We first mentioned Dred Collective when we covered the interstellar and industrial blend of hardcore, footwork, juke and jungle of Machine Girl’s “WLFGRL” and proceeding remixes, but another stand out feature from the label that we also mentioned was their Free Track Thursday series. Running every week and covering a wide range of styles including footwork, juke, techno, garage, drum ‘n’ bass, jungle, breakbeat and house, it quickly established Dred Collective as a hub for a huge number of upcoming, new producers to showcase their tracks.
In the digital age it has become increasingly easy to release music and to set up labels, but arguably that has led to it being increasingly difficult to stand out amongst the crowd and be known for doing things well. Dred Collective and its sister label Italdred have seen ever expanding support and followers in a relatively short space of time, pointing to a strong back catalogue and talent in promotion. Plus with the sheer amount and breadth of material on the Free Track Thursdays alluding to a dedicated and skilled A&R approach, focused on diversity and uniqueness, we were interested to speak to head honcho Rob Huckle to find out just how he does it.
With Free Track Thursday recently, sadly, coming to an end, with all material available to browse through and pick and choose to download here, the series was completed with a great send off release, free of course, from previous Dred signees Beach Club and Relic. The “Rave New World” EP does as it implies, taking classic, energetic rave/hardcore tracks and switching them up with staggered chops, delightfully jittery footwork jungle rhythms and heavy, rumbling subs. It’s pure, elated, prime dancefloor material. To mark the occasion, the pair have kindly recorded for us an exclusive footwork minimix of their own material, demonstrating further why they were well chosen to top off the series and are ones to watch.
For more from Beach Club and Relic, they are featured on the the recently released Footwork Compilation for #Ferguson from Nausicaa Sound, a huge 54 track compilation also featuring the skills of DJ Earl, Traxman, DJ Manny, Footmerc, Comoc, ZSonic and more, with all proceeds going to The Organization for Black Struggle. They also have a busy future release schedule, including a forthcoming EP on Good Street Records and more. In the meantime, check out these words from Rob Huckle and the Beach Club and Relic mix below.