Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dusk + Blackdown Oct Rinse FM show

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]
Rakish "Reminisce"[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

Meet moleskin...

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!

M: haha

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.

Fader x Keysound - the director's cut


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 the team the cut:
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?

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.

Parris DJ

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

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

Benji Bars: Roots of Keysound

the screen

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

Butterz v Keysound tracklist

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"
Acre "Symbols"
Wen "Signal"
Wen & Parris "Time"
Wen "Vampin''
Etch, E.m.m.a, & Parris "Purgatory"
Wen & Parris "untitled"

Luke Benjamin

Luke Benjamin "Sleeping giant"
Luke Benjamin "Confidence (Rabit production)"
Luke Benjamin "Pray For Change"
Luke Benjamin "Asha"


Moleskin "The docks (8 bar tool)"
????? - ?????
Moleskin "Chain"
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"
Gage "Telo"
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

DLVRY "Guilty"
Facta "Ghost"
Wen "Celestial"
Moleskin "Clemency"
Logos ft Dusk + Blackdown "Alien Shapes" [forthcoming Keysound]
Apple "Seigelizer (Logos refix)"
Mumdance & Logos "Wut it do (12" mix)"
E.m.m.a. "Kingfisher"

Interview: Parris DJ

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

Keysound Fabric takeover Nov 1st

Catch Elijah and I having a pre-night chinwag here.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

LDN041: Mumdance & Logos "Genesis EP"

Out on Keysound Recordings November 4th; vinyl and digital.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Keysound Sessions 2 ft Logos, Dusk + Blackdown, LHF & Facta, hosted by Katja

Keysound Sessions 2

  • Logos
  • Dusk + Blackdown
  • LHF
  • Facta
  • 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.
  • 7-11pm
  • 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 August '13

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]

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Berlin '13


Last weekend we were in Berlin DJing with Wen for Mene and the Zeitgeist Sessions crew. It was great to spend some time with Mene again as he's such an interesting person to talk to (and learn from) about Berlin.

Equally awesome was the chance to hang out with Matt/Kid Kameleon and Sara/Tinker again, who've been such great hosts in San Francisco but now reside in Berlin.

On the night we played music by: Mumdance & Mao, E.m.m.a., Beneath, Trim, Aphix, Brunks, LKDbeats, Nativ, Atlas, Etch & J-One, Huxley, El-B, Caski, Specialist Moss, Walton, My New Leng, The Midas Jay, Killjoy, Wen, Logos, Murlo, Rabit, Samename, Lockah, Etch, Sepia, P-Money and Skream.

Unlike last time, I wasn't in the city long enough to share lengthy reflections of it (less than 24 hours this time), but I did take a few shots, including the one above in the venue, Subland.

So the DJ booth, oddly, was behind wire - unsure why but anyway - and the soundsystem was set in front of the booth. After our set, I noticed that if someone was stood under the speaker but tight against the wall - this strange little pocket that was really quite close to the booth but tucked away - that a pool of light would fall on them periodically...

under the speaker

under the speaker 2

under the speaker3

This I saw on the way to the venue...


It's a painting, if it isn't clear.

And this, as we wandered out into the bright daylight, seemed appropriate:


Finally this is Wen in session...


One thing did stick in my mind from the trip. As we were coming in from the airport, we drove past a low lying club with a queue so big that it caught our attention. Mene explained it was About Blank, a venue run by a collective that stays open all weekend, as one party runs into another.

What was especially curious, beyond just the fact that a collective - rather than the more commonplace these days, company - was involved, was the nature of the collective.

Now, I don't want to take this as gospel since this isn't a well researched and fact checked data set, but the understanding I got was that the collective behind About Blank were a part of a political ideology  called Anti-German, who's beliefs seemed extremely left wing (beyond communism, apparently) and in opposition to traditional German-ness. They included a commitment to Israel (and hence a strong opposition to Palestine), and not very positive views on black people based on some blanket assumptions about homophobia.

Now, as I say, I'm not presenting this information as hard fact with authoritative sources, but it is interesting to see a fairly visible club with highly political component. It's interesting because on the whole visible clubs in London and indeed visible club cultures in London, are generally politically neutral. Yes I'm aware people can and do argue that dance music is implicitly political and yes there must be squat parties that anti-capitalist demonstrators or the EDL go to, but on the whole (and that whole is big, given the number of venues in London alone) club music is really separated from politics.

So, About Blank: one to learn more about in time, I feel. Just like Berlin itself.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rinse FM June 2013

Dusk + Blackdown Rinse FM June show AUDIO HERE.

