1: Amalgamating music genres has proved to been a recipe for successful creation. You too take influence from a wide spectrum of sounds, incorporating disco to garage in your productions. What have been the influences for BLAQUWERK?
A bunch of things really, on your mind is I guess trying to work in a classic house framework sonically but stretching it out and twisting it up, Geeked Up is supposed to be a kind of raw minimal warehousey kind of affair, black reign I wanted to be really kind of harsh and noisy and dark, I guess there’s a bit of an influence from guys like Regis on that, and Nova is obviously jungle in the style of guys like Loggi and Nookie and Rogue Unit.
2: a) Where do you feel most content, producing in the studio or DJing at clubs & festivals?
Usually producing but I’ve been getting back into DJing lately in a way I haven’t been for a while. My last few shows I’ve just been playing all vinyl and been buying a lot of records again and going back to basics with it.
b) Do you get more satisfaction from other artists commending your work or seeing it go off when it’s dropped in a club?
Most people will tell you your musics good even if they don’t really think it is that good, but you cant get a few hundred people in a club to fake a reaction.
3: Whilst a lot of other artists are producing music consistent with their back catalogue, or are releasing new sounds through an alias, your outputs are always varied and diverse. Where do you find confidence that your productions will be well received by your fans?
I don’t really but pretty much everything I do goes through the Numbers guys before it comes out and I know if they like it then its got to be half way decent. I could never have just kept making If U Want Me or U Cheated over and over again I get bored so quickly. I don’t really think about it that much I just make the music I want to hear in the club and if it happens that other people like it then that’s wicked.
4: You’ve predominantly/always used vocals with your music. You work simple samples out of context to their original source and manipulate them to hook and aid the growth of your tunes.Your latest BLAQUWERK EP features your own (heavily processed) voice rather than an acappella sample, what encouraged you to experiment with this?
Yeah on On Your Mind I had the kind of main part of the song including the vocal going around in my head in a dream that I kept waking up from, so obviously without this sample existing I just thought I’d do it myself through a ton of autotune. Im not trying to turn into the guy that sings on his records just making samples that don’t exist already really.
5: There’s a lot of up and coming artists and sadly, even more that are still undiscovered. Who have you been following and expect big things from this year?
Look out for Bone Squad and House Reverends.
6. What’s the best advice you’ve got for someone trying to make it in this industry?
Don’t bother trying to make it in any industry just do what you love doing. There’s so much music that all sounds the same that if what you’re doing is exciting and original people will hear you eventually.
7: The scene has seen a huge rise in fans following Julio Bashmore and Disclosure’s success through radio one. What do you think the future holds for what was once considered underground music - and do you think that will impact what you do/produce?
I’ve known Julio since the Myspace days when we kind of came up at the same time and did remixes for each other and stuff so its good to see him doing well. Its not going to have any effect on what I do, I don’t listen to radio 1, I don’t go to those clubs, Ive heard one disclosure song once. I’m not interested in whats big in the country or in the world right now I’m interested in whats big in my living room or in my mates car u know.
8: If you weren’t creating music, what would you be doing?
I’d like to think I’d be doing something to do with history or nature but probably Id be doing some shitty job I hated.
9: what genres of music inflence or have influenced your production and sound?
Everything really, lately I’ve been buying mostly disco 12”s and grime instrumentals, those are my things at the moment that I keep coming back to.
10: What can we expect from Deadboy over the next few months?
BLAQUEWERK is out next week, and I’m starting a record label, just cut the first record, more news on that soon, in the meantime I’m always in the studio so hopefully I’ll get another EP out this year. And of course the painfully elusive album which I have started and scrapped around five times.
11: How was your late lunch experience?
Good vibes. I always like the Peckham crowd. And it’s probably the closest venue to my house.
1: How did you become involved with Rinse FM?
I was involved with another station at the time which had ties to the Rinse management so I met a few of the Rinse guys through that. That station dissolved and I took a break from doing radio and started to concentrate on learning how to produce music. Not long after that I got a call from Rinse to ask if I wanted to do a weekly show and the rest is history.
2: Having a weekly radio show, how do you keep your tune selection fresh? What ways do you find new music?
