Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Krytikal Interview & Mix

I first had the pleasure of meeting Krytikal at the 'Movement' night at Club PST (Digbeth), and then at various places including the Listening Sessions events. He's been a supporter of the zine and has contributed tracks for various Futurepast Zine projects. His productions are meticulous, I seriously mean that, he's got a high standard of production in the music that he makes. His initial releases were solo, but recently he has worked with 'Goosensei' and also 'Yilan'. His music has been released on labels such as Area Recordings, and his tracks have been aired on the notorious Rinse FM a few times too.

(Photography courtesy of B Harvey Photography https://www.facebook.com/BHarveyPhotography)

While listening to Krytikal's mix, you can also read this short interview:

1. Who are you? And, how did you get into making music, dj’ing, etc…
My name is Dane, and I make music and occasionally DJ under the monikor Krytikal. I purchaced my 1st set of turntables around 2004 along with Aphrodite and Mickey Finn's 'Bad ass!', Q Project's 'Champion Sound' and Potential Badboy's 'Your mine'. I then continued to collect Drum and Bass, Hip Hop and Garage records for the next few years. In about 2006 when hearing Youngsta's Dubstep Allstars Volume 2 and discovering this exciting minimal sound I decided I wanted to begin making my own tunes. I downloaded a cracked version of FL Studio 7 on my clapped out old PC and spent countless late nights reading tutorials, strolling through forums and watching videos with the sole intention of just being able to cut my own dubplate to throw in the mix. Countless crap tunes and late nights later I finally cut my first dub ('Close your eyes' and 'Dreadlock'), two tunes that I hold quite dearly). After I got my production to a standard that I felt another DJ would be willing to play out themselves, I sent some tunes out to a few DJ's via Myspace, one of the first DJ's I recall giving me some airtime was a local DJ and producer by the name of Wooda (out to Wooda each and every) who hosted a weekly online radio show on 'After Dark Radio' every Tuesday night around 2008/2009 (I wish I had recorded the mix). I think judging by the way the scene had progressed up and down the country it seemed only natural for me to be naturally gravitated towards the local guys, who I was always interested in seeing what they're up to, especially in a city with very little to no Dubstep scene at all. This led me to send a few tracks to Be-1ne around 2010, another local DJ, producer and owner of Area Recordings. I remember returning back from a holiday to an email from Be-1ne, the email read:
"Easy. Thanks for letting me know about your music. Really dig these two tunes. Is there any chance of being able to grab wav's of your final mix downs? I ask for these as I usually get dub plates cut of material I would play out. Thanks B"
Chuffed. Proper. Not only was somebody willing to support my music, but they were passionate about it enough to be willing to fork out their hard earned cash to cut it to a format that I was into, it felt right, it was the way it was meant to be. Ben continued to support my music and gave me the platform to introduce me to a wider audience and eventually released one of the tunes on the compilation Area Music Volume 1, a double 12" release alongside some very talented artists who are still holding their own today, a release I'm very proud of and a milestone to me as an artist (Respect! respect! respect!). Experiences like this made all the late nights worth while. 

2. I’ve heard you dj’ing a few times and the music you’ve played has been different each time. How would you describe your style of dj’ing?
I would not say I have a particular style, more recently, especially due to the support and feedback I have received, especially through events such as 'Listening Sessions', I have become more confident when it comes to my production and I am much more into the idea of playing sets which are 100% my own tunes and tunes from other local producers, it's just something I never thought I'd be able to achieve and a great feeling to have a completely organic set of original local music. When given a little more free will over what tunes are played, I just love digging in deep to my collection that I have accumilated over the years, I love hip hop, I love garage, anything jazzy, funky, dubby, anything that kicks, especially when playing with other music lovers with an equally eclectic taste, shit goes off, take the Futurepast podcasts for instance, vibes!

3. Was this put together using vinyl?
Some of it was vinyl, some of it was digital. I felt I had to throw a dubplate into the mix at some point so I included my track 'Militant Movement' which I had cut about 2 years ago, it was also nice having a dig through my hip hop records to see what I had and if I had anything to fit the kind of theme of the mix that I was going for. I have been experimenting with using DJ software to mix with, just to try something new, this mix was my first real attempt at doing that, this also simply allowed me to include tracks in the mix that I dont own on vinyl due to not owning any CDJs.

