Sunday, 17 December 2017

More Music Reviews and News December

Wassup! I'm on a roll at the moment, and have some time on my hands and some real good music, so read on and support the artists. Don't sleep on this...... Calling the 160, Jungle, DnB, Dubstep, Techno crew. Here's some reviews of newish music and some links to some mixes to keep you going.

Various Artists - FTP002

This one's a strong 4 track EP. Every single track is great, and even though each track was made by a different artist there is a commonality between them, I think it's the rhodes-y type samples used maybe. As mentioned, every track is a stunner, but my favourite is 'Yellow Balm' by Thinh. It's a jungle skanker... smooth, rolling and full of melody. The track is an example of something simple but so effective, I'd love to hear more from this artist but can't find anything on bandcamp. Be sure to check out the FTP record label they have some really good releases that are full of variety. The other tracks on this release are juke, ghettotech and electro.

Slaine - Scattered

Slaine has released yet another single! He's definitely on a roll at the moment. On bandcamp I described this as: "Cybertronian technoid cyberfunk. The sound of doped up transformers stepping into the unchartered territories of their minds." This one's on a hardstep vibe. I'd love to hear Slaine make the music for a sci-fi film.

Bastard Man - Between Walls

Bastard Man has been making a lot of music over the past year or so. Nearly everything I hear reminds me of some of the releases that came out on Reinforced Records between 1996 and 1998, especially some of the music made by Aquasky and Steve Alexander. This release is a 2 track EP. My favourite is Stellar Blue. I think he plays his own drums too, his sound has been progressing over the last year and he's definitely one to watch in 2018 (and he has contributed a track to the next Futurepast Zine compilation which you'll hear about when it's ready :) ).

Khromi - Slow Waves

This is the first time I've heard of Khromi. It's a 4 track EP, the standout track for me is Julz. It's on a 140 chill vibe. I love this track. It will take you somewhere. A beautifully arranged track, I'm looking forward to checking out more from this artist.

Fredrik Astevall - Bean V2

Recently I've been working with a local artist, Kim Katrell who's been playing me lots of techno, especially the stuff made over in Spain and Portugal. It's really inspiring stuff. The label that released this track, Different is Different Records, are based over in Barcelona and they have been releasing some quality music (they've got a forthcoming release from Ken Ishii!). Anyway, back to this track, I really like the vibe of it, the sounds used (lots of bleeps), the melodies kinda remind me of Jeff Mills a little bit. You can get lost in this track, great for driving around in the car in the night time.

Akira Akira - Omoi EP

Another 4 track EP! Mainly on a techno tip which can mean anything so I would say it's not loopy, or full of strings - but full of different melodies. The track which I like is called Igikai - it begins with a drone and eventually leads into an echo of a ravey melody which then progresses into the 'dry' melody with less of the echo. Then bam kicks come in (not typical 909 techno kicks), definitely one for the dancefloor. I love the sound pallet used in this EP, it sounds very new and fresh to my ears and you can hear the influence of all the new styles of music that have been occurring in what the lazy music media call 'bass music'.

Illspirit/Rawtrachs - SF02

Here you've got a (free) 5 track EP that's released on Son Of Fission which is run by Illspirit. On this EP you've 3 tracks from Illspirit and 2 from myself :) I'm not gonna tell you how awesome my music is because that would be really weird. The tracks by Illspirit are stunning, I love the guys music - very  lean and chilled, feels good. You almost feel like your drifting away in space with his tracks, when listening to Unicorns I feel really relaxed and ready. My favourite from these tracks is Sowl. Late night listener biz.

Anna Morgan w/ Danny Scrilla & Sun People

If you like 160, check this. If you don't know these people, get to... this recording contains a short interview and mix. Big up Sun People (Simon/off) each n every!

SMMR160MXTP by Hertz Couture

This mix by Birmingham's juke master, Hertz Couture, is a summer mixtape but I only came across it this week. Great vibes from start to finish.

Rawtrachs Mix for Chameleon Audio

This one is a mix from me when the Chameleon Audio fam asked me to come over for one of their weekly sessions on a Sunday. I'm playing 140 to 160-ish, most of the tracks are made by Futurepast Zine family apart from the odd couple. Got a couple of glitches but that's life! Big up to MoJoe & Chemist RNS!

