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Stellar international techno DJ Helena Hauff returns to the Bongo for Easter, Friday 14th Apr

04 April 2017 -

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German taste-maker Helena Hauff, one of the DJs who perhaps singularly sums up a Substance party most, returns to the Bongo, riding high on the wave of multiple standout shows and a BBC Radio 1 residency.  Having received a tremendous reception when she played last year (and recently the cover star of DJ Magazine), the Hamburg spinner is guaranteed to deliver the goods.

Here’s an interview with the woman herself, copy/pasted wholesale from Newcastle’s excellent Crack Magazine.  It’s  a great read and well worth your 10 mins, not least as Ms Hauff comes out with some hilarious comments about her penchant for more doomy, gothic styles….

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APPROX READING TIME: 11 MIN

Helena Hauff has a thunderstorm inside her.

Sometimes it comes out in tangible ways: a cloud of cigarette smoke, her throaty, thunderous laugh, or the flash of a genuine smile. But mostly, it’s projected in her music; in the hammering techno of her DJ sets; the white hot intensity of her acid and electro; the nocturnal mood of her more sombre productions. There’s a turbulence to her style that would fall apart in the wrong hands, but Helena Hauff knows how to walk the line between disorder and control.

When we meet in her ground-floor apartment on a rainy evening in Hamburg, the city where she was born, Hauff is surrounded by records. The place is flooded with them. There are overflowing stacks all around the living room and in her studio there are crates teetering on top of crates. Hauff looks upon the mess fondly. She seems content with chaos.

“I’ve always loved it when music – especially techno – sounds a bit nasty and a bit raw and unpolished,” Hauff tells me, lighting a cigarette. Visible amongst all the vinyl is her set of analog machines, which she started collecting five or six years ago and with which she produces exclusively — just a Juno-60, a Roland-303, an MPC, and a couple of other classics. “The aesthetic of machines is so appealing to me,” Hauff explains. “People tend to think it’s more like robotics, they think it’s soulless because it doesn’t sound like it’s made by a human being. But I like that concept. It’s almost like the machine comes to life and becomes something with its own soul. I’ve learned to let go of the more analytical part of my brain and just let the machines do their own thing. They have a mind of their own, and I love that.”

There’s also a thrilling spontaneity to Helena Hauff’s DJ sets; something journalists tend to describe as ‘eclecticism’ or ‘unpredictability.’ Her selections range from jarring acid to banging techno with infusions of old school industrial, Dutch electronica, post-punk and EBM. And while she’s maintained an experimental, punk attitude, the past few years have seen Hauff rise to become one of leftfield dance music’s most in-demand artists.

January of this year marked the first show in Hauff’s BBC Radio One residency – a landmark achievement that’s testament to her rapid growth. “It’s more work than I thought it would be,” she admits, “because I want it to be really diverse. I wanted each episode to showcase a different style of music: a bit of house, a bit of techno, sometimes more wavey, or one episode will be all punk.” Her anything-goes approach is carried through in her self-made label Return to Disorder, which she launched in 2015 with an EP from Leicester psych-rock band Children of Leir. “I don’t want to just put out one type of music. Whenever I get something sent to me, if it’s good, I want to release it,” she insists. “I want to return to disorder in the sense that releases don’t necessarily have to make sense together.” It’s with this attitude that Hauff has established a career that so many artists dream of, without having to compromise her integrity.

The story of Helena Hauff’s DJ career begins at Hamburg’s Golden Pudel, a small but legendary portside club renowned for its rough and ready vibe. Hauff discovered the club as a teen and her name is closely associated with the club’s tight-knit family. “When I was younger, I only ever went out to the Pudel. There just wasn’t any other club where I felt at home,” she explains. “Eventually I just got bored with clubbing at some point, around when I started touring. The Pudel was the only place that I never really got bored with.”

