The inspiration behind his album, collaborations and the future of UK Funky – we had a chat with Champion [Interview]

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Back at the start of October, one of UK underground music’s most talented artists and key figures, Champion, announced he was releasing his very first album. Off the back of this news and with the hype around his latest single, ‘Running It Red’ featuring MC Shantie, reaching fever pitch, we reached out for a quick chat about the forthcoming ‘Snapshot’.

After so many years in the game, why have you waited until now to release an album?

I think it was a mix of two things. At first, I didn’t feel like I was ready on a production level to do an album. Then when I felt I could possibly do one, I put it off for ages until I got given a nudge and just started one day.

Has a Champion full length always been on the cards?

Yeah, I’ve always known that I wanted to do one! I’d done quite a few EPs and remixes over the years and knew that eventually I’d want to put out a proper body of work even though I didn’t have a clue on any of the specifics.



Did you approach making a full body of work differently to how you would an EP or an individual track?

Kind of – usually for an EP I would just go through all of my demos and see what works together for a release. With the album, I had an idea of what I wanted to go on it and then went through all of my demos/sketches to see what I could use and then filled in the gaps over the last year.

What was the main inspiration or driving force behind ‘Snapshot’?

A few things; one was expecting and having my first child. Another was that I kind of wanted to put a body of work out that felt like it truly represented me at this current time. The driving force was a lengthy conversation with Four Tet at Radio 1 one time!

There’s some very sick collabs on the tracklist! How did the tune with Four Tet come about?

We’ve been cool and working together on things since I remixed his single ‘Kool FM’ in 2013. I’ve always liked how our collaborations came out and, with Four Tet being one of the key reasons why I started the album and him helping me put the album together, I just had to ask him if he would like to collab with me on a track for it!



Is there anyone you’d have loved to work with who isn’t already on the album?

Oh yeah, loads of people! If I could have had anyone on there that isn’t, it would probably be Wookie on a production one. One vocalist would probably be Donae’O.

Obviously ‘Running It Red’ has had an incredible response – did you know it would have such a big impact during production?

I kinda knew it would do well in a set when I was making it but I didn’t expect it to get so much support! It wasn’t even made for the album, I just made it randomly one day and played it to a couple heads and their responses were all positive. I still fought putting it on the album until maybe 1 or 2 months before sending the album off for submission but the tune kept getting bigger.

What other tracks from the album have been doing the most damage when you’ve been playing out?

I reckon its a tie between ‘Drill’ and ‘Millennium Dub’ with Royal-T!



You’ve been around UK Funky from early as a massively influential figure – what are your thoughts on the momentum it seems to be picking up recently?

I’m happy that its making a slight revival. I feel like it just needs that one flagship tune now to kick it into gear. I reckon for that to happen though, someone needs to come with something completely fresh to the sound, something that will completely set it apart from what we were doing back then.

As someone with a very distinctive sound, what advice would you give to new producers trying to make an impression?

The main advice I could give for that would be to trust your ears in a sense where if you honestly like what you hear, whether it be a snare, sample or some hats, work with it and don’t question yourself. Also it would be to make tunes that you would personally go nuts for if you heard it elsewhere!

Finally, what have you got coming after the release of Snapshot?

I’m working on some vocal projects at the moment that I wanna run at some point next year. I’ve also got quite a few interesting collabs that will start to surface after the album as well.

You can preorder ‘Snapshot’ here, and be sure to check out Champion’s promo mix ahead of the release of the album below:

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Shook Events 2 is now sold out

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Set to take place at Wire in Leeds, tickets are now down to a very limited amount on the door

After a successful launch party back in April, Shook Events are back with a second sell out night.

It’s set to be a big one with some of the biggest names at the moment across Drum and Bass and Bassline, including Mr Traumatik, Forca (playing a DJ set), Tsuki and Vital Techniques all playing at Wire on October 24th.

Though all online tickets are sold out, there is 50 tickets on the door on a first come first serve basis, so make sure you get down to Wire ASAP if you need one. You can check out the Facebook event here for more details.

Dokkar has also put together a promo mix for the event, exploring some of the biggest tunes of the year (including his own ‘Runnin’ It Red’ dub from Champion and MC Shantie) to get you in the mood. You can listen to that below:

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SkinzMann feat KDOT – Air Max 90 (Burt Cope Remix) [Premiere]

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Out today, check out Burt Cope’s take on ‘Air Max 90’

SkinzMann and KDOT’s ‘Air Max 90’ tear out Bassline anthem is out now on Titanium Audio and with a huge remix package to boot; Vital Techniques have gone with rapid, shuffling drums and chunky basslines whilst Palize has slowed things down a touch, opting for straighter 4×4 drums and wonky bass riffs. Fiyahman has mixed it up with a deep wobbler and Agro has lived up to his name with an angry drum and bass roller.

