody, but is clearly dominated by soulful vocals and a sweeter dancehall rhythm.
The drums and bassline on ‘One Day’ seem to glance back to the pre-20th century drum and bass era, and his influence of artists like Photek is visible here. The bass in other tracks like ‘You’re My’ Is just as deep and moody, contrasting the soulful vocals of Phephe. This track seems to flirt with sounds of the garage genre. In ‘Liquid’ the jazzy trumpet goes against a head bouncing wobbling bass; a reminder as to why London’s dubstep pioneer Skream secured a release from Von D on his label Disfigured Dubs. The emotive, garage inspired but dubby tracks certainly remind me of some of Skream’s work. The arpeggiated chords against soulful vocals make me think of some of Joker’s tunes as well, and I think Von D will be remembered as a producer pushing the limits of dubstep. This album is an impressive mash-up of styles by a musical pioneer, and I’d imagine he’s one to keep your eyes and ears tuned into.
Words: George Allonby
Von D Q and A :
Example : Your new album ‘Daydreaming’ features a range of artistsincluding Riya and Foreign Beggars. Who was the most interested artist you teamed up with and how did you approach it (e.g. did you write the tune and have an idea of how you wanted the other artists to contribute, or did they approach you etc.)?
I work naturaly with singers.Most of the time its people that i met and we start doing things together.When i started music i was involved in bands and recording in studio as a Drummer so i know how to talk to a singer for example if i need to explain things etc but to be honest most of the time its just flowing and happening naturally.
For example with Phephe we made Show me in almost 2 days. Generaly in few takes its done. im happy to work with professional people and very good musicians. in the first place its alsways a Music colaboration so its all about good vibes and sharing a good moment on a track even with big names its always a cool atmosphere.
Example : Which three emotions would you say your album expresses the most?
Example : You’ve released tracks on a range of prolific imprints including Argon, Skream’s Disfigured Dubs and DJ Chef’s Sub Freq label; what are your top three labels of all time?
HAHA hard Question but concerning the labels i have been release music on i would say
Soul Jazz Boka V recordings
Example : Your sets have conjured “a global buzz” amongst many fans; what do you do that makes you stand out from other artists?
I have no idea i just produce music and try to add my own vibe to it.and i also play a lot of exclusives tracks in my set so people pay attention to that . i always look to the crowd and try to make them feeling it. i like to take people on a trip .
Example : Having established yourself as a sound engineer, what is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned throughout the years?
That there's NO RULES ...
Example : What was the first tune you ever made, and how did it sound? How have your ideas developed much since then?
i think the first track i ever made was back in 96 it was a Jungle track called 'Potard'. (potard is a french slang word for Butons) as it was all hardware based. When i started producing music i was making any kind of music from house to hip hop , reggae , Jungle,Ambient, Breakcore etc ... my first vinyl release was a Breakcore track. i was producing a lot of experimental music,well its hard to describe this cause it was very diverse .
Example : Being based in Paris but having toured the world as far as America and Australia, what has been your favourite place to play and what has been your most exceptional weekend so far?
i realy enjoyed playin in Miami for the WMC in 2010 but to be honest the best party i have done was Sub Dub in Leeds , its not very far from my place or incredible but that was one of the best. Its a hard question . i loved Playing in the USA , Canada , Israel Russia , europe etc ;
Example : Who would you most like to see skanking out in a crowd?
Lee Perry and George Clinton . they both still alive so ...
Example : A lot of your influences, including Sting and The Beatles, play acoustic instruments. Would you ever consider using live instruments in your tracks, and if so which ones?
im already doing it . some percutions ,some rides cymbal lines (i still got my drums at home) some horns too i got a lot of very good musicians around me we are like a big family we did grow up together in my town .
Example: Any final words for fans out there?
Stay focus on the music and don't believe the hype :)
In the late 70's a football casual style revolution began to take place and still goes on in menswear today. Jeans and t-shirt are most guys staple casual wardrobes. Egan clothing is heavily influenced by this revolution only with a slightly more designer edge. They describe themselves as 'terrace tailored style'.
Syle wise Egan's range is pretty run of the mill high street, jeans, tees, knitwear and coats. However, Egan take care to add aesthetical details to set their clothes apart from the competitors. They have paid great attention to detail when designing their range.
So if you're not one for major style statements such as coloured jeans, paisley shirts and boat shoes but you like something a little more special than your average high street buy then Egan could well be your new 'go to' brand. You can find it at various online retailers and also at Footasylum. Prices are pretty in line with the rest of the high street with t-shirts from around £30.
Earlier this summer there was an all-day Graffiti Jam held in the subways beneath Mancunian Way on the edge of Hulme. Having been a resident for the past 20 years, I thought I might delve deep into ‘the Archive’ & show all you lovely Example regulars the very first Hulme Graffiti Jam ‘back in the day...’
The once-notorious Hulme housing estate was earmarked for complete demolition, (urban regeneration to be paid for by European Social Fund); a socially neglected area that had become a lawless no-go zone with increasing numbers of council tenants moving out & unscrupulous drug addicts moving in; yet hidden amongst soon-to-be derelict properties were psychedelic explosions, colourful creations of hip-hop style graffiti ‘pieces’ painted onto garage doors, shop shutters & boarded-up flats across the estate.
I began to document their overnight appearance with my Pentax K-1000 camera. Colour transparency film. It was 1993.
Over the next couple of years I got to know these local graffiti writers (Inner City Artists) and photographed whenever they painted, sometimes under cover of night but often bare-faced & in broad daylight. Kelz started to experiment with 3-D lettering he has since become synonymous with; Tags was more ‘wildstyle’; Karl-123 was very painterly, most un-graf-like.
As an entire housing estate slowly-but-surely disintegrated their Hall of Fame pieces came & went, but the freedom to paint undisturbed & unchallenged began to attract graffiti-artists from further afield. Elk & Shun (Shit-Head Up North) from London painted regularly in Hulme, as did Fista (Sheffield) before he was incarcerated for his rampant ‘vandalism’.
The first Hulme Graffiti Jam took place in Woodcock Square on 23rd April 1995. It was an event organied by Kelzo to commemorate the deck-access flats on Bark Walk Estate & Woodcock Square, long since stomping ground of ICA, being cleared & readied for demolition. When young graffiti writer Craig ‘Smear’ Todd died suddenly his 'tag' gave the event a name.
There were more SMEAR jams to follow. In the inclusive spirit of the time graffiti artists were joined by deejays, break-dancers, ravers, punks, travellers. People from the local community turned out in support. Having been invited to graffiti jams in London by Elk & Shun, Kelzo now returned the courtesy by asking the London City boys up to Gunchester!
Aime, Alert, Arise, Barney, Cept-148, Demo, Dices, Diet, Jock, Hear, Karl-123, Keds, Kelzo, Kilo, Nile, Rase, Revo, Seige, Shok-1, Shun, Tags, Tase, Teach, Temp-1 & Zack (Zed-9) all painted on the day.