The Pudel’s spirit was a perfect match for Hauff’s own; the club famously cherishes its sense of freedom – DJs play whatever and however they want. Hauff affectionately dubs it a “playground”. I read her a quote from fellow Pudel regular Call Super, who claimed that the club is a place where you feel that everyone really listens. “I actually disagree!” she exclaims. “When you play on a Friday, there are loads of young people, lots of tourists, and to be honest, sometimes it feels like they really didn’t care at all. They just want to get drunk and have a good time! But I personally don’t have a problem with that at all. The good thing about Pudel was that half of the people were really into the music, and the other half just didn’t give a shit. It’s not just this elite club where you can only enter if you know everything about electronic music.”

In February 2016, the Pudel closed after a fire destroyed the venue completely. Hauff found out while heading back to her hotel after a gig in France: “People were calling and texting me, ‘The Pudel’s burning, the Pudel’s burning,’” she remembers. “It was at a time when we had fought with the owners of the café upstairs from the club, so a lot of conspiracy theories just popped up immediately. It was a really stressful time.” Hamburg’s music community banded together to raise money for the club’s repairs — Hauff herself played a few benefit events, and added her own homemade cut to the selection of “Save the Pudel” videos on YouTube. The club is set to re-open this year, if all goes well.

© Vitali Gelwich
Jacket: MISBHV

“I was going for bleak Hamburg winter vibes actually,” Hauff laughs. She rolls another cigarette. “I wouldn’t call it ‘dark’ necessarily, because this type of music makes me happy. Even when I do feel sad, for example, I want to listen to the saddest most depressing music in the world. Maybe I feel a bit sadder for a while but then it gets me out of it. It’s like celebrating the sadness… And then it’s over.” She takes a long haul and blows the smoke out, thinking. “Some people think dark music makes you feel horrible and depressed. But you don’t have to be happy. You can be sad, it’s okay. You’ll be happy again tomorrow, it’s just one day.” She laughs — a kind of half-shrug, half-laugh — and leans forward to ash her cigarette.

I wonder if Hauff is into the type of melancholy art or dark poetry or noir films that her productions would suggest. In fact, I am banking on it — I’ve based half my interview questions around it. “I’m not into poetry. I’m not even really into album art, I end up throwing out record sleeves and covers because they take up so much space in my bag!” She does the shrug-laugh again. “They’re heavy to carry around as well. A beautiful cover is nice, but in general I’m not an artwork person.” The cover art for Discreet Desires might suggest otherwise; a grainy, tightly cropped photo of Hauff leaning in, mouth-open, towards a mirror version of herself. It’s alien and slightly erotic, the perfect moment to illustrate the album’s title. Hauff took the photo herself a few years ago when she used to study Fine Arts in university, but it’s a world she’s since grown out of.

“I WOULDN’T CALL IT ‘DARK’ NECESSARILY, BECAUSE THIS TYPE OF MUSIC MAKES ME HAPPY.”

“I’m just not interested in Fine Arts anymore.” She moves a hand as if to wave the idea away. “My professor, Nikola Torke, I really admired her. She told us, ‘Art can be a fucking horrible world. You have no money, no work… I don’t know why you would do this if you didn’t have that need for it.’ And that’s when I realised, I don’t have the need for art. But I have the need for music.”

Hauff’s Fine Arts degree was undertaken alongside a major in Systematic Music Science. When she eventually dropped out of school to pursue music full time, that sensibility transferred over. Where music is concerned, Hauff’s method is logic over poetry, realism over romance. Even her music videos, which at first glance appear to be deeply artful and symbolic, come from a left-brain way of thinking. The video for Discreet Desires track Sworn to Secrecy Part II, for example, is a roughly edited piece that features sinister scientific clips in quick succession: chemical containers, a gloved hand, sallow limbs, and a particularly alarming close-up shot of an eye being rinsed out with water. I’m sure that it’s Hauff’s take on a David Lynch-style short film, but Hauff is all logic in her explanation. “It reminds me a bit of a Luis Buñuel film, but I actually just nicked that video from the CIA,” she confesses. “It’s some kind of educational footage from the fifties that the government put together in case of a gas attack. So I just found it on YouTube and I really liked it so I took it for myself.” She pauses. “Don’t put me in jail for this!”

