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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.