Mumdance & Mao "Truth" [unreleased]
My New Leng "Remember In U" [Black Butter Records]
Mumdance & Mao "Truth" [unreleased]
Nativ "Shifty" [unreleased]
The Midas Jay "Infiltrate 2013" [unreleased]
Murlo + Famous Eno "Ariel" [forthcoming Mixpak]
Funkystepz "Butterfly" [Forever Live Young]
Dark0 "I Know" [unreleased]
Bigspace "Pepe Skank remix" [unreleased]
Myth "Semagi" [unreleased]
LKDbeats "Laos" [unreleased]
Arka "Severan" [unreleased]
Arka "The Other Way Around" [unreleased]
Hagan "Malfunktion" [Car Crash Set]
Hagan "AfroDub" [Car Crash Set]
Champion "Friday 13th" [Hyperdub]
Aphix "Sin King" [unreleased]
Brenz "Dead"  [unreleased]
Wen "It's Alot"  [unreleased]

***Luke Benjamin showcase***

Luke Benjamin "It's Mad World" [unreleased]
Underclass, Rabit & Luke Benjamin "Conceal The Pain" [unreleased]
 Luke benjamin "Asha" [unreleased]
luke benjamin filter dread "Goddess" [unreleased]

Epoch "Steppenwolf (Gantz remix)" [unreleased]
Amen Ra "Entrapment" [unreleased]
TOYC "Keyframe (Bloom remix)" [forthcoming Crazylegs]
Richelle "Bendin' (Samename Remix)" [unreleased]
Rakish "Mooch" [unreleased]
Dark0 "DNT Phone Me" [unreleased]
Facta "Zodiak" [unreleased]
SP:MC & Youngsta "Kenshin" [Tempa]
Blind Prophet and Self Evident "Regeneration" [unreleased]
Inkke "Like Silk" [unreleased]
Distal "Ancient Scripture" [unreleased]
Moleskin "Pipes" [unreleased]
Rabit & Arctic "World" [unreleased]

Carrion Sound "Back to Black" [unreleased]
Desto "Healing (Alternate Take)" [free D/l]

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Swing Ting: Blackdown mixtape

So I just had a big interview with Manchester's Swing Ting crew published in Fact Magazine: you should check it. To accompany the piece they made me the sickest mixtape. It's here: enjoy.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Mumdance - Twists & Turns

01. Mumdance - Demographics
02. Mumdance - Doom
03. Mumdance & Logos - Turrican 2
04. Mumdance & Logos - Move Your Body
05. Mumdance & Logos - Legion
06. Mumdance - Dragon Egg
07. Mumdance & Mao - Truth
08. Mumdance - Amiga 500
09. Mumdance - Its Peak
10. Mumdance & Logos - Drum Boss
11. Mumdance & Logos - In Reverse
12. Mumdance - Springtime
13. Mumdance - The Wash

Fresh mixtape from manlike Mumdance, special cameo from fambily tree Logos. More details from the man himself here and here. Youknow!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Dusk + Blackdown Rinse FM show May 2013

Dusk + Blackdown Rinse FM show May 2013



E.m.m.a. ft Rebel MC "Jahovia" [unreleased]
Facta "Ghost" [unreleased]
Sunday Roast "Get Ready" [Sunday Roast]
Brunks "Taiki" [forthcoming Brunks BRNK001: vinyl only]
Jungle 70 & Majestic "Creeping in the Dark" [forthcoming Public Demand]
Killjoy "Inaudable Badness" [forthcoming Tumble Audio]
Apple "Seigelizer (Logos refix)" [unreleased]
DJ Mondie ft Shizzle "Straight (DJ Samrai edit)" [unreleased]
Huxley "Walk 2 U" [Rinse]
My New Leng "Elite VIP"  [unreleased]
Damu "Shutters Up" [unreleased]
Kalbata "Barbara" [forthcoming GreenMoney Recordings]
Caski "Elephant Tribe" [forthcoming Subdepth]
Stuff "Gun Ho (Pedro 123 remix)" [Crystal Culture]
P Money "Bring in the Katz" [taken from the #MAD mixtape]
Walter Ego "Baby Benz" [Girls Music]
Taiki Nulight & My Nu Leng "Levels" [unreleased]
Hagan "Move Units" [unreleased]
Atlas "Honest" [unreleased]
Parris DJ "We at War" [unreleased]
E.m.m.a. & Sully "Nostrum" [unreleased]
Epoch ft Luke Benjamin "Empty" [unreleased]
Rabit & Grievous Angel "Keysound Posse Cut" [unreleased]

Breen "Channels" [unreleased]
Murlo "Irises" [unreleased]
Awe "YYY" [forthcoming Terrorhythm]
Murlo "Untitled" [unreleased]
Desto "4AM" [forthcoming RWINA]
DJ Q "Trust Again (Rabit Trust The Pulse Remix)" [unreleased Local Action]
Rabit "Wolf Spider (Epoch remix)" [unreleased]
Rabit "Double Dragon (Logos remix)" [unreleased]
Peaman "Mind (Breen's Sleazy Peamix)" [unreleased]
Logos & Mumdance "Turrican 2" [unreleased]
Acre "SILVR" [Lost Codes]
Lockah "Let the cool air breeze" [Donkypitch]
Mooney "Barge" [unreleased]
Etch "Old School Methods" [unreleased]

Sully "M141" [unreleased]
Sully "Zero Sum (tease)" [unreleased]

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dear Disclosure, I wanna bet

 “Even people who think we’re too commercial, which I don’t think we are at all, I say to them: what would you rather hear on the radio, "White Noise" or David Guetta? They can’t say anything back to that.”  – Guy Lawrence, Disclosure

You wanna bet?