INWYK - Free Party Boxing Day - Birmingham

For anyone that's over in Birmingham (UK) over the Christmas break, come over here! It's gonna be wicked night with some wicked DJs, have fun figuring out who they are:

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Music Reviews December 2017

Hey... so it's been a really long time, but who cares :)

Lot's of things have been happening with Futurepast Zine which I'll update you on shortly, but the main reason for this post is because I have been listening to some amazing music which I highly recommend and I want to let you all know about it, so here goes... if you like house, garage, techno, footwork, 160, dubstep, grime, 140, jazz, DnB, jungle, etc..... check these out :

SPD - Fibre

This is the latest release from Serene City Records who are based in Birmingham (UK), it's an album by the artist SPD. SPD has been making tracks for a good few years, I've heard his music at the Listening Sessions events, and he's also been kind enough to send me music to play when I'm DJ'ing. I haven't heard any music from him in a good while so I was excited to hear this album. It doesn't disappoint, every single track is exciting. Every single track would sound amazing in a club. The beats are interesting, the garage influence is there and it's what makes the music so interesting, some of it is quite tribal I would say. There's a couple of collaborations on there, one with Serene City honcho On1 which is a definite nod to that Ghost/El B flavour of 2step/garage; and another collaboration with Niall Payne who I believe is playing the trumpet on the track 'Repose'. This is one of my favourite tracks from the album. The build up is lush and effortless, and then boom a smooth b-line hits you - it's not a peak-time club track - this one is definitely a warm up/down type of track which sounds great in the car while driving around, waiting at traffic lights nodding your head to the beats.

Footwork World Tour: Stop 1 - Australia

This one is from Good Street Records that are based over in Leeds. It's a free one too so grab it quick. It's part of a new series of EPs they are releasing which will contain music from known/unknown producers from around the globe that are making 160/juke/footwork. The highlight for me is Green LEDs by B.O.O.M.A - It's got this kinda arpeggio trance-y sound in it which I really like and hits the spot for me.

D_Roots - If I Was

I found this track from following a fellow blog writer, Tariq (big up!). It's a lush house tune, it's great. One of those tracks that I think would get a party started - it's bouncey, deep, got a sweet little vocal in it, and bongo's (everyone likes to play their bongo's in the morning innit :) ). Such a tune, and it's free but not for long - I will definitely be watching out for more from D_Roots and the rtct record label. Get throwing some shapes.

DJ Yung Vamp - I Need More Blood

Something new from Radio Juicy. Hip hop with them stuttery trapped out hi hats, laid back samples and 808 bass. Essential for vibing out, getting into the zone, I've been caught at work snapping my neck to this so be careful.

Slaine - Hackers

If you're from the West Midlands (UK), like DNB and haven't heard of Slaine, then get to know. Slaine has been treating DnB fans over the past few weeks dropping a track here and there without warning. He's been working with Ray Keith from Dread Recordings and helping to create sample packs. This tune I love. I wouldn't even say I'm much of a DnB fan, but there's something about the track - the vocal effects, the baseline (which reminds me of Ed Rush and Optical), and the melody in the track. It's got a sci-fi vibe to it, feels like it would go well with scenes from Ghost In The Shell (the anime version of course!), and it's called 'Hackers' - instant win for me.

Pear Drops Volume 3 - Pear Drops

The tags for this are: 808, bass, electronic, grime, wave, Bristol. My favourite track on this is 'Warlock' by Filthy Gears - the usage of that sample is genius according to my ears, you'll be bouncing around like a bonafide gangsta in no time. There's 20 tracks on this compilation, lots of good music.

Eone - Parenthesis

Cinematic. Sci Fi. Breathtaking. It's wavy and smoked out, something for the late night listener.

Tokiomi - Secret Stash

Tokiomi creates two 20 minute tracks which are original tracks that have been mixed together. It's a great listen, parts of it remind me of Tangerine Dream and other parts of it remind me of Howie B's 'Music for Babies' album. If you like soundscapes and hip hop head nodding beats, I think you'll like this.

Bambra - Koncrete Jungle EP

Dark and industrial. Love the vibes in all three of these tracks - they give a nod to labels like Metalheadz and No-U-Turn in this release. Feels like it's something you'd hear in one of the spaceships that the Predator flys around in. My favourite track is Urban Survivalist, it has a great build up, tense atmospherics, and then boom these beats explode with a technoid mid range bleep - code red biznizz.

