Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Dusk + Blackdown Rinse FM 31st October show: DOWNLOAD
Ghetts "Definition of a rebel" [unreleased]
Luke Benjamin "Pray for Change" [unreleased]
Unknown "unknown" (e.m.m.a. remix) [unreleased]
Luke Benjamin "Sleeping Giant" [unreleased]
Luke Benjamin & Amen Ra "Black Fog" [unreleased]
Caski "Dancehall" [unreleased]
Mistamen "Dred" [unreleased]
Brackles & Fox "Skank" [unreleased]
My Nu Leng "The Grid (Alias remix) [forthcoming]
Akkord "Folded Edge" [forthcoming Houndstooth]
Damu "Whirlybird [unreleased]
Sepia "Look around you" [unreleased]
Sepia "Escapism" (unreleased)
Dark0 "Skelly VIP" [unreleased]
Krytical "Tachi" [unreleased]
Atlas "False Dreams" [unreleased]
Sepia "Bullets" [unreleased]
Double Helix "Solidarity" [unreleased]
Aphix "Torn (Mix 1)" [unreleased]
Rabit in the mix
Headlock "Coax" [unreleased]
JT "Oil On Ice" [unreleased]
JT "Twin Warriors(Rabit Remix)" [unreleased]
Shriekin Specialist "Red Beach" [unreleased]
Rabit "Double Dragon(JT Remix)" [unreleased]
Chemist "Defiance" [unreleased]
Mistress "Crystal Warrior" [unreleased]
DLVRY "Guilt" [unreleased]
JT the Goon "Money can't Buy" [unreleased]
Joker "Deserted island" [forthcoming Kapsize]
Wen "Lunar" [unreleased]
Zoobi "Klubi " [unreleased]
JT the Goon "Twin Warriors (Murlo remix)" [unreleased]
Breen "Case Delay" [unreleased]
Mssingno "Xe2" [unreleased]
Chaksa "Tuhikya" [unreleased]
Sully "Charms" [unreleased]
Om Unit "Wall of Light" (Civil Music)
Desto "Now that you got me" [unreleased]
Monday, November 11, 2013
B: So, start at the beginning then please, tell me about how and why you began making music...
M: I was a DJ long before I started producing, always meant to get into it but never really had any in roads. Within two days of moving to uni I'd met my guy and he just invited to hang out and make a beat sometime and from there it snow balled. That was roughly three years ago. Music had always been my thing ever since I clocked I couldn't be a professional footballer (tragic), when I lived in Germany I lived an hour away from all my friends, so spent a lot of time by myself listening to music, etc, etc. The hour long bus drive to school as well afforded me with 2 hours of daily solid listening time. When I moved back to England I had a similar bus drive, so yeah I've always just listened to lots of music.
B: But listening to music... everyone does that. What made you make the step to want to make it, which as we all know, is a long task that takes dedication...? And, one you'd found the way to make sound, were you aware of a sense of honing in on a sound? Because if feel you really are getting there, getting to a sound right now...
M: I'm not sure if I'm 100% honest, the DJs I was hanging round with all were into production and I wanted to DJ more and be taken seriously with it so I thought production was the next step I guess. I think I just wanted to see what it was like and what I could do. I'm not sure how much of a conscious decision it was. I think it was more that I liked a couple elements in music and I wanted to make music that incorporated them. It wasn't till last July that I decided to take it a bit more seriously, I'd finished a couple bits and pieces and really deconstructed what I did and didn't like about them and then just tried to apply that going forward.
B: So when did you first meet E.m.m.a? I don't mean in IRL I mean, talk to, to get to know, because you two seem friends.
M: Beginning of last year, found her on Soundcloud. At the time I was writing for the now defunct Inhabit online site. I asked her if she was up for being featured/doing a mix/small interview. Something I used to do a lot if I found someone who's music I liked, I asked to interview them, mainly to get chummy enough to ask for tracks haha. From there we just kept in contact.
B: I ask because I think, within the spectrum of the music we play, you and her play a key role, keeping the colourful, melodic part of the overall balance and whereas there's finally quite a lot of dark stuff about now, within our circle, the synthy colourful stuff is less abundant - but very much needed.
M: Yeah it puzzles me why people use the term "dark 130," from where I'm sitting, listening to your Rinse shows - there's quite a lot of colour
B: It's partly my fault I guess, I broke up the paragraphs in one blog post into subsections… it didn't occur to me people would ignore the other 7 paragraphs!
