Friday, December 6, 2013

Q&A :: Heath Looney [Warm Communications]

With the release this week of a new single from forward thinking American label, Warm Communications, we thought we'd get hold of owner, Heath Looney (also known as EHL), to find out how his year has been and what's up next for the label.

Hi Heath, thanks for talking to us. Warm Communications has been running for thirteen years now. What made you start the label back then? Are you happy with the label's progress over that time? 
Back when it started there weren’t that many independents pushing what I was into other than Good Looking, Moving Shadow and those kind of musical, atmospheric styles. So I figured I would take a shot at putting out my own stamp on things. Over the years it’s progressed into just a more wide array of styles representing what I’m into .

Do you feel like you've kept in touch with the values you set the label up on? How much has changed with regard to the way you run it? 
I still feel I’ve kept a really good grip on what I initially set out to do with the label. Provide music that is different with each release. I’ve never wanted each release from one to the next to sound the same. I want each release to sound different from the last and keep people on their toes. Regarding how I run it, I’ve just always tried to be as professional as possible and treat people fairly. There have been some bumps in the road occassionally, but that just comes with dealing with so many people. It happens and hopefully we all understand and come to a happy agreement. I love the relationships built within running the label. 

2013 has been a fairly prolific year in comparison to the past few. Was this planned or did it just happen organically? Can you see it carrying on into 2014? 
Yeah in terms of releases and the quality of those it has been one of our best. 2014 is set to be another great year. We have even more great releases coming by some of what we feel are amazing artists…very exciting to see what’s coming. Extremely humbled by everything that is happening. 

You've released a pretty diverse array of music this year, with the likes of Mako, Villem and Fields' Jungley banger 'Whatever Whatever' contrasting with Seba's smooth roller, 'Shades Of Me & You'. Do you have a favourite Warm Comms release from 2013? 
Yeah as I stated earlier, I never like the releases from one to the next to sound the same, so always doing a different 12" from the last is something I always strive to do. Regarding a favorite release this year….that’s a tough one and I’m going to give a horrible answer. I honestly have loved each one we’ve put out this year. They’ve each been so different in each other. Newly working with Mako, Villem & Fields was fantastic and we’ve become great friends. It’s always a humbling and great experience to work with Lynx (I just love his style and production). Seba is of course amazing and it was a complete honour to finally do something with Blu Mar Ten. Chris is a fantastic gentleman and very professional. 

We also saw the birth of the Umbra series this year which came with an interesting concept. Can you tell us a bit about that? Can we expect to hear more Umbra releases in the near future? 
The Umbra Series was just brought on by an idea of an anonymous series showcasing the music rather than “figures” as such. There is definitely more coming from that series, but in terms of the anonymity of it, it's hard to say. It’s really hard to sell records in this current market with unknown artists and digitally as well. 002 is coming and will still be vinyl & digital…so you’ll just all have to wait! 

You have another single on its way from Mako, who seems to be going from strength-to-strength at the moment. What can we expect to hear this time round? 
Correct and it’s out now on 12” & digital formats. This release is a stomper. A-side is a pure breaks fest being cut up, chopped and mangled into a growling dancefloor smasher. B-side is a sub bass half time number with rising pads and a very unique spoken word breakdown. Mako is always doing interesting things. You’ll see more from him on Warm. The guy is going to have an amazing 2014. Very happy to have him on. 

You've released music from some artists early in their career who go on to make big names of themselves; Mako, Resound and FD for example. Do you enjoy nurturing lesser known artists or would you say this is just a coincidence?
It’s probably more of a coincidence than anything. I just love a lot of different producers and what they are all doing. It’s always amazing to see them go onto do bigger things and hopefully one day warm communications will be the platform they are able to do that on. We gotta just keep on building, nurturing and putting out music we feel is great…[duh, isn’t that the whole point of a label]….you all know what I mean! 

