Tag Archives: interview

Drum ‘n’ bass duo Hybrid Minds headline sold out date for Electrikal, Fri 4th Oct

04 October 2019 -

Drum n bass duo Hybrid Minds play a sold out show for Electrikal tonight and have just been confirmed to headline the promoter’s Woodland Festival event in May ’20.  NB Tickets are non transferable and there will be no tickets available on the door.

For a bit of insight, here’s an interview the drum and bass duo did with the native website, “where they talk production, inspo, and nurseries”:

“Two of the most innovative liquid drum and bass producers on the scene – We caught up with the pair to get a look into the inner workings of Hybrid Minds:

So to start off, what have you guys been up to today? What’s a day in the life of Hybrid Minds?

Matt: It’s nothing very producer-like for me, it’s been more of viewing nurseries – maybe let’s leave that one out. It’s been rock’n’roll really, y’know just trashing rooms, just smashin’ it.

Josh: We did a little bit of work on a new track today didn’t we, we’re trying to get some vocals done for a couple tracks.

Who are you turning to for the vocals?
Matt: Well a bunch of different people really, we’re sort of deciding who we’re gonna send things to – we’ve sort of got an idea in mind but nothing concrete yet. We tend to just send tracks around to different people and if we’re feeling it we roll with it and if it’s not quite right we’ll send it to someone else – we’ve just worked like that for a long time.

I read in one of your previous interviews that vocals aren’t really your area, you give it to other people and maybe have a little bit of input.
Josh: We sometimes give people a direction, but we really appreciate what vocalists can bring – that’s what they’re good at, so I don’t feel like we should get in the way of their ideas and, they sometimes bring things that we weren’t expecting that can really give a track a new life.

Do you feel if you give them directions you’re somewhat limiting the potential output?
Matt: Exactly. Yeah, we feel like we wouldn’t want to be restricted. They do what they do and we do what we do, and we wouldn’t wanna restrict anyone’s creative ability – just let them crack on. It usually works best that way, we usually find they’ll do a good job and we’ll just roll with it basically.

So I’m going to start my actual questions now! Can you guys talk me through your musical backgrounds and how you met?
Matt: Right, how did we meet Josh? We both ran record labels, god knows how long ago, it’s a long time ago.

Josh: At least 10 odd years ago.

Matt: We met through that and we used to do a little radio station together, it was like a little community and sort of how we started out and met each other. We were both into running record labels at the time and we sorta spoke and got to know each other through that really.

When did you decide to DJ and produce as a duo? That’s quite a big commitment.
Josh: We’d been quite close for a while, and then we did one collab that went really well and just enjoyed the process of doing it.

Matt: Yeah we were both really feeling the same things at the time, a lot of the liquid stuff. We weren’t really setting out to go anywhere with it, it was just more for fun really. It all sort of fell into place when we had our first tune released – it was actually under Sensa and Haste, not Hybrid Minds, it’s essentially to us the first release we ever did.

A lot of people know about it, it went up on UKF and did well. It was from then on out we kept on going and that’s it.

I’m curious to know about the creative process when there’s two of you – do you both have your specialities in terms of who provides what to each project or do you do a bit of everything?
Matt: It’s a bit of everything really isn’t it? We both do the same processes but we also have different areas where we specialise I suppose. Josh is a big details man, with me I like to bang out an idea, I get bored of it and then I wanna start a new idea.

With Josh he wants to go in on all the details, he thrives on these things – when we make a quick idea together Josh will go in on it and it’ll go from my repetitive loop to this thing that really comes together and doesn’t get boring.

Josh: We work over dropbox and share one folder that we have a bunch of tracks in and we can just individually open and work on them.

Matt: For instance, Josh could start an idea and if we’re both feeling it we put it in the dropbox but we might not get to work on it until, well it could be years later really. Like today, we’re just going through an old track, I sent it over to Josh, I didn’t actually know what it was and that’s sort of how these things come to be.

Old tracks that you forget about and you listen to a year or two later and you’re you like “actually, there’s something about that”. That one I sent him earlier, that’ll be going into the backlog of things to do. I tend to go through all the old ideas because we forget – there’s so many of them we just forget and end up working on new things instead. That’s how we work really, straight out of dropbox.