B: Still "130" seems more used now. So do you feel you connect with E.m.m.a's sound?
M: Elements of. I like the sense of mystique. Tracks like "At Sea" represent something real - like it's describing a scene or something
M: Yeah, elements of is a good way of putting with it. I'm as interested in the similarities as the differences... She's been doing it for a long time, so I think she has a stronger sense of identity. I think when people hear her album then they'll know what I mean.
B: I guess another way of asking the question is what draws you to the more emotive/colourful/synthy stuff, instead of say, either dark stuff or more conventional clean dance music palates?
B: I like being overwhelmed in a club. And usually for me that happens with synthier stuff. When I first started producing I shied away from drums a lot, mainly because I wasn't confident with the drums I had. The first couple tunes didn't have kick drums. So there was a lot of space in my tracks to experiment with synthesis.
B: Funny how those accidents or constraints go on to influence your creative direction!
M: People should make more accidental music. Creative constraints lead to creative solutions kinda thing
B: Sometimes Dusk and I do ban ourselves from a given element: like "can we make this without a snare?"
M: Yeah it helps. Imagine if you gave a bunch of half step producers the brief of making a tune that didn't have a snare on the 3rd. Imagine telling Tiesto he had to make his next tune solely on a DX7
B: … or a 909!
M: Exactly. Recently I've been trying to do the reverse of what I've been doing up till now. More drums, less synths
B: As a way of breaking out of your own mold?
M: Yeah, I was stuck in a rut late last year/early this year so felt like I needed to do something new. The results of which have manifested themselves as an EP which will be coming out on Goon Club Allstars at some point.
B: For people who don't know, can you explain a bit about Goon Club Allstars?
M: Goon Club Allstars is a label that me and my two best mates in Leeds started May last year. In our first year of uni the records we were buying and playing were a lot of fun. There was a lot of people making really great, fun, club records that were exploring genres in a way we hadn’t had before. And then in the last two years a lot of people dropped off or switched up and started making techno/house. Which I don't have a problem with, I just like a bit of balance. So us starting that label is an effort to bring back a bit of balance. So far it's felt very organic, everyone we've signed up we've known and play their stuff regularly. The first release was vinyl only and we distributed ourselves. It was a tiny run of 150 records - I wanted it to feel like a really limited white label release.
B: Christ that is tiny!
M: From here on out though we will be doing digital as well as a bigger run of records and distribution. Which will be nice because it's taken us ages to be paid by people. We're still waiting on some shops
B: That sounds like exactly why you shouldn't do physical distro yourself!
M: Yeah it's been a learning process. A lot has gone wrong this first year, but it's cool. We've come out of it and I can't wait to put these next two records out. There's also the in-house production team haha. At some point there will be a Goon Club Allstars EP of just our own stuff all together ...and then the world tour.
B: Obvs! Is all the Goon Club stuff more overtly grime than your own productions?
M: The stuff we all do together? Nah, it's a real mix of stuff. There is some grime, because that's part of what we play in a club, but we aren't a grime label.
B: Where did the name come from?
M: Divine inspiration.
B: With a name like that surely you mean Satanic Inspiration?!
M: Hahaha. The name was summoned out of the ether, one day last May. That "WD25" instrumental that you just posted is one of my favourites. I wish this new crop of grime producers were willing to reach beyond scene signifiers sometimes. To be honest I'm as guilty of it as everyone else. So maybe I should make a riddim without a square wave lead.
B: Whats your take on - and prognosis for - the current trend of re-visiting Wiley's Wiley Kat Recordings-era eski sound?
M: At the start of the year I'd say it was backwards, but now I think that the ones who are really interested will evolve beyond that and into something much more interesting. I think it's fine to make something of that era, a tribute, but you definitely can't spend too much time on it. If I spent a great deal of time making tunes that sounded like Burial, people would call me out on it (at least I'd hope). I am really in no position to be telling people what they should be making but it's interesting when those sounds are re-contextualised into some new format. It's a good time for grime in general though really isn't it. There's much more going on now than there has been in a good few years.
B: What is it about r&g that really does it for you?
M: I like that switch up; that something so usually full of energy, is flipped into something more slow, softer. I think softer voices work well with grime either way though, it's interesting you know; really aggressive beats and softer vocals - the rough and the smooth. RnG is very different sonically from "straight" grime though isn't it. I mean grime is such a massive genre, but it's a different energy, very romantic. I think it probably is that mood that gets me. It's an emotional attachment rather an aggressive one, if that makes sense?