Chemist RNS - Alternative Architecture 10

3 tracks of 160/juke/footwork from the Chemist RNS. Some high energy, cyber-ghetto, 160 music with nice breaks, vocal chops, and relentless melody. This is the first juke release from Chemist RNS, watch out for him as he has a lot of tracks in this style. These tracks have had a lot of support from Sun People and other fans of 160/juke/footwork. This is the 10th release on Alternative Architecture which is a sub-label from Futurepast Zine. Big up the Chemist RNS! These tracks have gone down a storm everywhere they have been played.


A new 2 track EP from the After Hour Audio family, these tracks are by HRMX. I'm a big fan of After Hour Audio and they have been releasing quality music since they started, this 18th release shows the music is getting better and better. Smooth, funky 140 vibes - these tracks sound absolutely awesome in a club. Shouts to the After Hour Audio crew!

Yilan - Contortion/Exoskeleton + Remixes

Damn! The first release on the newly formed Listening Sessions record label. What a way to kick things off. The Listening Sessions crew have been holding tight onto this one, and for good reason! These 2 tracks from Yilan are absolute killa, and the remixes by Wooda and Krytikal are equally as great. I remember the first time I heard Wooda's remix of Exoskeleton, I think I might have wrote about it on this blog a couple of years ago. These tracks have really been doing the damage, love to all involved in this, and watch out for the 2nd release which will contain vocals from one of Birmingham's vocal soldiers - Natty D!

Ezra Collective - Juan Pablo: The Philosopher

A smashing EP from Ezra Collective. This EP has really made me fall in love with jazz again. I love the version of the Sun Ra track 'Space Is The Place'. It's a fantastic EP, and it's probably one of the most listened to EP's I've bought in a while. Whatever music you are into, I think you will find this refreshing for your ears and soul.

Headgear - Planet03 EP

This one's a must for the DnB/jungle breakbeat headz out there. Every single track on this EP is FIRE! Going out to the Birmingham cru dem deh! Boy does this tune bang, your feet will be skanking wildly to these tracks. Also included in this EP is the Headgear version of Krytikal & Goosensei's track 'Reach Out' - if you've been in tune to Futurepast Zine over the years - you will have known about this already from the Krytikal interview from a couple years ago (and probably heard it at various Listening Sessions events too) ...... oh and did someone hear a Double O remix????? sssshhhhhhhhhh :)


Ok, so the above are a few tracks which have been doing the damage at Futurepast Zine HQ, there are more which I'll hopefully right about next time. Coming up there are some big things happening. Firstly a massive compilation from the Chameleon Audio family:

It's due to be released on 24th December 2017, so keep your ears and eyes open for it! There's 30 tracks on this compilation, and it's a beast. Featuring artists like MoJoe, Chemist RNS, Jakebob, HR6, Sour F4ce, S3, Aranha and many, many more.

2ndly, there's going to be a new Futurepast Zine release entitled 'Until Venus Returns'. This was originally going to be released in February 2018, but we're going to push it back to March/April 2018. It will feature many of the artists who've contributed previously and more! There may be some sneak previews/teasers around before the end of 2017.

Finally, thanks for your time in reading this. Peace.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Tunes and stuff August 2016

Lots of stuff has been happening which I wanted to share, and also I've been listening to some wicked music too....

First thing is the new compilation that's been released by Futurepast Zine :) It's called 'Vibration & Frequency' and features some brilliant artists. It's available as a limited edition CDr featuring artwork from the infamous COYS1, and it will be available for Digital release too..... Some of the sonic artists that feature on this release you may recognise if you've checked out previous Futurepast Zine music releases - such as Hollow, Krytikal, Analias and myself Rawtrachs. New comers are Fushara (who has released some amazing music over the past few years), Illspirit & Mojolo (who have released some amazing music on After Hour Audio), blacksix & FIRST AID (released music on Noisy Meditation), Chemist RNS (released music with Chameleon Audio) and finally Cat Therapist (who I linked up with at Listening Sessions - actually I've linked up with a lot of the artists at Listening Sessions, so big up Listening Sessions cru!).

