This boat party was truly a family affair in celebration of the labels achievements to date in the afro, disco, funk and soul scene. Luckily the weather was more than on side, making the risky discussion to put a party on a boat a positive one.
By the time I arrived I had missed the food but I saw a few bones lying around and a girl with ketchup round her mouth, so it was defiantly there and probably went down well. Although hungry, I was quickly distracted by my maratime surroundings and was briefly sent back in time to a junior sea cadets training exercise I had once participated in against my will.
This soon discontinued as I ventured below deck to get a drink, I was now distracted by the 70's disco queens throwing their hyper colour shit about on the plasma TV's suspended above the dance floor and of course the music.
DJ's on the night included Duncan Brooker (Nigeria70), Toni Rossano (Blackbeard), Christine Indigo (The Kenton) and special guest Bill Brewster. I was lucky enough to catch Bill Brewster rock the boat as the stars came out for those still upstairs reminiscing over the labels 12 year history.
With a lively mixed crowd of funky fuckers both old and young the quirky venue was going off. The system was well matched to the crispy analog recordings being pumped out of it, which was most enjoyed (from what I could see) by the brazilian guy in a sailors outfit who despite his get up worked his way round the room like a young pat sharp.
This party is the first of many for the Strut Records community and the event’s warm vibes and friendly atmosphere combined with that ‘hand picked’ Strut sound sets it up for a good run.
Producer Script is no stranger to the game having been around since the early days back in the 1990's. You'd be forgiven for thinking he was new to drum and bass as his productions are certainly not from the past. His music slots in nicely with the likes of Jubei, Dub Phizix, Ulterior Motive and FD.
We thought we would catch up with him whilst we got him to do our mix last month and see what he had to say about how he got into producing and what he has coming up in the next few months.
Example : So script for those that don't know you. Who are you and what do you do?
Script : I have been producing and dj-ing drum and bass for the past 20 years and currently have releases out on CIA, Footprints, Critical & Dispatch
Example : How did you get into drum and bass?
Script : Script : One of my best friends (DJ Crystl) used to go out to events at The Astoria and Telepathy etc in the very early 90's and I tagged along. I was inspired by going to these places and hearing new music and breakbeats being manipulated in ways that i had never hard before. Also seeing venues full to capacity with people of all ages, colour, and creed having a wonderful time made me want to be involved in the new emerging dance music culture. In 1994 through Crystl's encouragement (as he was now one of the best dnb producers , signed to labels like Deejay, Lucky Spin, GLO etc) I bought a studio with my best friend Neil (Osiris) and started to produce beats of my own.
Unfortunately due to personal issues I had to stop producing for a few years. I continued to purchase DnB and still managed to get DJ bookings here and there. In 2004 I met FD in a record store called Dance 2 when I lived in Guildford. We hit it off, and developed a good friendship, which eventually saw us trying to produce together.
Then about 3 years ago we attended a wedding of mutal friends of ours and we stayed in a Pub called "The White Horse". The next day we wrote a piece of music called suprisingly enough "White Horse" and played it to Zero T. He really liked it. He sent it to Smithy (Total Science) who immediately signed it for CIA, and the rest is history.
Example : What was the first piece of music you bought?
Script : Script : Well, the very first piece of music I purchased myself was Man Eater by Hall & Oates. It was a double pack 7". I still have it to this day. Amazing record! My first ever purchase of modern dance music was an album called "Northern House" which had a tune on it by A Guy Called Gerald called "Voodoo Ray".. From that day onwards I was pretty much hooked, and would never look back.
Example : What have you got coming up in the end of 2011 and 2012 ?
Script : I also co-produce music with my good friend Zero T. We made tune called "Guessing Games" which he released on his "Footprints" label last December. We work well together and seem to know exactly what each other wants in a tune.
Its almost instinctiveWe have "Rising Damp" that will be coming out on Footprints in the next couple of months and also we are very proud to have a tune selected for Ant TC1's label "Dispatch" called "Judas" which will also be out in the next couple of months on their 50th release EP.
I want to say that the whole of the dispatch crew have been incredibly supportive of what we do, and I feel privilidged to have this tune out on a milestone release for Dispatch. Zero T and I have another couple of tunes that we have finished, one of which called "Teller" that will be released on Footprints early 2012.
I am also working with Smyla who is signed to Dylan's label "Freak". We have 2 tunes at the monet called "Crushed Velvet" and "Splinter" that we are both very happy with. It looks like "Splinter" will be released on a new label called "Mute 8" whos have tunes from the likes of Bkey forthcoming, so that should see the light of day early 2012 aswell.
Example : What's your top 3 tunes at the moment ?
Script : My top 3 tunes at them moment are…
Zero T & Script : - Judas,
FD : - Stripped,
Zero T & Script :- Rising Damp
Example : What were you going for when you did your mix for Example Magazine last month with Codebreaker on the mic?
Script : The mix that I have done for Example really showcases the kind of drum and bass I like to listen to when I go out. I like to go to events where there is a variety of dnb played in one room. For me, its the first time since the mid 90's where you can go to many events and experience this.It makes me happy to go to a club and listen to many styles of dnb rather than go to an event and get smashed in the face by the same kind of dnb all night. This mix reflects the kind of mature dancefloor sounds I am feeling at the moment.You will find tracks from all the labels that I have music on aswell as current releases and some dubs.