B: A track of yours we're really enjoying playing is "Clemency" - it went down really well at Keysound Sessions 2. It is quite different to the stuff by you we've played on Rinse before, much more percussive with a hint of Baltimore. Is that what you meant by "trying to do the reverse of what I've been doing up till now?" Is Baltimore an influence on your sound?
M: Yeah, something more focussed on percussion, rather than synthesis. A lot of my previous tracks were a little light on percussion, so this is me attempting to balance up the books. I suppose this is me teaching, or learning what I can do within percussion. The synthier stuff I was doing was becoming a little stale, re-using the same sounds too much I guess. I love all those club forms, but it's definitely a more recent thing, like in the last two years. When I first started DJing I liked Baltimore club but I didn't really know much and couldn't find much and I just got distracted by what was happening in this country. Clemency and a couple others was me exploring further the possibilities of merging my interests in grime and Jersey & Baltimore club which started pretty much by accident with my Ice rink edit. They're very similar - grime and all those club forms both are made with cheap equipment, both have these abstract structures patterns, both have this massive sense of raw energy and odd rhythms. There's also a massive culture built up around both that plays a huge part in their existence. I particularly love the settings that Jersey + Baltimore trax are played in, and that some songs have certain dances that go with them. It's quite hard to find out about them, because, compared to Footwork + juke, there really isn't much written about it - certainly not jersey club anyway.
B: What was it like playing Fabric & Keysound Sessions 2 with E.m.m.a.?
M: I think I probably could have played with Skrillex and still had fun, Fabric is most definitely an experience, I really love DJing and room 3 at Fabric feels very special. It was cool with E.m.m.a., there was a lot of really synthy tracks which I don't get to play so often.
M: One of the themes in E.m.m.a.'s work is nostalgia. I was really struck by the sense of nostalgia about the Tumblr your brother put up recently, of your family's history in Iran. I thought this was a really interesting contrast to the themes within your music and DJ sets, of grime & club music, energy and then wistfulness. Can you explain a bit more about that Tumblr and what it means to you?
M: Sure, my dad has lived in this country since he was 16 when he left home in Tehran to escape military service. I hold dual citizenship, so I actually cannot go to Iran now as I will be drafted into military service for a couple years. My Iranian heritage isn't something I know much about really, I've visited twice, both times I was under 13 years old so wasn't really able to form a solid opinion of the place first hand. My brother is actually returning in December to photograph a ski resort in the mountains in the the north of Iran for a month, which I'm really excited about. People hear about Iran and a lot of countries in the Middle East and forget that people still live there and do normal stuff. Mostly. We went to a photo journalism exhibition in Perpignon recently and you could easily have been fooled into thinking that it was an exhibition of men in Syria holding assault rifles.
B: Is there any connection, maybe subconsciously, between the theme of both epic grandeur running through your work and then the sense of nostalgia of hinted at in those shots?
M: Mmm I don't think so, I'd say that my music has a lot to do with fantasy though; letting your imagination run away and letting your musical process follow it. Thinking about settings and imagining what it would sound like. I interviewed Mokona a couple years ago and he said often he'd decide the name of a track before he started making the track, I quite liked that.
- PreOrder the sick new Goon Club Allstars release by MssingNo on their Bandcamp.
So some of the Keysound lot - myself, Dusk, Etch, E.m.m.a., Moleskin, Wen and Logos - did a profile for Fader Magazine recently, which gave E.m.m.a. and Moleskin just the chance they'd been waiting for to use the offcuts from their recent RHS photoshoot.
Here's somes questions I answered that didn't make
F: It’s almost impossible for people to keep a hold of their modernist impulses as they grow up and as more things happen in their lives, but Keysound has never lost track of their mission. When did you both realize that driving things forward was a conscious project?
B: There’s a part of me that is incredibly purist about music. It has been such an important part of who I was growing up and who I am now, and music continues to have such an intense effect on me, that I constantly seek to optimize it: to find those tracks that make you dance, or drive like a madman into the evening, or hug some you love or make you want to dissolve into light.