What's next for Warm Communications? 
Don’t want to give to much away. Up again is the Mako release out now. After that sees a collaborative 12 by Need For Mirrors, HLZ & Mikal. Has a real tech step, late 90’s vibe to it. That’s about all I’ll give away for now, but trust me, we have some great music coming out in 2014 

Any final thoughts or shouts you'd like to add? 
Huge shouts to all the artists I’ve worked with and continue to work with. Always humbled by that. Massive shout to everyone at ST Holdings. Those guys are some of the most professional people I’ve ever worked with and continue to work with. They have true passion for this music and it’s amazing to be involved in that. Beau @ Masterpiece & Shane @ Finyl Tweek for always doing amazing mastering for our records. And big up to James @ Example, Jason Cook….you guys are a huge help to Warm! Lastly all the fans and buyers…you keep it all worth it and alive! 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Q&A :: Deficit [AutomAte D&B]

We've been supporting the AutomAte labels since their inception last year and if you've been listening to our podcasts, chances are you've heard some AutomAte beats in there. With that in mind, we felt it was high-time we got co-founder, Deficit to put a guest mix together for our latest podcast and we recently got hold of him to find out how the last year has been for the him and the labels. Read on for the lowdown!

It's been around a year since we spoke to you last. How have things been progressing with AutomAte? Are you happy with where the labels are at this point? 
Very. It’s easy to forget that AutomAte as a label is only 12 months old. In our first year, we’ve put out 9 releases totaling 20 tunes, every one of which has been well received. We’ve had Radio 1 airplay from Friction, Bailey and Nihal, as well as exposure on well-loved dnb-specific stations such as Origin FM, Kane FM, Rude FM & Kool FM. I think the Drum & Bass Arena podcast deserves a mention and we’ve even been approached by Hardcore Underground to have an AutomAte track featured on one of their DJ-mixed CDs, which will ship over 10,000 units. 
We’ve been overwhelmed with support. Some really positive feedback has landed in our inbox from a variety of people, from DJ Hype, Kenny Ken and Nu:Tone to bedroom DJs from the other side of the planet. I value it all equally, it’s what makes this worthwhile. I pride myself on doing things properly and professionally and this seems to have made a big impression on the people we’ve worked with so far. This works both ways, all we ask from our artists is dedication to the cause and to push themselves, which has resulted in the most important thing of all - wicked music! 
Nuff said I think man! We’ve laid a sturdy foundation which we can build on. Priority numero uno for us in year one was to show that we’re serious, we have what it takes and we’re here to stay. We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved so far. 

You have three labels running under the AutomAte umbrella. Do you have a favourite so far or is that like asking a parent to pick a favourite child? 

That’s a hard one to answer. I probably shouldn’t in case I hurt the feelings of the other labels, haha. AutomAte Deep will always have a special place in my heart because it’s my own experimental playground, it’s very personal to me. I try not to play too heavily on the segregation between the three labels though, it’s not meant to be pigeon-holey. Some people will just think of all the labels as AutomAte and that’s cool. Other people will have a favourite sub-label, or realise over time that they like the blue ones best, or whatever. 
I think of AutomAte as neopolitan ice-cream. Sure, the chocolate is the best bit, but I’ll sit and eat the whole damn tub. Probably in one go. And if I’m feeling picky, well I can just buy a tub of chocolate ice-cream and to hell with the other flavours. You still following me? I’m not… 

We've been seeing a heavy focus on the Drum & Bass long-player in the last year or so. Any plans to break into this market? 

The short answer is not at the moment. 
There’s two main types of LP. One is the artist album, which I feel would be a bit premature for us. We do have several artists on the roster from whom I think an album, when the time comes, would fit nicely into our catalogue. Releasing a full-length artist album is a big responsibility. The amount of blood, sweat, tears and soul that is poured into one of those means that we would need to be in a more powerful position than we are right now, in terms of fan-base and promotional clout, to do it justice. When the time is right though, we will rise to the challenge and make sure the artist gets what he or she deserves. 
If you’re talking about various artist, compilation type LPs, I’m not a big fan of those. There doesn’t tend to be much vibe or common thread about them. When a label’s been around for a while, it makes sense to put the classics, or best-sellers, or just a selection of relevant tunes on a compilation and give them a second wind. But I don’t believe it’s the best way to release new music. I’d rather put out an EP series, I remember how excited I got in the vinyl days when the next Ram Raiders or Hardware Chronicles was out (though in both of those cases, the best tune was on the first volume!). Hence the Depth of Vision EP series on AutomAte! 