First some context: Disclosure are this week’s G2’s cover stars; this year’s cover stars. With chart hits and sales over 300,000 for one single alone their commercial success is undisputable. But there’s something really depressing about the idea, as put forward by them in the G2 piece,  that it’s either them or Guetta.

In their paradigm there’s two choices for pop:
  1. terrible music
  2. them
The thing is, why can’t it be that people’s choices for successful music are:
  1. terrible music
  2. moderate music
  3. incredible music
I don’t have a specific beef with Disclosure I really don’t – I played the El-B remix of their tune at Fabric last year - but “it’s us or a shit thing” is what mediocrity looks like. It’s what capitulation looks like, I’m sorry but it is.

Fuck that.

This kind of slick, clean, sanitized music, when you look past the admittedly catchy saccharine hooks, is really empty. Disclosure themselves don’t even seem to want you to look past it: “All we care about is people listening to the music… they can take what they want from it.”

It’s time for something new.

We need to reject this kind of neutered brainwashed thinking and build something vital for this era. Something totally built by, owned by - and unique to - 2013.

Who are you, 2013?

Because this is sorta my issue with all the big “post”/“bass” guys, now playing housey tech mixed into techy house with additional retro anthem bashing, the guys who build up the DJ hierarchy which ends in Disclosure headlining your festival.

I keep thinking this…

In twenty years time, these DJs will be in their 40s and their kids will be old enough to ask them: “Dad, what did the music sound like when you were the biggest DJ?”

And they will safely be able to say:

“I could drop our song with Eliza Doolittle, "Neighbourhood" by Zed Bias and "Saved My Life" by Todd Edwards and no one could name what decade they’re from.” 
 Which is exactly what Howard did in the G2 piece this week.

If the fact that your sound is indistinguishable from music made over decade before doesn’t scare you shitless as an artist, I’m not sure we’re on the same page here.

Music should be vital.

It should be essential and it should be unique: of its time, for its time, belonging to its time. You where there. “Were you there?” “Yes I was there.” “Where were you in ’92?” “I was there too.”

Great music is the cultural journal of record of its time, the soundtrack to generations.  ’66, ’77, ’88, ’93, ’99, ’03, ’06 – if you read this blog you should pretty much instantly be able to tell just from those numbers what movements blew up then. Depending when you were born you’ll go misty eye’d to “Strings of Life” or “Valley of the Shadows (31 Seconds)” or “Spirit of the Sun (Steve Gurley mix)” or “Midnight Request Line.” They define a time and a place.

“[Disclosure] recoil from questions that go beyond the music,” notes Sam Wolfson in the G2 piece.

OK guys, I think we’re done here.

To paraphrase Vex’d, you were wrong, there is a third choice: lets make it something incredible please.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

RBMA interview: the directors cut


So in the last few weeks I've written two pieces. One is why mixing is getting easy and EZ is the best for Sonic Router and the other was an interview with the mighty Todd Burns, former editor of RA, now at RBMA (He only works for companies with acronyms beginning with R, hold tight his next job at the RHS ahaha...).

Now we were up against a deadline with the RBMA piece and some of the latter questions didn't make the main article, but having answered them I thought I'd include them here:


Todd Burns: One of the keys to the emergence of a genre in your mind, I think, is getting something "wrong"… That may be a gross oversimplification. But I guess it's just impossible to really get tech house "wrong" isn't it?

Blackdown: “Wrong” sounds, erm, wrong if you know what I mean, it seems to have pejorative connotations. All I’m saying is there’s a natural dialog of appreciation -> imitation -> mutation that goes on between the UK and the US & Jamaica, amongst other places. So whether you call it “copying” or “taking inspiration from” or “getting it wrong” or “mutating,” it’s all part of the same creative continuum. The results are there to be judged for themselves.

So the follow up question is ‘why is some copying ‘terrible cloning’ and others ‘really healthy mutation?’  For example all the tepid Burial clones we’ve seen since “Untrue,” none of them have a patch on what they’ve drawn inspiration from. Whereas the UK funky guys getting excited about Dennis Ferrer records and making more exciting tracks inspired by them, well that’s the opposite result. I suppose the simple conclusion is it’s about how much originality gets added into the mix during the process.

T: I was so interested Radfords Rinse CD because it did KIND of feel like he had found the bass-heavy tech house records that might/possibly be UK-approved…but then it also was just straight boring stuff that, if any German DJ had done it, would have sounded tired and silly to my ears. I'm…baffled by all of this.

B: This shuffling/minimal tech/house sound is clearly blowing up on the London underground right now, the energy is unmistakeable, it’s just really baffling when you hear it if you’ve heard house in the last 20 years because the comparison between the sound and the way the audience talk about the sound doesn’t add up. Which is to say: they talk like it’s a brand new thing but it sounds like generic techy house.