Most of the Londoners got their pieces finished early the night before, extremely wary of daylight on a strange & derelict estate. But lunatic Hulme locals soon crowded round. Beers were brought & sold on. Jamie from ‘the Kitchen’ (two flats knocked into one recording studio) provided a sound-system. The Sunday sun even broke out (only for about an hour) through the Manchester greyness, and the party carried on elsewhere into the night.
First thing Monday morning, while we were still sleeping, workmen went in and Bark Walk / Woodcock Square was fenced off, another part of our beautiful concrete playground gone forever.
Belgian native One87, creator of Belgium's "finest drum and bass concept" STAR WARZ and producer, has recently released his album on Silver's Nemesis Recordings. Example caught up with him to find out a bit more about him and also find out what he's got next on the cards.
Example : One87 you started out way back in the nineties djing Jungle and putting on nights. Where do you think you'd be now if you had chosen to go the drum and bass way?
One87 : I started out playing ‘radio station’ when I was 10 yrs old, with my self made soundsystem, and after that (and before starting with Jungle), I was scratching hip hop… so I think if I didn’t went the Jungle way, I would still be busy with music, but in another genre…
Example : How did you make the move from being a dj to getting in the studio?
One87 : I always wanted to be a producer, but I never had the time to do it…and at a certain point, about 2.5 yrs ago, I just made the time to do it. I really wanted to make my own music, create something from nothing…
Example : Who inspires your productions?
One87: I guess I’m inspired by all music I’ve ever listened to, especially Jungle & D’n’b, but at the moment it’s Icicle who ’s my hero.
Example : Funny / Interesting drum and bass story or fact?
One87 : If you mix mash a certain record from Aphrodite with a certain record of Will Smith, you’ll here the original recipe how to make Coca Cola !
Example : You've just brought out your album with Manchester based Nemesis Recordings. Whats next in the pipeline?
One87 : A tune called ‘Mirage’ on Critical. Pretty happy about that one actually ;-)
Example : Of course you run "STAR WARZ" in Ghent whats next on the cards there?
One87 : Critical Vs. Dispatch. I’ll keep the line up locked for now, but it will be a smasher, that much I can assure you ;-))
Example : What tunes are never out of your box at the moment ?
One87 : Let me think; Silverblade by Dillinja, Fixation by Ed & Opti, Franky Mountain by Icicle & Nymfo, Be True by Commix, Lose You vip by Lenzman, Full Moon by Icicle, Mistical Dub by Mistical, No More by Zero T & Survival, a lot of Break stuff and Critical stuff, … or is this too much already hèhè
Dan Havers and Chris Page, aka DC Breaks, have been making waves in the d&b community with an impressive archive of strong releases on some of the most prolific labels in d&b, including Viper and Frequency. The duo have gone from strength to strength and exclusively signing to Andy C’s Ram at the end of last year. We caught up with the pair to find out about their next upcoming album, how they met and what their all-time favourite d&b labels are.
Example : You’ve teamed up with Rox for a couple of tracks and have recently mentioned you’re trying to organise some collaborations for the new album. Can you tell us anything about these plans?
Chris: Don’t want to say too much at this stage as the album is in quite a fluid state and things will almost certainly change! We have got some great vocals from a number of singers and we have some tracks that need vocals that we’re putting in front of a few people at the moment.
Example : 25 April saw the release of ‘The More I Want’ featuring Rox. Is there anything you particularly want more of in life?
Chris: Right now the thing I need most is more time to write the album!
Dan: Bigger TV. And Battlefield 3!
Example : Some of your VIPs of tunes have now become even bigger than the originals, including ‘Pickett Line VIP’ and ‘Mankind VIP’. How do you go about making the VIPs? Do you make the tunes first and then the VIPs just after, or do you hear the tunes go off in clubs and edit them to become VIPs?
Chris: It’s generally a case of us never being quite satisfied that we’ve nailed a tune 100%, so even after it’s finished we tend to play around with ideas, sometimes these turn into ‘VIP’ edits or sometimes whole new tunes, Mankind itself was like the tenth version of a tune that started off completely different.
Dan: It’s easier to VIP a vocal track as you have the vocal as a starting point, and then do the opposite of whatever the original was. But in many cases the VIP is just a fatter edit of the original. Watch out for some new VIPs coming soon by the way ;)
Example : So you met at Edinburgh University before getting into production together. Any competition before you two joined forces?
Chris: Not really, I had been writing Drum and Bass for about 2 years at that point and was really only just getting to a point where the tunes sounded OK. I met DJ Kid who signed a bunch of tunes to a label he was starting called Restless Natives and from there I met Dan and Kid ended up signing some of his tunes as well. It wasn’t long after that that we started producing together. At that point I think we were both just happy to have something released on vinyl.
Example : In 2007 you guys had your own label, DC Breaks. Have you ever thought about starting it back up again or was it a platform to get your music out there before signing to some bigger imprints?
Chris: DC Breaks as a label came about really because we had quite a big backlog of tunes sitting around and it was a way for us to get them out. It was effectively a sub-label to Ram, like Frequency, but really just for us. It worked for a while and we had 2 releases but what we needed at the time was a release on a better established label and it was around then that we had releases on Viper and Frequency. It could be something we go back to one day but we’ve got our hands full with the album project for Ram so I’d say its unlikely any time soon.
Example : You’ve had a wealth of releases on many labels including Ram and Viper; what are your top three favourite labels of all time and why?
Chris: Number 1 is definitely Ram, it was the label I always liked the most when I first got into DnB and that hasn’t changed. Being part of Ram now is just incredible and if someone had told me when I started out that one day I would get a tune out on Ram I wouldn’t have believed them! There’s a lot of great new labels around now like MTA and Never Say Die but for all-time favs I think I’d put Virus and Good Looking.
Dan: Same. Except I'd throw V in there too!
Example : You’re pretty famous for your innovative six deck mixes. What is the most hilarious or cringe thing you’ve encountered during a live set so far?
Chris: I had to DJ sitting down recently, I’m kinda tall and the decks were on a low table on a stage. After about 5 minutes my back was aching from being bent double so I pulled up a chair! Bit weird at first but at that level I was getting high fives off the ravers at the front so it was kinda funny.
Dan: We found our agent asleep under the decks at Cable one time. That was a crazy one! Not even Babylon would wake her up!
Example : Your DJing schedule is looking pretty stacked at the moment. Have either of you got any weird habits that spring up when touring and where are you off to next?
Chris: Australia & New Zealand is up next in August, which I’m super excited about, Dan was over a couple of years ago and loved it. Can’t think of any weird habits…
Dan: Not sleeping is the only thing I can think of. It’s pretty annoying.
Example : Have either of you ever had to have a particularly awful job to pay the bills while you continue with music?