Outside, the rain comes down in sheets and Hauff gets up to close the window. I wonder if there’s a romantic aspect to working with machines rather than software, like writing a letter with pen and paper. But for Hauff the beauty is all in the technical process. She references The Fall’s frontman Mark E. Smith, a deranged genius to his fans, who once described how writing lyrics on a computer completely altered his way of working. “I feel exactly the same,” Hauff says. “It’s not a romantic idea, but I choose not to use them because it interferes with my creative process.” She shakes her head. “I don’t think about music in an emotional way, music is not therapy, you know? I don’t want to romanticise it like that.”

Hauff’s aversion to modern technology extends beyond music production too. She’s not on any social media. She uses few online resources other than email and SoundCloud (when I ask how she promotes things, she answers simply, “I don’t!”) and she still uses a beat-up old mobile phone. She talks affectionately about the archaic methods of gathering music in her youth, by collecting tracks from CDs she’d borrowed from the library and recording them to cassette tapes. “I think that experience probably made me a DJ, I loved how certain tracks would blend together on the recording,” she says.

“It felt like I was the only one interested in music in my school,” she remembers. “I wasn’t even that deep into it but they all just followed MTV. I listened to that too, don’t get me wrong, but I was really looking for something else. I liked Wu-Tang Clan, Radiohead… I loved Joy Division, Nirvana, The Cure… I remember this television channel where they’d stream the Love Parade and stuff like that. [But] when you feel miserable and you’re a teenager, there’s nothing better to listen to than Nirvana.”

It’s easy to imagine her as an outsider during her teenage years, and I ask if young Hauff was anti-mainstream. She laughs: “Maybe I thought I was at some point! I did feel like an alien at my school sometimes, but not because of the music, that was mostly just because I was a very weird person. The worst part about it was that I wasn’t an alien, I just thought I was. People actually liked me, I think, I just thought they didn’t so I turned my back on them. And there was no need for that, really. At the end of the day, it’s not even important. Just do what the fuck you want!”

It seems as if Helena Hauff will always live by that mentality. For her forthcoming EP, she tells me, she’s moving away from Discreet Desires’ melancholy tendencies back to making that rougher, more acidic music. Outside, the rain has finally stopped but it’s nighttime now, and the sky appears to be endlessly black. I wonder if this new release will take a step away from the darkness of her album. In her usual way, Hauff strips her answer back down to reality: “Proper darkness is a bad place,” she explains, rolling one last cigarette. “The rest is just life.”

Photography: Vitali Gelwich
Styling: Fabiana Vardaro
Hair & Makeup: Gabrielle Theurer

Helena Hauff appears at Sunfall Festival, Brockwell Park, London, 12 August / Helena Hauff appears at Dimensions Festival, Croatia, 30 August – 3 September

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Substance Easter Weekend Special

Helena Hauff (3hr set) (Return To Disorder, Hamburg)
Substance djs

Good Friday, 14 April 2017
The Bongo Club, 66 Cowgate, Edinburgh
11pm to 4am* (*late license tbc)

Tickets on sale from RA

substance-audio.com

Recognised by the authoritative Resident Advisor to be “one of Edinburgh’s most important outposts for house, techno and bass”, Substance brings a wide ranging collage of classic and cutting edge underground electronic music to the Bongo.

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Bristol heavyweights Pev & Kowton bring bass and UK techno vibes to the Bongo, Fri 10th Mar

09 March 2017 -

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The set from Bristol’s Pev & Kowton is an eagerly anticipated one this weekend.  The duo is perhaps best known for their Raw Code b/w Junked 12″ on the Hessle Audio label from 2013 – two forward-looking slices of audio, aimed squarely at the dance floor.