Sometimes you need some time to be able to breathe new life into a track.

Josh: Yeah you can get fed up listening to something again and again, like 8 bars. It’s similar to what vocalists do when they bring something new to a track. One of us might start something and fall out of love and the other person will find it a while later and give it a new lease of life.

Matt: Sometimes one of us isn’t feeling it as much as the other, I could send an idea to Josh that he doesn’t really like but give it a few months and we’ll both come back to it and think “actually there’s something about this”. You can’t usually make decisions on the spot unless it’s a really obvious straight up hit. Some things aren’t so obvious and need a lot more work but we get there in the end.

So presumably you both listen to a lot of the same music, but do either of you make or listen to anything that the other finds a bit questionable?
Josh: As we’ve been making music together for so long, we’re definitely not precious, and we tend to focus on the negatives rather than the positives and we’re quick to say what we don’t like in a track.

Whose the harshest critic?
Matt: I’d say Josh.

Josh: Yeah probably!

So you guys started your own record label, Hybrid Music, in 2016 and I’ve read in one of your previous interviews and you said the label had been even more work than you’d anticipated. Now you’re almost two years in, is it still hectic or do you have more of a handle on it?
Josh: If anything I’d say there’s even more work, we’re branching into doing a small club night, working on music all the time, dealing with distributors and whatnot – it never ends. But, it gives us such a drive to continue working hard and trying to put in enough hours every week to making music so it is, I think, an essential part of us working.

Matt: It’s a positive thing, you’ve got no restrictions. On other labels you’re gonna be working to their demands, what they want, what they expect from you. We can just put out anything, even if we don’t think it’s going to sell particularly well, we can still do that if we wanted to. We’ve got a good creative output to do whatever we want. It’s definitely more work but a lot better.

A labour of love.
Josh: Yeah.

Matt: Yeah.

Are there any record labels that you draw inspiration from in terms of both the music they put out and the way they operate?
Josh: When it comes to promotional approaches, I suppose we’ll constantly be inspired by what we see. We do keep our eye on what other people are doing and what we think are good ideas.

Matt: I think early on we had a lot of inspiration from labels but since it’s got busier we don’t listen to much music really. Well I know that’s the case for me anyway, if I’m doing a set I’ll go through my emails and pick the best sort of thing and most of the time I don’t know what the label is, sometimes I don’t know what the artist is!

So it’s hard to say where we draw inspiration from creatively as producers, but Josh especially listens to a lot of music outside drum and bass and links that to me, so I think a lot of inspiration really comes from outside.

Josh: Yeah, and just individual artists rather than labels, because we’re the only artists on our label, so we don’t want to be some big factory churning out loads of music, it’s not our aim. So I suppose we look up to individual artists rather than labels.

So you guys are playing at Volks on April 20th. Have you been to Brighton before? What’s been your experience in our great city?
Josh: Yeah, we play Brighton at least a few times a year and it’s always awesome. It’s a really nice place to visit, to go out for dinner before a show, grab a couple beers. We usually tend to get a hotel so we can chill out. Crowd-wise it’s always full of smiles which is good and people know our music down there which is definitely always a bonus.

That’s got to be the most important thing.
Josh: Yeah it is, sometimes you can play club shows and crowds can be enjoying themselves but when they actually sing your songs back to you it’s a whole new level, and that’s the sort of thing we get in Brighton.

Couple more questions for you. What other projects are both you working on right now? Music or otherwise.
Matt: We’ve got a few things in the works at the minute haven’t we? We’ve got a collab project with InsideInfo in the pipes.

We’ve been fans of for a while and, even though he’s in a completely different world to us, he understands our world and he brings that into the tunes. With this project we’ve been working on with him, it’s something different, I can’t put it in any category which is always good. Well, it could be bad I suppose, but I like the fact you can’t pigeonhole it and its not really a particular sort of style, it’s just a new thing.