I’m very lucky that I get inundated with wicked new music every week for the show which helps a lot. I still do the standard things like trail the net for fresh tunes from a new producer someone may have turned me on to or indeed established producers too. Soundcloud is great too. You can get lost for hours clicking links and checking out new music plus I check the radio too and keep my ears out in the clubs to see what’s popping off.
3: Where are u from and what inspired you to start mixing and producing?
I’m originally from North London but now reside in East London. For mixing it was around school times, being 13-14 and my best mate at the time getting a pair of turntables. I was fascinated by it. I remember driving my Dad made for like 9 months to get me a pair which he finally did. They were like the shittiest direct drives out there but I was happy and started buying records and learning to the process.
As far as producing I didn’t really start making music until just before I started on Rinse. I’d bought an old G5 that barely had enough memory to run Logic and I just started from there learning how to programme etc. It wasn’t until I joined Rinse that I realized it was the way forward and watching my peers decided to make the investment and bought my equipment and got going.
4: How did u become involved with Audio Doughnuts?
Henry from Audio Doughnuts reached out to me whilst he was still building the idea of the brand and asked if I’d like to be involved. We met up and he explained his vision and ideas for this new brand and what he wanted to achieve. I could see the passion and determination he had to make it work so we stayed in touch and things went from there.
5: What Producer/s throughout your career have been an inspiration to your Djing and producing?
I could name a good few! I’d probably go with Zinc. I’ve been listening to his music since I really developed any kind of musical taste and preference and he never disappoints. Some of the first records I bought were by him. He makes anthems in any kind of genre. From Jungle to Garage, Breaks up until House today. He moves with it and stays relevant like no other so yeh he’s definitely a big inspiration for me.
6: Which Producers new or established should we listen out for in the next few months?
There’s so many amazing new producers coming through right now it’s exciting to watch and also established producers that are coming with new styles. Gorgon City are doing it big right now, Foamo & RackNRuin are two of my fav producers individually and the GC stuff is next level. I love the new direction Skream is moving in too. He’s showing his versatility whilst still keeping the weight and depth from his previous tracks. Shouts to Last Japan, My Nu Leng, Pále, Dauwd, Salva, Happa, Mella Dee too, all some of my favs right now.
7: You played an amazing set at Dimensions in Croatia this summer, what’s been the best set you’ve played in your career so far?
That was probably it. Dimensions was crazy. Everyone was on such a good vibe, there strictly for the music and nothing else and it really showed with the crowd and their reactions to the tunes I was playing. I came straight to Pula from New York after doing some gigs for Trouble & Bass and Mad Decent and I didn’t think I’d be able to stand let alone play! Luckily I held it together and the hype and interaction from the crowd kept me buzzing and it turned out to be a great set. Looking forward to going back there!
8: The sound of your music has obviously developed quite a lot across the years, from Battlestar to The Underdog and now High Grade/Eyes Down. What’s the future for Shox? Which direction do you want to take your music in next?
That’s a good question ha! This year I want to concentrate on pushing myself production wise. I wanna take some risks and catch people off guard with tracks that they might not necessarily expect from me. So yeh watch this space!
9: If you could have grown up in any decade purely for the music which would it be?
Definitely the 80s! I’m an 80s kid but far too late on to appreciate the music that was coming out at that time. All the early electronica, the introduction of synthesizers etc. Tracks like Love Action by Human League and West End Girls by The Pet Shop Boys and that kinda stuff. Paul Hardcastle and those guys. I love those vibes!
10: How was your experience at Late Lunch?
Really good. The venue was really cool. Just the right size and environment. The crowd were really up for it which always brings out the best from me.
11: Tupac or Biggie? and why?
Biggie. Ready To Die. Enough said really.
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AUDIO DOUGHNUTS DJS
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10PM-LATE BUSSEY BUILDING, PECKHAM!
1: What has been the most interesting record of 2012 for you in terms of production and in terms of releases?
It’s a funny thing, most of my musical intake this year has been through old vinyl and I actually haven’t really been following a lot of what’s been going on in new music to be honest!
I recently picked up a new EP from Mr.Williamz and Maffi on Jahtari which I’ve been rinsing. But yeah, I’m mostly just listening to older music at the moment.