For context, it’s worth looking at these two quotes from a London underground house documentary. Firstly a quote from (the more experienced) DJ Pioneer:

“The sound now, that people are after, is house again. Whereas it went through the UK funky phase and some of it sounded a bit… grimey. It had it's distinctive sounds, don't get me wrong, and it had it's other sound, which was a bit gimmicky - some of the MC tunes that people didn't like - but those people that left that UK funky side started to search for a deeper sound and started realising 'oh there's house." So for them it's kinda new, but for someone who's been in it for years… it's just a cycle. It's kinda gone back to where it was in the '90s. We're back here again, the house/garage sound.”

Contrast this, from the same doc, with a quote from one of the hyped DJs, Lance Morgan:
“The scene right now is really healthy, there's a lot of new faces and lot of old faces coming back… It's a different genre of sound & music we've got coming through, and that's what people need to realize and push forward. It's not all-round deep house, it's not tech, it's not underground, it's just our own genre: the London underground, so lets just keep pushing it forward, y'get me?”

So what Pioneer describes is how the UK funky crowd migrated to house/minimal/tech/shuffling having never really paid any attention to house before. And this is the energy you see in Lance Morgan’s quote, people hyped about a new scene based on music that’s new to them. Their “own genre” – ownership and hence identity and reputation of course being a massive driver for change & creativity within London genres in the last 20 years. Now I was reporting and speculating three years ago that this scene could grow & mutate and within any normal degrees of resolution it didn’t. House purists will argue the micro-differences between vocal/dubby, minimal, techy, housey etc but structurally its not mutating like the DNA changes required to get from, say, early Tuff Jam to MJ Cole “Sincere” and into Dizzee Rascal “I Luv U.”  But then to judge them by that standard or even that aesthetic is to miss the point, I don’t think they want to mutate or change – this is about raving to house. Mark Radford, on the electric “Maxwell D v the house scene” debate show hosted by Heartless Crew, was very clear that he had a mandate from his people and they didn’t want MCs & their vibe as the focus. This scene have an in built sense of house purism and given that, to their audience, so much of this is all new, they can afford to.

And what’s interesting about all this, especially when certain commentators like throwing mud at other scenes for being to “knowing” of the past is that this is shuffling/house scene seems very cognisant of what happened to UK funky via the gimmicky (“R U Gonna Bang Doe?”) MC tunes and in before that the negative effect of focusing on MCs had on grime (i.e. it destroyed its grass roots club infrastructure, due to the issues with getting club licences in London for black MC-based events). This is what I took from Mark Radford’s sense of mandate.

So the big question here relates to what Lance Morgan is saying: is this really a new genre?  Can it really be a new genre given its allegiances to house, a point Geeneus made 6 (!) years ago when UK funky was first breaking. Culturally this stuff is a new wave; musically it’s so beholden to house right now it’s hard to say it’s “new.” Maybe the latter will come with time, but that’s what I made a call on three years ago and it didn’t so maybe this wont and indeed doesn’t want to, it just wants to rave and party all night long: fair play. But the irony being is that if they do go down the route of sonic change towards signifiers that fit more closely what we recognise as “London underground” by putting kicks and snares in interesting places, as Lee B3 Edwards and Lance Morgan suggest in that documentary, they might find themselves back at UK funky again, already!

T: I know you're not thinking about it that hard, but do you think something could blow from what you're up to [with Keysound]? Is there a Burial-esque figure on the horizon that might be able to accidentally tap into something a bit deeper?

Burial was a once in a generational or multi generational singularity, it’s really not a formula that can be cloned or a sensible benchmark to measure against. And also, I long since stopped worrying about “blowing up” as being some kind of objective, given the creative sacrifices or changes that are sadly often required. We’re trying build and sustain something creative and underground that we feel. That’s the holy grail.

T: Crews. It seems like you might have one growing around the label at the moment, but I wouldn't say it's quite as tight knit as something like Hessle or Numbers somehow. Is this something you aspire to? Or do you like have the artists on the label doing their own thing alongside what they do with Keysound?

Yes, we overtly, openly aspire to it; in fact we call it the Keysound family. How I see it is we’re trying to bring together people who share a certain musical outlook. Now it would be constrictive if everyone on Keysound sounded the same or liked the same influences, but there’s overlap, connections and from that dense interactions. That’s what the different coloured circles represented on the cover of our album “Dasaflex” – it was as much about our inspirations as the Keysound family members themselves, who of course, inspire us. And so that’s why we returned to an image like that for the cover of “This is how we roll.” For the artists we work most closely with, all I ask is that they release what we mutually agree is their strongest work through us. It’s great if other people have other opportunities but in general it doesn’t help to spread yourself too thin. Focus is good. So is strength in numbers: roll deep.

T: You mentioned the Skream interview on Twitter recently. And I remember you saying nice things about an interview with RA that Loefah did a bit ago. Both artists were very up-front about how hard it is, in some ways, for them to evolve as artists when they have a large audience that loves what they've done in the past. Was that your takeaway from those pieces as well? Or was there something else that struck you?