What else can we expect to hear from the AutomAte camp in the near future? Are there any artists you're particularly excited about? 

We have a little trick up our sleeve, release-wise, for Halloween, followed by another big remix on AutomAte Tech. AutomAte Deep has a new recruit (from the other side of the planet, not deliberate but I do love how Deep seems to attract people from all corners of the globe). Actually, come to think of it, Deep has 2 or 3 new recruits! 
We also have an EP in the pipeline for Deep from a duo that I’ve been supporting for several years now and who have also recently caught the ears of Ink/Architecture and Loxy/Cylon. I was hoping to have a release date set for that EP but unfortunately they blew up their sub while making it, haha, so that’s delayed it a bit but at least we know there’ll be plenty of bass! 
We’ve also started work on Volume 2 of the Depth of Vision EP. The first one was very well received so I’m really looking forward to the challenge of following it up and officially making it a series.
Artist-wise, I’m immensely proud of everyone we’ve represented so far. But if I must single some out, Philth & Wreckless are killing it, Fearful clearly have a bright future and I love Ortokore’s distinctive style. D.R.O.P.S are very promising too and PRTCL has had a great Summer. 
Vince Grain came out of nowhere with Roswell Eyewitness, and what you hear is exactly the demo he sent me (apart from the mastering of course). There was no discussion or tweaking, one take, job done. Now THAT’s German efficiency for you! 

Current top five tunes? 
Current top 5 tunes or top 5 current tunes? Haha. 

Philth – Overload [AutomAte Tech] 
Fearful & Keosz ft. Black Louis - Scars [Citrus] 
Ruffhouse & Clarity – Persecute [Critical] 
Vince Grain - Roswell Eyewitness [AutomAte] 
Raiden – Roentgen [Architecture] 

You put a guest mix together for our latest podcast. Can you give us a little insight into that? 
To be honest, I really went to town on this one. Blackdub have been very supportive of us from day one so I wanted to pull out all the stops. 
I thought about the words ‘black’ and ‘dub’ and the original idea was to go in really deep and dark but, as with all my mixes, I wanted to show off a range of styles and eras – it ended up spanning 20 years, from 1993 – 2013! Then I heard Wreckless’ Face of the Deep EP on Peer Pressure and just had to use the title track as an intro, I love that monologue. I wanted to represent a little bit of all 3 of my labels without being a stereotypical label man and turning it into an AutomAte dubcast. A bit of Raiden always finds its way into my sets. You’ll notice a slightly disproportionate quantity of Ram classics in there… they recently put their back catalogue up for sale digitally and I couldn’t help myself, even though I already own every Ram tune in this mix on vinyl. 
This is the first mix I’ve ever made in Ableton Live, which is my weapon of choice for production these days. With the label workload plus starting my own engineering business, I haven’t had a lot of time to make my own music these past 6 months but I did buy Live 9 and Push on release day so this seemed like a good opportunity to go in balls deep, do something new to me and get to know the new Ableton a little better. 
There’s a long, boring, endless debate that goes on about the death (or not!) of vinyl, whether new technology takes the skill out of performing etc etc. I’ve been DJing for 12 years now (8 years of vinyl, 4 years of digi – time flies) and I remember being scared of switching from vinyl to digi because I was so comfortable on the 1210s. But you can’t push forward and keep things exciting if you sit firmly entrenched in your comfort zone. And it turned out the Pioneer CDJ1000 was a marvelous piece of kit, I fell in love with it instantly. It’s the same with Traktor, Ableton and whatever comes next. Sure you can use new technology to do the same old shit quicker and easier than ever before, but you’ll quickly be overtaken and eclipsed by those that push themselves and take things to the oft talked-about ‘next level’. I won’t be selling any decks or doing the majority of my mixes on the computer from now on, nor will I be turning up at a club with a laptop anytime soon, but this has opened a new door for me and the possibilities fascinate me. 
I’d need 4 decks and more arms than an octopus to pull this mix off on decks, and even then some of the effects I’ve used aren’t possible in real-time. Most of it isn’t really obvious in-your-face FX like you’d find on a DJ mixer, it’s more about chopping tracks up, lots of layering and blending different aspects of 3 or 4 tunes together in a way that sounds natural. It’s more of a techno attitude to mixing than D&B. I wanted to really ‘produce’ a studio mix. I sure hope you enjoy it now I’ve talked it up!