2: How does the Bristol music scene compare to London?
It’s pretty different really, if not just down to the fact London is much bigger place and there are so many more venues etc..
I think the fact Bristol is a smaller place means that people from all different back grounds mix a lot more and new music and ideas form out of that. There’s definitely a community spirit here and people work together a lot and help each other out.
Journalists and such always talk about a vibe we have in Bristol which no one can seem to quite put their finger on, I suppose it’s true. Having grown up here, it’s difficult to identify exactly what differentiates us. You have to live here to get it I suppose.
I like to think we punch above our weight in music and art.
3: How did you come about making the track ‘Percy’ with your right hand man Neek?
We were actually working on a Gorgon Sound tune at the time and were going through some sounds when we heard some fucked drum samples and both looked at each other like, ‘we’ve go to make some Grime now’.
I already had the idea of using the ‘shut up’ sample in a tune, and as you can imagine it was all kind of funny to us while we were making it really, so we put this 8 bar thing together in an hour or so and that was the tune.
I didn’t think much of it until our mate randomly uploaded a clip of Neek playing it in our other mate Boon’s car and people started going a bit wild for it, strangely. It still makes me laugh, especially that some people think the whole video thing was a thought out promotional tool!
4: If you were to be reincarnated as an animal, what would you be?
Never really thought about it.. some kind of miserable, Eeyore-esque donkey.
5: For those who don’t know what is Young Echo? Any big things in the pipeline you’d like to talk about?
Young Echo is both a collective and a radio show. The crew is myself, Vessel, El Kid, Jabu, Ishan Sound, Zhou.. and all our other aliases. There’s six of us involved full time, though we often collaborate with our friends too.
It started out as an idea for an online radio show which we streamed from our bedrooms and over the last 2 years it’s moved to my studio in the darkest depths of Bristol and we’ve had a load of special guests come down and play bizarre sets for us. You can find out more and get the archive of our shows for free from our website, youngecho.co.uk
We’ve got our first, collaborative album coming out on Ramp Recordings in the next few months so keep a look out.
6: With every man and his dog setting up small labels in our day and age, have you ever considered this as a step to take within your creative output?
Well, me and Neek started Bandulu Records earlier this year in order to release Percy and my track Fierce. We’d been flirting with the idea for a while and it was great to finally have the means to get it together.
A lot of people have ‘record labels’ now a days without actually putting any ‘records’ out, so it was fantastic to get hands on with the vinyl production, record shop distribution and design of our sleeves (which were all hand screen printed by my best mate Josh). It lends to a better understanding of the culture we’re involved in as music makers and DJs and we should hopefully be putting our second release out on our label very soon.
7: There’s nothing like a good festival, anything that your hyped for when next summer finally comes around?
Outlook is always a laugh, I was back there this year after a year off and I thought it was great. A lot slicker than I remembered it and most enjoyable.
I dare say I’ll end up at Glastonbury getting cider’d up.
8: Throughout your years as a musician, who has been the most inspirational person that has stayed with you all these years?
9: Favourite old grime tune?
That’s hard. Could be Dizzee Rascal - Ho
10: how did your music get discovered?
My first digital EP was with A Future Without back in 2010 but I think the real turning point was when I put a single out with Punch Drunk Records at the beginning of 2011.
I had known Tom Peverelist from shopping at Rooted Records while I was still at school, and he was one of the only people I gave my beats to around that time. After a while he approached me to do a single on Punch Drunk and it all kind of kicked off from there.
11: Up and Coming producers we should look out for in the future?
There’s a lot of younger producers working away in Bristol at the moment and I’m excited to see where they take things. I’ve been working with Jabu a lot and they’re kind of my tip to everyone. I love their music.
12: Whats your setup? Viynl, CD, or Interface?
I DJ with dubplates and vinyl.
13: How was Your experience Playing at Late lunch?
I had a really great time, loved the venue and the crowd was great. I’ve probably been going to the wrong clubs but it’s really nice to come to London and actually see people dancing I gotta say!
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+ LATE LUNCH RESIDENTS
10PM-LATE BUSSEY BUILDING, PECKHAM!