Talking inspiration, influences and the latest EP with Blackboxx [Interview]

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After featuring the sexy old school-meets-new school vibes of his latest EP, ‘Haze’, in our T5TotW series, we caught up with Scottish UKG producer Blackboxx for a little chat.

 

First of all, we want to say your ‘Haze’ EP is hands down one of our favourite releases of the year so far! Tell us a bit about how it came together and what the main inspiration was behind it?

Thankyou. I wanted to recreate a sound that was kinda reminiscent of the late 90s garage movement, which for me relied more on melody; the kinda stuff I used to hear on the radio growing up. I wanted to make music that you could dance to in a club but also that was soulful and could be held in its own right. A new take on UKG I guess.

What’s your typical process for making a track?

So first I would usually start by playing  in a chord sequence or finding a sample and chopping it up to a point it no longer really resembles anything like the original song. From here that idea seems to spark melodoies in my head and I’ll record them. At that point I’ll focus on writing a beat that seems to tie everything together. The last and most fun part for me is usually the vocals. I’ll spend a lot of time getting vocals from different sources, time stretching, chopping and pitching them in a way it creates a new melody that tries to compliment the song.

Do you tend to focus on writing an EP as a whole or is it more a case of making individual tracks and figuring out which one’s work best together?

I think an EP should kinda have a theme or motif that ties everything together. For me that can range from anything such as the mood the songs conjure or even the production style. Thats why I think things like artwork are so important; I like to see the EP as a snapshot of a particular mood or time in an artists life. Things like artwork and song order really help to reinforce this and are very important to me.


‘I remember hearing Burials debut album for the first time when it came out. I hadn’t heard anything like it.


What are 3 things you can’t go without when making music?

The quickest way for me to get ideas down and the way I programme all my drums is using the Maschine DAW. I’ve used this since i started making electronic music and the way it integrates with Logic is so seamless so I’d have to say both these programmes are vital to me. As well as those, I’d say for bass sounds I’ve not used something as versatile and intuitive as Massive. Ive tried other synths VSTs but always end up coming back to this one.

What do you find is the best way to break through creative block?

I used to have the mindset of ‘I have to sit down and write music everyday.’ Kinda trying to force ideas out even if nothing is coming. Now, I’ll be more likely to become immersed in a book or a certain album, something that reignites that spark that made me want to make music in the first place, then start making music. I think now its more important to get myself in a place where I feel like I need to express something particular through music, rather than view it as an almost 9-5 like process. Even if this means you are coming out with less songs, I think the songs you do come out with will be from a purer place and have more significance.

You’ve released the bulk of your material on Slime Recordings – how did that relationship come about?

About three years ago I just sent them a couple of demos. I thought it would be a good place to get my music out there as I was influenced heavily by acts like Submerse and this really drew me to Slime. Andy [owner of Slime Recordings] has never tried to make me fit in a box of strictly garage with my productions and I’ve genuinely appreciated the freedom that comes with this because sometimes I like to experiment.



Being from Scotland, do you think you have a different perspective on UK Garage than someone from London? 

I guess now thinking about it I never really heard garage music in clubs before I started making it. I was always more into artists such as Burial where it’d be a more atmospheric journey I would get lost in on my headphones. This is the approach I took when making music, I never really thought about playing it in clubs. But, since getting gigs and DJing a lot more this is something that has changed. I guess it didn’t make much of a difference though where I was from as I think we as a generation are so lucky to have everything available, like DJ sets on YouTube, to draw influence from.

What was it that made you want to produce UKG?

I remember hearing Burials debut album for the first time when it came out. I hadn’t heard anything like it. I guess when people describe something as life changing, this was as close as it got for me. From there, I found out what the type of beat he was using was, and people would say 2 step so I started looking into that. This  led me to old school garage. When I listened to artists such as Nu-Birth, Scott Garcia and The B15 Project I felt nostalgic as these were songs on the radio when I was growing up. It kinda took me back to some really happy times and had this vibe that I didn’t, and still can’t get, with any other music. I thought if I could make people feel that way when listening to my music it would be pretty amazing.

If you could work with 3 producers in the scene right now, who would it be and why?

For me the best producers in the new UKG scene are Mind of A Dragon, Doctor Nick and Conducta. Any one of these I would love to work with. If we were to look a bit further afield into more atmospheric kinda future garagey stuff, I would say Nemea. I’ve chatted to him before and he’s given me advice on some mixdowns etc and helped me out quite a lot. He’s a genuinely nice guy and when I listen to a song like ‘Daphne’ it’s still one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever heard. I think our styles would work well together.