However, they are also responsible for a slew of fine releases via their own Livity Sound imprint, their main focus over the last few years, where abstract rhythms coalesce with deep bass frequencies for a sound that’s authentically British and excitingly fresh.

Simply described, in their own words: ‘Record Label. UK Techno. Sound System Frequencies. Body Music.’  Livity Sound is uncompromising but not inaccessible, with real substance to the music – hidden depths for mind, body and soul.

Resident Advisor did a good interview a few years ago, which reveals something of the duo’s working methodology in the studio.  See here.  This twelve minute live jam recorded for RA in late 2013, with third Livity Sound wheel, Asusu is also fun.

But they’re actually playing  a DJ set this Friday.   No doubt the tremendous new Jinx / Scanners 12″ release on the label, from Forest Drive West, will get an outing.  Scanners is no less of a gem on this 12 but isn’t up on YouTube yet.  Check out its subliminal vibes in full on Bandcamp.

Either way, we can’t wait to hear what they’ve got in store for us!

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TICKETS

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Munich’s Zenker Brothers bring their Ten Years of Ilian Tape Tour plus Skee Mask to Substance, Fri 17th Feb

16 February 2017 -

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Against today’s climate of fake hype, meaningless social media ‘likes’ and equally over-rated ‘stars’, Munich’s Zenker Brothers are a massive breath of fresh air and a rare breed. They’ve no truck with the trappings of fame today.  They’re more interested in making and releasing great art, music that will find and resonate with a genuine audience, and it’s an attitude that has seen them thrive through ten years at the helm of their acclaimed Ilian Tape label (and before: older brother Dario was already a seasoned player on the international techno scene when the brothers launched the label, in 2007).

The label often releases without any fanfare.  Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that they prefer it that way after so many years, emphasising quality over quantity and staying true to their roots as fans of the hip hop of Nineties New York (as much as the techno coming out of the US, UK and Europe at that time), due to the rawness and purity of its sound.

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The Zenkers are massive collectors of analogue hardware (images courtesy of Slices / Electronic Beats).

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This 2015 video interview with Electronic Beats / Slices magazine really nails the attitude at the core of the duo’s style (and their enduring success).  ‘(There are) DJs on Facebook that have been at it for thirty years and have much better reputations than some hyped Facebook stars and they don’t even manage to get paid half the money that the stars do,’ rails Dario.  ‘I think the whole Facebook thing is a little over-rated too.  An artist isn’t just good because he has 50,000 likes on Facebook, that’s completely ridiculous.’

‘These days it isn’t even real any more,’ adds Marco, equally unimpressed.  ‘There are numerous DJs that buy their likes and then profit from that,’ clarifies Dario.  ‘Promoters that book acts on the basis of Facebook likes.  Those are not parties that i’m interested in playing.  It’s not about the music in those cases.  It’s about making sure the club is packed and that’s not really very important to me.’  Quite.

Label aficionado Skee Mask lends his support, having been forced to cancel his date here last year, due to illness.  With more abstract leanings, less focused on the dance floor,  his music will act as the perfect counterpoint to the Zenker’s more ‘floor-conscious style. Both acts make this their Edinburgh debut but it’s also Skee Mask’s Scottish debut.

To say they’re a good fit for Substance at the Bongo would be understating things slightly. In short, we can’t wait!

TICKETS

 

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Brazilian drum ‘n’ bass legend DJ Marky brings the sunshine to Loco Kamanchi, Wed 15th Feb

09 February 2017 -

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Award-winning Brazilian drum ‘n’ bass champion DJ Marky returns to the Bongo for the first time in almost ten years (last seen at Xplicit, Moray House, 2008) when he headlines for Loco Kamanchi.  Behind one of the biggest, feel-good d ‘n’ b anthems of the early Noughties, alongside XRS (LK,  sampling Brazilian heroes Jorge Ben and Toquinho’s timeless number, Carolina Carol Bela and injecting it with some proper favela funk – see below), he’s guaranteed to bring all the warmth, sunshine and colour of his trademark South American sound to nice up our midweek dance.