Equally, I’ve always been very suspicious of music made overtly for other motives, most of all money or fame. It feels disingenuous and you can spot it a mile away. Never trying to put food on the table using Keysound – it’s impossible, now more so than ever – has liberated us to be very focused on what we do; which is to seek out, play and release the music we believe in. So, to return to your question, it’s of greater curiosity to me why others don’t hold their ground, rather than why we continue to look for inspiration.
Fader also asked about "the new producers on your Rinse FM show" an I also included some quick thoughts on a wider pool of producers that have been inspiring us this year. The feature picked out individuals from the Keysound release schedule but in a community there’s always a multitude of participants. So in case you haven't encountered them, here’s a few people you shouldn’t miss…
People will look back on Beneath as a pioneer in this thing, I’m sure of it. And while he’s since boldly dropped his bpms to make dark evolving grooves, his combination of Youngsta’s dread and UK funky’s rolling drums was a landmark step in this movement.
Good friend of Wen, Etch and E.m.m.a’s, he works in the legendary Blackmarket records and runs Soundman Chronicles. But Parris’ real talent is his mix and blends, which he does on actual dubplates. He bashed up Fabric on his debut: one to watch
He was well known long before Keysound but has been great to have on the team. His collaborations with Logos is an incredibly fruitful partnership. Honestly, I don’t know what “In Reverse PIV” actually is!
Luke Benjamin is a producer but most of all a vocalist and his dread, road prose is inspired by – but in some ways is the antithesis of - grime. Check “Asha”, a karmic travel diary.
Like Logos, Rabit inhabits the grimey, eski space that Boxed are pushing – yet he’s from Houston, Texas. He featured on our “This is how we roll” compilation, joined us on Rinse and at Fabric recently. He’s collaborated with Luke Benjamin and Logos – the latter featuring on the “Cold Mission” album.
His 2011 album for Keysound a brave explosion of synthetic colour and virtuosity. After a period of honing is studio craft, he’s back with some really powerful 130. Part grime, part caustic synths: the inability to define tracks like “iPolice” and “Whirlybird” only makes them more compelling.
A producer both Dusk + I and Parris have been playing a lot, Facta rolls between 130 and 140 with a dense percussive sound that has the space & dread of later dubstep but the groove of the earlier “Roots of…” era.
In earlier decades you needed to be geographically co-located to participate. That’s no longer a constraint. New Zealander Epoch makes strange, warped Wu Tang-inspired beats – the antipodean cousins of LHF’s Amen Ra and No Fixed Abode.
Played by the Boxed grime DJs and part of Manchester’s Swing Ting collective, Londoner Murlo makes the most colourful grime around; somewhere between early Jammer and Rapid and E.m.m.a’s recent baroque compositions.
The other Keysound big hitters (LV, LHF, Sully…)
All three have released albums for Keysound and we’d love to work with them again. Sully’s been on a jungle flex of late and has really nailed that sound. LV and Sully were both involved with E.m.m.a’s album; Wen has been playing “Fugese” by LHF in his sets. Write them all off at your peril.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
So, quite out of the blue, Benji Bars dropped a "Roots of Keysound" mix. To me, Keysound Recordings has had three main phases: the first, when the label was an outlet for music by Dusk + I; the second, when we expanded it to immediate friends (Skream, Starkey, Scratcha, Kowton, Grievous Angel, LHF etc...) while we wrote "Dasaflex", and where we are now, with the 130 new wave.
Benji's mix mostly rolls through the first phase. Dusk and I started making music together in 2001 and released our first track - that Benji opens with - in 2005. If this is the first time you've encountered these sounds... welcome :).
Dusk & Blackdown - Drenched
Dusk & Blackdown - Lata VIP
Dusk & Blackdown ft. Trim - The Bits
Dusk & Blackdown - Submerged
Dusk & Blackdown - Crackle Blues (Burial remix)
Dusk & Blackdown - The Danger Line
Blackdown - Mantis V13
Dusk & Blackdown - Crackle Blues
Dusk & Blackdown - This is London
Dusk - Mantis (Blackdown remix)
Dusk & Blackdown - Kuri Pataka
Sully - In Some Pattern
Skream - Angry World
Dusk & Blackdown - Darker than East
Dusk & Blackdown - The Drums of Nagano
Naphta - Soundcloud 1 (Grievous Angel VIP)
J Treole - The Loot (Sully remix)
Monday, October 28, 2013
Download it here.