Burt has followed on from his debut EP on Project Allout in fine form, further channeling his unique palette of Bassline and UKG. Standing apart from the other remixes, he’s gone all out 2 step, without losing any of the Bassline energy from the original – perfect material for DJs of both genres.

You can stream Burt Cope’s remix of SkinzMann ft KDOT – ‘Air Max 90’ below, and purchase/stream the whole release here.

If you run or work for a label and would like us to premiere a track for you, please get in touch.

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1Forty and FZKS team up with Bluewave for brand new Winter carnival

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Bluewave Winter Carnival is taking place at the end of November with a huge lineup spread over 3 rooms.

Just when we thought Leeds based event and label 1Forty couldn’t do anymore this year, they’ve now put their name to a one day carnival alongside Birmingham crew FZKS and Sheffield’s Bluewave.

Happening on November 25th at The Night Kitchen in Sheffield, the mammoth lineup covers a huge selection of UK underground bass music, including Royal T and Deadbeat UK vs Dr Cryptic.

As well as massive tunes, there’s also apparently going to be Winter themed decorative art and live characters.

There’s still more to be announced but we’d recommend buying your ticket now, before they’re all gone! You can get tickets for the Bluewave Winter Carnival here and here, and also check out the Facebook event here.

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Birthday celebrations, not following trends and their biggest event so far – In:Flux Audio turn 4 [Interview]

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4 years in the game is a huge amount of time for any platform, especially for one that refuses to follow trends. In:flux Audio releases have always had a different edge to them, and that has allowed them to carve their own niche within Bass music. With In:flux’s events also being completely uncompromising, we spoke to Aaron (1 half of Tik & Borrow and In:flux co-founder) ahead of their 4th Birthday headlined by grime and dubstep legend Plastician

Firstly congrats on reaching your 4th Birthday! Taking it back to the very start, how was In:flux born?

Thanks a lot. Those 4 years seem to have flown by!

Back before we started doing the events in 2013 we struggled to get regular gigs. We decided to start an event where we would try and showcase the up and comers alongside a headliner from the bass scene, hopefully giving people the opportunities we weren’t. About 9 months later after our first 3 events we started the label with the same idea; to give a platform to those who didn’t have one – something we still hold as a huge part of what we do today with our White Label releases on our Bandcamp. The events and label now sit quite nicely hand in hand, giving people releases on the label and then being able to follow up with the events!



In:flux has had some huge moments since it’s inception but what has been the biggest for you so far?

There are probably quite a few big ones such as getting tunes played on Radio 1 and grabbing our first number one on Juno Download. However, for me personally it has to be all the festival sets we’ve played this summer. Playing at Y-Not, two sets at Boomtown Fair and  Solfest was amazing and shows how far we’ve come – not only for the response we got from those sets, but the sheer number of people we played to at each of those festivals.

Have there been any issues on the journey so far?

When we first started out, the events weren’t as big a success as we wanted. We started the nights up in Leeds (where I live) for the first three, but there didn’t seem to be much of a scene for what we were trying to do back in 2013 in the city. So as the other founder of the brand was from Sheffield and we knew a lot of people in the city, we moved our events there. We also started the record label before we moved to the Steel City, and after the release of our first two EPs, it seemed to really give us a boost and the events started to pick up. All of our events since have been a success in one way or another, so what happened back in 2013 has shaped the brand for the better!

Having put music out from some of the scene’s top artists before they were big, is there anyone who has sent you music and you’ve said to yourself ’They’re going to go far’?

One thing we always pride ourselves on at In:flux is working with up and comers, developing them with the label to give them the platform to progress in the scene – whilst still keeping them as part of our roster. There’s loads I could’ve picked but I’ve gone for my top 3 who blew me away when we first signed them:

      1. Joedan – we signed him in our first year and he was always destined for big things; he has just been signed to Shadow Child’s Food Music.
      1. Pelikann – we were massive fans of his before he came to us with his first demo, and he has been turning heads of late, having releases for Stanton Warriors’ Punks and has recently been signed to AC Slater’s Night Bass, a huge favourite of ours at In:flux.
      1.  Sample Junkie – from when we put out his first release about 18 months ago to his recent EP, he’s been absolutely smashing it and we’ve tied him down to another EP for 2018. There’s not a weekend I didn’t see his name on a festival poster this summer!


In:flux releases do always tend to be bit different from the trends that occur in bass music – is that intentional?