But aside from that we’re just working on finishing a bunch of singles at the minute. We’re just trying to finish all the backlog of music we’ve got, which there’s quite a lot of, get that out to vocalists and hopefully be able to deliver some new music very soon. So the next single is actually going to be with Charlotte Haining, called ‘Paint By Numbers’, so that’s going to be the next thing out that people can expect from us. Then following from that we’re not sure ourselves, we’re just gonna finish the music and schedule it accordingly I suppose.

Josh: And we’ve also got our club night in London. The last one sold out way in advance so we’re quite excited to see where that goes and branching out to different cities and bigger venues hopefully next year, so that’s quite exciting.

So last question, what are you guys listening to right now?
Matt: You’ll be better for this Josh, I’ve been listening to nothing.

Josh: When I’m travelling or sat at my laptop working not on music, I’ve been listening to the album Dawn by RYX because it keeps me calm and not want to shout at people which is good!

Tracklist:
Hybrid Minds – Solitude feat. Alexa Harley
AI – True Colours
Hybrid Minds – Never Change feat. Grimm (GLXY Remix)
Dualistic – Station Six
Hybrid Minds – Skin & Bones feat. Grimm & Laurence Baker (Mitekiss Remix)
LSB – Rolling Sideways (Spectrasoul Remix)
Jome – Cinnamon (Hybrid Minds Remix)
BCee – Little Bird
Dawn Wall – Shy
Monrroe – Dawning feat. Emily Jones (Technimatic Remix)
Camo & Krooked – Ember (Hybrid Minds Remix)
Halogenix – Blej Alix
Perez – Forsaken
Dawn Wall – Never Say
Eastcolours – Keys
DRS – I Will feat. Patife & Vangeliez
Hybrid Minds – Skeletons feat. Grimm
BCee – Lost & Found feat. Rocky Nti (Hybrid Minds Remix)
D Kay – Thinner Edge
Indiana – Mess Around (Etherwood Remix)
Jakwob – Blinding feat. Rocky Nti (Hybrid Minds Remix)
Mitekiss – Some People
Artic Lake – Heal Me (Spectrasoul Remix)
Tokyo Prose – Dawn Chorus
Spectrasoul – Remember Me
Hybrid Minds – Pretend feat. Rocky Nti
Mohican Sun – Fixation
Alix Perez – Number feat. Benabu
Tokyo Prose – Saving Grace VIP
Feint – Take It In feat. Koven (Hybrid Minds Remix)

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Enigmatic techno player Gesloten Cirkel makes his Edinburgh live debut for Overground x Substance this Friday 29th March

25 March 2019 -

Substance are more than just a wee bit excited to have bagged this week’s guest, finally.  In their own words:

‘After literally years of independently tracking one the most elusive and sought after artists of our world, with apparent dead ends aplenty, we’ve finally got our man and bring Gesloten Cirkel to The Bongo for a debut appearance in the Capital.

The full live show has only graced select dance floors and is the sonic attack we’d always hoped for, fusing those untouchable underground anthems with live hardware experimentation, twisting acid, techno and electro into brave new forms.

Strap yourself in, this is going to be wild.’

MORE INFO / TICKETS

Richard Brophy did a good interview with the elusive producer for Juno on the release of his debut album, Submit X, back in 2014.  It’s well worth a read (see below)…

Richard Brophy interviews Gesloten Cirkel, the mysterious producer behind one of this year’s best albums.

Gesloten Cirkel is an enigma wrapped up in a mystery. Named after a quote from I-F during an interview in the documentary, When I Sold My Soul To The Machine, this artist has only put out a handful of records in the past five years. Despite this, his recently released debut album Submit X was one of the most anticipated – and is also one of the most acclaimed – works of 2014. The reason he is held in such high regard is because while there are references to other styles, artists and communities in his music, what he makes is highly distinctive, with that rare ability to make people sit up and listen.