Butterz v Keysound tracklist
Dusk + Blackdown
Dusk + Blackdown "Back to go FWD>>"
Ard Korp "iPolice"
Epoch "Steppenwolf (Blackdown remix)"
Plasticman "Shallow Grave (Wen remix)" [forthcoming TerrorRhythm]
Balistiq Beats "Rise the Machines [Yardman riddim] (Sully remix)"
Parris + Wen
Wen & Parris "untitled"
Wen & Parris "untitled"
Wen & Parris "Time"
Etch, E.m.m.a, & Parris "Purgatory"
Wen & Parris "untitled"
Luke Benjamin "Sleeping giant"
Luke Benjamin "Confidence (Rabit production)"
Luke Benjamin "Pray For Change"
Luke Benjamin "Asha"
Moleskin "The docks (8 bar tool)"
????? - ?????
Akito "Dragged & Dropped 032"
Moleskin & Neana "Spectral Dancehall"
Moleskin "We Been Ready"
Moleskin "Turnt on"
Mumdance & Logos
Lee Gamble "Rufige"
Pinch & Mumdance "Turbo Mitzi"
Mumdance & Logos "Untitled"
Logos "Menace VIP"
Mumdance & Logos "Turrican 2"
Dj Hoodcore "Phyre"
Miss Modular "Snakeskin Swoosh"
Slackk "Stasis (Local Action)"
Mumdance & Logos "In Reverse PIV"
Blackdown b2b Parris b2b Wen b2b Moleskin b2b Mumdance b2b Logos
Logos ft Dusk + Blackdown "Alien Shapes" [forthcoming Keysound]
Apple "Seigelizer (Logos refix)"
Mumdance & Logos "Wut it do (12" mix)"
Ahead of his Fabric debut for our Keysound room this Friday - though in all honesty it was started many months ago - I spoke to, and grabbed an exclusive mix from, the talented and emerging 130 DJ, Parris...
DOWNLOAD Parris in the mix here.
Blackdown: OK first interview question. introduce yourself: who are you, what are you up to, who do you roll with...
Parris: My name is Dwayne, but my artist / DJ name is Parris. At the moment I currently work in BM Soho as well as running my own label Soundman Chronicles and am forever running around town doing something music related... At the moment I currently run with an assortment of people but if I had to narrow it down, it would mainly be Wen, Etch, Lex (Sepia use to be there but he's gone back to Isle of Wight now) and I have a couple of other friends I roll with every so often but they mainly play drum and bass.
B: Can you tell me a bit about when you first really got into music and its roots?
P: Music has always been around me in some respect or form, I've played different instruments at some point, I've done keyboard, trumpet and tuba, but I was never really too interested in sustaining it at the time because I was quite young and found the thought of playing them quite boring but my uncle use to DJ and so when I would go round to my nan's house I would sit down and watch him play if I was allowed. I just remember him having a ridiculous record collection before he moved to America. After that I just remember getting this Sony MP3 player when I was about 14/15 which I would keep on me all the time and just load it up with loads of Hip Hop and listen to it whenever I was at home and always check like the billboard charts and stuff like that for new hip hop.
B: Those memories of your uncle as a DJ, did they overtly influence you or was it just something that subconsciously affected you. I ask because in a way, we are exposed to all kinds of positive experiences as kids, but don't always go on to spend time doing all of them...
P: I honestly think it did in a lot of ways, but I would say more subconsciously if anything. I think he's about 11/12 years older than me, so I looked up to him loads and would always enjoy spending time with him (I was probably just that annoying nephew who would bug him when I was round). When he left for America, I was around 10/11 years old so I don't think that I had any interest in DJing / Records at all past that point probably spent most of my time just searching out music online for personal use really.
B: So at some point you started going out to clubs, right? We've talked a bit about you meeting DJs in dubstep, grime etc, getting to know them...