We don’t like to be the same as everyone else – we never really have done. We may kicked off with Bassline back in 2014 on the ‘Dutty Up North EP’, but within that first year went on to put our releases from Wölfe, Joedan, The Colonel and Karl Vincent – who weren’t really part of that Bassline sound.

As our own Tik&Borrow productions started to develop a more Neuro-influenced sound, we also started working with the likes of Pelikann and Sample Junkie who we felt suited this new direction, an adaptation of the Mutant Bass sound. Moving forward our core sound will be based around these three artists whilst still working with our stalwarts, such as 1point5, Fiyahman, J69, Pavv and Wölfe, to make sure we keep a diverse sound – especially across our compilation releases.

If you could release music from anyone, who would it be?

Kanji Kinetic hands down. As we edge more towards Mutant Bass withing the label, I couldn’t point towards anybody but the King of this sound. His tunes today are mainstays in our sets and he paved the way in for Mutant Bass with his sound design, a lot of what you can hear in productions today were fully influenced by this man!



Moving on to events, you seem to have found a good home at The Harley and have a good fan base up in the North. Is there any plans to take In:flux further afield?

The Harley has been an amazing home to us, and we will hopefully be back there in the New Year with some more amazing line-ups.

We are involved with Seismic in Bradford, a new Bass-orientated event that showcases local talent alongside a headliner in a similar way to what we started at In:flux. Working alongside other events and brands like this would be a great model to allow us to move further afield, and this can be done as a showcase, takeover or a collaborative event. Lots of options and something that we are always looking into!

What’s the most memorable moment from an In:flux event so far?

Our birthday events have been pretty special the last two years. Our 2nd Birthday with In The Face (Deadbeat UK, Hadean and Gash) and our 3rd Birthday (Killjoy, Thorpey and Wölfe) were both absolutely rammo at The Harley and huge fun. Meeting Rico Tubbs at our event in February was a personal highlight of mine, and made even more awesome by the fact that he’s now a regular contributor to our label!



For your 4th Birthday, Plastician is headlining – what a legend! How did you come to such an inspired decision?

The scene at the minute is tough, especially putting on events. A lot of the same DJs are playing every other week, and we’ve always tried to think outside the box for our headliners – thus booking Rico Tubbs and Jay Robinson as headliners in February and March this year.

We figured that with the success of our 2nd and 3rd Birthdays we could up the scope a little bit, and get a legend in. Being a big Dubstep head and with the label taking on more Grime, especially with the forthcoming Tik&Borrow album dabbling quite heavily in the genre, there was only one person who fit the bill for us. We’re pretty excited at In:flux – we caught his set at Outlook Festival and he was simply awesome!

Obviously the rest of the lineup is huge too – is this your biggest event so far?

Without a doubt. First time we’ve gone to two rooms at our own event and there are twenty people playing across various acts and combinations. It’s going to be a lot of fun!



After the huge birthday celebrations, what have In:Flux got in store?

We have another week of Birthday celebrations down in Brighton on 21st October as we do a 4-hour Trickstar radio takeover with the gang, followed by a gig at The Hub. Should be a pretty fun weekend!
Then we’re taking a few months off the events to start getting our 2018 release line-up nailed on. At the minute we’ve got releases lined up from 1point5, Zemon, Sekt-87, Wölfe and of course our compialtions, with Pelikann currently in the process of compiling next years ‘Presents…’ compilation which we’re dead excited about!

In:Flux Audio celebrate their 4th Birthday with Plastician, TC4, Thorpey, Pelikann, Wölfe, Tik & Borrow and many more this Friday at Sheffield’s Yellow Arch Studios. Get your tickets here.

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Tengu & Mofaux – Jinzo EP [Southpoint] [Review]

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Tengu and Mofaux join forces again on the ‘Jinzo’ EP; 3 originals and 3 remixes of pounding drums and twisted, gully bass sounds that sit right at home on the ever-consistent Southpoint.

Tengu & Mofaux – Jinzo

For anyone who doesn’t know, Jinzo is apparently an “evil Duel Spirit who seeks to become a real person by taking the souls of those who summon him” from the world of ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’. Evil is one way to describe this track – after building tension in the intro with a mosquito-like synth and teases of the bass-line, the main drop itself is completely unforgiving. Tough 4×4 drums lay the foundation for an assortment of basses that are designed to take your head off. The only chance to catch your breath from the completely ruthless assault of screw-face worthy sounds is during the breakdown, where drum breaks fleetingly filter in and out again under the mosquito drone. With the second drop switching to 2step for 8 bars before flipping back into the full force of 4 to the floor, ‘Jinzo’ is given a new energy, and the bass line onslaught continues until the last seconds. This is not a track to be taken lightly by any means – Tengu and Mofaux have created a full on dance floor destroyer.