Gesloten Cirkel’s self-titled debut record appeared on I-F’s Murder Capital in 2009, the first release on that label in seven years. The screeching strings and shriek of a rooster on the driving techno of the title track sounded like a rude wake-up in an age of digital sterility, while “Twisted Balloon” was just as head-turning, consisting of grainy beats, grimy acid and slow-motion sirens. Following this debut, there was a two-year wait until the next Gesloten Cirkel release, Moustache Techno Series 001. That release kick-started David Vunk’s Moustache Techno sub-label and featured the eerie, bassy electro of “Yamagic” and the wonky, offbeat house of “Insummer”.

Like its predecessor, Series 001 became a sought-after release, with copies now on offer for nearly €80 (£65) online. Following the release of Series 001, there was another period of radio silence – with the exception of a short, high-tempo ghetto mix for Juno Plus – until 2013, when Gesloten put out the reduced electro drums and menacing bass of Hole on Berceuse Heroique. Earlier this year, he announced that he was putting out an album, Submit X, also on Murder Capital.

Was he surprised by the reaction to his first few records and why has he only put out such a small amount of music in the past five years? “Yeah, I was surprised, but also I am not sure a lot of copies were pressed,” he says about these records. “Music is mostly a hobby for me and I don’t want to make worthless releases. I do it to enjoy it, but I have to be confident in the package to release it with a price tag. That being said, I pump out recordings pretty often and post them online on Intergalactic FM.”

Although we have not yet reached the halfway mark of this year, Submit X is easily a contender for album of 2014. Like previous releases by this artist, it is rooted in grimy acid, techno and electro. Grainy drums are pushed to the point of distortion, acid spews out like bile and there are even some vocals on “Stakan”, “Feat Liette” and the over the top robo-electro of “Zombiemachine”.

However, Submit X is just as varied as his singles. It rages from the dirgeful Goth intro of “Stakapella” and its follow-up, the long-slung electro bass and wavy vocals of “Stakan”, to “Vader”, a nasty, distorted sewer techno banger. “Stakans” is almost catchy and sounds like it could be a big track – would Gesloten Cirkel be happy if his music became known by a wider audience? “I don’t care! I am happy if one person almost enjoyed it. “Stakan” was a stab at Emo wave,” he explains. “It used to have a few more lines of vocals that were really silly, but I didn’t record them so the track stayed pretty dark.”

He explains that “Stakan” was also the track that provided the idea for Gesloten Cirkel to record an album in the first place. “I played it live in 2010 in The Hague after the first EP was released and got nice feedback at the show. I actually made it in the same week as “Twisted Balloon”, so I think I mixed the two together at the live show. I accidentally deleted those files during some MPC maintenance,” he adds.

“Later, I put that track in a mega mix that was for a contest on IFM. The Murder Capital boss (I-F) liked it and I sent him some versions. I didn’t like them too much so it didn’t drive me to finish a release. Then work took all my time. I sent a demo version of “Feat. Liette” after I returned to working on a release for Murder Capital and that got some airplay. It was pretty rough and the vocals were clashing in some parts, but I think I-F still plays that version. So with two tracks kind of done, I said I am going to do an album. Most of the compilation and polishing was done in December 2013 when I had time and then I procrastinated with artwork for a bit.”

Now available in its final version, “Feat Liette” is an insistent, pulsing affair. Like a dark, slowed down EBM riposte to Alden Tyrell’s “La Voix”, it features an unnamed vocalist wittering away in an unidentifiable tongue. On “Zombiemachine Acid” and “Zombiemachine” the artist delivers more vocals. This time, they are accompanied by murderous basslines, grainy kicks and epic, soaring synth lines. The vocal element comprises a pitched down robotic tones ordering listeners to “follow the leader”. It sounds like Gesloten Cirkel is having a laugh. Does he not take things too seriously and like to inject some humour into his music?

“Funny? You think I’m funny”, comes the all-caps response by email. “I guess it is sort of a formula. I like tracks to have character – be it a sound or melody or solo but yes, life is one big joke.”

But there are things that this producer won’t discuss. “Zombiemachine” sounds similar to the grainy, acid-fuelled electro-techno that Hague labels like Panzerkreuz and Bunker release. Is he inspired by them?

“No comment.”

What about the vocals on the album; who is the vocalist on “Stakan” and what language is the unidentified woman signing in on “Feat Liette”?