The compilation came about really organically, and while I was collecting tracks and looking at the artwork that COYS1 had created, it reminded me of some of the stuff on MoWax, and also the Metalheadz tin box album. There's a great variety of music on this release so go and check it out.

Recently I played some music alongside Hollow for a Chameleon Audio release party. It was unreal. And for me it was quite different because I've usually played a mixture of new and old stuff - this time round I focussed on the newer and unreleased stuff. And people really seemed to feel it. It was also wicked to hear the Chameleon Audio lot play a Chemist RNS remix of Krytikal's 'Tachi'....

A track I have really been enjoying from the Chameleon Audio guys is a track called 'One' by S3 Dubs. It's the tone of the bass, and then it gets switched into another bass sound ...the beats are minimal, and there's a little vocal - a minimal tune that creates a massive impact. It's got a heavy underground vibe which is a trait of the lot of music I'm hearing from the Chameleon Audio releases - watch out for these guys because they are coming on strong - you've been warned!

Another tune I've really been feeling is by a guy called HRMX (I did an interview on him a while back for the Listening Sessions website - This tune is called 'Blocs'. It's got such a wavey, slick, aquatic underwater vibe to it, absolutely damaging, great to blast it out in your car on a sunny day.

Next up is the man like Illspirit. His track 'Sundown' is slick and funky as anything. Styles for miles! Him and HRMX have both been releasing music steadily on After Hour Audio and on their own respective projects. This tune has got a jazzy flavour which I think is awesome, I don't like to compare artists but the vibe really reminds me of certain Lemon D tracks when he did funk and jazz inspired stuff. Keep an ear out for the After Hour Audio guys, they've got a great back catalogue.

About a month ago in Birmingham we had the City of Colours festival, and I had the pleasure of playing on the Rainbow Rooftop for Listening Sessions. It was a brilliant set up there, absolutely spot on. Nice decor, and a Funktion 1 sound system. I played a wide variety of music in my set, one of which was a track by Mandela called 'Cloud Battle'. The EP is really good, and is definitely one for the dancefloor - it has quite a technoey feel to it probably because of the pads, there's effected vocals, and I really like the beat, it's got a breakbeat feel to it.

There's a party coming up in a couple of weeks to celebrate the release of Joe Corfield's mixtape/album 'Transient Sounds'. Fellow Futurepast Zine contributor 'The Deviant' did an interview with Joe Corfield a while back for this blog so go and search out, he's also going to playing at this party too. Yalla put on some great nights so be sure to check this one out:

If you haven't checked out the album already then head over here: I did that this morning, and while I was browsing on their bandcamp page I came across this track:

It's part of an album called 'Drizzle' by Circa. I've never heard of Circa before, but I need to find out more, because this album is absolutely oozing in that 140 goodness. It's really really good.

While I'm on about 140 stuff, I've got one more 140 track to mention. It's by Trashbat, it's called 'Mountain', and it reminds of when he last played in Birmingham for a Listening Sessions party. For me this guy brings an RnB feel to the 140 bpm stuff. It's smooth, slick, funky, real good music, not much else I can write really.....

Right, so moving up the bpm's to some 170 stuff..... I've been digging the releases from Metro's 'Ortem' label. The most recent EP is by Books who's been making some waves. I have to be honest, I don't check for 170 stuff or DnB that much but I am really feeling the stuff on Ortem, and also you need to hunt out a mix that Metro put together about a month back, it's wicked.....

Final tune recommendation from me is by an artist called Slaine (I did an interview with him a while back, this track 'Glider' is wicked, I really like the melody of the grungy kinda bass sound, it's great for driving around in the night time :)

At the end of May 2016, I finally managed to get Issue 10 of Futurepast Zine completed. Unfortunately, I only have a few copies left and they will be going to the new Provide store which is now located in the Jubilee Centre/building in Birmingham. The cover for issue 10 was created by Trav ( and to celebrate we held a party over at the Dark Horse in Moseley which was fantastic. DJs on the night were residents Anjin & Hollow, with guests HRMX, Goosensei and Headgear (who I've also interviewed for this blog :); hosted by Natty D. Here's a few photos:

A photo posted by Futurepast Zine (@futurepastzine) on

A photo posted by Futurepast Zine (@futurepastzine) on

A photo posted by Futurepast Zine (@futurepastzine) on

A photo posted by Futurepast Zine (@futurepastzine) on

Because the night went well and there was some excellent music being showcased, Futurepast Zine teamed up with the Listening Sessions family to do a release a party for the 'Vibration & Frequency' album, here's some photo's and video clips:

A video posted by Futurepast Zine (@futurepastzine) on

I'm really hungry to do another little party, just not sure when yet! Also, got to mention a wicked party I went to organised by the Cache lot, they had some great visuals and the music was top notch:

And that is all I have to report on right now. I've got some cool stuff happening over the next few months but you know how it is - it takes time! Be sure to keep supporting us, it's much appreciated.....


watch this space :)


Oh, one more thing.... Listening Sessions fam are putting together a wicked party over at the Hare & Hounds so be sure to reach!

Oh, I swear one final thing, be sure to check out the Listening Sessions show on Brum Radio, and also the Brum and Bass show: these shows are playing lots of good music and doing good stuff, as are the countless other people out there which I haven't mentioned here - love to ya all, peace.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Chemist RNS’ Favourite Compilations of 2015

2015 was an indescribably bass heavy year for the underground music scene, we’ve witnessed some historic releases from the UK bass specialists both old and new which have reset in granite the foundations of Grime, Garage, Bass and House.  With innovation and progression the name of the game we were treated to some truly great singles and EPs last year across the whole spectrum of sounds but nothing shows what a label and movement is about like a compilation, it’s a way of saying “This is who we are and this is what we do.” 2015 was the year where the humble “comp” has really come into it’s own so welcome to my favourite Compilations of 2015.

Project Allout Presents Lengerz Volume 1 by Project Allout Records

July saw the release of a truly insane 33 track, that’s not a typing error I said 33 track compilation by Sheffield-based Project Allout Records called Lengerz Volume 1.  Featuring absolutely everything and anything you could think of, Project Allout manage to cover every single area of upfront bass music effortlessly and it’s not hard to see they’re never lacking for heavyweight dancefloor bangers! Although my personal highlights could go on forever I’ll pick a few that I especially love and leave you to explore the rest; Moony - Ballin’ (Dr Cryptic Remix), P Jam - Groove, Mr Dubz - Fire Shotz, ANZ - Truss Me, Tuff Culture - You Got Me, J.G. - Trippy (Doctor Jeep Remix), Moony - Deeper, Alias - Captain, Lington - Icy Nova and last but not least, Conducta - Smile.  To conclude I’ll leave you with a quote from Project Allout’s Label Manager DJ Skillz, “There's bangers but then you got Lengerz and now everyone is shouting it #PAR”

Rndm Wrk Volume 1 by Prjkts

Bristol-based Prjkts captured my attention in a huge way last year, in fact they are a massive part of the reason I’m doing this round-up, I was lucky enough to see their showcase back in October and was absolutely stunned by the sounds coming from the whole camp, every DJ rocked the club and the productions were crisp and driven.  I honestly couldn’t say enough good things about what they’re doing for UK Bass music even if I had a million years, so I’ll let this 17 track beast do the talking on my behalf!  There’s tracks on Rndm Wrk Vol 1 that I can’t live without especially Vern & Milla’s “Sub0” and DJ199?’s incredible “Don’t Know Much.”  Other highly recommended selections include Rhombohedral - Surge, C92 - Boddinstrasse, Dankhauz - Technical and Box Traxx - Elevated.  
Label co-owner, producer, DJ and all-round nice guy Vern gives some insight into what started Prjkts and brought us Rndm Wrk Vol 1, one of the finest compilations of the year.
“Prjkts almost started out of frustration, it's given us the freedom to push music that we want to hear regardless of what's going on everywhere else. Running a DIY label is incredibly liberating, it's given us the opportunity to connect with musicians on a global level.  Expect lots more to come!”