Chris: Yeah my current job! Haha! No joking aside I do still work outside of music, but it’s web-based so I can do it from wherever I am and IT’S A REALLY GREAT JOB (Ryan if you’re reading this).
Dan: Yup, I delivered wine for a bit. Come to think of it though, it really wasn't that bad!
Example: You’ve been enjoying a lot of radio airtime recently. Can we expect to see you guys get your own show?
Chris: Maybe! I love Radio, its great fun and was something I looked into as a career whilst at Uni. 1Xtra have been great and we’ve enjoyed filling in for Crissy Criss over the last year or so. If a slot became available it would be hard to turn it down.
Dan: Yeah we've had a couple of discussions about this, but it’s about timing with the album, doing a show like Crissy's is a far larger commitment than you'd think!
Example : If you were stranded on a desert island with only five records, which records would you choose and why?
Chris: If I was literally stuck on a desert island I think I’d have to go with something fitting like:
• Eric Coates ‘The Sleepy Lagoon’ (better known as the Desert Island Discs theme) – lush piece of music and I’d dig the irony
• LTJ Bukem ‘Atlantis’ – just love this and it always reminds me of a sunny day on a remote beach somewhere
• Bob Marley ‘Three Little Birds’ – In case I needed cheering up
• Jakatta ‘The Other World’ – I defy you to find a more chilled track and great use of John Barry samples, one of the best composers of all time!
• Something by Vangelis, Drum & Bass producers always say that don’t they? Haha!
Dan: Mine are gonna be quite weird....
• The Lonely Island – Jack Sparrow
• JJ Cale – Sensitive Kind
• Jose Gonzalez – Far Away
• Burial – Archangel
• Schubert – Death and the Maiden
Example : Any Final Words ?
Chris: Check out our next single on Ram, its out in September and it’s kinda dirty.
Marky has just released Yellow Shoes the 41st release on Innerground Recordings. We thought we'd catch up with him to find a bit more about it and a bit more about Marky...
Example : Tell us about Yellow Shoes and Mystic Sunset?
Marky : Yellow Shoes was a track I started making for my girlfriend when we were living apart. I can’t tell you where the idea to sing the vocal came from, it just kind of happened like that. I sent the track to SPY and he did some work on it and hey presto! Yellow Shoes was born. Mystic Sunset was a sample from a track by Chris Coco called “Summertime”. It was one of those samples SPY and I were playing around with the day before a Marky & Friends gig and it just came together really easily.
Example : Tell us something interesting about you that we probably don't know.
Marky : I really don’t like football/soccer. My son is great at it, but I just can’t get into it for some reason – even though I am Brazilian!
Example : If you don't think you'd ended up in music what do you think you would be doing?
Marky : I really have no idea. My Dad wanted me to have a “proper” job, like a police officer or something like that. If it hadn’t been music then it probably would have been something to do with the business of music.
Example : What was the first piece of music you bought and why?
Marky : First piece of music I bought was a Stevie Wonder album. I was in love with Stevie from the very first time I heard him. One of my biggest heroes.
Example: Last piece of music you bought and why?
Marky : Last time I bought music was a load of second hand records while I was digging for samples. Couldn’t tell you what they were, just that it cost me a lot to take them back to Brazil from the UK.
Example : A tune which changed your life?
Marky : Roy Ayers – “Everybody Loves The Sunshine” It’s just a beautiful piece of music from start to finish.
Example: Funniest / Craziest thing you think has ever happened to you whilst touring as a DJ ?
Marky : Nothing really crazy happens to me on tour to be honest. Yeah you get sme crazy kids in the clubs saying and doing some outrageous stuff, but nothing to shout about really.
Example : Whats next in the pipeline?
Marky : More releases, more touring and I am working on an album and live project. It’s still early stages and I am not putting any pressure on myself to get it finished by a deadline, but it is sounding good and I am really happy with the way it is headed.
Yellow Shoes is available now from all good record stores.
Over a thousand Mancunians, including myself, braved the rain to clean up the streets of Manchester this morning following last night’s riots and looting. The majority of the clean up took place in the early hours when police and council workers took to the streets to sweep up glass, bricks and bottles.
All volunteers met in Piccadilly Gardens at 9am, where one youth involved in last nights antics was being escorted through by police who also confiscated the litre bottle of WKD that he was still drinking. Crowds cheered as police marched the youth through and took his details. Volunteers were from all racial backgrounds, religions and age groups. Many of the volunteers were students and young people, hopefully proving that at least some of us respect our city.
The rain may have been pouring but it certainly didn’t dampen the Mancunian community spirit. All the volunteers rallied together with people making hot drinks, face painting ‘I <3 MCR’ and sweeping the city. There was a heavy police presence in the City centre today with lots of people congratulating and thanking individual officers for their work both last night and today.
The atmosphere was a strange one however. There was a great sense of tension, anger and disgust at the wreckage of shops and businesses. Commuters and shoppers were stopping to take pictures of smashed windows and the burnt Miss Selfridge store. It’s hard to put into words the feeling in Manchester today, a mix of anger, disbelief and pride.
Despite difference in musical taste, football teams or backgrounds Manchester has always been a city that stood united in pride for our city. There was a definite sadness in the air today that a group of people could do such mindless damage.
In the two years since its inception, UKF has gone from strength to strength. Their Youtube channels have over 950,000 subscribers and receive over 45,000,000 views a month. This is testament enough to show that UKF are one of the leading names in the Drum and Bass and Dubstep scene.
August 1st saw the unveiling of their new two-disc compilation, “Bass Culture”, which features a mixture of original productions, remixes, and some exclusive contributions from the likes of Gemini, Cutline, and Fred V.
“Going ahead full speed in the lane still getting it”, disc one has a monstrous dubstep opener. It is heavy, it is filthy, and it is grimey: it is Foreign Beggars and Skrillex. Punishing bass is a threat to all unsuspecting speakers, especially at two and half minutes in when the chaos reaches its climax leaving the listener exhausted yet screaming for more.
*Editor's Note "SKRILLEX IS SHIT"*
Cutline answer that call. A steady Nintendo inspired synth builds up to the powerful vocal line, “It’s alive”, before it drops like a ten ton hammer. However everything about this track is Pendulum, albeit a little more dubstep. The vocals are painfully recognisable to Rob Swire’s and the synth melody sounds like a lazer from out of space... a little like every Pendulum song.
Following on is “Strange Behaviour” from Feed Me and Tasha Baxter. The first minute makes you believe you are in a house club with a great vocal by Baxter. But that is instantly forgotten when the song drops, or rather fails to.
Next track... “Aerophobia”: A melody that (again) bares heavy resemblance to Pendulum. It takes Dodge and Fuski a minute to get things back on track. A kick drum on every beat fills the room with energy. It is interesting and heavy, filthy, and full of punch.