“No comment.”

Fair enough, let’s steer it back towards the music. There are exceptions to Gesloten Cirkel’s bombastic electro-techno sound, and the most notable one here is the upbeat, warbling, lo-fi synths on “Chatters”. It sounds more melodic than the rest of Submit X – is this an area Gesloten Cirkel is keen to explore? “That track was a keyboard jam that I’ve set up to sound like some chiptunes – I don’t think it is that deep. I am more psyched that it was all in one take,” he says. “I definitely want to play live melodies more, but it takes a lot of practice.”

Would he ever consider making a soundtrack/home listening album à la DJ Overdose or like one of Danny Wolfers’ side projects? “I do make a bunch of ambient and sometimes a chill track, but I don’t plan on putting those out. I would rather score a film or do some sound design than make a home listening release,” he replies.

There is an argument that he should stick to what he knows best, and the title track sees Gesloten Cirkel channel a similar type of electro funk as “Yamagic” but with looped vocal stutters replacing the ethereal, dreamy textures. “Vader” is a banging, straight down the line techno track, while “Arrested Development” is inspired by Hague electro. However, it veers unexpectedly into a spiralling guitar solo before ending with Gesloten Cirkel spitting acid-soaked nails all over the arrangement. Did he sample a hard rock guitar for “Arrested Development”?

“No comment”.

Thankfully, he is slightly more forthcoming when asked about the influence of industrial music on Submit X. “Yes, I am sure it was inspired by it. I don’t listen to IFM radio often, but I know it influences my taste in sound. Mostly I tune into Murder Capital radio and it plays all sorts of dark and industrial and minimal sounds – especially on Black Mondays.”

So while Gesloten Cirkel’s music operates in its own world, The Hague’s electro and techno sound and the community that centres around I-F’s Intergalactic FM radio station seem like his spiritual home. A sign of how close Gesloten Cirkel is to this community is evidenced by the fact that his debut release relaunched I-F’s Murder Capital label and the follow-up provided the kick-start for David Vunk’s Moustache Techno sub-label. Speaking to this writer, Gesloten Cirkel says that he feels most affinity with artists from this milieu.

“Most of my contact with artists is through online chat on IFM,” he says. “There is an obvious connection since we discuss all sorts of things, including music production and the IFM radio site. I haven’t been participating in production of various media involved with the radio, TV or website code all that much in the past years due to my day job, but still – that is my main contact and reason for contact,” he adds.

The scant amount of information that is available about this producer suggest that he is Russian or based in Russia, which would explain his interest in developing relationships with like-minded artists online. As he is based away from the Dutch west coast nerve centre, he also places importance on face-to-face contact with his peers.

“When it is possible, I try to meet artists I’ve met in chat or forums before their gigs and just shoot the shit. On the rare occasion that I do play, I am with like-minded people who are on the bill or are putting on the show. It is really good to just talk with people who are moving through time alongside you, instead of getting too carried away or attached to things you can’t influence or be influenced by directly,” he believes.

In spite of this back story, not everything adds up. All of the topical questions that this writer sent to Gesloten Cirkel about Russia via email – his views on its incursion into Ukraine; its treatment of homosexuals and even questions about the development of electronic music in his home country – are unanswered. Of course it’s not unusual for some artists to dodge unrelated topics and to instead focus on talking about their new release or recent records. But then there is another strange twist – in the midst of preparing a new set of questions to send him by email, Gesloten Cirkel puts out a tweet stating that all of the proceeds from sales of Submit X will go directly to IFM, which recently announced it had been hit with a large fine for filing its tax reports late in 2010 and 2011.

It seems like such a selfless act for a producer who does not own the station that it immediately raises suspicions that Gesloten Cirkel may not be who he seems. Why has he decided to do this?

“Because IFM is the place – doesn’t everyone support what they like? Nothing is for granted. Everything is taxed and everyone needs a break sometime. The amount of work that goes into IFM, I know first hand – so I know where my earnings end up,” he answers obtusely.