I also wanted to have an MC on this mix and for that I turned to my good friend Codebreaker who is currently
establishing himself in the dnb scene as one of the best lyricists on the circuit. Dont get me wrong, he is no newcomer. People may well remember him from being the MC on the MSX radio station in one of the early Grand Theft Auto games. We seem to be getting a fair bit of work together and he instinctively knows what and how i am going to mix, so we do work well together. Hopefully the readers will like the mix
Example: Interesting Fact?
Script : An interesting fact about me is that you can often catch me in Fractures kitchen cooking up ridiculously good food. Trust me, Frax and I go in deep when it comes to our dinners, which quite often caters for 6-8 people.(If you get an invite, dont expect to eat anything until about 10pm plus)
Example : Where can we catch you playing in the next few months?
Script : You can catch me playing for Guidance in Bournmouth on 23/9 with Rockwell, Jubei, Ulterior Motive & FD to name a few. In October I will be playing for Intent 2 Supply in London, Simply Vinyl in Brighton for the 10 years of Dispatch party, Therapy playing an 80's pop music set, and for HQ in Oxford along side Total Science & Randall
Script : I would like to big up Total Science, FD, Zero T, Smyla, Ant TC1, Octane & DLR, Nymfo, Rockwell, Icicle, Spy, Doc Scott, Kasra, Hype, Bailey, Foreign Concept, Jubei, SP, Codebreaker, Fathom Audio, Tasha, Khanage and many other people for supporting the music
Store Street, Manchester. A road name which, 5 years ago, was probably unknown to most Mancunians and certainly unknown to the wider world. Fast forwards and it is now world famous. Not for the street itself but more for the activities which have taken place in a large indoor carpark every weekend for the past 5 autumns. This is the home of The Warehouse Project- although not for much longer.
In the initial conception of the Warehouse Project (WHP), it was intended to change the site each year- to find a new large and novel space to fill with huge parties and the biggest nights Manchester had seen. The initial run in the condemned Boddington’s Brewery, although fun, was fraught with complaints about the sound quality, as I’m sure many will still testify. In the WHP’s second year they brought the events to a car park underneath Piccadilly Train Station. It was large, but well covered, offered plenty of room to expand the size and capcity, and the brick arches construction offered superb sound reinforcement. All these ingredients proved a perfect recipe and the nomadic concept was cast aside- until now.
After 5 years in its adopted home, this year’s WHP was announced as the last to be held at the now iconic venue- a new venue will be found in 2012. More likely one which can offer the promoters opportunity to sell even more tickets, as the parties now sell out extremely quickly, and put on even bigger line-ups as a result. It was a sombre note to announce it on, but one which made sure many people wouldn’t pass up the chance for a final party within those walls.
The opening night, ‘The Beginning of the End’, had as good a line-up as we’ve come to expect over the years. Each WHP has thrown surprises into the mix, to compliment the standard parties we expect every year. Last year saw MF Doom doing a midweek live show, for example. This year the series opened with a headline show from the legendary DJ Shadow, with support from SBTRKT and new residents Hudson Mohawke and Skream (how many UK clubs can boast resident DJs of that quality!?).
SBTRKT was performing a DJ set and managed to fit in most of his eclectic styles. Whilst watching him a friend of mine asked me what genre I would put him into and I couldn’t answer him, always a sign of a great electronic artist; “He’s just SBTRKT” was all I could offer.
Shadow was to follow and the stage was set up for his performance- DJ Shadow: Inside the Shadowsphere. It is truly something to behold. In the middle of the stage there is a large white sphere, about 3m high, Shadow appears, say’s a quick hello to the crowd and gets inside from the back. The music starts up and the sphere and screen behind it are transformed. Strategically positioned projectors turn the plain white into a visual treat- one of the best I have witnessed, in fact. The sphere is suddenly a globe, it spins round and zooms in on Manchester. Images representing the city pop up, clearly the visuals are adapted to every show- a nice touch- and all the while some seriously heavy beats are pumping out.
Over his career, DJ Shadow has switched styles and influences a few times, for better and worse. While Endtroducing will always remain a truly seminal, game-changing piece of work, his new material is very exciting. Industrial sounding, heavy hip hop breaks with throbbing bass build-up to an unexpected twist, a doubling of tempo turns the pieces to a Drum and Bass rinse out showing a clear Jungle influence on the new material. The sea of people in front of him look stunned, but take to it with raised arms and go crazy. Such is the quality of the music that I am left mystified as to why he hasn’t made Drum and Bass before when he’s clearly a natural!
And so the rollercoaster continues, up and down to varying tempos, but all with expertly crafted percussion, nobody knows what’s coming next and it is exciting! During a breakdown piece the visual sphere spins round on its axis, the open back switching to the front and showing our man inside. Shadow is at a table surrounded by equipment, from what I can gather there are decks, mixers, samplers, electronic drum kits and pads a plenty- this is clearly more than a DJ show. Shadow confirms this to the crowd on a well-placed microphone, “Nowadays too many DJs get on stage and press play on their hard drives. I wanted to do something different. To perform my music for you all.” The sentiment is correct and embraced by the fans. A couple of tunes are played out with a full view of the DJ and you can see the work involved, switching from scratching to playing on the electronic cymbals and drums to tapping out new rhythms on a sampler. I didn’t need think I could have much more respect for an artist of this calibre, but he certainly commanded more with this show!