As always, do you have any final thoughts or shout-outs you'd like to add? 
My partner-in-crime, Esion. Our resident computer whizz (and wicked DJ) Nathan E. And my girlfriend Julie, without whom life would be meaningless. 
A special mention to our mastering engineer, Chris Jarman (aka Raiden / Kamikaze Space Programme). That man has the magic touch, I’m tellin ya. 
Flexout Audio, Peer Pressure and Fractured Foundation crews. I love hanging out with those guys. Philth can eat twice as much as me and never puts on a pound. Git! 
Katie Taylor (aka Shiny Biscuit) for helping us on the PR / promo side of things. 
All the artists that have worked with us, sent us music or shown an interest. And everyone who’s supported us by buying or playing our music, spreading the word or just offering encouragement. You know who you are. 

Philth & Wreckless :: Poison (The Sect Remix) / Poison (Fortitude Remix) is out now and you can grab it by clicking this link.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Blackdub Podcast #9 feat. Gareth Hocking [Curves Newcastle], Deficit [AutomAte DNB] & J(ay).A.D [Liquorish Dubz]

It's podcast time again and this one is long-overdue so we've brought you a special three hour extravaganza covering all the bases from sublimely minimal to teched-out rinse outs, as well as some Footwork style Jungle infused beats.
First up is a cornerstone of the Newcastle Bass music scene, Gareth Hocking who is reknowned for being able to mix pretty much anything from Dancehall to Breaks and Dubstep to Jungle. We've managed to get a Drum & Bass set out of him and it doesn't disappoint!
The second hour brings AutomAte D&B head-honcho, Deficit to the fray with more razor sharp beats and bass, quick mixing and an admirable attention to detail. He's gone in deep with this and further cements why we've been supporting this fledgling label since its inception last year.
Lastly we have Amsterdam based Footwork soldier, Jay (A.D) coming with a diverse blend of dark Footwork, Juke and fresh Drum & Bass as well as some of his own productions which you can hear on Amsterdam imprint, Liquorish Dubz, Groundmass Records and the recently released 'Mad13' compilation, which is available as a free download from the Mad Hop Bandcamp page.
We'll have interviews up with all of this month's guests in due course and  as always, thanks for listening and we hope you enjoy the show!


Gareth Hocking In The Mix:
Synkro :: Progression (Indigo Remix) [Exit Records]

dBridge :: Death Of A Drum Machine [R&S Records]
Blade & Arp-1 :: Lithuanian Beauty [Fokus Recordings]
Stereotype :: Mars One [Disturbed Records]
Against :: Afterlife [Shopopalo]
Alix Perez :: We Could Have Been feat. D.Ablo [Shogun Audio]
dBridge & Skeptical :: Move Way [R&S Records]
Serial Killaz :: One More Time [FBK VIP]
Craggz & Parallel :: Invasion [Yabai 84]
Hybris :: Understand Now [Dispatch Recordings]
Enei :: The Bonebreaker [Critical Music]
Cyantific :: Hold Back [CYN Music]
Aquasky vs. Crash Berlin :: Movin' The Hype Track feat. Kool Keith (Cyantific Remix) [Passenger]
Enei & Emperor :: Liberation [Critical Music]
Chroma :: Knock Knock [CIA Records]
Fracture :: Gangbusters [Meatlheadz]
Chroma :: Intermission [CIA Records]
DJ SS :: Lighter (1999 Mix) [Formation Records]