It sounds like a very altruistic move, but Gesloten Cirkel would probably argue that it is money well spent and arguably, the producer’s debut album is shaped and influenced by I-F’s multi-channel digital broadcasting empire. “They are all very talented, self-driven, creative and reachable,” he says of the IFM community, justifying his donation.

“There is such a huge amount of material that I hear from these people and the IFM radio that I can hardly keep up with my influences anymore. Obviously there are tracks I don’t even remember that influence my melody or synth patches. That’s another thing, if I hear some old Paul Johnson or Armani record, these artists feel really far away and from another planet, so I can’t just go, ‘hey do you have more tracks like that or, hey how is that bass even made?’ So I kind of get inspired by them to make my own versions. But if I hear some Legowelt or Mark Du Mosch or I-F, I almost don’t want to know how they made that because I can just ask. And also, what’s the point of me jacking their production values or patterns? I guess it happens anyway whether I want to or not.”

This kind of interaction was impossible before the internet and it is one of the main reasons why an artist like Gesloten Cirkel is able to source and soak up all of these sounds on IFM, communicate with some of the artists who made the music and then deliver a unique interpretation of what he has absorbed.

It’s a different situation to the ’90s, as he recalls. “I was really blown away by Live at the Liquid Rooms by Jeff Mills in the late ’90s. He was already a superstar by then and obviously I couldn’t just talk to him or other acts like Ciccone Youth or Nirvana about what was on my mind. I probably liked it (Live at the Liquid Rooms) because it was marketed to me and my friends also liked it.”

“Richard D James’ album also blew me away and lots of Future Sound Of London stuff. I couldn’t talk to them or people that were involved with them. I could talk to other fans and hope that some synth magazine somewhere would reveal just a few bits or techniques that they used. So, after a while I really got tired of that and just did my thing and talked to other like-minded people. So now I am happy to be around the exact people you see me on the bill with,” he adds.

Possibly the other reason why the artist is comfortable giving the money to IFM is because he works full-time and has the financial wherewithal not to be reliant on touring or releasing records. On the subject of whether he will play live to promote Submit X, he says that he has “no tour and no gigs planned due to work”.

At the same time, he believes it is “very hard” to mix full-time work with music-making. “You have to be very mindful of funds, promotions, investments of time. It is basically running your own business that is powered by your creativity. You can sit at a desk and use 1/10th of that creativity per month. That is, until you get promoted. Then you are fucked,” he believes. Nonetheless, he can always slip back into his Gesloten Cirkel alter ego. Apart from his own releases, he has also remixed Mark Du Mosch and Conforce. Is it something he enjoys and does he approach it differently to making his own music?

“Not really. I just make my own track and put their name on it usually. Sometimes it turns out really bad because I can’t make it my own enough. I should probably approach it differently, and then I would enjoy it more,” he explains.

As a parting shot, I ask him if he has any other releases planned apart from his debut album.
“I don’t know. I don’t want to think about it,” he replies curtly, before signing off for good. With a debut album like Submit Xto his credit, it’s no wonder that he’s reluctant to set the studio wheels in motion for some time.

Interview by Richard Brophy

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Nightwave’s recent Resident Advisor mix isn’t taking any prisoners!

19 October 2018 -

Nightwave headlines the Hobbes Music 5th Birthday Party on Friday 9th November.  This feature/interview is republished courtesy of Resident Advisor.

Maya Medvešek has spent a lot of her life in Glasgow, which you might guess from hearing her DJ. Something about the city seems to breed DJs who know how to rock a party by spanning genres and eras, unafraid to drop anthems while they do it. Medvešek is no different. Her sets encompass everything from classic acid house and electro to new-school grime and footwork. She has an enterprising spirit that keeps her selections adventurous and forward-looking, with a mixing style that hearkens back to the rough-and-ready days of classic Chicago house. This might be explained by her formative years spent in Ljubljana, a city she says took great influence from Chicago and Detroit.