B: Well I think this is a well-known phenomenon, that once you have huge success for a given style it adds an unexpected pressure to reproduce that style without stagnating. Dubstep has no monopoly on this. I just enjoyed those two interviews because Loefah and Skream spoke, as they do, so honestly. I’d say Loefah’s the one that has made such wholesale changes in his style – it’s a very long way from “Mud” to his new label School – whereas it sounds like Skream is now making brave decisions about his musical future. And they’re brave because people are making millions of dollars now from the mainstream dubstep formula, so if you have a kid to feed and thousands of people go crazy every night when you drop a banger, there is a very strong impulse to just keep on doing it, no matter what your heart says. But then call me some kind of purist, but this is why I think people should separate making a living from making music: only very few people are creatively untainted by this kind of association.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Rinse Feb/March

Rinse Feb/March 2013


Beneath "Strike A Pose" [forthcoming Niche 'n' Bump]
MssingNo "Brandy" [unreleased]
Batu "Stairwells" [unreleased]
Mella Dee "Keeper" [unreleased]
Murlo X Samrai X Fox "Downtown Uptown" [unreleased]
R Kelly "Bump N Grind (Waze & Odyssey Mix)" [unreleased]
Turno ft Trigga "No Jokin' (Caski's 130 Mix)" [unreleased]
Maxwell D "Up & Down" [unreleased]
Walter Ego "Feel It" [unreleased]
Beneath "Bellz (Swing Ting remix)" [Niche 'N Bump]
Unknown "Miscellaneous" [unreleased]
Dizzee Rascal "String Hoe (Wen refix)" [unreleased]
Macker "Longsite" [unreleased]
Epoch "Ruff Science" [unreleased]
EeOo "Peru" [unreleased]
Wen "Storm" [unreleased]
Roy Bar "Live My Life n Tell My Story" [unreleased]
E.m.m.a. "At Sea" [unreleased]
Della "Descendent" [unreleased]
Logos "Menace" [unreleased]
Warsnare "Red Lights (Original Mix)" [forthcoming Seclusiasis]

Girl Unit "Double Take (Part 2)" [Night Slugs]
Goon Club Allstars "Warmest Wave" [unreleased]
Rob The Kid & Moleskin "Winterplains" [unreleased]
Rabit "Plymouth" [unreleased]
Slackk "Bamboo Houses edit (David Sylvian remix)" [free DL]
Sepia "Outbreak VIP" [unreleased]
Etch "Hybrid" [unreleased]
Bukez Finezt "World Riddim" [forthcoming Hatched]
Etch & J-One "Sounds" [unreleased]
Etch "Sphynx" [unreleased]
Breen "… For Life" [unreleased]
Geiom "2 4 6 (Desto remix)" [unreleased]
Strict Face "Highbury Skyline" [unreleased]
Murlo "Velvet Walk" [unreleased]
The Bug ft Flowdan "Dirty" [forthcoming Big Dada]
Rabit "Wolf Spider" [unreleased]

Sully "Blip" [unreleased]
Desto "Cool Down The Dance" [unreleased]
Rabit "No No No" [unreleased]
Cedaa "Jasmin" [B.YRSLF ]
Greeen Linez v Patrice & Friends "Hibiscus Pacific" [Sulk Records]
Greeen Linez v Patrice & Friends  "Frisk" [Sulk Records]

Monday, March 04, 2013


Slackk is someone who's been involved in a lot of great things. I'm not sure when I first noticed quite how many of them but from GrimeTapes.com to "Eski Clicks," releases on Numbers, Local Action and an unreleased Badness vocal of "Theme from Slackk," seeing road rap before others to his hilarious yet fully sick boogie/juke project Patrice & Friends, he's a constant source of fresh ideas. He mixed an exclusive Slackk productions showcase, to accompany an interview, below.

Blackdown: Hey Slackk, so firstly I guess I'd like to hear where your head is at musically right now?

Slackk: I think at the moment I'm quite happy with what I sound like to be honest. I know my earlier stuff- and even still now the majority of my releases - were more on a house thing, I guess from the fallout of what was funky, but I've barely made anything like that for over a year now. There's always been a very clear interest in the grime palette for me - as you well know - but I guess for the last eighteen months my Slackk stuff has been focused on the ideas behind what I like in that sound and trying to apply to my own music. Not all at 140 - some of it edging up to juke tempo or hovering around 150bpm - but yeah, I'm really enjoying myself man. Been making some vague r'nb as well, which I think is kind of feeding off the Patrice & Friends stuff in a way. Hard to work with all those samples and that sound and not have it rub off on you a bit.

B: "The ideas behind what I like in that sound and trying to apply to my own music" is an interesting question, a big step in finding your own sound and space...

S: Yeah if I'm honest I'm not sure it was there at the start. When you start producing or at least try to start trying properly I think there's a tendency to throw a lot of sounds and ideas at Ableton or whatever you produce in and your sound ends up a bit disparate as a result. I think that happened to me, anyway. Whereas now I think I'm a lot more comfortable with my ideas and clear in what I want to sound like.

B: I think that's natural, most producers work through their inspirations - I certainly had to with El-B etc

S: Yeah undoubtedly and I think a lot of it comes through the confidence in getting to know your set up and feeling more comfortable in what you're doing.