But the first noticeable tune doesn’t appear until “Elevate” by Gemini. Its synth heavy attack is overwhelming in power. There is not quite as much bass as the previous tracks but it is still there underlying the peaking waves of adrenaline. This tune could make you lose your head. It will be massive in clubs.
Recently signed to Hospital records and an album due out at the end of the year, Camo and Krooked need no introduction. They are usually known for their electrifying Drum and Bass but “All Fall Down” shows their Dubstep colours in glorious light. It is at the lighter end of the scene, but so is all of the Dubstep on this compilation, and it is sure to be a fans favourite.
Unfortunately nothing much can be said for the next five tracks. Music from Excision & Downlink, 16Bit, Engine, Dubba Jonny, and Roksonix fail to even register on the radar. Every compilation album has filler and usually they come towards the middle of the tracklisting. This release is sadly no different. None of the tracks spark any sort of excitement and nor do they bring anything fresh to the mix.
“And The Beat Goes On” by Terravita injects a bit of venom with big drops. The Cutline remix of “Cascade” by The Prototypes progresses the mix along nicely but still without any real conviction. It is not until the disc shows its Drum and Bass face that we remember why we love this scene. KG & Genetic Bros are the first to lay down some welcome 176bpm. “Mindscape” is the classic Drum and Bass package: heavy sub bass, fast breakbeats, subtle female vocals. It is capable of creating enough kinetic energy in the club to light a city. This timely change of direction from UKF is very welcome. The remaining six tracks are all Drum and Bass.
“Rapture” by Nixus is arguably the best track on the compilation. Rolling liquid bass partners a subtle female vocal in this featherweight track. It is almost refreshing after the thick Dubstep. It is a real summer tune that sounds like the younger brother to High Contrast and can be enjoyed just as much at dusk as it can at midnight.
Break’s remix of “Summer’s Here” by Magnus has a jazzy vibe with some great male vocals and jazz guitar. It takes the mix deeper into the night. Blu Mar Ten & InsideInfo’s “Still the One” is fast paced, heavy, and intense. It is much darker than the few previous tracks but darker and dirtier still is “The Meddler” by A.M.C and Mattix & Futile. Deep lasting sub bass, dirty breaks, off beat snares: this is heavy drum and bass. Maybe it is not quite as accessible as the preceding tracks but that is a good thing. It shows UKF demonstrating different paths in Drum and Bass instead of sticking to the obvious dancefloor favourites.
The final two tracks quickly assert themselves as the headliners of the disc. Futurebound and Blokhe4d respectively bring their own mix of chaos and destruction to the table. Both acts are dark and dirty. Their approach to Drum and Bass is intense and ferocious; both tracks demand to played at uncompromising volumes.
Once the first disc is over, it is clear... the Dubstep on this CD just cannot live up to the Drum and Bass. Considering this, the listener has very reason to be very excited about disc 2. Now it is Drum and Bass’ turn to take the spotlight.
RAM’s Wilkinson continues where Blokhe4d left off with his remix of Chase n’ Status’ “Time”. It is less of a remix and more his own production outright. It is much heavier and faster, it has a different arrangement, and very little of the original can be heard other than Delilah’s vocal.
Wilkinson has his own track, “Every Time”, at number five just after another RAM release, DJ Fresh’s “Gatekeeper”. “Every Time” has received a lot of support and it is no wonder why. Thick bass, frantic drums, and catchy melody are Wilkinson’s recipe and it tastes delicious. The Breakbeat Kaos boss had his huge track released on RAM also. “I’m the head of the house, I’m the watchman on the wall, I am the gatekeeper.” Undeniably cool sample from the TV show Wifeswap USA. “Gatekeeper” features simple jungle drums and sub bass close to the brown sound. The track is funky and soulful yet hard hitting.
In the midst of these RAM releases are “Breezeblock”, another new release by Camo and Krooked, and “Crucify Me pt 1” by Shockone ft Phetsta. Unlike “All Fall Down”, “Breezeblock” is high energy Drum and Bass with a devastating sense of urgency to it. It is not too heavy, a perfect blend of Pendulum and Chase and Status, but at the end of the day this song rocks. “Crucify Me pt 1” also borrows a lot from Pendulum (doesn’t everybody on this album!) but this tune really could be Pendulum. Everything about it is Pendulum from the drums, to the arrangement, to the vocal sounds, to the bass, to the synth... Despite the similarities sounding like a negative, they work and the tune again is killer... if you like Pendulum.
Tracks six to nine are all Liquid Funk remixes. Netsky’s remix of “Strobot” by Shameboy is another huge track. Question and answer synth leads, something of a Netsky signature now, encompass this track. Following in the same vein is the Friction and K-Tee remix of “Is Anybody Out There?” by Bcee & S.P.Y and Modestep’s “Feel Good” remixed by The Prototypes. Neither of these tracks would sound out of place on Hospital Records. “Is Anybody Out There?” is deep and soulful and much mellower than Netsky’s mix. “Feel Good” is very jazzy. Brass instruments and Drum and Bass build for a natural relationship when done right as this track shows. It is very uplifting and will be a hit on the dancefloor. The deep rolling bass line drives it towards being another contender for best track on the CD.
“Xiphactinus” remixed by Lenzman moves the disc along nicely without making too much of a statement. “Angry Jazzer” by one of the UK’s most promising talents, Fred V is, as you would expect, very jazzy and full of energy. Saxophones, traditional jazz drums, and jazz guitar stabs make for an ultra cool track. It is the perfect build up for Marky and S.P.Y’s “Yellow Shoes”. Another jazzy number but with a Brazilian flava, this track is led by piano and is of the finest Liquid Drum and Bass around.
As the energy builds, the mood descends. After a nice period of jazz, “Soul Calibur” by Rollz drops and it is late night again. Frantic energy buzzes around the room as if being chased by 1000 bees. This energy is continued by Loadstar with “Space Between”. Standard RAM track: dark, dirty, and pleasantly deceiving. It starts as nice as a Sunday afternoon in the sun before ripping your face off with killer bass.
Sadly, Loadstar are the last ride of Drum and Bass on the compilation. Datsik’s “Firepower”, Levella remix, is dirty but suffers the same fate as the previous disc of Dubstep: it is not dirty enough. The track is called “Firepower” but is only packing a BB gun.
“Twister” by Interface is dirtier but there is not much else going on and after two minutes you are looking for the next track. K.O.A.N Sound make a better attempt. Their “Trouble In The West” is full of swagger but there is also a tin drum or keg in place of a snare. This is not a good sound. It is not until J. Majik and Wickaman’s “Assassin” that the grime returns.
A seagull covered in oil is the best image that to describe “Assassin”. Full of grime and attitude, it is absolutely filthy. And it does not stop there... “Let the bass canon kick it”; Flux Pavilion know how to make Dubstep. Everyone knows what they are packing and if you don’t then you should.