It’s that push and pull between retro and futuristic that defines most of Medvešek’s work. Take her two recent EPs for Fool’s Gold. Wavejumper is a thrilling EP that combines Drexciyan electro with ghettotech and rap, while Sanctuary takes old rave music and polishes it. Her RA podcast is full of new and unreleased tracks that fold in techno, breakbeat, electro, footwork and acid. There are classic flavours from newer producers like Arttu and Bodyjack, early ’90s hardcore from Public Energy and an appearance from the king of rave throwbacks, Special Request. It’s mixed live from the decks at one of her favourite nightclubs, K4 in Ljubljana.

What have you been up to recently?

A great year so far. I released the Sanctuary EP on Fool’s Gold, Acid Mouse on Metro Jaxx, worked on remixes and music for a feature film, had the amazing opportunity to travel to India and teach production for women thanks to the British Council and Wild City, held Producergirls workshops, played some great gigs, celebrated five years of my club night, Nightrave, and my label, Heka Trax. It’s been a very personally transformative year as well as I’ve done a lot of inner work, shamanic retreats and practice, and feel I’m starting a new exciting chapter in my life and my music.

How and where was the mix recorded?

The mix was recorded at club K4 back home in Ljubljana, Slovenia while visiting. K4 is one of the oldest leading electronic music institutions in Slovenia (it’s been going since the late ’80s) and the first club I ever went to, so it has a special place in my heart. Recorded in one take on CDJs and a Pioneer mixer.

Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?

Nice jackin’ house and techno party time, some classics, quite a lot of recent and unreleased stuff in there and a couple of my new tunes as well.

A lot of your productions and DJ sets incorporate old-school dance music sounds. What draws to you those classic styles?

I guess I’m partial to some rave nostalgia from when I started out, as it got me into DJing and producing, but mainly because it still holds so much energy and life. It’s no-nonsense music made for people to have a good time. I also love how club music has evolved into so many new forms and hybrids now, I often play quite a variety in my sets.

Is there a healthy scene in Ljubljana, and any producers or DJs to watch out for?

Ljubljana has always been a bit of a techno haven, I’m very grateful to have had such a good scene to look up to when I was a teenager—a fantastic Detroit and Chicago influence, loads of great electro, local producers like Umek and Random Logic. I moved to the UK in 2002, so I’m a bit out of touch but the scene is very vibrant. Try K4, Metelkova, Bozidar for clubs and look out for nights by Bojler, Stiropor, Rx:tx. If you like beautiful, shimmery jazzy vibes I recommend Your Gay Thoughts, they have a new album out soon.

What are you up to next?

Should have a couple more releases out this year and I’m starting a new label with a more focused direction. Apart from that, doing what I love most: DJing and travelling about. I also want to build on my therapist qualifications to hopefully help musicians with their mental health and wellbeing in the future. It’s all about creating a balance.

Tracklist /
Nightwave – Rainbow Body (unreleased)
Lauren Flax – It’s Ours (unreleased)
Arttu – WD40 (Jack For Daze)
Arma – Girl (unreleased)
Bodyjack – Nataraja (unreleased)
Mak & Pasteman – Reakt (Boom Ting)
Oli Furness – Trigger (Jack For Daze)
Benny Rodrigues – Cocaine Speaking (UTTU)
Special Request – Make It Real (Gerd Janson & Shan Prance Mania Mix) (Houndstooth)
Raito – Gunman (BNR)
Lone – Oedo 808 (unreleased)
Defekt – Acid Bounce (Tripalium)
Solid Blake – Masha (Modeselektion)
Martyn Bootyspoon – Spread That Kat (Steve Poindexer Remix) (Fractal Fantasy)
Public Energy – Three O’Three (Stealth)
Mella Dee – Expansion (Warehouse Music)
Nightwave – Bang The Rocks (unreleased)
Bleaker – Hype (Funk) (UTTU)
Ritzi Lee – Reverse Processed (Theory)
Panteros666 – Euronature (Meteociel)
Clark – Honey Badger (Warp)
Kenny Larkin – Without Sound (Rush Hour)
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Grime pioneer P Jam makes his Scottish debut for Big n Bashy, Sat 12th Nov

09 November 2016 -

 

p-jam-free-jams

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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Ten Questions for The Correspondents

22 April 2015 -

Infectiously entertaining and energetic London duo The Correspondents return to The Bongo Club, opening our Bongo Lives x Hidden Door Festival on Friday 22nd May.
We get the low-down from front-man Mr Bruce, who first made a name for himself in Edinburgh/Scotland as part of the Trouble crew many moons ago…

1) Who are you, who is in the band, who does what in the studio and on stage?