Roadman Joel Presents Roadman Anthems Volume 2 by Tumble Audio

So our journey brings us nicely to Nottingham Not-Not-Nottingham (for fans of Killjoy’s Gyalist Riddim haha!) which is home to the legendary Tumble Audio label and events.  A label a lot of you will be familiar with I’m sure because nobody in a sane state of mind missed the hype Roadman Anthems Vol. 1 created when it dropped in 2014 so you know Joel was under pressure to come up with the goods for the series’ second outing.  Bulletproof selections include Killjoy’s “Tanked” and” Public Enemy,” Joedan & Kontent’s steppy, dark and minimal “Ruggish,” then throw in lengs like Karl Vincent - Mic Check, Prizma - Iridescent, Bassboy - True, Sergic & Lyka - Roadrunner and Archive - This Again and what you have is a sequel that bangs hard, every track keeps you tumbling back to the start to make sure you heard what you thought you heard!  With this being the only Volume 2 on the list I asked head honcho Oliver for a quote to give us some insight into what makes a compilation series successful and this is what he had to say:  “We thought there was no way he could outdo Vol.1, but he came up trumps with this one, Roadman Joel clearly has his ears on the road 24/7.”

Brunswick Sound Volume 1 by Brunswick Sound

Brunswick Sound have their whole hand on the pulse at all times, not just a finger, the 40 bangers from mostly unknown dons from all over not only proves this but it has the whole scene gassed and you don’t have to use your imagination to see why!  I’m at the point now where I’m stressed writing this because I know I have to highlight a few tracks from a wealth of quality music and it doesn’t seem fair because there’s too many I’m obsessed with, so continuing with my highlight-my-favourites-and-let-you-lovely-readers-explore-the-rest mantra here are the tracks I can’t do without: Flint - Turn The Radio Down & JEB1 - Not In A Million Years are the loves of my life since I had the promos special shouts for them! Crimzon - You Got, Secundus - Coins, Meta - Babylon, Jurango - Corrupt Personell and Lyeform - Gravity are all perfection posing as audio but so is everything else on the tracklist. For me it doesn’t get better than Brunswick Sound Volume 1, definitely the most exciting compilation of 2015 and there’s no better way to wrap it than on a quote from the man himself, Label Manager Katsu: “Drawing on elements of grime, club and techno, it's a comprehensive guide to the type of music we promote. There are a lot of talented producers that exist below the radar right now and our aim with this comp was to give them a platform to showcase some of that talent. We're already planning a few EPs which will be out early 2016 so keep a look out for them. And big up each and everyone supporting.”

Next Tune In by Grime Disciple

Where do I even start with Next Tune In?  This was more than a compilation, it was a labour of love from one of the best bloggers to ever grace Grime music and if anyone had doubts before NTI, they didn’t after.  If this was a top ten list this heavyweight 15-tracker would be number 1 for certain, it can’t be easy (or accidental) to create a compilation that sounds like an album when played through but Grime Disciple made it look like child’s play.  Every single track is a highlight so I can’t list them but I will give you the two tracks I’ll never stop playing in sets and they are Vern & Milla - Weirdo Dub and Lington - Jeju Island.  NTI is without a doubt, the Grime compilation of the year if not last 5 years to be honest and if you only listen to one from this list make sure it’s Next Tune In!  Huge thanks to Grime Disciple for sending me a quote to end on.
“There was no real story behind Next Tune In, I just wanted to highlight a mix of people that were coming through, like Beatgatherers and Krud Fam, and also guys that had been putting work in for a while without getting much recognition, like A.T.”

Chip Shop Volume 1 by Chip Butty

Buy Link:

Dr Cryptic’s Chip Butty imprint has been consistently putting out fire for a while now so it was about time they got into the compilation game, and Chip Shop Vol 1 is the best possible way to kick off what is sure to be a legendary and hopefully long-running series of quality comps!  Garage heads will be familiar with the Chip Butty sound by now but for those of you hearing about them for the first time the only way I can describe it is to say it’s been sent back from the far future by the bassline gods, and when you hear bangers like Dr Cryptic’s “Dirty Dot” and Dr Oscillator & Syntex Erra’s “The Unknown” you’ll know exactly what I mean. Throw in some more heavyweight cuts such as 1 Point 5 - Day & Night, Thorpey - Uppercut and AudioSquid - Boogie, and what we have is yet another great quality release from a label that remains dedicated to pushing futuristic bassline vibes.