After recovering from the nose bleed, courtesy of Flux Pavilion, Chasing Shadows give us a remix of Spor’s “Pavilion”. It is not as dirty as its predecessor although it still packs a weighty punch. There is enough energy in the track to not let it get stuck in the mud and it sounds right. It is not too complicated which is a good thing as Dodge and Fuski return with “Come Again”.
“Come Again” is chaotic at the start but gradually it loosens up and shows its true colours. For the first time on this compilation we hear some original dub. It sounds fantastic and calls for all to have a skank. Off beat rhythms and good vibes.
Good vibes are exterminated when Foreign Beggars return with their thick grime and attitude. A feeling of completeness arises as we are ending something the same way it began: with dirty Dubstep and grimey rapping.
A double disc compilation that shows exactly what bass music is all about, however there is not a great spectrum available. This is partly a Dubstep CD and there is no wobble. If you do not know what is meant by “wobble” then this album is the perfect purchase for you. It is a great resource and shows a good picture of what bass music is but if you are already familiar with the scene then it is simply inadequate.
“Bass Culture” is almost the equivalent of “Now That’s What I Call Music” but in this scene; it showcases what is popular and that is only a very small minority of bass music. But, that is what we expect from a compilation album. Fundamentally, there is lots and lots of bass and this has after all been “Bass Culture”.
Following on from his outing last weekend at Wickerman we thought we would send Skittles down to one of our favourite festivals of last year Kendal Calling. Here's his second unedited review from Kendal Calling.
Last weekend saw the return of the relocated KENDAL CALLING now situated a few more miles north of Kendal in the town of Hackthorpe.
We arrived late friday night to find the press office closed!!! So would like to thank chunky an the riot jazz boys for boxing' us off on a smoothers…. shadow!
Anyway rolled in an bumped straight into none other than manny don an label boss MC DRS, he had already played with breakage, an was just goin' on with Artwork of Magnetic Man. DRS is the best most original DnBb MC alive (that i've seen ha), EVERYONE was smashed on arrival alcohol is allowed on site as long as you can be responsible enough to put it in a plastic bottle ; )
Illegal contraband was definitely present and uniformed police were not. There was under cover c.i.d inside….. but they aren't there to ruin your fun. i'd be yin' if i said i watched any music outside of the RIOT JAZZ tent, which was an eclectic mix of acts including themselves, a band called RENEGADES who i really liked… and numerous live hip hop acts THAT WEREN'T MINE!!!!!
That didn't stop me doin' a drunken acoustic set in the vip garden. Only to be approached by craig charles an asked to come on his funk an soul show!!!!
Big up charlie vietch of the infamous love police, he was in the gaff….an i can vouch for my man. We were the last men standin in that festival……… we spent most our time in kendal callin' wearing goggles an drunken' out of coconuts up trees
Which is what its all about. Massive shout to stage manager johnny for bin' a good sport haha.
Skitz's final thought, overall this festival is fuckin' sick go there an love one another,
So because I'm away in Germany and can't cover the UK festivals like I did for Example I thought I would send trusted member of the Example Family and "Hip Hop Sensation (South Manchester Reporter)", Skittles down to some festivals on our behalf. A couple of weeks ago he went to the scottish festival Wickerman. Here is his undedited review of it...
Courtesy of example mag last weekend we found ourselves press packing round Wickerman Festival in Scotland. we arrived friday evening with the standard example hamper of golden rum, crisps, bread and peppered salami!
I whipped up a salt an vinegar special, made up a rum an coke and headed for the music…..only to be stopped by the gate an told "NO ALCOHOL" BUY IT OFF US AT EXTORTIONATE PRICES, in fact don't buy it off us…buy vouchers off us from the 1 location that sells them, then trade those for our extortionately priced drinks.
i downed my drink an off we went in drinkless!!! The first thing i remember about the gaff is police everywhere, even inside….in uniforms? this is not what festivals our about, an they DID NOT MAKE ME FEEL SAFE!
I felt on edge.. the crowd is very familyish and the usual festival presence of mind altering substances was minimal, so if your the kind of whopper who takes their kids to festivals…this one isn't THAT bad.
The music is anything but electronic, with headline performances from JAMES and FEEDER, james put on a good show for the sing along massive, with a mystery man walkin' centre stage halfway through 1 song with a low tom an beatin it in an epic tribal manner …..for time….was sick!
FEEDER were borin' ….i'm not a fan anyway but after watching 'THE PIGEON DETECTIVES' smash the gaff to bits The Coral an Feeder looked like old men in a pub band. Overall worst festival of the ones i've visited.
Berlin / Hit The Ground is the new release from boiling hot drum & bass duo, Loadstar. The single will be issued by the mighty RAM Records on the 22nd of August, and seeks to follow in the footsteps of the huge A Link To The Past, Space Between and BVLD.
Loadstar, aka Xample and Lomax aka Gavin Harris and Nick Hill, are quietly on their way to superstardom, having built up a reputation in the past 18 months, and they are now signed to Ram, a label with a history and standing second to none in the whole of d&b.
Berlin’s intro manages to be both light and grand, and has a slightly filmic, almost advert-y feel – think camera sweeping over a countryside location. The track then opens out, with a prescient, timely vocal sample followed by a gun click which leads us into the bass-heavy main section. The bass grinds its way through the track, and the beat flicks in and out behind it.
Overall, the track is one of contrasts, with the melody sublimated to grimey, grindy sections, but, against this, the shimmery, shiny, more musical sections are quiet beautiful. I am not sure if this approach will work wonders on the dancefloor, but for a home listen, Berlin won’t disappoint.
I think Nick and Gavin have been working on their intros, as Hit The Ground’s is signature Loadstar, with synth effects building up in layers. The music seems to emanate from the ground up, gradually filling out into a wide soundscape.
The track exhibits another short vocal sample, and compared to Berlin is more of a dancefloor banger. The track rocks along with techniques comparable to other Ram alumni like Sub Focus and Chase & Status.
The head-nodding beats show off the normal smooth production we have come to expect from both Loadstar and Ram over the years. The sound, and this is a neat trick, seems to build up towards the end – again balancing synths with beats n bass. The track certainly ticks all the boxes for success and continued exposure for the combined talents of Loadstar.
So this month we thought we'd formally introduce a guy who has been on our radar since last year. He was so much on our Radar that we invited him down to play at Example's 2nd birthday party where he completely smashed it.
Manchester born Sparkz started writing lyrics and producing his own tunes when he was just 15 years old. In 2009 he won music competition "MCR Superstars" and was awarded the prize of travelling to New York to meet various hip hop artists and have the chance to work in the studio with them.
Inspired by his win Sparkz began to work harder on music by improving his production skills and getting his hands on the microphone at nights in Manchester. With hype building and his name appearing alongside the likes of Mouse Outfit, Broke n £nglish and Skittles he's ready to show you his combination of laid back productions and honest real life lyrics with his first free download.
