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Exclusive: Interviewing Dred Collective Label Head Plus Beach Club and Relic Footwork Minimix


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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.

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"If you can shake the audience a bit, it’s a good thing" Fanu Discusses his Latest Take on Drum n Bass


No stranger to the weird and wonderful fringes of drum n bass, Fanu returns again with the long awaited release of tracks “Paracosm” and “Yin Dub” on his Lightless label, further pushing the genre boundary into uncharted territories. Speaking to him about the release, it’s clear Fanu revels in this spirit of experimentation, “The tunes will divide opinions, for they have elements not very common in D&B, but if you can shake the audience a bit, it’s a good thing, and I’d like to see more of that.”

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Paracosm was something that had to happen; I had had the idea of doing a really industrial sounding and haunting tune for a really long time. It was one of those musical ideas which sort of write themselves as you’ve been brewing them in your mind for so long. I’d like to believe it’s something that hasn’t been done in drum and bass before, and the reception’s been great, and I’m honoured for having received bigups from respected DJs.”

It’s hard not to be wonderfully shaken by the cacophonic score that is “Paracosm”, with it’s cinematically tonal, aggressive metallic crashes, eery time stretched vocal, and disorientated whistles from the abyss. It’s a far cry from standard for the genre, but a welcome one, seeing early support from pillars of the scene including Grooverider, and having sold half the available vinyl in just two days.

The flip side “Yin Dub” is equally unique, but more psychedelic and organic in its outlook. Combining sucking, pitch bending hand drums, evocative string plucks and possessed vocal outcries, it’s both captivating and weighty, with masterful percussion, as expected from Fanu, that layers urgently frenetic over powerfully meditative and steppy. As complex and evolved as it is, this seems to be a natural flow for Fanu on discussion.

"I wrote Yin Dub in 24 hours, which has to be the fastest for me ever. It came naturally after Paracosm, for after doing it, I was still in that mind state I wanted to do a flipside tune with percussion and a similar vibe – more peaceful but intense enough."

"Paracosm" and "Yin Dub" show two fresh takes on Fanu’s approach to drum n bass, but don’t expect him to stick here.

"I’ve been asked many times if this is a "new direction" for me. It’s not. I don’t really choose any directions; I’ve been exposed to so much music, there’s different ideas brewing all the time, and I can’t be chasing one style or idea very long."

Who knows what comes next, but we’re expecting big things.

Fanu - Paracosm and Yin Dub

Paracosm and Yin Dub are available to buy now in digital formats and on vinyl, purchase links here.

 

Bristol’s Wellbelove Brings Heavy Amen Workout in Dark Sun VIP for Mulder’s Cue Burn Digital


Bristol’s Wellbelove has long and broad musical roots. Starting out as a producer in the early 90’s as half of Chaos and Julia Set with Mark Pritchard, his love of electronic music extends from the early days of jungle and its influences as wide as techno, hardcore and more. Recently launching his solo Wellbelove alias inspired by the fresh glut of unique music shaped by rhythms from footwork, jungle and beyond, he has seen releases on burgeoning labels such as Good Street, Ground Mass, Dynamix Records, Modern Ruin and Cue Burn Digital. Returning to Cue Burn Digital this week, his latest release is a VIP of earlier track “Dark Sun”, besides a remix from The Renegades of Dynamix.

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The original “Dark Sun” on Cue Burn was an ecstatically effervescent jungle footwork affair, blending diva vocals with glistening synth work and bubbling 808s, occasionally delving into darkness with a driving deep sub and assault of crashing Amen break hits.

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Hip Hop, Autonomic, and More in Foreign Concept’s Diverse Make Meals EP


Foreign Concept aka Matt Price’s new “Make Meals” EP, released last week on his first label home, Critical Music, is a killer example of his continued versatility, variety and strength in collaboration with both producers and vocalists in his music.

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Photography by Sarah Ginn.

Started with an aim to portray a wide range of his stylist output within drum n bass, both represented in his productions and DJ sets, it has succeeded in cohesively tying together everything from the subtle, emotive roller in “When You’re Alone” through to the growling, weighty beast that is “The Volks”, a digital release exclusive track aptly named after a Brighton nightclub known for dark vibes and roaring sound (We learnt our own lesson on hearing protection infront of the Gramps Hifi there back in the late 2000’s).

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Angelic Devils and Devilish Angels: The Stunning Paradox of The Bug’s Latest Album


The Bug has always had an incredible talent for blending gritty urban and Caribbean influences into his own prototype formats, partnered up with equally as gritty and characteristic vocalists. Working under a number of guises, including as part of King Midas Sound, he has toyed with dub, dubstep, grime, dancehall and beyond, genres that have been the sounds of London’s underground, but with his own signature take.

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His last album as The Bug, “London Zoo”, released in 2008, was a powerful illustration of this proto sound, so when his latest album “Angels and Devils” was announced 6 years on for Ninja Tune release, this summer, a lot of suspense was riding on it. The first listen of both “Save Me” featuring Gonjasufi and “Fuck a Bitch”, featuring the rap group Death Grips, warped beast of a track that it is, stoked interest even further, even without the trippy mock Soundcloud player that had us semi wondering if we were losing our minds to the warped, slurred vocals. The final piece in its entirety however, is little short of a masterpiece.

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Mixes

008: Jon1st

007: Thelem

006: Thing

005: Moresounds

004: Chrissy Murderbot

003: Deft (Inflect Live)

002: Fanu

001: Adam Elemental