4. What releases have you had so far?
"Selfish Ways" (Area Recordings) "Encounters" and "Cleric" (Phantom Hertz Recordings) "Goosensei - Summon (Krytikal Remix)" (Dubs Alive Records) "Goosensei & Krytikal - Reach Out" (Dubs Alive Records) "Illusions" (Futurepast Zine)

5. Any plans for the future you can mention?
I have a forthcoming release on Futurepast Zine's Kickstarter funded project "Agents of Disruption". Check the link because I'm sure Mr Futurepast himself will be much better at explaining it than I am.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1346237437/agents-of-disruption Big. Big. Big.

6. What music are you feeling at the moment?
I am always interested in hearing what all the local guys are up to, Listening Sessions (big up Goosensei and Elkie!!!) is a perfect way to get my monthly dose of local talent, it's always exciting to hear what everybody is making. I have also become slightly obsessed by a rock band from Seattle called 'Band of Horses' who make some revolutionary shit. I am still quite a big listener of Rinse Fm, I always have time for Keysound Recordings, a label that continues to support lesser known artists and has had consistantly strong releases from the beginning. Ah man, I wouldnt know where to start. 

7. What’s your favourite album and why?
I don't have one particular favourite album but one that I continuously return to is 'Jedi Mind Tricks- The Psycho-Social, Chemical, Biological & Electro-Magnetic Manipulation of Human Consciousness'. It's just the most interesting hip hop album I have ever heard, the album speaks continuously on religion, space, physics, war and production is perfect, it's the epitomy of a perfect hip hop album to me.

8. What 5 tracks would you recommend someone to listen to?
Peverelist - Gather Jedi Mind Tricks - I who have nothing Bloc Party - So here we are Double Helix - LDN Band of Horses - First Song
Maximum respect going out to Krytikal! Check him out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/krytikalsound and Souncloud: https://soundcloud.com/krytikal

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Random stuff...

I've got a few things I wanted to mention for this blog post, a mixture of tunes, events and stuff….


Snakes & Ladders 3

A few weeks back I listened to a show on www.jungletrain.net it was the Skutta Records show and there were a lot of mashed up breakbeat type tunes. I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff :-) The guys involved also played at Amusement 13 for a Listening Sessions event and they rocked it to the max. Anyway, I heard about a compilation album that featured tunes of that type of style ('mashed up breakbeat' haha). The album is called 'Snakes & Ladders 3', I think it will appeal to fans of Rupture (a club night based in London) and Scientific Wax Records. The compilation features 25 tracks! And everyone is pretty much a killer track too. I've only had it a few days so it's difficult to determine a favourite just yet, but I noticed a track called 'Amen Guidance' by Rumbleton which I remember hearing at Rupture a good few years ago. Got to give a special mention to a track called '5 Into 1' by Headgear, I think I heard this track featured at one of the Listening Sessions and it was damn good. I really love the feel of the tracks on this album because I'm so sick of DnB at the moment, it's just not where I envisioned it would be (in terms of the dominance of boring beats and all the fragmentation). To me this compilation of tracks from this particular 'sub genre' of Jungle/DnB (I hate this description but I couldn't think of anything else) represents a lot of what I love about music. The compilation is definitely worth checking out.

mono_sono 'Cosmos' EP

Next up is a wicked little EP by mono_sono (who featured on Futurepast Zine #6). The EP features 4 tracks, and one of them features a mix by Justice & Metro (these guys get around don't they ;-) ). The EP is brilliant. The first track 'Torus' is a DnB number, I think it's pretty outstanding and I did write a couple of sentences about it for the guy who runs Sector Twelve Twelve so I'm not going to repeat them here. This track is also features an alternate mix by Justice & Metro, it doesn't stray too much from the original but it is different and they've given it their own twist. The other 2 tracks on the EP are on a downtempo tip. See what you think:

Betamax Heard 'Follow the Heard'

This album features 16 tracks on house/techno tip. Every single track on this album is wicked. Betamax Heard have had their tracks featured in the MJAZZ Modernists series. I really like these tracks because they're quite different to the popular house/techno sounds that seem to dominate. The album would sound great in a deep, dark, dingy basement. The music is rugged. Betamax Heard also make references to their influences such as Larry Heard and Kenny Larkin (you can find out more if you manage to get a copy of Futurepast Zine #6).