Deficit In The Mix:

Wreckless :: Face Of The Deep feat. Just Some Guy [Peer Pressure]
>>>> Wreckless :: Peace feat. Rob Cole [Peer Pressure]
Origin Unknown :: Truly One [Ram Records]
Cern :: Apparition [Samurai Music]
Codex :: Vodun [Tribe 12]
>>>> Antagonist :: Cult [Dust Audio]

Ruffhouse & Clarity :: Persecute [Critical Modulations]
Ruffhouse :: Bypass [Ingredients Reecords]
Origin Unknown :: Sound In Motion [Ram Records]
>>>> Raiden :: Roentgen [Architecture]
SpectraSoul :: Light In The Dark feat. Terri Walker [Shogun Audio]
Philth :: Submarine [AutomAte]
Anile :: Induction [Deep Soul Music]
Fearful & Keosz feat. Black Louis :: Scars [Citrus Recordings]
Fuj :: Pressure Plates [AutomAte Deep Dub]
Luxor :: I Want To Live [AutomAte Deep Dub]
Rockwell :: My War [Shogun Audio]
Vince Grain :: Roswell Eyewitness [AutomAte]
Raiden :: Baptism Of Fire [Voodoo Music]
>>>> ModeBlue :: Near East [AutomAte Deep]
Raiden :: Danzon [Voodoo Music]
Xtrah :: Soundclash [Critical Music]
>>>> Future Cut :: Ghetto Style (Evol Intent Remix) [Renegade Hardware]
>>>> Paradox :: A Certain Sound (Drumworx VIP Remix) [Renegade Hardware]
Fon :: Mistaken Coincidence [AutomAte Dub]
Fresh :: Signal [Ram Records]
Arclight :: Pluroform [AutomAte Tech]
Bad Company UK :: 4 Days [BC Recordings]
>>>> Bad Company UK :: The Nine [BC Recordings]
>>>> Concord Dawn :: Raining Blood [Renegade Hardware]

Jay (A.D) In The Mix:

Wellbelove :: Planq Time [Unknown]
Wellbelove :: GlitterBoy [Unknown]
Graphs :: Catabasis [Unknown]
Pawn :: Your Words [Forthcoming Shoot Recordings] 
DJ Nate :: Back Down [Planet Mu]
DJ Nate :: Make 'Em Run [Planet Mu]
Chrissy Murderbot :: The Original [Forthcoming Shoot Recordings] 
DJ Nate :: Hatas Our Motivation [Planet Mu]
DJ Diamond :: Perk 2012 [Liquorish Dubz] 
J(ay).A.D :: Chakra [Groundmass Records] 
J(ay).A.D :: Woah [Groundmass Records] 
 Dub Phizix & Skeptical :: Marka feat. Strategy [Exit Records]
Clarity :: Constant [Exit Records]
dBridge & Skeptical :: Move Way [R&S Records] 
Clarity :: Off The Cuff [Exit Records]
Ivy Lab :: Brat [Critical Music] 
Amit :: Roots [Tempa]
Indigo :: The Root [Exit Records]
Rockwell & Untold :: Rekohu Sunrise [Critical Music]
Xtrah - Soundclash [Critical Music]
Fracture & Dawn Day Night - Get Busy [Exit Records]
Rockwell :: -)- [808] [Exit Records] 
Fracture :: The Limit (VIP) [Astrophonica]
Stray :: LA Zoom [Exit Records]

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Q&A :: Caine [IM:LTD]

IM:LTD could call 2013 a good year. With a full-length LP project under their belts as well as a host of quality single releases, the French label seems to be going from strength to strength.
We decided it was high-time we got hold of bossman, Caine, to find out what makes the label tick. Read on for the lowdown.