S: I think I can safely say that when I first started making tunes there were hundreds of things I didn't have a clue about - you can certainly hear that in mixdowns of certain tunes; I can hear a clumsiness in certain riffs and runs & there's a looseness in some things I wouldn't even remotely allow now. But that kind of control or whatever, that comes and I think you can hear that in my stuff now. I'd like to think you can anyway.

B: But equally, with grime part of its sonic flaws is its appeal, right? That is its aesthetic.

S: See I don't always agree with that. I do think that there's a rawness and at times almost a genius in accidental simplicity in some early grime, yeah, but it's a sound that's really been around a long time now.

B: Well that's fine I'm just saying some people like that raw sound.

S: Oh yeah I love that raw sound, the stripped back nature of it, just the coldness of it is unparalelled really. But in turn some of my favourite grime stuff is really melodic and as much as a lot of it retains a certain melancholy underlying to it I think there's a lot to be said for that end of the scale.

B: In terms of the music being made at the moment though that inspires your own, where are the areas of inspiration to you?

S: At the moment I think there's a lot of people who are pushing each other on, indirectly.

S: If you look at some of the stuff coming out of your camp - or what I would class as your camp- people like Visionist, Logos, Wen, I think there's something tangible between them, however loose. People like Samename, MssngNo, Kid D, Walter Ego, Filter Dread. There are so many people doing things with you'd think of a grime ideal behind it or whatever, I think there's a real diverse sound but yeah the little interlinks behind that.

B: Yeah and I'd add Gremino to that.

S: Oh yeah, Gremino's great, I really like his 160bpm stuff actually - heard a lot of people try and do that jungle footwork sound and not quite do it justice but he does. I do listen to a lot of juke and I think the american rap thing is fully flourishing at the moment too. I know you could say that the "trap" idea takes from that and in my opinion detracts from it a little, but there are some mad production coming from there.

B: Yeah for me and Dusk, we used to have a "grime" section (140bpm) and a UK funky/percussive section (130bpm) but now we don't need this separation, it all flows at 130ish but can be grimey, perhaps in a more danceable way.

S: I'd say because I do tend to draw more heavily on the 140 stuff - my own sets tend to hover more around that end of it but yeah with certain bits pitched up - I just think that it's around this sound that the most interesting stuff is coming through these days.

B: The funny thing is your eski clicks was totally ahead of its time.

S: Yeah, I could see why you could say that. At the time I was listening an awful lot to tunes like "Video Clash" and that era to be honest - there was a clear idea when I sat down with that to try and retune those noises into a very straight 4/4 track. The "eski house" idea, which is a name I don't like so much anymore.

B: Haha

S: But yeah I think that idea exists all over the place now, the idea of the grime palette at 130. If you look at the background of "London music" it makes perfect sense I think. Not that I'm from London. However much my music is inspired by the idea of it.

B: Well i was going to mention the US/UK factor: so with the American rap & juke thing influencing you, do you think it shifts things at all for you, creatively?Different aesthetics?

S: I can hear it, yeah. Not necessarily in the drum patterns but I've been obsessed with certain Zaytoven ideas for a while, the space and reverb to his keys in some places- stuff like the lead riffs on this. Not trying to emulate the drum patterns and that as such, but there's ideas in stuff like this and things Lil Ugly Mane beats that I like a lot. The juke thing is another, the sparseness of juke at it's best reminds me of the rawness in grime we were talking about earlier and I think that's something my head will always identify with for whatever reason.

S: Stuff like DJ Clent "3rd World" especially although that is slightly old now I guess… Obsessed is a probably too strong a word for the Zaytoven bit

B: Haha

B: It's funny because even if you're into this London pirate thing, there's always this US/JA/UK dialog going on but at certain times the balances shift. I feel like London is very outward looking at the moment, with euro minimal tech (shuffling) and US rap/trap.

S: Yeah I know what you mean. The shift of MCs from what was grime towards what's now just London rap has produced some good stuff I think - I listen to a few MCs, there are probably loads of better ones out there but there are too many terrible videos on YouTube to find out. It's not really what you'd class as a more unique sound as you would with grime but it's got it's great spots. I don't really like that house sound, few alright tunes but it's never really interested me. I think really if you look at the rap thing and the way the house has gone side by side it's like the strands of what's come before it - grime, funky, garage - have become more clearly split. The MCs to rap, and the grimier, odder edges out of funky by the transition to the more traditional house sound. That's simplifying it a bit but I think it's true.

B: I completely agree with your analysis. I'm desperate to find the next Trim/D Double/Wiley/Goodz - someone with real personality and identity - within the large volumes of the road rap guys, but haven't yet

S: Not to say that there are no worthwhile MCs left in grime, but that's really a much more instrumental scene now in terms of a beat with that kind of structure getting vocalled. In terms of MCing, I think most of it has gone to the rap side of things.

B: It's a bit like jungle - the best guys still rep but no unique guys come through (though that depends on your view of new school d&b I guess...)

S: I liked the Squeeze Section tape (free download here) quite recently, in terms of rap, thought parts of that were really strong- especially the ones going up towards 160.

B: Yesss! i liked that tape too

S: But nah I wish I knew jungle but I don't, at all. I prefer it when it was still mostly sampled drums as opposed to what came after it but otherwise no idea.