Dates for your Diary

28th March 2015: Futurepast Zine and K Francis are putting a little party at the 112 Space. It's a strictly vinyl thing, and you can expect to hear K Francis, Anjin, Hollow, Burlish and Rawtrachs playing some great music. There's a lot of events happening around Birmingham on that evening, but we start at 8pm and so you could start off at our event and then move onto the other events if you so choose :-) Also, the proceeds for this event will be going directly to The Children's Society. Also, got to give a special mention to the other excellent events happening on this night: Dubgasm at PST (fundraiser for a stolen Foodbank van); Listening Sessions hosting the alternative room at Alfie Birds;  And DJ Pierre is playing at the Hare and Hounds!!! All unmissable events. However, feel free to come and check us out first and make your way to other places, or stick around!

3rd April 2015: Cache & Listening Sessions Present Audio & Visual Showcase. Forged by the collaboration between Cache and Listening Sessions we present to you an audio and visual experience, featuring artwork curated by both local artists and independent institutions, providing the ideal backdrop to a series of underground vinyl only sets orchestrated by Freerotation and Untilmyheartstops boss Joe Ellis, Cloak n Dagger resident Lewis Oxley and Cache & Listening Sessions residents.

Joe Ellis (Freerotation/Untilmyheartstops)Lewis Oxley (CND)

Cache Residents: Niall Wolfe Jayson Wynters Christy Lakeman Jon.E 

Listening Sessions Residents: Goosensei Elkie Sekkta Rawtrachs Burlish Anjin 

Local Artists: Listening Sessions format

All sets will be streamed live both visually and audibly on the Cache website (cachebirmingham.co.uk) using a live stream. This will accompany art work in association with IKON, PROVIDE shop and local artists. Lineup: (Vinyl Only)
For the first hour of the event, you can expect performances by both local artists who are keen to establish their careers in the city and also those who are already making headway overseas. With little to no constraint on genre this should offer a real eye opener into Birmingham’s music scene. 

10th April 2015: Project Birmingham are organising an event at the 112 Space which will feature some bands and dj's. Anjin, Hollow and Burlish will be representing so come and check it out. More details to come.

5th June 2015: I'm not sure what I'm allowed to write about this, but I'll write the following: 'RUPTURE', 'LISTENING SESSIONS', 'SKUTTA', 'BIRMINGHAM'. More details to come soon hopefully. You know it's gonna be a big one, so save the date and get them dancing shoes ready :-)

Abdul Haqq Interview

Check it out, there some other interesting stuff too. I wrote a little about a book Abdul had released a couple of months ago, so here's some more info:

And that's it for now, peace :)

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Interview with Fushara

Fushara has been a supporter of the zine since it's first issue way back in 2010. Last year sometime he sent me a batch of tracks which I thought were absolutely awesome (they still haven't been released - yet!). I noticed that there seemed to be a change in the music he made, it felt like it was more techno influenced. I've been listening out for his music since then, he released an album on Omni Music in November 2014 (http://omnimusic.bandcamp.com/album/the-ohm-series-fushara-test-one-lthe-ohm-series-fushara-test-one-lp). Once again the music very techno influenced and almost tribal. Recently I was lucky enough to check out his latest album 'A Wasteland of Memories'.

It's a masterpiece. I heard the music and I thought I had to definitely find out a bit more about the person behind the music……

Who are you? Tell me a bit about yourself, and describe yourself with 3 Youtube/Vevo videos.

Full name is Thushara Goonewardene, I was born in London, I got into DnB and electronic music after teenage years spent raving at local events etc.. I started DJing in school and at university got a regular slot on LifeFM under Paul Roast. There I started to meet all crew, I played along artists such as Data, Wilsh and Madcap, and met long term friends and Croydon based crew Lab Creation. Debut release was on Martsmans/Cycom Plainaudio Productions, however my first album was Tales from a Concrete City on Make:shift records.