With over 100k fans on Facebook,  almost 50k followers on Twitter and almost as many again on Instagram, tours across Japan, Australia, Singapore, China, Korea, Europe, Russia and both the north and south American continents, these days the man known better to his mum as Marco Antônio Silva is a fully fledged global phenomenon.  Over 100 releases deep, his Innerground label is one of  the foremost d ‘n’ b labels in the world, while the likes of Madonna, Fatboy Slim, Claude von Stroke, Deadmau5 and Everything But The Girl have all lined up to bag some instant south American street-cred and a chunk of Marky’s funk via a remix of one of their own tunes.

Not bad for a guy who started out playing parties and clubs in Sao Paulo in the early Nineties, before a chance meeting with UK junglist legend Bryan Gee (boss of Bristol’s seminal V Recordings label), in ’98, led to him being introduced to the UK scene.  Marky had actually already met DJs Goldie and Hype in London, in ’97, but Gee was so blown away by the young Brazilian’s DJing skills, not least his ability to seamlessly scratch his own funky drum patterns with the records and then mix equally fluidly between them, that he invited him to come back and play in London.  Marky went on to be crowned Best New DJ by the British critics/media, in 1999.

Christ, the man’s even put on his own festival (‘DJ Marky and Friends’), having programmed his own tent at the massive Skol Beats festival in Sao Paulo for a decade.  After over 20 years in the game with an incessant tour schedule, he’s still one of the friendliest international DJs you’re likely to meet.  No wonder he’s also one of the most respected and still very much at the top.

This date happens just a few days after he plays the Supersonic festival in Puna, so there may even be some Indian vibes on the dance floor…!  In any case, he’s guaranteed to get a warm welcome from everybody here.

TICKETS

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UK dance legend Congo Natty brings the jungle ruckus to Loco Kamanchi, Wed 25th Jan ’17

18 January 2017 -

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Loco Kamanchi welcomes veteran UK MC/producer Congo Natty (aka Rebel MC) featuring Congo Dubz & Iron Dread on 25th.

Scoring a slew of crossover hits between 1989 and 1992 (Just Keep Rockin’ and Street Tuff with Double Trouble; plus Better World, The Wickedest Sound and Tribal Base), Natty and co mashed up dub, reggae, soul, hip hop, breakbeat and hardcore styles, ushering in jungle and bringing black and white together under one roof – a true pioneer and a proper legend.

There’s a great interview with him in The Guardian, where he talks about what it was like when jungle first broke and the power of music to bring people together, no matter what their colour, creed or culture, among other things….

“Black and white, they should be taken out of the dictionary, in regards to people… By the time jungle came in 94, you’ve got all nations together in London, as one. There’s no colour ting.. Music, for a moment, it cancels out all the shit, and” – he clicks his fingers – “we are one.”

Sentiments such as these resonate deeply with us at the Bongo, especially at fractious times such as these.  But, quite aside from all that, jungle and drum n bass has had a massive impact on British pop music and culture and this man is a true original.

TICKETS have been selling fast!  Don’t sleep.

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Hogmanay ’16 with Mumbo Jumbo & Four Corners

22 December 2016 -

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After a sell out Hogmanay party at the Bongo last year, Mumbo Jumbo is BACK for Mumbo Jumbo NYE 2016.  Welcome in 2017 with resident DJs Trendy Wendy & Steve Austin for the very best Mumbo Jumbo classics on the main floor: expect disco, house, electro, mashups, remixes and more – the perfect ingredients for the best party soundtrack, all accompanied by Bongo Dave on live congas and percussion.