We caught up with Sparkz to find out more about him and more about his first ever free download the "Back To Basics EP"
Example : For those that don't know who are Sparkz and what do you do ?
Sparkz : What a question. haha... manchester born writer, rapper, host, performer and producer of Hiphop, Dubstep and nuff next tings. Looking to add more to the resume.
Example : How did you start out and when did you start making beats?
Sparkz : well I say I started on grime but I wrote my first lyric wen i was around 14/15 to a hip hop beat. Infact it was 'Simon Say's' by Pharoahe Monch...with the lyrics on... ano! but anyway, began hittin' youth clubs, getting involved in music projects, making beats and spittin' on sets. At about 17 me and a few friends got together and made a tune called Rain Drops, which was to be the first tune from the 'Kollektive' (Sparkz, Laylay, Dubbul O, Too Shugs and Simba). Got to collage, learnt nuff stuff and met nuff people. One of them became part of the kollektive (L Digz). Since then we've all bin making tracks together. Recently though we've been workin on solo projects...
Cue 'Back to Basics'...
Example : You've just got back from the states. how was that? what did you get upto?
Sparkz: New York was sickk... I came 1st in a compitition called 'MCR Superstars' couple years ago, and that was the prize. It was propper dope! Nice weather and all that gear. Ate loads of food and not much sleep. Jet lag done me in big time! I went out to a few clubs and was introduced to some artists on the hiphop sene. Made a couple links while I was at it.
I mostly chilled in Manhattan, but we went to brooklyn to record a tune on a beat of mine with 'Afu Ra' and 'Squala Orphan'. which was a bit of a big thing for me to be honest. And to top it all off, we got there just in time for Independance day (minus the alien invation and Will Smith). So ye, it was goin' off really!
Example: We can cop your first free download now from your facebook page. What can we expect in there?
Sparkz : This is just a taste of things to come. I've put together two of my more chilled hiphop tunes with a bit of a wild card, reggae styliee. Also featuring on the 'Back to Basics' (freE.P) is 'Helen K' with some singin' and 'L Digz' with some rappin'...
Example : What's next on the cards?
Sparkz : Some more of this hiphop stuff (mabey a tad upbeat) and definitely a bit of dubstep for ya! Plus plenty of collaborations with other rhymers, vocalists and producers. Hard Work Ahead...
Example: Whats your favourite tune at the moment?
Sparkz : Hmmm difficult... 'Born This Way' by Lady GaGa.... Big tune! LoL
Example : Any shouts?
Sparkz : Big thanks to ExampleMag ofcourse... Big thanks to Helen K and L Digz for jumpin on the Ep. Shouts to my kollektive people each and every... and big ups to all my fellow manchester artists making good music.
Abuze London have recently dropped their latest Letterman varsity jackets up on their webstore. The 'Wasp Stripe' varsity features a black premium wool body with yellow pipe detailing on the collar, cuffs and hem and has cowhide leather sleeves. The 'Wasp Red Stripe' features a red woolen body and black and white pipe detailing. Both colourways feature the Abuze London Letterman chenille logo on the left breast and a large Abuze wasp chenille logo on the back. The 'Wasp Stripe' colourway has "abuze london" stitched on the left cuff - a great little detail. Made with Abuze London's superb attention to detail, these Letterman jackets are exclusively available on the Abuze London webstore.
Shogun Audio label boss and veteran DJ, Friction is really a drum and bass name which hardly needs an introduction. His Dj sets are renowned and hes been known to rock the 3 deck mixes as well.
Since he founded Shogun with K Tee hes built it into one of the most prestigious labels in Drum and Bass with tunes from artists as varied as Noisia, Klute, Alix Perez and Spor. Hes also built a name for Shogun's sister label SGN:LTD.
We caught up with Friction ahead of the release of his new summer tune Someone to talk to him about his influences, life as a DJ and what's coming up next for Shogun Audio.
Example : Tell us something interesting about you that we probably don't know.
Friction: I had professional cricket trials when i was younger. Never made the cut tho.
Example : If you don't think you'd ended up in music what do you think you would be doing?
Friction: Selling cars most probably!
Example : What was the first piece of music you bought and why?
Friction : Think it was the Happy Mondays - Step On. A lot of my friends were into bands. Happy Mondays had a little dance feel to their music and it kinda lead me into rave.
Example: Last piece of music you bought and why?
Friction: Bought the SBTRKT LP on itunes last night.
Example : Dream collaboration with anyone?
Friction : Dr Dre
Example : Why the name Friction and why the name Shogun?
Friction: Friction had no real story tbh. I was young and just thought it was a cool name. Shogun came after I first went to Japan. I always wanted to have my own label with artists writing music for it and loved japanese typography. I was sold after that trip basically!
Example: Opinion on Rupert Murdoch?
Friction : Well firstly I'd say it's definitely been a good advert for Karma after all the lives that he had ruined whilst making his millions. The pie thing was quite funny but spoiled things in a way as it almost made him look human.
Example: Funniest / Craziest thing you think has ever happened to you whilst touring as a DJ ?
Friction : Wasn't funny, more crazy but i left my records in the back of a taxi in Beijing a couple of years back when i was very drunk at about 4am. There are 15,000 licensed taxis in Beijing and they all look exactly the same and somehow the bellboy in the hotel managed to track them down for me. Luck was with me that night!
Example : Weirdest ever request?
Friction : This is a family magazine so i wont go into detail but it involved a fan wanting me to get to know his girlfriend a bit better!
Example : You've just dropped your Someone EP. Tell us a bit about it?
Friction : 'Someone' is a dancefloor / liquid style dnb track ft. Mclean on vox ft. remixes by The Prototypes and Rockwell. It also features another new track called 'Flip The Page'
Example : You've mentioned in recent interviews about broadening shogun's horizons. Recent releases such as the 2nd Evo EP and also the new Someone EP are definitely on a slightly different vibe to some previous Shogun output. Do you worry that going in a new direction with Shogun could alienate people who have grown to know and love that certain something that Shogun releases have?
Friction: Its not so much that we are a going in a new direction, more that we are adding an extra string to our bow. We wont be alienating anyone as we'll always be releasing cutting edge music.
Example : 3 tunes that are never out of your box at the moment ?
Friction: Spor Aztec, Icicle - Minimal Funk, Capone - Friday
Example : Whats in the pipeline next?
Friction : Early stages of writing an LP at the mo, touring and working with the other artists to sort all their upcoming releases.
You can pre-order Someone By Friction on Itunes now... OUT ON 8th August
Over the course of Hideout I heard people using the phrase 'Croatia is going to be the new Ibiza'. It’s not a bad prediction. Following on successes of Outlook and Soundwave, Hideout has crashed onto the scene this year as a big player in the overseas festivals.