Youtube video for one of title tracks ICU:

I have done a rmx for the Metro & Justice album '839' which I was very happy with:

I have a brand new video for my forthcoming album created by some friends in the Ukraine who go by the name GODO, track is called Ghost Prologue and is one of the interludes from the album:

Since your teens, what 5 tracks have been influential to you on your musical path, and why?

1. Reprazent: 'Heroes'. First exposure to the musical side of DnB, I was inspired by the New Froms album.

2. John B: 'Starburst 1.1' off his debut 'Visions' album. This track inspired me to make music. The synth and tech step was great at the time when I was at school.

3. Prodigy: 'No Good' from 'Music for the Jilted Generation'. The nineties rave sound features heavily in my music!

4. Massive Attack: 'Unfinished Sympathy'. The vocal gets me every time, great track.

5. Vangelis: 'Rachel's Sound'. Anything from Vangelis gets my thumbs up. Inspired soundtrack to Bladerunner and space age atmospheres is what's its all about!

Your earlier tracks were very breakbeat driven, whereas some of things I've heard from you in the last year have had more 4/4 kicks in them. How did that come about?

Yeah as much as I have always been into Experimental DnB, I have moved away into other forms as I have been hearing some good techno and downtempo over the last year or so. Sigha's album on Hotflush recently caught my attention with his dark but emotive techno. Also, I have been getting into the dub sound with Shackleton. The sound I am working on is an interpretation of what im hearing in the dub and techno scene with my DnB background interlaced with it.

You've worked with a few record labels before, what was the impetus for starting your own?

I wanted to take my music a step further and be able to work under my own terms on my own time scale. It's good to have almost total control over your music. It has been hard work to get other people
involved and co-ordinating collaborations etc but it is rewarding. I don't plan on flooding out lots of stuff, I have a feeling that I will release an occasional special release with the emphasis on quality
rather than quantity.

You're record label is called 'Lone Foundation', what does that mean?

The name represents my feelings towards my experience of the music industry. I have had to learn the ropes on my own and everything I have done in music has been through my own motivation and self
learning and hence that's where the 'Lone' comes in. The foundation is the building blocks, so 'Lone Foundation'.

You've recently released an album on Omni Music, 'Test One'. What was that album about? And, does it have any relation to your new album, 'A Wasteland of Memories'?

The tracks for that album were all essentially experiments in preparation for this album, I was toying with changes of tempo and trying to work out how to use different drum machines instead of chopping breaks. I still have a lot to work out.

What is 'A Wasteland of Memories' about?

A deep one! Well over the last couple of years I have had to change a lot of things in my life and for a while my head was all over the place. I was disenchanted with music and did not feel the reward and
ambition that I used to have. I had lost contact with a lot of old friends and my job was getting tough and I saw very little point in that. The album is a representation of all the memories and emotions I
have experienced through that time. I have always been into concepts of robotics and urban decay, and expressed the album with those concepts in mind. Whereas other albums have been born from my current experience within an environment such as with 'Tales from a Concrete City', this album is more reflective and for that reason I reached out to old friends to help complete it.

What have you got planned for the rest of the year?

I want to spend the next few months promoting the album. Depending on sales I'm looking to set up a one year joint project with another artist to hopefully release next year on vinyl and cd format. I haven't approached them yet but I have a couple of people in mind!

On your latest album you've done a few collaborations. What made you want to do that, and what was it like working with them?

I wanted to collaborate with people I have worked with in the past, the focus of the project was to involve friends and people who had helped me in the past. I was really pleased with everyone who had
input into the project. I asked people to send small clips or samples and I used them to build complete tracks around. The great thing about being independant was total freedom to use the samples to create
something. This motivated me more than anything in the last year or so. I also involved friends from video and graphic media and I have given special thanks to them on the cd artwork.

Is there any music or films that you can recommend?

Books: 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep'. The book that inspired Bladerunner

Films: Moon http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1182345/ an underrated space drama.

Finally, is there anything you want to add or mention?

Special thanks to GODO the artists behind the visual work, Bear the Artist and Metro for layout and design and obviously a big shout out to all collaborators musically for the album.