Mumbo Jumbo is the brainchild of Trendy Wendy, originally behind the much-loved Tackno nights, more recently behind the Playgirl Mansions parties and also the owner of The Street bar at the top of Broughton Street, and Steve Austin, who ran the hugely successful Headspin parties for over a decade at the Bongo.  With some forty years of DJing experience between, you could say they know what they’re doing behind a set of decks.

Meanwhile, upstairs will feature the very best in deep funk, jazzy breaks, afro-latin and dub reggae from Four Corners DJs Simon Hodge and Johnny Cashback, similarly seasoned veterans of the Edinburgh scene.  Simon ran the acclaimed Big Beat nights for a decade, originally at the much-missed Cafe Graffiti and then at Cabaret Voltaire, before launching Four Corners at the Bongo.  Having celebrated its eleventh birthday at the start of the year, Four Corners is still going well and the two DJs are equally well-versed in heating up a dancefloor.

Tickets:  £15 (otd) / £12 (adv)

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Gerald Donald performs Arpanet Scottish live debut at Bongo

24 November 2016 -

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This is the one. Possibly the single most important, living electronic artist in our world – Gerald Donald aka Heinrich Mueller, founding father of Drexciya, Dopplereffekt, Der Zyklus and Elecktroids et al – makes his first ever Edinburgh appearance, with the essential Arpanet concept live show, fusing proto-internet vision and next level futurism. Truly unmissable.

Read RA’s news item here.  And there’s a great Gerald Donald primer on FACT.

Tickets available here and also via Resident Advisor.

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The Substance crew also thought it only right to ask some past guests what their favourite track was. Picks from Ben UFO, Surgeon, Substance aka DJ Pete, DJ Stingray, Rolando, Tessela, Manuel Gonzales, Bleaching Agent, Velocity Funk, Gavin Richardson, Dominic and Adam!  Featuring Arpanet, Drexciya, Japanese Telecom, LAM, Dopplereffekt, Abstract Thought and Der Zyklus:

BEN UFO: Arpanet - Wireless Internet

 SURGEON: Dopplereffekt - Infophysix  TESSELA: Drexciya - Black Sea  DJ STINGRAY: Dopplereffekt - Scientist  JOHN HECKLE: LAM - Balance of Terror EP  DJ ROLANDO: Drexciya - Dr. Blowfin's Experiment (Somewhere in Detroit)  DJ PETE: Arpanet - Illuminated Displays  BLEACHING AGENT: Japanese Telecom - Mounting Yoko  MGUN: Drexciya – Birth of a New Life  VELOCITY FUNK: Arpanet – Infinite Destiny  GAVIN RICHARDSON: Abstract Thought – Hypothetical Situations (Bermuda Triangle & Galactic Rotation!)  DOMMM: Japanese Telecom – Making of Ultraman  ADAM RICHARDSON: Der Zyklus - Formenverwandler 

NB The Soundcloud post below is from 2012.

Donald also released a new album this year under his (collaborative) Der Zyklus alias:

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Grime pioneer P Jam makes his Scottish debut for Big n Bashy, Sat 12th Nov

09 November 2016 -

 

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Big n Bashy welcomes special guest P Jam for his Scottish debut this Saturday.  P Jam is a founding pioneer of grime and was a part of Dice Recordings, working alongside Skepta & Big Narstie. He has also produced tunes for the likes of D Double E, Kano, Frisco, Flirta D & Shystie.  P Jam has been active in the grime scene again recently, releasing music on labels such as Butterz, Night Slugs, Terror Danjah’s Hardrive Recordings and his own Beatcamp label.

Here’s a quick interview with Terror Danjah by Soundplate that accompanied the above podcast, back in February.

Also, here’s an older interview with P Jam, courtesy of Dummy Mag (published 04/04/13):

With an exciting schedule ahead of him, the grime producer talks reaping the benefits of now.