P: As I got more into music, I use to spent a lot of time at my best friend Joel's house, but he was probably more in tune to the underground scene then me, so I had an iPod by this time and I use to just raid his hard drive for music which most of the time ended up being drum and bass, dubstep and grime which was probably around 06-08 times. After I got the bug for it, It was about making that step to going out, but sometimes especially when you're young, you only end up going out with your social groups which became quite frustrating for me because a lot of my friends at the time never wanted to go to the same nights as me... I went clubbing a couple of times with them but to places I would never enjoy so when I was about 19 I finally made the decision to go by myself... After I had gone out for a meal with my girlfriend and her friends, I made a decision to go to FWD>> for the very first time (my girlfriend and one of her friends came with me). And after that first experience I was pretty much there every week in the front row regardless of whether I was with someone or by myself enjoy the vibe and the music. After that it eventually it was about mustering up the courage to actually start talking to DJ's because these were people who I grew to respect deeply, and sometimes I guess you would feel a little bit nervous when you spoke to some people for the first time especially when you don't have a CD of tunes or anything to offer them... I think every person or DJ I've spoken to for the first time I've been nervous but everyone has always been pretty cool tbh... and after that most DJ's / artists probably saw me at most raves going down in the London area for a good couple of years so I guess I just became a familiar face.
B: Can you describe the change from going from someone who found some music they liked to someone who wanted to be more involved. Because this is a simple but quite fundamental threshold to cross...
P: It's quite hard because I cant really remember or describe the exact moment that I wanted to become more involved, but I guess when you really have a passion for it, it all just becomes natural. For me its become more of a natural progression and just delving deeper and deeper without even realising how far you are down the rabbit hole. When I actually started DJing and collecting records I don't even know if I had thought that far down the line of I wanted to be involved, I just started collecting records and rolled it out from there. I would have never imagined four years ago being as heavily involved as I am now in all honesty. The music I liked has progressively changed over the years so I guess at the point of finding dance music, it was something which resonated more with me, to a point where I was willing to search it out regardless of what I had to do to find it, whether it was Rinse, blogs, Dubstep Forum or raiding friends for music. After that I was felt comfortable whenever I was in that zone, in that music, in that space, so the decision to become more involved felt comforting, it felt I was doing something right, something which I can put my all into...
B: Can you describe what you feel is going on right now?
P: I feel like there's loads of interesting things going on right now. Dance music as a form of music has always been very evolutionary and has moved on to different phases and I guess the current one is now starting to emerge. I feel like there's loads of producers who are taking influences from other forms of music and twisting them around and making it their own sound. You have people such as Wen who has heavy grime and dubstep influences who has then rearranged them into his own vibe, or Etch who uses his love of jungle and breaks in his own unique way as well. There's many other producers such as Beneath, Facta, Rabit and Acre who are all doing music which feels very fresh and authentic in a way in which it just pushes boundaries and keeps things moving. I guess these kinds of things start to happen when people aren't hearing what they wanna hear out, with the re-emerging popularity of house and techno (its always had a heavy level of popularity but crossed over into other scenes) and the commercial popularity of dubstep over the past 3-4 years. Its just nice that loads of hungry people took it as an opportunity to try new things and now we have loads of hungry producers making fresh beats. I was very bored of a lot of music early 2012 where as now theres so much fresh music it's hard to keep up with all of it!
B: OK next question, lemme play devil's advocate: isn't this stuff you're part of just dubstep slowed down, and nothing more?
P: Hmm... I would think that a natural part of music is change, and from what I have seen / read about other scenes, wouldn't this just be a natural response from individuals who are not into how a sound has developed and therefore taken on their own perspectives? I still think that a lot of sounds that I listen to are rooted with dubstep, and I still listen to dubstep (an extremely limited amount), but then being rigidly at 140 isn't for me anymore, I feel like having dubstep rooted at the specific tempo limits its range and dynamics, "Fat Larry's Skank" is 132bpm, but its still dubstep, it was a track on Hatcha's Dubstep Allstars Vol.1, and even Loefah's "Root / The Goat Stare" are both 136bpm and are still classed as dubstep. I feel like there's loads more to explore in dubstep territories but there's many other ways to do it!
B: My 0.02p here is that conditions have changed since dubstep evolved and new influences and styles have emerged; dubstep began to be build from the ashes of UK garage with grime it's more raw, road peer. But for this new stuff, grime is an influence not a peer, same with UK funky, juke and all the neon synth stuff. So what's being done now is being built in the context of some of dubstep's influences but also influenced by things that came through after dubstep did. The ingredients for cooking up the next batch are different, basically! So, next question. Alongside Threnody, Dusk and I, I see you as one of the key DJs in this emerging 130 movement. When I log into your mix chat it's like "oh look there's E.m.m.a, there's Wen, there's Etch etc…" I say "DJ" because while many of the other producers also DJ and you also produce, your primary focus seems to be DJing. Can you describe your sound and selection at the moment?