Finally, what’s coming next for Blackboxx?

Right now Im working on a new EP. This one’s gonna be quite different; a lot more atmospheric at a slightly lower tempo. I’m loving just taking influence from further afield artists and not worrying about it fitting in the garage pigeon hole. I’ve got a lot of ideas and I’m excited about it. I’m also working a lot on my DJing, playing out a lot more has been fun. Im just looking forward to creating some music thats a bit different but still ties into what I’ve been doing.

Blackboxx – ‘Haze’ EP is out now on Slime Recordings. Stream it below.

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Find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or email us at selectamusicuk@gmail.com

Top 5 Tracks of the Week: 18-24th Feb

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Exactly what it says on the tin; we share with you (in no particular order) our 5 favourite musical findings over the past 7 days.

1. Mind of a Dragon – Karma

There seems to be no stopping MOAD as he puts up track after track on his Soundcloud. ‘Karma’ features a combination of both soulful and dubbed out dancehall vocals and a massive bassline that plays off against the stop-start of the drums. We can’t help but feel if anyone else made a tune with so many gaps between both the kick and bass playing, it would be dead. But then MOAD isn’t like any other producer; the momentum never dies and this is yet another quality track that shows his individuality.

2. Daze Prism – Fool [Forthcoming Wasted Recordings]

Daze Prism continues the soulful 2 step vibes with ‘Fool’, though it’s definitely not subtle. The snare is big and abrasive and the bassline follows that trend with a variety of metallic  sounds. The switch up in pitch for the vocal is a wicked touch, and the piano on the breakdowns is gorgeous with the 4×4 drum pattern coming in on the second drop adding more energy. Daze Prism is definitely up there with Tuff Culture when it comes to emotion-laden bangers.

3. Wölfe – Swimming In Ting [Forthcoming In:Flux Audio]

3 sick garage tunes in a row! ‘Swimming In Ting’ is Wölfe at their best. This one’s all about the sick juxtaposition; lush chords, piano stabs, breezy chimes and arpeggiated riffs build up to a big bad bassline. The drums shuffle about like nobodies business, and the vocal cuts are the icing on the cake. Perfect vibes for not only inside the rave but also for when the sun decides to show it’s face.

4. A.Selecta – Soundbwoy Dead [VIP]

A.Selecta flips his original ‘Soundbwoy Dead’ from a chunky 2 step banger into 4×4 bassline madness on the VIP. The tune is as straight forward as it gets, and that’s why we think it works so well. A big kick, skippy percussion and a fat bassline provide exactly whats needed to shut down the dance.

5. Kotei – AK

This is as dark! Kotei has come through with the grime-meets-dubstep vibes on ‘AK’, with a host of retro sounds, from the first 80’s era bass sound to the ‘eski’ stabs. We love the hi hat fills and the brass sound especially. This is a versatile tune too; definitely capable of getting a reaction on it’s own, but also perfect material for MC’s.

Contact Selecta:

Find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or email us at selectamusicuk@gmail.com

Don’t miss the Deeprot livestream tonight

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Bass brand Deeprot will be streaming live from YouTube tonight (Feb 23rd) featuring a bumper lineup.

Deeprot continue their hard work to promote UK Bass and Bassline with a live stream taking place tonight.

Running from 8pm until Midnight the brand, who will be hosting a night at Camden Assembly next month, have got some of the biggest names behind Bassline’s resurgence on the 1s and 2s.


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Deeprot set to take over Camden Assembly


Starting proceedings will be Second to None’s Mikey B going b2b with Shaun Dean. Following them will be Livsey before J69 who has the 10-11 slot. Frazah, who most recently released a collaboration with Nadine on her debut EP, will be closing the stream.

It’s guaranteed to go off, so make sure you lock in by following this link

Contact Selecta:

Find us on Facebook,  Twitter or Instagram, or email us at selectamusicuk@gmail.com

Articulate Sound continue their solid run of releases with new music from Tengu

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Brighton based duo Tengu release a brand new original for free.

Articulate Sound and Tengu have both have very strong starts to the year; Articulate have released a steady stream of free to download, good quality music covering the entire spectrum of UK Bass music as well as announcing their second event, for which TC4 will be headlining.