In a scene that’s healthily supported by both longstanding veterans and bright newcomers, P Jam occupies an interesting place somewhere in the middle. A producer since the very start of grime with well known tracks like Spun A Web and Anger Management with D Double E under his name, he disappeared for four years to return with the EP re-release of the Anger Management instrumental on Terror Danjah’s Hardrive Records and Arizona Skyz – a real set-stopper that still sounds as impressive now as it did in 2011. His taste for the tough drum lines and hollow bass of early grime and his open ear for melodies have meant that rather than having to conspicuously revise or rebrand his style, P Jam has simply been able to continue where he left off; benefiting from the genre’s improved infrastructure – he works closely with Hardrive, Butterz and has also set up his own label Beatcamp – and added interest from long-time admirers on its outskirts – his next release is a double A-side vinyl on Night Slugs’ White Label series. Dummy caught up with P Jam quickly over email to talk about beginnings, new beginnings and the near future.

Could you start by simply telling me how you first started in music?

P Jam: I first started by purchasing vinyl from as young as nine years old with my dad. My dad and my godfather were the ones that introduced me to UK dance music. They used to meet up where I lived, usually on a Saturday, and play Jungle records and recorded Kool FM sets along with tapes of soundsystems.

Your tracks sound like they’re made by someone with diverse tastes, how would you personally describe your sound?

P Jam: I really do find it hard to define what my sound is. It’s probably due to the fact I do love a wide range of music and will try and bring them elements into what I produce but at different times. A lot of my work is probably just a reincarnation of what I loved and listened to so much before I could produce music.

What kind of music do you listen to the most?

P Jam: There’s loads of dance music out there today to listen to at the moment but it does vary from either listening to Rinse, browsing Soundcloud or YouTube or just digging through my library of what I think are classics.

Arizona Skyz immediately caught my ear when I first heard it, did you purposefully go out to make something that ambient and, like, spacey?

P Jam: Yes, I always wanted to make a song that took you on a journey because it was so common in Drum & Bass back in the day but it rarely happens in grime. When I finished the V.I.P I didn’t think people would really take to it because it was quite different to what was getting played in the grime scene but soon as I played it Terror Danjah he took to it straight away.

You weren’t producing for good few years before 2011, was it difficult to get back into producing after such a long break?

P Jam: I think it kind of worked in my favour. The actual time I got back into production was at a time where the club scene was on the rise again so people were open to hear new and different sounds allowing me to basically experiment and not follow anything that might have been imprinted.

Are there any specific differences between the grime scene the first time round and the scene now?

P Jam: Yeah the likes of Butterz and Hardrive building platforms for producers to get heard. That wasn’t happening back then, the focus was more on the MCs than anything else.

Could you tell me a little about how the running of your new label Beatcamp has been going?

P Jam: It’s been an educational and enjoyable at the same time. We’re a year in now and was really focusing on how businesses work in the industry along with finding the right people to work with in the scene. We’ve managed to find all the things needed to help run the stable as best as possible so now the focus is on putting music out.

Are there any particular vocalists you’d like to hear on one of your tracks?

P Jam: I really want to work with Ruby Lee Ryder, there’s not many that have a voice like her.

How did the link for the upcoming Night Slugs White Label release come about?

P Jam: Bok Bok got in contact with me after he heard one of my old tracks he’d been after on my ‘History of P Jam Mix’. I sent him a batch of tunes, Night Writerbeing one of them. Bok Bok picked out that track in particular and asked if he could use the track to release on the NSWL series. I didn’t make it originally for a release I was just gonna have it as a tune to play out so was shocked he picked that tune out.

Finally, is there anything else we can expect from you or Beatcamp soon?

P Jam: BCR002, 003 and 004 will be available this year. The first two will be by myself. The third will be a debut single for Chaos and Order (me and R35) who also have a track forthcoming on the ‘Grime 2.0’ compilation on Big Dada. I’ve got a couple releases I’m working on with other labels as we speak also but that’s all I can reveal at the moment.