Artifice Volume 1 by Artifice

Bournemouth and Southampton-based label Artifice should definitely have your undivided attention from now on.  The depth of Artifice Vol 1 is hard to explain, it has to be experienced, it feels like an album a lot like Next Tune In but it stretches effortlessly from pure UKG to hybrid club funk, then to deep house, techno and beyond.  My favourite track by a light year is Bugeye by Vern & Milla, it’s audible happiness, if someone told me to choose between my arm and Bugeye I would reach for a saw.  In addition to my favourite track of 2015 you also get breathtaking garage bangers from the likes of Dynamat with the moody “Strong” and Dosage with the haunted and swingy “Hard To See.”  I also highly recommend Flare’s techno masterpiece “Digital Progression,” Corporal F’s “Gunman,” Spekktrum’s “New Funk” and Chris Darnoc’s “Luke Jaywalker.”  

Southpoint Presents Volume 2 by Southpoint

Brighton’s Southpoint has had a very busy year indeed, putting out a string of heavy grime releases in a short time, bringing a whole new talent pool to the attention of avid grime listeners while maintaining a strong dedication to the best quality music and artwork.  So it will come as no surprise to find out that Southpoint Presents Volume 2 comes just a couple of months after the release of Volume 1,  I know it’s insane but who are we to refuse amazing music that just happens to be free! Impressive as all that is head honcho KXVU explains that this is just the beginning...
“We had to end the year on a high after the incredible amount of support we have already received, so we thought the second edition of Southpoint Presents would be perfect. The end result was exactly what we had hoped for; a serious blend of underground styles ranging from UKG & Grime to Future Reggae. So far the response has been great and we hope to carry on pushing the movement into 2016”
My favourite selections include King Bracket - Purify, Inkline - Brain Storm, KXVU - Frostbite, Eclypse - Classified Riddim and Tengu - Tribal among others but there’s too much fire to mention on Volume 2 so go check it out!

And that’s my selection of the best compilations of 2015 done and dusted, it’s been a pleasure to look back on 12 months of cutting-edge bass music and hopefully I’ve shone some light on at least a couple of comps that you may not have noticed before.    
Thanks to Futurepast, the labels, artists and yourselves for reading.


Quick shout out to Chemist RNS for putting this article together - it was done about 8 months ago, but it's all quality that time can't test. Chemist RNS has been putting out some sterling music with Chameleon Audio, and also on his own bandcamp page

He's also going to be playing back2back with Krytikal at the Futurepast Zine X Listening Sessions party on the 16th July, so make sure you're there!

Friday, 11 March 2016

Interview with Digital

It's not often you get the chance to interview someone that has been a big musical influence since you were a teenager. And, hand on heart, that's exactly what Digital is. My first Digital record was 'Niagra' on Metalheadz, but earlier than that I unknowingly picked tracks up by Digital that were under aliases such as ID4. I continued to collect his releases on Metalheadz, Timeless, Creative Source, Reinforced, Function, 31, Chronic and so on. He's made a lot of killer cuts. But that was way back then, recently he has released the 'Digital Synthesis' album which is an album full of top notch collaborations. Anyway here's the interview:

From your previous interviews I understand that you were brought up on Reggae and sound system culture, but how did you actually get into making music?

I was lucky enough to have musicians around me from a really young age because two of my close cousins were in bands. Lloyd was in a local reggae band called Jah Warriors and they were really good. I recall them supporting Aswad when they used to make heavy dub. The other cousin Keith helped run a funky, pop, soul band called Splash so he was always talking about making records so both my cousins inspired me.

Later in my teens, I got friendly with the bass player from Jah Warriors called Gordon Mulrain. At the time he was getting into producing and he said I could come over to have a look, so I used to sit with him for months on end amongst untold cigarette smoke. It half killed me but I learned a lot from him.

I sat through all that smoke because I felt producing music would help me in my quest for DJ stardom LOL

You played a few months ago in Birmingham at the Skutta Records/Rupture/Listening Sessions night. How was it for you? It was great to have you over in Birmingham!

I loved it because I got to see some people from the scene who I feel I get on with well like Skitty, Theory and Double O and of course the Skutta guys are a good lot! The party was good too

When you first began making music, how did you get your music heard by other people? And how did you get to hook up with Photek?

Photek used to hang at a record shop I used to go to run by Rob Solomon aka Universal on Creative Source and one half of Origination, the other being Photek.