After the show, many people left, clearly only here to see one man. This was a slight disrespect towards the next acts and it was their loss really. Hudson Mohawke played out a quality, eclectic set, from heavy dubstep to L’il Wayne, a sign of great things to come from this hotly tipped artist. To finish we had a storming set from the one and only Skream, and with Sgt Pokes on MC duties it was only going to be great. The remaining crowd flocked towards the front and surged with enthusiasm. Skream is a man well on top of his game at the moment and seems to have the world, and every crowd, in his palm. Pokes kept the crowd energy at a crest throughout in a way that defines his reputation as the top dubstep MC.
It was a fitting start to the WHP 2011, a mixture of eclecticism and weightiness, surprises and familiar faces. It’s these qualities which have kept Store Street in peoples minds for the past 5 years, and there’s more than a few more late nights in store before the doors are closed for good on January 2nd!
If Outlook Festival 2011 confirmed anything, it was that dubstep is this generation's rock & roll. Like grunge, britpop and garage before it, every few years a new kind of music becomes the soundtrack to the young people growing up at that time. A few years ago, barring a few pioneering nights like FWD>> and Subdub, dubstep DJs were mostly confined to the second room at a larger Drum & Bass event, or as a warm up sets for an evening. I think back then most people would've thought the idea of Benga playing out on a Festival's main stage to over 5000 people somewhat ludicrous- but that’s how it turned out at Outlook.
The Outlook site is definitely unique. When it comes to festivals, especially in the UK, we are usually treated to an expanse of flat land with large tents and stages erected around the site as the organisers see fit. Outlook takes place in Fort Punta Christa and the surrounding area. Just outside of Pula the fort dates back to the 1800s and although slightly worn out over the years, is in surprisingly good nick. If this site was in the UK it would certainly be a listed building and probably under the care of the National Trust. Luckily for us the Croatian authorities don't seem to mind a load of English folk turning up with improbably large soundsystems and turning it into Europe's largest Bass Music festival.
As has become the norm for daytime entertainment at European festivals, Outlook commandeered a whole fleet of boats for some high seas partying, all kicking off on Thursday afternoon with the Hit & Run boat party, featuring an awesome lineup of Indigo & Synkro, Chimpo, Versa, The Steppahs and Rich Reason. Everyone was superb and the atmosphere electric- a fitting start to the proceedings- topped off by a quadruple rewind of Chimpo's anthem 'Gaza' - keep an eye out for the True Tiger Remix, a heavy rework of an already weighty tune!
In previous years the festival took place exclusively at the fort. There was an expanse of land down by the harbour but this was only used for the docking of the aforementioned boat parties. This year saw that land utilised to create 2 new enormous 'festival-style' stages, which turned out to be the main two for the event. The fort's limited capacity clearly not large enough for the ambitious promoters. On the huge main stage, we were treated to a mixture of live acts and big DJs. Things kicked off in the best possible style with reggae legend David Rodigan doing what he does best stirring the immense crowd to a fever pitch with his unique banter and huge dubplates. Following on from him I caught Jamie XX much later in the night, supported by Manchester’s own Broke 'n £nglish on the mics. As a DJ, Jamie is getting better and better and his climax of Gil Scott Heron collaboration 'Far Nearer' was a crescendo to the opening night. In between these two, I caught our own First Lady of Drum & Bass, Jenna G, performing on the Moat stage. The Moat was exactly what it sounds like: a stage constructed at one end of a large channel which used to be the fort's moat- resulting in a high sided, long arena with excellent sound reinforcement, and Jenna made it her own performing all her classic tracks and new material.
By Friday the festival was in full swing. To keep everybody happy in the daytime Outlook has a beach stage which played out to the sunbathing masses each afternoon. Friday afternoon saw a set from Example favourite Chimpo, with partner in rhyme Strategy on the mic. Its testament to their local and growing national reputation that they gathered the biggest audience seen on the beach all weekend with big party tunes and Strats' impeccable freestyling. This was followed up by J-Star & Shepdog a.k.a. Nice Up Soundsytem. Their reggae/hip hop mash-ups were perfect for the sunny afternoon, be sure to track down their stunning reggae rework of 'Show Me Love'.
Friday night saw the 'second' Dock Stage taken over for the night by the mighty DMZ crew. I arrived to the funky sounds of Quest & Silkie who, as early as they were on, were a real highlight, only really matched by Mala's set later on. Throughout the festival, the quality of the line-up was such that there was always about 3 people on worth watching at any one time, making seeing everything you wanted difficult at times, but that’s nothing to complain about really! Friday saw what was once the festival's main arena in the fort playing host to an Autonomic showcase. It’s great to see the minimal, experimental styles championed by labels such as Mindset, Exit and Blackout, gaining such increasing popularity. I also managed to catch one of the best Drum & Bass producer and DJs of the moment in S.P.Y. playing to a packed out moat- in fact security had to limit the capacity of the venue to keep it safe for everyone. Smash hits 'By Your Side' and his remix of 'Terminator' had everyone skanking to full effect, it was a show which would take some beating!
By Saturday night, the legs were tiring, and the dust kicked up by trekking around the site was clearly taking it's toll on the festival-goers, with many donning surgical masks and hankerchiefs to ward it off. The line up, however, was relentless in its quality and consistency and so we soldiered on! There was an unofficial Manchester takeover of the Ballroom and Dungeon stages early on, featuring Bastian & Swede, Dom Hz and The Steppahs all playing out early on, with a later set from Biome, which was as dark and heavyweight as we've come to expect from him- cementing his reputation to a wider audience. Biome certainly deserves a lot more recognition on the dubstep circuit. Before Biome though there was the small matter of a festival headliner...