Held on the island of Pag (5th largest on the Dalmatian coast), Hideout uses the beautiful seaside town of Novalja as its base & boat-party launch and nearby Zrce Beach as the Main Site. The beauty of this is that it is already a decent-sized tourist destination, Zrce has 4 large open-air venues already in place (no tents), each one well laid out and can match anything UK festivals can offer. Papaya especially, home of the main arena, is a truly stunning site to behold in full swing.
Thursday Hideout kicked-off with a welcome boat party, People Get Real getting sea-legs moving amidst a beautiful Croatian sunset. Later, pre- & after-party beach venue Kalypso saw the energy truly rise up with House sets from That Famous DJ Mike Jones before Manchester's own Prophecy stepped up. Let’s just say it’s a good job the venue didn't have a roof in the first place!
With an English invasion in full swing, Friday saw the 'official' start and time to get back on that boat! With the festival running from 10pm-6am each day (although there was always music & sunshine to enjoy on Zrce, 24/7) days were dominated by the boat parties. Hideout invited promoters & labels to host boats on an afternoon or evening slot and it was scene of some of the festival highlights. Day 1 saw residents from Zutekh and Sondio and boy did they bring a party with them, uplifting house and techno was a fitting soundtrack to the afternoon vibes. The evening party was a combination of Leeds' Bigger Than Barry and London's Urban Nerds; their residents brought Redlight aboard as captain, although he was outshone by Phat Pat's eclectic party set. Big tunes ahoy!
Having already raved away for virtually 24hrs, the festival starts! The huge Papaya headlined by the legendary Sven Vath. He was the name on everyone lips and, though I'm yet to be truly appreciative, he did that thing that techno DJs do very well! The 2nd area 'Reclaim the Dancefloor' kicked off in style when Toddla T turned up, DRS hosting. Anyone hoping for his trademark dancehall grooves were in for a shock when he started with a ruthless jungle rinse out! Things settled down eventually with more UK Funky and Dubstep vibes from Jack Beats,Redlight and Nero, before Friction brought sunrise in with a masterclass of Drum & Bass. Managed to catch some Dixon, on a mates’ recommendation and he was rocking groovy house vibes in the packed 3rd venue, followed by more of the same from Julio Bashmore. The sun was well & truly up by the time Mak & Prophecy smashed the 'Reclaim...' stage to finish the night off.
A few hours kip and do it all again!!Slightly bleary-eyed and unrested, Saturday started back on the boat (where else!). This time it was a party for 'Deconstruction Records', headed Hacienda legend Mike Pickering. They've been picking up some momentum recently and the signing of Jack Beats was a real coup. They also brought along the 'Drop the Mustard' residents to warm up, with Ollie Hackett spinning Balearic tunes SaxOffender cracked out his Saxophone and riffed over the top. The sea has never seen so much soul! Pickering himself followed up with a typically classic set; you wouldn't expect anything less from this man really! Headlining were Jack Beats and having heard what was in store the night before I knew a bit of what was coming. They did exactly as expected and special note to their remix of Skream's 'Where You Should Be', killer tune! I can't wait to hear more of that.
Back on dry land and Day 2 continues with Urban Nerds Rattus Rattus & Klose 1 breezing between bass-heavy beats with real panache, warming up the crowd at the 'Ape' stage for one of the festivals biggest acts Ms Dynamite. With only about 3 square foot of stage and an overenthusiastic crowd grabbing her feet, it probably wasn't her favourite gig, but that didn't stop an awesome performance- capped off by modern classic 'Wile Out' (including a DJ Marky D&B remix switch up!).
With such an awesome line-up there was no time to think, I grabbed some shots of Pendulum and headed to the main stage where Aeroplane was finishing up his French House styles and Annie Mac was about to step up. Pretty much the First Lady of Dance Music nowadays, Annie went through any genre she fancied, from Disco to classic Jungle (Ready or Not remix, anyone?), in between geeing up the crowd on the mic. A perfect example of how to keep 4000 people entertained for 90 minutes!
After that, Swedish House Mafia's Eric Prydz played a perfect festival set. Not generally up for commercial house but classic piano riffs & rising crescendo filled the venue like a symphony. Full on hands-in-the-air business right there!
In between all this I was running back to the 'Ape' arena to see a full on Pendulum mosh-pit and the usual excellent sets you'd expect from SubFocus and Caspa. After seeing SubFocus doing his live thing on the past few shows I've seen, it was refreshing to hear a straight up DJ set, flipping from D&B to Dubstep to House and all the way back again, a demonstration of his eclectic influences. By the end of Caspa the sun was coming up and it was left to Doorly to bring in the new day fully. A former Metropolis resident, now moved on to bigger things (like Radio 1 and Ibiza residencies), if you see him perform you’ll see why. He will play anything, on as many decks as available, with flawless mixing, cuts & scratching on top. It's a true testament to him that he makes it look so easy too!
Another negligible amount of sleep, the festival entered its’ final day and arguably the one I was most excited about. Against the Laws of Physics & Biology, Dragged myself from my bed and wandered down to Sundays’ early boat, put on by music website Data Transmission. To aid festivities they invested in a large amount of fancy dress gear. Once everybody was kitted out with eye-patches, hats & blow-up swords we set sail to pillage! After a warm up from DT's own Grahame Farmer with some classic funk, and a little bit of Blur, Frenchman Aeroplane took the helm. After a bass-heavy sunrise set just a few hours before, Doorly showed his versatility with a chilled-out Balaeric set full of groove, but not neglecting trademark scratching & dropping accapella whenever it suited. The Pirates of the Adriatic came back well pleased!
The final Hideout boat parties, two went off at once; Crosstown Rebels, expected to be the biggest & best of the weekend, indeed sold out within minutes of being announced. The 2nd also sold out, with a little less hype, the Digital Soundboy Party with Shy FX, Breakage, B-Traits back to back for 3 hours, SP:MC hosting. Junglist at heart, it was a no-brainer for me which to attend. All aboard the SS Soundboy! For the next 3 hours our boat was thoroughly rocked (even though all of them had had no sleep the night before). They switched DJs and played out D&B, Dubstep and UK Funky, keeping seafarers feet moving at all times, exactly what I wanted & expected. After a final, beautiful Croatian sunset (check our photo gallery) we disembarked and set off for the festival site- just a few hours left!
Sunday's line-up Wax:On had the main stage covered, Crosstown Rebels set up shop in the smaller Aquarius venue and the larger one held Metropolis. I arrived to Joker playing a relatively quiet arena. Clearly a lot of people were feeling the weekend's effects by now, coming out slightly later (and slightly wearier!). It was soon to fill up. The main arena by contrast was already in full swing, no doubt because of the man playing, Fake Blood. This guy never disappoints and, followed by Erol Alkan, it was clear any Electro-House fans were well catered-for; as they were loving it!