P: I guess my current sound and selection is a mixture of things at the moment, I normally play around 134 which I think allows me to play stuff of a varying tempo (126-140bpm). From there everything for me is about a vibe. I feel like with all the tunes I play its about supporting music from my friends and the people around me who have also given me the same support as well as having the same ideals musically as me. My love of it all will always be based around sub bass and the low frequencies so I guess thats one of the things which unites my tracks selections at the moment, but theres also certain people where I always try and ensure I can slip at least one of their tracks in the mix at all times which includes Wen, Beneath, Etch, Acre, Facta, and Gantz because I feel like they make music with so much vibe and energy, and that's what I feel like I have to bring within my sets. I guess I try to use a lot of tracks which I may see as DJ tools. As I primarily mix for long amounts of time, I need something which will fit in the mix perfectly and effectively help me in building a new tune. My best example is Wen "Untitled (ft. Dot Rotten)." The reason why I love this track so much is because it's hollow, the drums are sparse, the sub bass is raw and the vocal carries the track and the vibe. These elements make it perfect for me to mix with other tracks because its the bare essentials and can flow easily with others Throughout my sets I normally throw in quite a lot of classics, which are normally old dubstep tracks such as early Tempa and DMZ releases with maybe the odd garage and grime tracks thrown in as well. I do this because I think that a lot of that music is timeless and sometimes it fits with the vibe of the new stuff that I play but now moving forward I'm gonna start to do that less and less. The reason for this mainly comes from you and some of the statements you use sometimes 'dub 4 dub'. I was saying to Moleskin the other day as much as I love the classics, they have all had their era and their time, and for me to carry on playing these doesn't mean that I'm gonna be able to bring back that vibe again. I want to start bringing a more upfront selection so that I can start introducing people to the new producers which I love and bring their vibes to a new set of people. Its also enjoyable to see people react to music they not have heard because you will normally know how people will react to the old DMZ's but you won't know how they will to a new Etch or Wen track.
B: Can you talk a bit about why you make the brave and increasingly rare decision to still cut actual dub plates (rather than DJ with CDs, USB, Ableton or Serato etc)?
P: I guess there's a number of reasons for why I cut dubplates. I guess one of the first ones is the fact that I don't actually own any CDJ's at home lol, and I love the feel of turntables. When I first got into DJing it was the first format I picked up, and I just haven't seen the need to move on from them yet. I find that it can be more fun to work with the pitch and its more about feeling the groove on turntables. I also use it as a way to narrow down my track selections. The problem sometimes is when you get sent tracks, when using formats like CD's or Serato you end up maybe playing things you might like or think you could give it one or two goes cos it's OK, but with dubplates I have to be committed the track. I've been at people's houses before and played on stuff like Serato / Traktor / CDJ's and it gets quite jarring when you have so many tracks to choose from, especially on CD's; 20's tracks on 20 CDs is like 400 tracks, and when you have so much choice it makes it even harder to know what to play. I have to love it enough that I'm willing to incur the cost and go to my cutter and say 'I want these tracks on a dubplate', because for me I want to be able to deliver the best quality sound to the people I'm playing for. Not everyone may have the greatest mixdowns sometimes so I can at least ensure that all tracks have had a light mastering and are at their best quality. I've kinda accepted that at some point I may need to move on but for now I'm happy enough with the format, and I haven't encountered too many problems yet other than running turntables but that's just kinda standard these days.
B: You've recently been producing and have collab'd with Wen: how are you finding this process and what are you aiming at as a sound?