S: Oh shit did you listen to the Squeeze Section tape?

B: Re jungle, well I all I mean is you see names like Hype, Shy FX, Goldie, Grooverider on the flyers - just as grime is dominated by people who came from Roll Deep, Nasty, OGs etc

S: I thought that Squeeze Section tape was great man. A bit overlong but it was great. Don't really have much in mind that I could compare those faster tunes too, as much as they're rooted in the rap thing.

B: I think I found out about Squeeze Section from you, but I don't remember.

S: Yeah I see what you mean about grime MCs and that, it definitely makes sense. Really, 90% of MCs coming through now are on the rap beats as opposed to anything resembling grime, which is why the raves are dominated by those names.

B: Yeah a friend of mine does legal aid for lots of the London gang members and says they all listen to road rap.

S: So do I, I can't blame them. Just a lot of shit to sift through, to be honest.

B: Do you have a sense of where road rap is going or how healthy it is? Because - and props for this - you were the first person I noticed to pick up on it, and while there's so much of it do you feel it's evolving?

S: I think it's all a bit scattered, the road rap thing. You can that a lot of it is YouTube focused, a lot of it terrible as well to be honest. I'd say there's an overabundance of cameramen and low rate MCs that make it harder to wade through but some interesting stuff out there. We talked about Squeeze Section there but I think people like Nines & Blade Brown have put out decent stuff lately, Fekky has had two massive tapes in a row.

S: Depends if you're willing to dig around to be honest, but I like London MCs- I got used to the tone through grime.

B: Yeah, tone acclimatisation is quite important - I find it odd to listen to US MCs now, despite having grown up on US hip hop!

S: Exactly. And I know a lot of people kind of dismiss the london rap thing for it's similarities to US rap and all that but I still think there's a definite UK edge to it. Just different because there's no real crossover into the clubs for most of the tunes - I think that's why it's probably had a different reaction than grime or whatever, not many tunes you can actually hear in a club and have them work. I think Fekky makes some good rave tunes though.

B: Don't you think it's mad, the total distance from clubs and radio that road rap has? I accept that it's about exposure/reputation and the quickest path to it, and that path is YouTube, but still…

S: Yes and no.

S: I think if you look at in some supposed succession to grime and that - as you could - then the lack of raves is a shame, but there's always been a rap undercurrent in South I think. It's only really the last few years that it's became the main outlet for an MC I think but just look back to like old PDC tapes etc - the lineage is there really.

B: Yeah, I hear ya. It's just when things get big in the london underground, there's money to be made from raves - so someone will do it.

S: I dunno man, I just download tapes ha.

S: Do you really think they'd let a rap rave exist though? Like to me that seems like the thing that'd get shut down pretty quickly.

B: Well maybe that's our answer.

B: So, I'd like to talk a bit more about your productions. Tracks like "Blue Sleet" seemed like a step change for you, what do you have planned next?

S: Yeah I think you can definitely say that. I spent ages on "Raw Missions;" I know it's only a small EP but I took my time making it, which isn't something you can say I really did that often with some earlier releases. I don't know, if I could go back I'd probably stop myself putting a few things out. I think I was talking about that EP for about six months before I actually had something tangible as a draft. So there's a lot of sketches and loads of half written 8bar tracks on my hard drive, trying to work up to it. If I was going to make a grime EP I had to do it right, you know.

S: As for the next thing, it's another EP for Local Action, probably about a year since the last one. Some grime bits, something at 150 & a slow jam, kind of. That's taken me a while. Some Patrice & Friends things as well; a Greeen Linez remix EP & a 8 track EP of the usual, at some point.

B: Greeen Linez remix ?

S: Yeah- Patrice & Friends Vs Greeen Linez. You into them?

B: Don't know 'em

S: Ah man...

B: Sounds retro! God I can hear so much Patrice in this.

S: That was like my favourite album last year. Homage to all that 80s boogie sound, I got the stems from them and reconstructured them as juke tunes.

  • Follow Patrice and his friends on Twitter, livin' that excess. "Hibiscus Pacific" is toooo much.

B: So can I ask about Patrice, how did that come about?

S: I think there are a couple of factors with that really. Like I love that old 80s sound, have collected boogie records for a while. Anyway I just went through a period of really playing them a lot; and I had writer's block at that point - everything was coming out a bit weak, disenfranchised with it a bit actually. Anyway, I heard a chicago record, it's by Manny, and it was this boogie sample chopped up at 160, incredible. The tune's called "Mystery."

S: So I just started playing around with that sound at 160, chopping up bits, leaving massive breaks in at times. Really that first Patrice album was just a massive release - all that music is just a laugh you know, nice to dance to, proper upbeat stuff - so it was just me sitting around fucking with these tunes and then I had an album. Got some vocals done, few acapellas. Then because it was self-released, I think it was about a month after making it that it was released. It's just really fun to make to be honest, which is why there are a couple of albums out there.