Pharoahe Monch, an absolute legend on the hip hop scene for years now, made what mustve been the biggest surprise of the festival's line up. Everyone expected the biggest names in dubstep but this was a rare treat. A dark warning of the future played out and Pharoahe emerged to a huge crowd him and his band wearing gas masks. He whipped it off and launched straight into his intro tune. The following hour was a superb mix of both his older, more gangsta material like ‘Fuck You’ and later soulful cuts such as ‘Desire’ and ‘Push’. The real highlight came towards the end of the set with a tribute to Nate Dogg culminating in his part of ‘Oh No’, undoubtedly one of the greatest hip hop tunes of all time, followed by his breakthrough smash ‘Simon Says’ to finish- truly epic. Foreign Beggars had a big act to follow but their energetic style and sublime lyricism kept everyone happy. In need of more energy, a quick wander to the dock stage provided a DJ set from Spectrasoul and a perfect demonstration of everything good about shogun audio. Following the aforementioned Biome there was just enough time to catch Benga on the main stage before a special guest. Speculation had ran all day and id heard it was every one from Rusko to De la Soul who would be playing. As it turned out it was Adam F, probably the only let down of the festival. It went down well with many but I just see it as a disappointment when the man who wrote 'Colours', one of the most sublime and influential drum and bass records of all time, resorting to making and playing out really generic dubstep.
On Sunday, the sea was calling again so I managed to get on the Tectonic boat party- featuring Pinch, Jack Sparrow, Addison Groove and Distance b2b Cyrus this was definitely one of the most forward thinking boat line-ups. Of particular note was Jack Sparrows new material which was surprisingly heavy and dark ala Biome, but as well produced as you would expect from JS. I also have to shout out the MC Juakali who got comically drunk as the boat progressed, proceeding to get the crowd to shout Addison Groove’s real name (Tony) until the mic was prised from his hands by Dread MC, much to Distance’s relief!
Back on dry land and the last night of the festival had crept up far too quickly. Thoughts of an impending journey back to Manchester and reality were creeping into mind. It was time to make the most of the time we had left! Sunday afternoon and evening saw some intermittent but heavy rain showers come down upon the site, but although it managed to dampen the dust down it didn’t dampen the raver’s spirits. The temperature was still comfortably warm and anyone who has attended a UK festival would’ve experienced much worse weather!
So we danced in the rain to Shy FX and the Digital Soundboy Crew, mixing dubstep and drum & bass in the most party conscious way. A final trip to the fort to check out Mungo’s Hifi Arena- a room in the fort kitted out with the infamous Mungo’s Soundsystem. This system is both beautifully constructed and sonically perfect, although do try and get some earplugs if you’re ever going to get up close to it- loud is an understatement where Mungo’s is concerned. Escaping from the rain, I delved to the dungeon for a rave. North Base’s Prophecy was playing out his new 140 rave music. Rain and sweat was dripping from the ceiling as the North Base remix of Ms Dynamite’s ‘Neva Soft’ smashed it and more North Base releases are in the pipeline which are well worth looking out for.
As a final outing of the night, I headed to see MJ Cole but unfortunately he hadn’t turned up. I wasn’t too concerned as to why though because his set was taken by a surprise back to back show from Skream and Hatcha, with Chunky on the mic. Everyone was suitably excited by this and the crowd gave one last surge of energy. The icing on the cake was an exclusive first listen to a Skream & Redlight collaboration which should be huge once released.
Outlook 2011 was at an end, the festival goer thoughts turned to the journey home and the following week saw my Facebook news feed swamped by endless moaning about wanting to be back: clearly it had made a great impression. It is a festival which will only get bigger as the music it champions forces itself into the mainstream media’s playlists. I know many have booked for next year already and I for one can’t wait to do so either. Outlook 2012 has some serious standards to live up to, but, somehow, I think they will be able to manage it.
Camo and Krooked the Austrian drum and bass duo have quicky become one of the hottest names in Europe. They have been producing since around 2007 and have created a huge pile of dancefloor smashers since they started.
With a discography including imprints such as BReakbeat Kaos, Renegade Hardware and of course Hospital their sound is only getting bigger and better all the time. We caught up with them last week to find out about their new album and also talk to them about collaboration with close friend of Example Skittles.
Example : You've just finished your album and its causing a stir online. What did you want to achieve with the album what were your intentions? Do you think they have been fulfilled?
Camo and Krooked : This album is our biggest project so far and we had loads of fun in the studio writing it. Our Intention with this album was to create something really diverse and special, crossing the lines of generic DnB and getting influences from complete different genres of electronic music. We ended up having 18 tunes, so we think there is enough for everybody on there, for the liquid heads, for the ravers, for the ones who like it a bit deeper and even for the dubstep community. I think these intentions have been fulfilled and as it got released we got such an amount of good feedback over twitter and Facebook we couldn’t believe it.
Example : What was / is your writing process?
Camo and Krooked : We have separated Studios at our homes and never sit together working on tunes, that’s how we started and that’s how we keep it as it works out great. We always send stuff back and forth collecting feedback. Krooked is more responsible for the melodies while Camo is taking care of the arrangement and the mixdowns, but basically it’s all 50-50.
Example : What was the first and last place you played?