Hi Caine, thanks for talking to us. Can you give us a little background into how IM:LTD came about? What made you want to set up a label?
Hi, thanks for having this interview.
I was already deep into music production and designing visuals for some other labels when I got offered to run my own imprint.
I saw an opportunity there to promote young upcoming producers such as Mortem, Atmospherix & Glen E.Ston.
People I was already in touch with that couldn’t actually fit the sound of the labels I was already working for.

How would you describe the music policy/ethos of  IM:LTD? Is it difficult crafting a product like a record label?
“Let the music do the talking” is what we stand for. We didn’t really make it easy for ourselves, we wanted the label to be as true to the underground and the Drum & Bass fans as we could, putting upfront almost unknown producers coming from barely known local scenes.
Now when it comes to the efforts of putting on a decent label, I already knew regarding my former experiences what it would demand to do it to the fullest. I knew it wouldn’t be a piece of cake, but overcoming obstacles is already a reward in itself…now I’m broke, I’m tired but I’m content as it seems we have some bright days ahead aha!

We hear you have a background in graffiti. Has that translated at all in the way you run your business?
Actually yes, it did a lot. Graffiti being all about “getting up”, I realised later the way I worked on this label project was actually with the same competitive mindset I had when I was bombing when applied to another media.

IM:LTD has quite a prolific release schedule compared to some labels. What's going on at the moment and what can we expect to hear in the near future?
We’re going to get back to a more reasonable release pace this year. Last year was all about having projects we initiated over the former years to finally come out.
But there are some pretty things already lined up starting with a forward thinking dubstep album from Kantyze which we’ve been working on for a year,
a couple of 12”s we are gathering remixes for and you can also expect something special from the IM:LTD camp to mark the 5 years milestone, so keep your ears open. 

You dropped a various artists album recently. How was the response to that? Are there many differences in the way you work towards an album compared to a single or EP release?
The response was super good…it actually always does when it’s a ‘VA’ project, I call it ‘the bundle effect’ aha.
Then it’s all about picking up the right music together, depending on what’s the release concept.

Are there any artists that you're really feeling at the moment?
There are loads, besides the label regulars such as Mortem, Arp Xp, Glen E.Ston and co, I am pretty excited about newcomers I have onboard such as Inertia from Madrid and Alpan Aytekin from Istanbul.
When it comes to what’s out there, there are a lot of people going from strength to strength I appreciate such as Foreign Concept, Villem, Fracture, the whole Manchester thing …

Current Top 5 tunes?
Derrick & Tonika :: Session [Forthcoming IM:LTD]
Phil Tangent :: We Don't Talk Anymore [Forthcoming IM:LTD]
Gerwin :: Soul Truth [IM:LTD]
Chimpo :: All Over [Soul:R]
Foreign Concept :: Paper Cha$er feat. Punchline [Critical Music]

Q&A :: Clive Ingredients

A little later than planned but no less relevant, is the second part of our Ingredients Records feature. Coming in the form of this interview with label boss, Clive, we find out how he got involved in Drum & Bass, what made him want to set up the label and what drives him to move forward in the scene. Read on!

Clive, thanks for talking to us. Can you give our readers a little insight into how you originally got involved in the Drum & Bass scene as well as the inception of Ingredients Records?
Well I am a firm believer that if you dedicate enough time to something you should look to get something back and I guess I felt that I needed to explore the industry after buying records avidly for 8 years. So much so that I quit my career as a chef to go and work at Redeye Records. That was in 2000 and from there I went and worked at Southern Records Distributors (SRD).  I was on a London pirate station between 2001-2005 and had met many people during this time. I left London to work for ST Holdings and I guess all this experience and networking led me to starting Ingredients confidently. I'd studied the music for 14 years by now so I found something I felt I could do quite well at and launched the label in 2009. 