P Jam’s Arizona Skyz VIP and Insomnia feature on ‘Hardrive Presents Hardwired’, out now. A release date for the Night Slugs White Label is yet to be announced.

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Ben UFO opens the Bongo’s 20th Birthday festivities at Substance this Friday!

27 September 2016 -
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Copyright Anne Kokalj
From The Courier (Dundee):

The legendary Bongo Club in Edinburgh marks its 20th birthday with a month of celebrations. The party starts on Friday night with a set from one of the world’s best DJs, Ben UFO. Gayle Ritchie finds out more…

Twenty years is a huge milestone for any club to reach these days.

So get on your dancing shoes because the Edinburgh institution that is the Bongo Club is alive and kicking and marking two decades of its commitment to diverse, alternative acts, music and DJs with a month of celebrations.

Despite being forced to move location twice, the club is now firmly rooted on the city’s Cowgate and is as popular as ever.

For those into underground techno parties, Substance – billed as one of Edinburgh’s most important outposts for house, techno and bass music – is hosting a night to remember this Friday (September 30), with Ben Thomson, aka Ben UFO, on the decks.

As co-founder of Hessle Audio, Ben confounds expectations with his seamless dancefloor heavy sets that encompass everything from hard techno to Afrobeat, house and electro.

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Substance and Ben UFO -get your dancing shoes on! © The Gentleman Amateur

Over the past five years, Ben has built a reputation as one of contemporary dance music’s most daring and wide-ranging selectors, with his keen ear and razor-sharp abilities enabling him to cut between eras, lineages and mixing styles with dazzling ease and fluidity.

Having cut his teeth in early dubstep and drum and bass, his roots lie in UK rave culture – yet his selections cast the net wider, drawing new mutations of this culture into the orbit of house, techno and other global dancefloor sounds.

In clubs, his sets manage to be simultaneously considered and raucous, sliding from sidewinding broken rhythms into an irresistible four-to-the-floor groove, or broadsiding you with unexpected tangents, old favourites and bizarre secret weapons.

Ben has come far since broadcasting internet radio from two turntables on his mate’s bedroom floor. As well as holding down a residency at London’s club fairyland, Fabric, he stays busy touring Europe’s festival circuit, while continuing his now-eminent radio show with Hessle Audio on Rinse FM.

Substance’s Adam Richardson is more than just a bit excited about the night.

“Ben is obviously much in demand and we’re delighted to have got him on board to play what is a relatively intimate venue,” he said.

“His eclecticism is fitting for the occasion, the Bongo being a broad church both musically and in the diversity of its crowd. Add to that the biggest and highest spec sound system we have ever worked with, brought in especially for the evening, and you have a pretty unmissable party.”

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Ben UFO – a master of contemporary dance music (Photo: Steve Dykes).

With support from residents Gavin Richardson and Velocity Funk, Friday night is the first of a big run of four parties for Substance up to the end of the year, which includes their 10th birthday on October 28.

Substance has been serving up some of the most thunderous innovators to the capital for ten years so you’re guaranteed a good night out.

The rest of the Bongo Club anniversary month sees everything from grime and UK bass, theatre, funk, spoken word, jazz, hip hop, reggae and rock. Check out www.thebongoclub.co.uk

Tickets for Substance: Ben UFO are available here and here.

Article reproduced from The Courier (Dundee).

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Not long to go until we re-open: Sat 3rd Sept!

23 August 2016 -

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The countdown has begun for our Autumn re-opening party!  As usual, Edinburgh’s original Roots and Dub lion, Messenger Sound System (est. ‘87) will be here doing this, in a rub-a-dub style, on Saturday 3rd September.

Messenger is proud to present legendary Roots artist Sister Rasheda, Queen of Dub (from the Jah Shaka, Rockers International & Disciples labels), singing anthems like  Hear My Cry, Hail H.I.M , Shahamane I for a night of Roots and Culture – Lioness Style!!!   All Roots Daughters gather round. Blessings.

 

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