Camo and Krooked : The first placed we have been playing together as Camo & Krooked was in Krooked’s hometown St. Pölten in Austria in 2007 at an after skateboard contest party. And the last one was a sold out Hospitality in Liverpool with Andy C, High Contrast and Netsky.
Example : First thing you do in the morning?
Camo and Krooked : Switching on the PC and checking the mails.
Example : Favourite place to play ?
Camo and Krooked : We played so many incredible places this year, but a highlight is always the Hospitality at the Brixton Academy, it’s just such an epic venue and the best crowd aswell.
Example : You have a tune on your album featuring friend of Example Skittles. How did that come about ?
Camo and Krooked : We had this hip hop influenced dubstep tune and been thinking a rap vocal could really take it to the next level. As it’s hard to get fitting vocals of a famous act in time, we decided to try an upcoming talent. That’s what Skittles is without a doubt. It worked out brilliant and was really easy working with giving direct feedback without managers involved and therefore getting the exact thing we’ve been searching for, a wicked and catchy vocal, thanks Skittles!
Example : Who would be a dream collaboration?
Camo and Krooked : We would definitely go outside of our regular production genres for our dream collaboration, it would be more someone like Wolfgang Gartner, Stephan Bodzin or Digitalism to create something new again
Example : Now the album is out what is next on the cards?
Camo and Krooked : Next up we have a follow up Single which contains "Cross The Line Ft. Ayah Marar" and we did a Dubstep remix for it and Metrik another DnB remix which sounds great. Aswell we just finished a tune for the next Hospital compilation called "15 Years Of Hospital" dropping end of November. We’ve been working on music for computer games and trailer so listen closely when you buy a new game, we hope to get deeper into that scene aswell:)
Example : 3 tunes never out of your box at the moment?
Its took a while to get hold of this review but at the end of August we sent Skttles down to Boomtown Fair. Here is his eyewitness account. . .
(not the views of example magazine)
once again i've found myself on the other side of the country at yet another music festival….BOOMTOWN FAIR!!
We arrived double early, before the festival had even started, opted out of crew campin' for the pick of the whole of the public campsite, where all the mad edds are. no glass tho searches were minimal, drugs were many (leave the kids!), ket was not present and so ket eds were mobile, Lookin' for k .. but mobile never the less, was great to see em back on their feet.
The set up is like a big funfair, i was still getting lost until the last day, the main stage is in a film set style village…with a sick fire/light install from…………..
from manchester we had big king mikey don killin it as per usual..(my man gets about) from a big fuckin movin metal monster, i was loving it till they drove him off!!!
the music was good on paper but in the absence of Barrington levi, Capleton and Cutty Ranks, we were left with left overs :(
I did hear none of this was their fault, i heard barrington levi was a hoax booking agent… which leads me to believe this is why he cancelled outlook also….
i believe visas were the issue with cutty an cape. (thats what i call em when we're kicking it) capleton was the main reason i went and the main reason i was sent, Mr example really wanted a capleton video interview for u lot…..
overall a wicked festival, shame about the jamaicans lol. costumes were best i've seen…….80% fancy dress, will be trying to get back next year!!!!!!
In August M Shock remixed Chimpo and DRS' Holding On as part of the competition we organised with Kmag. M Shock's remix came through over a hundred entries to win the competition. Check our interview with him exclusively on Example and download the winning tune...
Example : So M Shock for those that don't know you who are you and what do you do?
M Shock : Im a full time youth worker in Manchester and DJ and Produce in my spare time. I've been DJ'ing for about 3 years and producing for around a year and a half, I'm getting to a point now where I am having fun with the production and getting to grips with 'my sound'. I also help run a monthly night, with a great group of friends and fellow DJ's in Manchester called Pandemik. I also have a seriously unhealthy addiction to fruit gums.
Example : You are of course the winner of the Chimpo and DRS remix competition. What were you going for with your remix?
M Shock : It seems a bit cliche because generally everyone says with remixes they want to keep the flavour of the original, but yeah, thats what I wanted. I thought it was possibly one of the best and most unique remix comp's of the year due to the fact that it was a tune that was of a really high production standard, with an equally well shot video, given away on a freebie. To hear DRS come with something new on the vocals and for it to come out as a comp I knew I couldn't afford to miss out on having a play around with them. I think it says a lot about artists who clearly put in a shedload of work into each of their tunes to then give something back to their audience for free!
Example : How would you describe your sound and who has influenced you?
M Shock: If i was to try and give it a label then I think the easy answer would be to say 'dark', I quite often make a conscious effort to make 'happy' tunes but they always end up sounding sinister in some kind of way. I enjoy making both drum and bass and dubstep depending on my mood.
Influences is a tough one, over the years I've been a listener of everything from pretty obscure metal to grime to prog rock and everything in-between. The dubstep sound of the earliest pioneers was the one that really stuck with me and kicked me off wanting to DJ. I think my main influence is living in Manchester, it"s pretty astonishing to see how much local talent we have and the work ethic of everyone here is second to none, it's often this thought that convinces me to hit the buttons after work.
Example : What's your production setup?
M Shock : I run Logic 9 on an iMac with some baby Alesis M1 monitors, Alesis IO2 interface, Korg Padkontrol & a Korg mini keyboard (soon to be upgraded!)
Example : What do you want to make on your day in the studio with Chimpo and DRS? Any ideas in mind?