Back at Metropolis, Breakage was bringing more of what was dropped on the boat party. Still on no sleep, I have to give him and SP props for staying so energetic throughout. One of the biggest names on the bill was next to step up. Chase & Status, tonight represented by Saul playing a DJ set, had the crowd in the palm of his hand. Dirty Dubstep plus an array of D&B tunes induced a huge mosh-pit in the crowd. These kids get far too enthusiastic these days!
In need of some respite, I took a quick trip into the 2nd stage, Aquarius, to see how these CrosstownRebels were getting on with themselves. Whilst they certainly have a strong following, and the room was bouncing, I can't help but feel a sense of a loss of energy, when stepping from a D&B set into Deep House. I can appreciate the appeal, and I'm sure many of you may disagree, but it just feels pedestrian when compared to a D&B rollercoaster ride! I have to give some respect to Seth Troxler, his mixing was tight, though he was gurning so much his lips were imploding into his face!
2ManyDJs rocked the main stage with a heavier than usual set, combining some rock influence to their usual recent fare, but I was back to needing a 170bpm fix. Luckily a guy called Andy C was on Metropolis stage. 3 decks, a pile of dubplates and MC GQ, gave him all the ingredients he needed. His relentless mixing never gets tiring to hear, still at the top of his game and not many can come close, certainly this weekend. It seemed at one point that he wasn't going to stop as he was forced off the decks by sound techs, having ran 10 mins over his set time, a confused Shy FX waiting in the wings, alongside Digital Soundgirl B.Traits, who delivered a whole lot more of what we got before, to an elated audience, as the sun began to rise and usher in the festival's end.
There was one final act, one man who meant I couldn't sneak off for a kip, one DJ who ensured I was still energetic to the very last. Danny Byrd. Final hour of the festival was a sunrise, liquid D&B rinse-out from one of Hospital Record's finest and, to my personal euphoria, he brought the curtain down on the whole event with an epic 'By Your Side' by S.P.Y. ensuring an emotional goodbye to the festival in 2011 and guarantee of my re-attendance next year. I hope you all can join me.
In the furthest corner of the universe is a galaxy. In this galaxy there is a solar system. In this solar system there is a planet. Circling this planet are three moons. On the smallest of these moons lives a space brother; Ras G.
Ras G is a name that continues to pop up all over the universe and though I have listened to a few of his productions, I’ll shamefully admit that I have never delved in to the man’s musical history. What a massive mistake.
Oh Ras!” your music is awesome! Ras G’s latest album, Down 2 Earth, offers the listener a true journey through time and sound. All preconceptions of genre, style, structure; everything that you would usually consider to make a good piece of music has well and truly been left at the door. This man is a true genius in regards to forward thinking beat and bass music.
Down 2 Earth is a combination of bass and noise, soaked in acid and sprinkled with space dust. Though songs are individually titled, can be bought individually and can even be listened to individually, I do not recommend it. I believe to get the true experience of Down 2 Earth, which is in essence a beat tape, the listener needs to turn off the lights, sit in their comfy chair, turn the speakers up and enjoy the journey from start to end, and then do it all again because it’s that good!
I am a big fan of LA beat sound, however, I often feel that a lot of productions in this area sound a bit half assed, but not in this case. This album is wholly successful in it’s content and I’d recommend it to anybody who enjoys the avant garde sound.
In February, on our second birthday, we released our first ever T-Shirt as part of Example. The "Setting An Example" T-Shirt, designed by myself, has been repped at some of the UK's biggest nights including Renegade Hardware, Critical at Fabric and also on DNBTV. For summer we wanted to bring something fresh and we wanted to introduce our first guest artist.
For T-Shirt number two we chose to get graphic design badman Pale of Name Graphic involved. So to officially announce and launch Example T Shirt number two the "Manchester T" Designed by Pale here is an interview and your first peek at the kit.
Example : Pale who are you and what do you do ?
Pale : Mellowed Mancunian scally with an addiction to creating things that please the eye.
Example : How did you get into graphic design?
Pale : I was the quiet kid in school that was always drawing on shit. did all the usual tagging and graf writing, but it was brand logo's that I really buzzed off, i would spend my days copying nike, fila, reebok, mercedes, VW, travel fox logos to perfection. I was an undercover geek. Then there was 2000AD magazines, Judge Dredd. ABC warriors, Rogue trooper. Later on I went through a phase of drawing futuristic concept cars, fuck i should of stuck with that one!
The other major influence on me around that time had to be rave flyers, I would go to town on a saturday and collect them from the independent record stores, there was some seriously wicked flyer designs during the 90's Now I think back there has never been a time when i've said to myself i'm going to be a graphic designer, it was just a path I found myself on.
Example : What sort of stuff have you been doing?
Pale : The majority of my work is print based, so logos, branding, flyers, album covers, clothing… Most recently i worked on the Soul:r records rebrand which included the artwork for the long overdue LP '21' from Marcus Intalex.
Having been a drum & bass activist for years it felt great to be able to channel that passion into my graphics work. And Marcus is a great guy to work with even if he does have a bad habit of accidentally ringing me at 4am in the
morning! Other recent work includes a Virus Syndicate cover, Broke'n'English's DRS cover, Problem Child, Soul:ution, Chimpo logo, Fox logo with plenty more in the pipeline.
Example : What have you got coming up ?
Pale : that would be telling
Example :What was your thought process when you produced the design for Example?
Pale : Its a blatant rip from a famous tee-shirt Experimental Jetset designed for Japanese label '2k by Gingham' back in 2001. The original listed the four members of the Beatles 'John & Paul & Ringo & George' In the classic
Helvetica Font. There has been plenty of other takes on the design so i had been playing with the idea of doing one of my own
for a while. The thought process was pretty simple…what is Manchester famous for? conclusion…Music & Rain & Cotton & Guns
Example : Who would be your dream client?
Pale : One that would let me do what i want haha
Example : Can you colour in without going over the lines?
Pale : Only if i shut one eye and bite my tongue
Example : Can you recommend a good felt tip brand?
Pale : No
Example : Crayons or Felt Tips?
Pale : you're taking the piss now
Example: Who's your design hero?
Pale : There are loads, but the a few that spring to mind for me are: Herb Lubalin, Mode 2, Mies van der Rohe, The Designers Rebublic, Wim Crouwel, Dick Bruna, Josef Müller-Brockmann, 123klan, Diam...
Example : What was the first and last piece of music you bought?
Pale : The first was a tape cassette of the Batman soundtrack. The last two were Dego's 'A Wha' Him Deh Pon?' LP and Fracture & Neptune's 'Retrospect' LP
Example : An interesting fact ?
Pale: The Nike swoosh was designed by Carolyn Davidson in 1971, while she was a student at Portland State University. She was paid $35.
THE MANCHESTER TEE IS NOW AVAILABLE TO BUY IN EASTERN BLOC AND FROM THE EXAMPLE ONLINE SHOP
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