P: Production has been quite a difficult road and I'm still trying to find myself creatively and just get a lot of my ideas out. I started out with Fruity Loops (FL) a good couple of years ago but because everyone around me was on Logic, I thought was the way to go and didn't really bother making progression with FL. It was properly around summer last year where I hooked up with Wen and Etch where they started to help me out along the production road. From there I started to invest a lot more time in to the program and I was able to get into it more. From there I was then able to start getting more samples and sounds which kind of fitted into what I liked. Because it's still what I consider early days I find that I tend to create loads of small loops which I struggle to then expand upon, whether this may be drums or even just a collection of sounds, and once I actually start laying out tunes, I guess it's quite hard to take yourself out of a sound or progression and see it as a spectator rather than the person who's making it. I'll have tunes which will just make it to 64 bars and not got any further while others which may be 4 minutes and I just don't feel like I like the way the track has progressed and moved on therefore becoming part of an infinite pile of incomplete tunes... Sound wise I'm still exploring different sonic territories and BPM's which I feel comfortable but I'll always make sure that the bare essentials of drums and bass hold the most groove and then I'll try to find other sounds from there, but I always feel as though I end up swinging towards two step drums because of the fact that I play around mainly between 126-134, but everyday is a new learning experience when playing around with production programs. The collaboration with Wen came through after he had come back from Australia from his tour. I think that after working with Epoch out there he was more open to the idea of collabs and came round my house before a booking. We started a tune and I gave him the FLP. For the next session I went around his house but the original project didn't work and he had already started rebuilding the project differently so we carried on from there and we managed to finish a track in such a short amount of time. It's really nice working with Wen because we can understand each others vibes perfectly and know what we both like. I speak to him every day and most times we fire each other tunes regularly which we will think we would both like. We may not agree on every tune but I think thats what makes it work even more, we both play completely different sets out but can respect and understand each others tastes. When we were in Bristol together playing for a night we went record shopping at Idle hands, I recommended him some tunes because I felt like those were tunes for him, we understand each others vibes and I think he bought two of them. I've done other collabs which have never been finished or even get past a certain stage but its natural, not every combination works, Me, Etch, Lex and Sepia tried to do tunes together but we never finished a single one lol. After the first studio session it just felt right that we carried on so we have some other projects on the go at the moment but we haven't restricted our tempo, we just go by the general vibe of the moment and see where it goes from there...
- Catch Parris in Room 3, Keysound takeover at Fabric this Friday with me & Dusk, Logos + Mumdance, Moleskin, Luke Benjamin, Wen and Rabit - hosted by Katja.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Sunday, September 08, 2013
Keysound Sessions 2
- Dusk + Blackdown
- Hosted by Katja
To rep, join the Facebook event here.
- Sunday 15th September
- Free entry.
- The Waiting Room, London, 175 Stoke Newington High Street, N16.
- Dub4dub, all evening.
In addition to the music: recently, an archive of early Keysound vinyl was unearthed. At the end of the night, headz will be welcome to selected items from the Keysound back catalog.
Dusk + Blackdown Rinse FM August 2013 tracklist
Mumdance & Logos "Wut It Do (…version)" [Keysound Recordings]
Mumdance & Logos "Proto" [unreleased]
Tessela "Hackney Parrot (Special Request VIP)" [unreleased]
Mark Pritchard "1234 ft Ragga Twins" [Warp]
Blackdown "Wicked Vibez ft MC GQ (Horsepower O-G remix) [unreleased Keysound Recordings]
Mellow Bee "The Hunter" [unreleased]
LKD Beats "Casio Watch" [forthcoming]
Arka & Goddard "State Religion"
Last Japan "Float" [forthcoming]
Arka "Inamorta" [unreleased]
TOYC "Keyframe (Youngstar Remix)" [Crazy Legs]
K-Lone "Crunch (Dub)" [unreleased]
Brackles "Nottingham Daze" [Rinse]
Luke Benjamin "Levels" [unreleased]
Luke Benjamin & Rabit "Confidence" [unreleased]
Underclass "Rinse Compressor" [unreleased]
Moleskin "Clemency" [unreleased]
Codex "b2b VIP" [unreleased]
Epoch "Tour" [unreleased]
Epoch "Back Again" [unreleased]
No Fixed Abode ft Amen Ra "Alchemy Trials 3" [unreleased]
Facta "Poliwhirl" [unreleased]
Double Helix "Fugese" [unreleased]
Riffs "Walk About" [unreleased]
Pistachio "Geode" [Chord Marauders]
Lye Form "I'm Done" [unreleased]
Etch "Hybrid" [Keysound Recordings]
Dark0 "BORA VIP" [unreleased]
Plasticman "Shallow Grave (Wen remix)" [unreleased]
Facta "Wonder" [unreleased]
Hostile Dub "Energy" [unreleased]
Arctic & Juzlo "Lik off Ya" [unreleased]
Mumdance & Logos "In Reverse PIV" [Keysound Recordings]
813 "Floristique" [Donky Pitch]
Alexandre "The Struggle" [forthcoming]
Rabit & Myth "Mythical Dragon" [unreleased]
Rabit "Sunshowers" [forthcoming]
JME "If You Don't Know (Epoch refix)" [unreleased]
Carrion Sound "Untitled" [unreleased]