M Shock : I think once I've got over the nerves then I'm really open to giving anything a go, I haven't had creative licence in a professional studio before particularly not with two guys that I think really sum up the backbone of the Manchester scene! I just want to learn as much as I can from them and use the experience to a maximum, anything that I can take from the day is going to be a positive so I just intend to roll with it. I'm still trying to come to terms with it to be honest.
I think I will also try and push my luck to have a sneaky listen of 'Blowfish' because my curiosity for this tune is killing me off.
Example : What have you got coming up in the pipeline? any releases / gigs?
M Shock : I've got a whole host of half complete projects that I would like to finish one day, hopefully sooner rather than later. Some bits of interest from certain people but I say no more. You can more than likely catch me playing at the forthcoming Pandemik nights @ Dry live over the next few months too.
Example : 3 tunes you can't live without at the moment?
M Shock :
Dub Phizix & Skeptical - 'Marka'. I know it's not out yet but having heard it on a few mixes recently it never fails to get me going.
Subscape returns with his latest offering, The Universal EP. His exciting and fresh bass-lines and focused synth driven melodies have set the bar high for melodic dubstep. The Universal EP is packed with everything from the futuristic undertones of "Square Albert" to the more traditional sounding "Cadilac Jack". It really has everything for fans old and new, speakers great and small and consequently Subscape has been creating a real buzz around Example HQ.
What can you tell us about your new EP?
Well Universal is my latest release on Dub Police, 4 tracks with a bonus Digital Track. It is made up of euphoric melodic beats with raw round basslines. It’s a progression from my last EP “Time to Escape” I wanted to showcase the uplifting side to my production. The lead track TURN ME ON is getting great support across the board. You can purchase it via digital now or vinyl which will be out the end of Sept 2011.
What is your favourite track on your new EP and why.
Its hard to pick out a favourite because there’s elements in each tune that I like. But I guess Apple Candy is one of my favourites because that sound is me all over, it’s the one I most enjoyed producing.
You have stepped away from the sound of traditional Dubstep. This EP is not as dirty or grimey as your Time to Escape EP. A lot more influences can be heard. Was this a conscious decision or did it just happen?
Yeah, Kind of just fell into place really. I already had “Turn Me On” and “Universal” for the EP so it was a case of getting the right beats to go with them. I have always been big on the uplifting euphoric side of dubstep, so I wanted that to come out in the EP.
What did you start out hoping to achieve with this EP?
I set out thinking that I needed a strong EP to follow on from the last EP I released. I am quite proud of how the project is going. Its been getting massive support from a lot of DJs and artist, just as I hoped it would.
Your production skills seemed to have come on a long way (not saying that they were bad before). Your music is sounding really professional. Have you changed the way you do things on this EP compared to your last or have you just naturally built up better production skills through playing longer?
Yeah, I have always been learning new techniques with every studio session so I have seen a rise in my production quality in the past few years. I have been upgrading my studio and buying new software along the way, So having those tools to work with has helped me to do bigger and better things in the studio.
When listening to Universal EP, I found myself describing a lot of the tunes as futuristic Dubstep. It is neat, well produced, and the songs are all arranged to a high standard. How would you describe it?
Well its Dubstep through and through with a mix of uplifting euphoric vibes. Universal is defiantly on a futuristic tip. Like flying around on jetpacks in the year 2550.
How do you think fans of your previous EP will react to your new EP?
The reaction is great so far, people seem to really like it which I am very happy about. It was a bit tense coming up to the release because the EP is quite different from anything else but the feedbacks been wicked. It reached number 4 in the Itunes electronic albums chart as well so people seem to be jumping on it with huge support.
Who do you take inspiration from?
Everybody seems to say this, but from everyday life. The way I feel on each day inspires me to make different beats and whats happening in my life affects me as a producer. But also taking inspiration from different genres like house, trance and drum and bass shows in my productions as well. I used to listen to a lot of drum and bass so people like Fresh, Calibre and Logistics have pushed me towards different sounds.
Once Universal EP is out, what does the future hold for Subscape?
A lot more gigs across the world and some more EPs to follow on Dub Police. Theres also a remix for Defected “Ray Foxx – The Trumpeter” which will be out at the end of September plus other remix projects. I mainly want to progress as Subscape and continue to come out with the big beats.
10. “Apple Candy” is another step in a new direction for you, taking on Drumstep. What can you tell us about that? (Why? What influenced you to make a Drumstep track? Etc)
Hmmm I thought It was Dubstep not Drumstep… what speed are you listening to it at?
11. Also, the synth lead on “Square Albert” is very familiar with some electro house music. Are you influenced by electro house? Could you see yourself making electro house (or any other genre for that matter) one day or are your roots firmly grounded in Dubstep?
Yeah I love the electro side of things. I have been working on a few bits that I am keeping under my belt for the moment. But letting it flow into my Dubstep is wicked to work on in the studio.
12. Anything else you want to say... Big up Example Mag and big up to my fans who are supporting me by buying my music and attending the gigs!
Global Gathering 2011 saw the festival having a slight overhaul from previous years. Although on the same Stratford airfield as previous years, the festival organisers reshuffled the site around, creating a new main stage area and room for a new, enormous, 8000 capacity tent. The music policy also took a shift and the line up which was once dominated by the big house, techno and trance labels, saw an influx of Dubstep, Drum & Bass and UK Funky. This is surely a sign of the times and the shifting of tastes in younger dance music fans. If fact the aforementioned 8000 capacity tent was curated by Metropolis on the Saturday, with the likes of Nero and Sub Focus relegating heavyweight promoters like Godskitchen and Bedrock to smaller tents on site. The Friday night saw a tent run by one-time pirate radio operation Rinse FM, a situation which would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. Bass-heavy music, ladies and gentlemen, is now well on top in the Dance world.