Do you feel like you've kept in touch with the values the label was originally set up on? How do you see Ingredients evolving as time goes on?
Yes I do, although it's sometimes quite difficult to. The aim was always to find new artists and give them a platform, and some self-belief. But as has been the case throughout the catalogue, I've always released music from established artists too. I guess sometimes it felt like a mission statement rather than a record label but that's the pressure I put myself under and every now & then I just wanted it to be a credible label whoever the record was by. I've put on some really good events  in the last 3 years, notably the 1st one at XOYO & recently at Fabric. That shows the progression but I have slowed the release schedule down, there really is no rush to release good music.

The last release came in the form of another appearance from Response. Can you tell us a bit about that? Can we expect to see any more Ingredients bits before the year is out?
Yeah he sent me about 8 or 9 tunes, some were decent & he released his 1st record alongside ST Files in March this year "Nailbomb / Hard Times"  which was a great way to launch his career! We kept in touch regularly and pushed for his first solo 12". But literally one day he sent me 6 tracks & I signed them all! "Creep / Resistance" is out in the stores now as well as "Surveillance / One Nation" . They've had some terrific support across the scene and I'm really pleased for him. He's been doing this for over a decade and he's finally in the zone. Also out now is another unknown to most, Dominic Petrie. Some different flavours on this one, a lot deeper and chilled but I felt he needed a platform, he's very talented and it's a 7 track digital EP with a 12" to follow.

Any plans for another album project?
To be honest I am put off by them. There are far to many compilations anyway, but if I was to do one it would be a solo album. Too early to say at the moment but I'm not ruling that out.

Who are your favourite producers at the moment? Are there any new guys coming through who you have your eye on?
I'm liking Pennygiles stuff of late, always been a fan of that style and sometimes he absolutely nails it. Skeptical always writes interesting Drum & Bass for me and I am really into Stealth, he has some killer tunes up his sleeve. But Response is someone I'm glad to be working with, 'One Nation' is bloody great.

You recently branched out into artist management with the formation of Evolution Artists. What made you want to get into that and how did it come about?
Yeah myself & James (Chroma) used to talk a lot and we both wanted to get into artist management in some capacity, and when he heard i was managing Symmetry Recordings for Break, we talked in depth about starting an agency. With a fair few artists already into what I was doing with Ingredients and James' experience in being a promoter for Turbulence in Newcastle, I think that experience alone was enough for people to take us seriously. We've been running it for almost 2 years and we both really enjoy it.

Any final thoughts you'd like to add?
Well I feel lucky to be working in the one part of the industry I love (Drum & Bass) and I encourage anyone to follow their desires and never let anyone put them off.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Perfect Recipe :: Response & Dominic Petrie Cooking Up A Storm On Ingredients

Ingredients Records came back strong this month with the beginning of a double release from Manchester new boy, Response, the first of which dropped earlier this month. This marked the beginning of a flurry of releases within a six week period, including the next single from Response and a seven-track EP from Aberdeen based producer, Dominic Petrie.
In this first part of our focus on Ingredients Records, we take a closer look at all three releases...

Following on from his collaboration with ST Files, which was also released on Ingredients a little while back, Response unleashed 'Creep' and 'Resistance' on a label which is synonymous with breaking new talent and justifiably respected for it. This single sets the tone for his forthcoming material with a focus on tough, stepping breaks, brooding atmosphere and heavy low end.
'Creep' exemplifies this perfectly, kicking things off with a simple two-step beat before building and dropping with heavy, distorted bass stabs which rumble along throughout. This is real heads-down business, reminiscent of classic Renegade Hardware and Phantom Audio releases, demonstrating how simplicity can do just as much damage on the dancefloor as more complicated sounding tracks.
'Resistance' comes with a slightly more rolling feel to it but hits just as hard with Burning Spear vocal samples and a dub-infused bassline. Check both tracks out below and see what you think.