Certificate 18 owner, Paul Arnold, ran a local record shop so it was easy for me to get music to him. My first release was a collab 12" on Certificate 18 with Danny C. We went by the name of Authorised Riddim.

Photek was releasing amazing forward thinking tracks on Certificate 18 at the time and I was amazed by them so I asked if he'd give some tips and he said, "yeah come over." We got talking from there really. He saw I was keen so, Rupert, being the superb man he is helped me with my attitude because the dedication he has is second to none.

There's a white label of yours I've got, the etching on it says 'FLAVA', but one of the tracks was released on Platinum Breakz 2. What was the score with that? I think I got the tune in 96/97 but the compilation was out a couple years later.

I'm not sure what your talking about but my track on Platinum Breakz 2 was called Metro. I was in jail when they were putting Platinum Breakz 2 together but fortunately for me Kemistry & Storm found Metro on a DAT tape I sent them so they used it. That cheered me up in jail I tell you!!

[Note from interviewer: after a little digging around I came across this: ….. I'm a bit of a freak like that and had to go searching LOL]

Can you name 10 tracks that had a big impact on you from when you were young up until now? And can you say why they were a big impact on you?

1) Big Daddy Kane - Raw - Cold Chillin. Bad arse rapper in BDK, Marley Marl provides one of the filthiest riddims

2) Public Enemy - Rebel Without a Cause - DEF Jam. Attitude, tough breaks and so many memories of trying to scratch - I failed miserably!

3) Prophecy - Fabian - Black Swan. You won't find a better Bassline than this one.

4) Doc Scott - Surgery - Absolute 2. Hypnotic! I've enjoyed myself to this track plenty of times.

5) Photek - Ni Ten Ichi Ryu - Science.  Listen to this track to make your own tracks sound rubbish (Time to up some gears).

6) Manix - You Held My Hand - Manix & Rufige Kru remix. Filthy, lush, soulful, dubby, and innovative. Just damn right flipping great!

7) Digital & Spirit - Phantom Force - Phantom Audio. Self Gratification.

8) Source Direct - Secret Liasion. Weirdly this a grower. I've always loved it but now I think it's one of the best tracks Source Direct have ever done. Each time I go back to this track it sounds better. I'd really love to have more music like this to play now.

9) Doc Scott - Here Come The Drums - Reinforced. I love the original, the remix and the mix on Metalheadz 001. You don't often get remixes of the same track that are as good as each other. Big ups to Scotty!!

10) Q Project - Champion Sound (original mix).  When I listened to this back in the day on my Walkman I walked with a bad bwoy limp. I thought, "This riddim is filthy, I wonder what RAGGA RUDE BWOY made this." Then I met Quiff LOL love ya mate!!

I think out of all the Jungle/DnB artists, you are one of the few that is still smashing up dancefloors in your own unique style - what's the secret?

I) I simply love what I do.
2) I don't know any other way to make music LOL.
3) I'll be DJ'ing with a zimmer frame at some point because I'm going nowhere!!
4) Dedication and will to do well.

What side projects have you got going on? I know that you've made and released other types of music?

I don't really have side projects but I do like touching on different genres now and then although, it's nothing too far away from what I'm doing already.

What artists do you recommend Futurepast Zine readers to look out for?

I'm not being biased here, I'm saying it from a vibes perspective because his tracks are dubby, techy strong, heavy and rolling - and his DJ sets are the same. I like the fact that he makes the kind of music he actually wants to play. I don't understand artists who produce music they don't want to play in a club.

Naturally talented with an eclectic taste in music means Response, will be an interesting artist year after year.

What plans have you got for 2016?

Apart from taking over the world with my boyish looks I plan to release some music:

January: 31 Records 3 track EP
February: Function Dubz

April: I have a collab LP called SYNTHESIS featuring a few artists from the label and a few new ones. Vinyl will consist of 16 tracks released in 4 parts, 4x12" with 4 tracks on each record and 18 for digital download.

Out Now:
Trident Code EP (aka Digital, Flava, Horrific James)

First World Problems (Digital, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Response)

Rejection EP (Digital, Response)

Respek Da Foundation EP (Digital, Response, Dub Phizix)

Big up Digital, thanks for taking the time to do the interview and provide some interesting answers :)