My Friday night was spent mostly in the Wax:On tent. Although one of the smallest on site, they boasted a line-up featuring Annie Mac, Boys Noize and Rusko, and the tent was packed out all night. Jaymo and Andy George from Radio 1 kicked things off for me with their usual Electro fayre warming up the crowd nicely for Doorly who performed his usual, flawless 4-deck business. He is clearly building up a large following with his DJ sets and should go from strength to strength with his talent. In a break from the electro-house, I wandered to the 'Electric' tent to catch a bit of Maya Jane Cole. Hotly tipped in the world of techno, she had the crowd in her palm with flawless mixes with continuous groove. A quick trip to the packed Rinse FM stage meant I could catch Miss Dynamite's short but sweet live show, which was as good as ever, finishing with the dancefloor smash 'Wile Out'.
Back at Wax:On it was time for Rusko. It seemed strange to me that one of the biggest names in Dubstep was confined to a smaller stage at the venue when Rinse were curating a much bigger bass-based line-up across the park, but he seems to have dropped off the radar a bit since moving to the states to join up with Diplo and Mad Decent. Needless to say his DJ skills havent dropped, and the Wax:On crowd was bouncing throughout. Rusko himself didn't stop for a second; there's something incredibly satisfying about watching a DJ bouncing around and clearly enjoying a set as much as their fans (many House/Techno DJs take note!).
After Rusko it was time for some big headliner action, I traipsed across the site to the biggest tent to catch some of Underworld Live- they must have known I was coming as they waited for my arrival to drop their collaboration with High Contrast, 'Scribble, which is one of my favourite tracks from them- following that little dnb switch the resumed the usual relentless techno sounds and had their fans marching until the whole tent exploded with the predictable highlight, 'Born Slippy'. In a bizarre, literal, twist, the whole audience then spun around to face another huge stage at the other end of the tent (I told you it was big!) where we got to see the exclusive debut of Eric Prydz's new live show. This was essentially him DJing on ableton to some visuals, but the visuals were projected onto a mesh screen in front of the decks. This screen was nearly invisible and gave the visuals an incredible 3d 'floating' feel to them. Photo's don't do it justice but I imagine this technology will become more widely used very soon as it gives quite an impact.
To finish the night we had the highlight of the Wax:On lineup in Radio One's Annie Mac. She has gradually become one of the biggest names in dance music and her 'Annie Mac presents...' nights play to sell out crowds across the country. Her sets are always one to watch out for simply for the diversity of styles. Not afraid to switch tempo's (although its never done smoothly!), Annie drops everything from Moombathon to Jungle and the crowd love it all. It appears the day's of 1 genre, elitist fans are truly dead.
So after a brief sleep and a good feed I was ready to go again. Friday is more of a starter for Global whereas saturday is definitely the main course! The arenas swithed curators and my base for the day was the epic Metropolis tent, check the pics but believe me when I say they dont do the size of the tent justice. Definitely the biggest indoor arena I've ever seen at a festival. The other main attraction for the day was the hospitality arena. Taking over from Wax:On they brought a heavyweight dnb lineup with all the labels heavy-hitters present.
Hospitality kicked things off for my afternoon giving B-Complex an early afternoon set which he made the most of with a superb liquid mix. Over at Metropolis the afternoon was dominated by Mancunian talent with hotly tipped Citizen playing a live PA set before Silver & Prophecy jumped on the decks, playing a combination of their North Base 140bpm styles and a complete dnb tear up. Tonn Piper was on hand to direct proceedings, pausing only to berate the crowd for the poor quality mosh pit which had developed (for the record, moshing at drum & bass gigs is really lame. There's a reason its called 'dance' music.) On with the afternoon Redlight and Stanton Warriors put a bounce in the metropolis tent and 16bit & Funtcase b2b Cookie Monsta switched it up to some filthy dubstep.
Needing a break from the agression, I was lucky a lesser known DJ called Sir David Rodigan was on at Hospitality. I shouldn't have to describe this man to you all; If you havent seen this man I suggest you do anything in your power to cacth him at the Warehouse Project next month. He is truly the king of the dub & reggae scene. As the sun set Metropolis played host to DJ Friction who never disappoints with lightning fast tight mixes. The only downer was that, as the audienced was primed for the last tune, an engineer cut the power to his decks, killing the set, I cant imagine the frustration that must cause but he took it well considering.
A small army of sound engineers then took to the stage to begin setting up for the nights headliners. Its another sign of the times changing when drum & bass and dubstep artists have live set.ups and stage shows to rival rock bands. First up was Chase & Status. Their live show has being touring for a while now and it really shows with the quality of the performance they now put on, bringing both classics and new material to the table in front of a packed crowd and an army of photographers jostling for a shot. A big change from the first time I caught the live show in leeds, as the sole photographer at the venue. Following those boys was the first signing to their 'More Than Alot' imprint, Nero. The duo seem to be the name on everybodys lips when it comes to commercial dubstep and love or hate them the seem to have stumbled on a winning formula which is serving them well. The live show saw them performing atop a futuristic arcade machine dressed like arnie in the terminator movies. Id have broughr you all some pictures but was unable to shoot the show as they nad an exclusive deal with channel4 who were filming it (never thought id say that about a dubstep act!).