Forthcoming on October 21st, the follow-up single from Response not only proves Clive at Ingredients' faith in this artist but also further cements him as a producer to keep your eye on. It's hard to believe he's been making music for ten years but is only just finding his way into the limelight now.
'Surveillance', which has been championed by the legendary Fabio and is a firm favourite here at Blackdub HQ, starts out where 'Resistance' left off. Although a little deeper than the tracks on the previous release it still holds enough weight for the dancefloor, which you'll understand when that bass drops. Comparisons to Marcus Intalex are easy to see here but that's a good thing in our opinion. Vibes!
'One Nation' is the moody teenager of this single. Deep, dark and coming with an old Virus style sound palette, this one grumbles along with a deadly reese bassline that was enough to make label owner, Clive come over all giddy.

You may not have heard the name Dominic Petrie before as, as far as we're aware, this is his first release under this moniker. However, like Response, he has been producing for a while, under the name Y2D, with a slew of releases under his belt on labels such as Nerve, Phuzion and Sound Artillery.
This EP really showcases his diversity as a producer with tracks like the sublime 'Riverside Blues' and 'Beyond the Wall of Sleep' bringing that Calibre style smoothness. In contrast to these, you have 'Ephemerol Test' and 'Exponent of Escape', which wouldn't sound out of place on an Autonomic podcast, as well as our favourite of the bunch, 'TMA1', with it's sparse soundscape and distorted bass.
The thing that ties all these tracks together is the atmosphere and the actual emotion and feeling you get from them which is a hard thing to accomplish these days. It also speaks volumes that this release was originally supposed to be a single but Clive and company at Ingredients couldn't decide firmly enough on two tracks to put out. We're also feeling the artwork on this one. Lovely stuff.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Q&A :: Earth Leakage Trip [NexGen Music/Moving Shadow]

Some of you may remember Earth Leakage Trip from Moving Shadow's glory days back in the early-to-mid nineties. 
He's recently returned to the scene with an EP of spacey 140 BPM beats for the Nexgen Music Group so we thought we'd get hold of him to find out what's been going on between then and now.

Hi there, can you introduce yourself to our readers and give us a little background into Earth Leakage Trip?
With my first record release in 1992 on Moving Shadow I formed Earth Leakage Trip, the name comes from a device to prevent electric shock. Since a young age I've been playing piano and around 1990 I bought a drum machine and a few other devices and recorded my first electronic works. 

You're most likely known for your early releases on Moving Shadow and Rising High Records back in the nineties. What have you been up to you between them and now?
I met Rob Playford from Moving Shadow before the label was formed and played him some of my demos. He invited me to his studio to record some new pieces and had a plan to release our first recordings on vinyl. We called it Psychotronic, a three track EP that featured the now legendary track "No Idea" which has since featured many times on compilations. I then signed up with Rising High Records and released two more EPs featuring another acclaimed piece called "The Ice Cream Van from Hell" which featured on a Telstar compilation called Kaos Theory.
A few years later I released some more pieces on Cooking Records which was a subsidiary label of Good Looking Records run by LTJ Bukem. Soon after that and since then I've still been composing, experimenting with playing live drums and recording live sessions and mixing it with electronics in my own studio space. 

You recently dropped an EP on US label, Nexgen Records. How did that come about? Was there any concept behind the EP?
Dan from the Nexgen Music Group called me up and invited me to release my latest work with his label and since then I've been compiling a mixture of projects. Earth Leakage Trip is me as a solo artist and ELT-Sessions is a group of us recording live performances in the studio. My solo work is right now experimenting with cinematic Dubstep, and ELT-Sessions in a future psychedelic funk style.
The concept for my latest EP release has been to evoke the mood of aliens and UFO's in semi playful cinematic style, and to also highlight the seriousness of the subject and need for disclosure in this area. Inspired by the work of Project Camelot it has been my desire to expand and help the ongoing movement of truth within the alternative media.

Any final thoughts or shout outs you'd like to add?
I would like to give a big shout to Kerry Cassidy from Project Camelot for all her hard work in revealing the truth and to all musicians who are helping in spreading the word.