Tengu – Parasite (feat Duke)

Tengu take the reigns with the first solo track of the release and they team up with Brighton based MC, Duke. Intensity is high from the very beginning with Duke simply taking no prisoners as Tengu get sinister with the production. ‘Parasite’ is a barrage of bass weight, lead by a combination of the techno-esque, subby kick drum and a simple, but oh-so-effective chainsaw of a bass line. Duke’s delivery is venomous and matches the energy of the track perfectly; we’re just wondering how Tengu managed to find space in the mixdown for him.

Mofaux – Nike Airs (feat Razor)

If you thought the airy chords and stripped back percussion from the intro of ‘Nike Airs’ was a sign of things chilling out, you’d be sorely mistaken – this is the maddest track yet. Fire spitter and Southpoint regular Razor is back on mic duties, with the crisp delivery we’ve come to expect from him helping build the track up before each drop. It’s after those build ups things get mad, and we mean absolutely fucking bananas. The drums are everything you’d expect from Mofaux – heavy kicks, and scattershot snares rain down amongst various other crisply produced percussion – but it’s the metallic, rasping bass sound that is going to be causing the biggest reaction. Honestly, if the intro and breakdown were any busier, we feel ‘Nike Airs’ would be a bit too much but it’s the harsh contrast between the two sections that make this track a guaranteed pull up, every single time.

Tengu – Parasite (feat Duke) [Mofaux Remix]

Mofaux gives ‘Parasite’ the remix treatment, starting with chops of the ‘mosquito’ sound from the original under straight up 4×4 drums, with Duke’s vocals pushed right to the forefront. The track has been completely re-vibed, dropping into a stop-start, chunky bass riff that would slot right in to most of today’s Bassline sets. The various shuffling hats and skipping snares keep momentum up, along with the subtle second drop switch up and with the vocal getting room to breathe in comparison to Tengu’s original.

Mofaux – Nike Airs (feat Razor) [Tengu Remix]

Tengu pay back the favour, also opting for the 4×4 vibe. Channeling the aggressive tone of Razor’s voice, Tengu’s remix is menacing yet surprisingly catchy. The slowly panning riff during the intro is a wicked touch, and the main bass line itself is almost sing along material for the rave. The sounds themselves are haunting, with additional elongated basses almost groaning in the background. The octave switch before the breakdown adds an urgency to the track over the weighty sub. The second drops starts with a 2 step section before dropping back into the original 4×4 pattern, finishing off with energy on a high.

Tengu & Mofaux – Jinzo [Habouchi Remix]

There’s a reason why Habouchi is one of the top rated up and coming producers in the scene, and he gives a perfect example of why with this remix of the title track. Expertly building tension using elements of the original, Habouchi’s drums are punchy and we love the shuffle of the hats – especially the splashy open hi-hat. The bassline is teased in, as the track builds, before dropping into a wide, metallic earworm of a bass riff. The wideness of the bass really allows for the sub to power through, even when the sounds switch on the second section to something slightly denser. It’s the next section after that’s going to catch people out though – the track flips into a naughty, rhythmic helter-skelter, perfect for anyone who likes their tunes on the wonky side. There’s a brief breakdown to allow people to catch their thoughts, before everything runs through once more.

Selecta’s Favourite Track: Mofaux – Nike Airs (feat Razor)

Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Simply put, Southpoint don’t release any music that isn’t original or inspired and this EP is both. Tengu and Mofaux are both in top form with each track being not only dance floor ready, but clever and interesting too. It’s clear that they know how each other work, and how to get the best from one another. The MC’s can’t be faulted either, both providing great vocals and Habouchi’s remix is going to be getting played for a long time. Everyone involved with the release has been forward thinking, and that can only mean good things for the scene. 

You can buy Tengu & Mofaux – ‘Jinzo’ EP here.

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Daze Prism – Greys [Premiere]

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We’re very excited to premiere one of the tracks from ‘Flux’

Daze Prism has had a momentous year with massive release after massive release and gaining support from a host of UK Bass music’s biggest artists. It’s no surprise really – everything he touches is incredibly detailed with brilliant sound design and devastating bass lines – but not without emotion.

‘Grey’s is taken from the forthcoming 10 track album ‘Flux’. Contrasting a euphoric riff with dark, brooding bass lines whilst combining elements of UK Garage and Breaks, Daze Prism has created a hugely weighty track that stirs up conflicting feelings; if the rest of the album is this good we can’t wait to hear it.

You can stream Daze Prism – ‘Greys’ in full below and hear more from the album here. ‘Flux’ is out on October 27th on Project Allout Records.

If you run or work for a label and would like us to premiere a track for you, please get in touch.

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