Tengu have supported P Money, released their own preset pack and also had a tune on the wicked ‘Yosh Vol 2’ album from FooR.


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‘FooR Presents: Yosh Vol 2’ Out Now

The two have combined on a new release titled ‘Ghostly’, available to stream and download for free on Articulate’s Soundcloud.

The track starts with a booming kick and eery vocals, before being joined by UKG-inspired shuffling drums and a teasing sub.

It doesn’t take long for ‘Ghostly’ to drop into a mix of detuned and crunchy basses. It’s a little disorientating at first, but it doesn’t take long to get to grips with the bassline’s intentions – to as big and abrasive as possible.

The second drop has slightly more energy thanks to the almost immediate addition of the hi hats and other percussion, which are liberally coated in reverb for the duration of the track.

Overall ‘Ghostly’ is a sinister stomper, with support from Fish, Foor, and Klient well deserved.

Contact Selecta:

Find us on Facebook,  Twitter or Instagram, or email us at selectamusicuk@gmail.com

Deeprot set to take over Camden Assembly

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The self proclaimed ‘home of UK Bassline’ make the jump from YouTube channel to fully fledged event in March.

It’s been a rapid rise for YouTube channel Deeprot, who have just recently breached the 110,000 subscribers mark. Running alongside a successful Soundcloud where they host their own free download series, Deeprot has quickly become the go to name for UK Bass music, and more specifically the new wave of Bassline.

Not resting on their laurels, and looking to increase the reach of the brand, Deeprot are now taking the plunge and putting on their own events, with the first one in London – another sign the Capital could be finally ready to welcome the scene.


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Is London finally ready to have a Bass scene?


Deeprot Live will take place at Camden Assembly on March 17th, with Jamie Duggan, Mr V, Hybrid Theory, the resident Deeprot DJs and more on the lineup. With hardly any Bassline events happening in London, this is a huge opportunity for the scene, and here at Selecta we think Deeprot stand a good chance of making it work.

You can buy tickets for Deeprot Live London Debut here. Make sure you follow Deeprot on all of their social media to keep up to date with all uploads and future announcements.

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Contact Selecta:

If you’re putting on, or playing at, a night in London let us know so we can share and support it!

Find us on Facebook,  Twitter or Instagram, or email us at selectamusicuk@gmail.com

Listen to the 10 hour Southpoint takeover on Trickstar Radio

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After huge takeovers on London’s Mode FM and Rinse FM put together by DJ Spookz and Marcus Nasty respectively, last weekend it was Brighton’s turn, courtesy of Southpoint.

Radio takeovers have been a consistent feature for the UK Bass scene since the turn of the new year, and it’s something we’d definitely love to see more of.

After 2 of London’s biggest stations for underground music hosted Bass and Bassline takeovers, Brighton’s Trickstar Radio left the ever growing Southpoint in charge last Thursday (16th Feb).


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MIXES FROM BOTH RINSE AND MODE FM’S BASS TAKEOVERS ARE NOW ONLINE

With sets from Pavv, KXVU, Bushbaby, Inkline, Taiki Nulight and The Collective, there’s currently 8 hours of the takeover on Southpoint’s Mixcloud.

You can stream the mixes from the takeover below, and be sure to follow Southpoint on all of their social media so you don’t miss out on anything new from them.

Contact Selecta:

Find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or email us at selectamusicuk@gmail.com

Hypho and Squane to team up on EP for 877 Records

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2 of the scene’s boundary pushers combine for a release on the forward-thinking 877.

It was only a matter of time before Hypho and Squane decided to collaborate again. With both of them both pushing boundaries and combining outside influences like nobody else right now, it makes perfect sense.

After Hypho previously remixed Squane’s  ‘Romper’ for Artifice records and the pair collaborated on ‘Hack’ (also out on 877), they’re now set to release an EP together.

The first preview, a track called ‘Neurologic System’, indicates that neither producer has an interest in the current trends in Bass music- they only care about pushing forward and carving their own sound.

A combination of techno and breaks, anchored by a massive kick drum and smothered in reverbs and atmospherics, ‘Neurologic System’ is an aggressive indicator as to what the pair mean by ‘Way Beyond Boundaries’.

Preview ‘Neurologic System’ below, and keep an eye on 877 Records for Hypho & Squane – ‘Way Beyond Boundaries’



Contact Selecta:

Find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or email us at selectamusicuk@gmail.com