We are The Correspondents and we make alternative dance music (for want of a better expression!). The band consists of myself, Mr Bruce, and Chucks. In the studio Chucks is the producer working with music production software and a load of keyboards (a soprano sax has crept into one song). On stage he’s the DJ. I write the lyrics and sing them in both instances, although I do a hell of a lot more dancing on stage.

2) How would you describe what you do to someone who’s never seen you before?

After seven years we still don’t have a definitive sound bite! We usually say alternative dance music from electro to drum’n’bass with its roots in blues and jazz. Live we are a DJ/MC duo, loads of dancing and heart-attack-inducing high energy.

The Correspondents (700 px)

3) How long have you been writing and performing in this way?

We’ve been going for seven and a bit years.

4) How exactly do you work / write / record?

Usually Chucks makes a rough beat, a kind of musical doodle, and sends it over to me where I listen to it until I’m humming it in my sleep and try and write some lyrics. We then record them in the studio and Chucks knocks up a rough song structure then it’s a case of him refining each part until it’s sound full and fat. We might then re-record the lyrics. At this point we might well try it out on a crowd and, if it’s not a total disaster, Chucks will mix it down, send it off for mastering and we’ll try and put it out.

5) How do you feel your studio/recording style informs the way you perform your music live (or vice versa)? Does it make it easier or harder, better etc…?

As I mentioned above it’s often the performance that informs the recording process once we’ve given a track a test flight!

6) What’s been happening lately and what’s new with you?

Well, we’ve recently returned from a two month stint in Australia at The Adelaide Fringe, where we were creating a big show involving a cast of circus performers, acrobats and contemporary dancers. It was a load of fun and took us far out of comfort zones. Working with acrobats is pretty hilarious, if you or I have a moment spare we may check Facebook on our phones – they just start throwing each other around or stack themselves into a three-high.

7) The last time you played at The Bongo Club was quite a few years ago and before we moved to our current location on the Cowgate (Feb ’13). Do you remember anything/much about playing the old Bongo, the crowd etc back in 2011?

I remember the Bongo in its original manifestation on New Street! I hadn’t realised that it had moved again, looking forward to seeing the new place. Our last gig at Bongo was a load of fun. I seem to remember a stage dive that was close to a floor flop after take off but ended up being a nice little cruise!

Mr Bruce (The Correspondents)
Mr Bruce (The Correspondents) by Kamil Kustosz © Copyright, info@kamilkustosz.com

 

8) But, in some respects, this is also a bit of a homecoming gig for you (Mr Bruce), isn’t it, as you studied Fine Art at ECA/Edinburgh Uni and did scores of gigs here as part of the Trouble crew and otherwise (at venues such as Cabaret Voltaire, the Jazz Bar, the Liquid Room, the Bongo, the old Venue on Calton Rd etc) back in the mid-Noughties? How does it feel to be coming back to play Edinburgh again now, as the front-man of an act which has toured extensively worldwide, having started out when you were a student here, as Trouble’s resident MC…?

Well, if you’d told me all those years ago that I’d still be cavorting on stages, mic in hand at the ripe old age of 30 I would have thought you were mad. Being Trouble’s resident MC certainly provided me with the perfect education with a stream of highly eclectic DJs passing through.

9) What’s next, coming up after this gig, for you and what are you generally looking forward to right now…?

Festival season is always a busy time for us with gigs in the UK and Europe and in amongst them we are trying to put together a live band for the first time, make a couple of music videos, release an EP and rehearse for the second run of the big circus show in Brisbane.

10) If you have any other passions/opinions you’d like to share, if there’s anything else you feel strongly about, pls feel free to tell us about it here…?

We’re just excited about coming up to Edinburgh again and looking forward to the show.


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