Inbetween the live acts, there was time to run over to the Hospital tent for some pure drum & bass. I caught the very end of High.Contrast, finishing up with his new VIP of 'If We Ever'. London Elektricity then proceeded to play exactly what you'd expect of the hospital boss- a predictably perfect set covering most styles. Danny Byrd was to follow on but I had to miss out on one of my fave djs to check out Sub Focus' Live show. Like Chase & Status before, Sub Focus Has been doing the rounds with this show for a while and, along with MC ID, has got it pretty tight, covering most of his biggest tracks & covering multiple styles. The only flaw really is the absence of 'Swamp Thing' which is an all time classic in my eyes. Regardless of that it was still a fitting finish to a superb festival. All the changes Global have made have only served to improve the UKs biggest dance festival and I can see them staying on top for years to come.
Since 2007 Samurai Music, owned by DJ Presha, has been blessing us with high quality releases both from Presha's home New Zealand and also some of the world's most exciting and respected drum and bass artists such as Calibre, S.P.Y and Klute.
The first LP came in 2009 in the form of label compilation "Way Of The Samurai" and was met with critical acclaim.
Samurai also has a deeper and more experimental cousin in its offshoot label Red Seal which strives to build a strong sense of quality and cutting edge music in its catalogue of releases.
We wanted to catch up with the man behind Samurai. Presha, like so many people in the music industry today, is not only a label owner but also a DJ, Promoter and Agent.
He recently relocated to Germany as did I, which puts him bang in the middle as an essential link between his New Zealand home and scene and the home of drum and bass in the UK. Whilst allowing him to have one foot in the also thriving minimal techno scene which finds its home in Germany.
Example : So Geoff what inspired you to start a label and what did you want to achieve?
Presha: I had always admired labels like Metalheadz, 31 Records, V, Commercial Suicide and felt I had a unique approach to offer like they had before me. I had always dealt closely with artists as a promoter for many years and had a lot of friends who had music that wasn't necessarily finding a home that easily. Not being a producer I felt I had more time to focus on what the artists really wanted. My goal was to offer artists from New Zealand and abroad a place where they could experiment and express themselves freely and work with me on projects. I also wanted to focus strongly on the aesthetic of the releases. At the time I started vinyl was beginning its sales decline and people weren't putting much effort into their releases so I went the other way.
Example: What drum and bass tune would you say got you hooked?
Presha: Rufige Kru 'Terminator' definitely. I had been hearing tunes but that one was the hook that dragged me in. The imagery and atmosphere it created spoke to who I was instantly. I had been DJing house, techno, & hip hop, but that was it for me, I was sold.
Example: Samurai is committed to exporting and supporting drum and bass artists from your homeland New Zealand. What is the scene like out there?
Presha: I haven't been there since April this year so hard to say. We have a very passionate crowd of people in the New Zealand scene hough, and they know their music. Sometimes it can be a bit small, hence my move, but a good night there is pretty much on par with any I've experienced.
Example: What was the first and last piece of music you bought and why ?
Presha: The first was a Ted Nugent album on vinyl when I was very young, mainly because my oldest brother loved him and I was dying to hear more. Last piece of music I bought was Joey Anderson 'Dive Deep' on Strength Music. I bought that because I heard it on a Levon Vincent mix a while ago and finally decided I needed to own the 12". Berlin has me buying lots of house and techno records on vinyl! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKJNr8mU-xo
Example: Being in your position are you ever tempted to start producing or have you already?
Presha: I have always had a working studio, and in the past I''ve dabbled with Marcus Intalex, Digital, State Of Mind, Tokyo Prose, & Mosus but nothing has ever really come out release worthy. I've just had not enough time and too many jobs already underway. Amit has spurred me on to have another go now so we will see what happens
Example : You've played all over the world. Where's your favourite place to gig and why ?
Presha : Sun and Bass, without question. It's the place where everything is perfect and Drum and Bass music breathes a new life. I can't explain the magic you feel DJing in that big rotunda there. Its like everything you have ever wanted out of DJing Drum and Bass comes true for every second you are privileged to mix there.
Example : Whats next in the pipeline for Samurai?
Presha: We are about to release 4 new singles on Samurai Red Seal from artists Tokyo Prose, Phil Tangent, ASC and newcomer FIS. Watch out for FIS, he's a great guy who gave me a CD in my record store in Wellington, NZ a while ago that blew me away. I introduced him to Consequence who introduced him to dBridge and he has music coming on Exit now. He is totally unique and will turn a lot of heads for sure. Tokyo Prose & Phil Tangent have collaborated on one of the best pure liquid 12"s I have heard for some time, and ASC as always took my head off with so many amazing tunes it was hard to select the right ones. He is a true innovator. These releases will come in a new release approach that we will be trying out.
There are a few other things close to completion with some new names to the Samurai fold, but we're not ready to show our hand totally just yet!
Example : 3 tunes that are never out of your box at the moment?
Presha: I toured the USA in the 80's skateboarding, sponsored by Texas boardmaker Zorlac. I used to do a party trick there where I threaded a chain through my nose and out my mouth. Gator gave me $5 to do it for him.
Example : Favourite Food?
Presha: Currywurst? No ha ha, Im partial to anything Japanese
ANYTHING YOU WANT TO ADD ?
Thank you to all supporters of the label and the artists that have helped me make it what it is today.
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