B: Yeah it is really fun. Feels like it was done quickly, designed to loose yourself to on the dancefloor

S: Well the originals are some of my favourite stuff to play out in a club you know. I don't always get the chance to do that. So when I'm taking a record that was 110 or 100 and chopping it to juke tempo, the swing to it at times is a madness man. It was just such a laugh to make that pretty soon I'd just made loads of them like.

B: Do you pitch shift them or chop to make fit?

S: Pitch shift and then I'll take it and reassemble it to form a different melody sometimes, depends really. Some tracks are too good to mess with so it's just a matter of a few 16 bar loops and writing some sub and drums to compliment. With the Greeen Linez stuff they gave the stems so that is reassembling tunes, writing little melodies on top of them. as you said you can hear a bit of Patrice in them already, it makes perfect sense to do something together.

B: For people who aren't familiar, can you describe the life Patrice lives?

S: Ha you mean the midget?

B: The midget.

S: Well, I say midget; he's a dwarf. It's funny really, when I was making the first album - which wasn't even an album at that point, more just a few songs that I thought were just going to stay on the hard drive - this woman called Diane Arbus died. Sorry, no, there was a feature on her in something - she was already dead. Anyway, her photographs are all these gritty looking new york street life things, and I was looking through them on google images when suddenly the fucking dwarf popped up. Like without that picture I'm not sure the concept would have had as much mileage in my eyes...

B: Ha, nice… a source of inspiration!

S: ...but that was it from there, he was Patrice. I had a twitter feed for him when the stuff first came out (resurrected now) where the idea was that he was some sex obsessed drunk who lived on a yacht with a load of strippers and me & a couple of my mates just made up the most outlandish shit. Oh yeah, totally a source of inspiration. Dwarf in a hotel room wearing only a towel with some Henny in the back, come on man.

B: While it was never exactly a secret who Patrice was, was it liberating to be able to just dream up the maddest fantasies for him?

S: I don't know if it was liberating as such, I just found it really funny. Plus when you've got videos for the music with wrestling squids who turn into men after sex or blokes on jetpacks flying to save their missus, it's hardly the type of thing you're taking seriously is it.

B: Crazy! I just think maybe lots of pirate/bassy music is quite serious, whereas patrice is pretty fun.

S: Obviously I spend a lot of time on the Patrice stuff, don't get me wrong, but it's all a bit of a laugh like. But I think a lot of early grime had humour to it, but I can agree with that.

S: I dunno, I'm not really that serious a person - I know there's all these producers who like to act as if they're batman or whatever, making music in the caves but fuck that. I love boogie and disco and that, no pretence about it.

B: Awesome. I think what works so well is the Patrice & Friends music is funny AND its really good.

S: Ah thanks man. It's funny like, because when I first made a few of these I thought people were just going to look at me like I was mad. Instead everyone loved it and I played it all over the place like. You can't really predict how things work out I guess.

B: You can't underestimate how much people can tell you're having fun!

S: Yeah I think that probably comes across as well. Certainly a lot of records out there that sound like they were a proper laugh to make and yeah, you can hear that come across can't you.

B: Fully.

S: I think there's something to be said for the pop from that era that isn't really about in many places these days as well. I was talking to Kev Kharas from Vice about this a while back, in reference to Patrice, and he had a theory that there was a certain innocence or naivety to the music that isn't necessarily here now. Like these are mostly made from samples from an era where it was a lot more difficult to get to know a girl and that then, without the internet and that, that you had to try harder. I don't know if I agree completely but yeah. Certainly a lot more romance in that era of music I think.

B: Its hard to say definitive things when looking back though. People say the opposite about now - that's people don't meet IRL thanks to the 'net! Hence it must have been easier to meet girls IRL back then! I dunno...

S: Oh yeah undoubtedly. I just liked the idea of that playing into the music, regardless of how much truth is in it.

B: So finally Grime Tapes. Can you explain how that all began?

S: Couple of things really. Obviously there's a deep attachment on my part to that sound, always has been - that stuff just resonates with me I guess. And really I think radio sets were the essence of what it was so I collected them almost obsessively. But then I had an untold GB worth of them on my hard drive and it felt like a crime to just keep them to myself.

B: I think of it like curation, you curated an archive for the benefit of everyone.

S: In addition I viewed it as an opportunity to get even more because I knew there were ones out there that must be great that I didn't have. (I was right). Maybe it was curation. I didn't necessarily view it like that to begin with though, it was just stuff that needed to have a place and a time that did and does need recognition. Would never call myself a curator, like. I've met people since who've thanked me so excessively for what the site was that I realise it was quite important to some people though and I'm quite glad of that. There are still some mythical sets I want though.

B: Hahah like what?

S: There's a Roll Deep Christmas set with Tinchy I've never heard that was meant to be one of the best ever - never met anyone who still has a tape. Any Dancehall Mafia set would be great, same for 187 Click. (Predecessors to Slew Dem and Nasty respectively). My Ontop FM collection is lacking a bit. September 2007 clash weekend, the sets from the Sunday. I'm not exactly losing sleep over them but they'd be great to have. Oh and any old OO Squad too.

S: To me it's just the history of things you know. This entire microindustry and heritage of music in London. I like having all that on hand.