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Content coming soon // UK Garage and Bass blog // Reviews // Interviews // + more

Early inspiration, dream remixes and releasing with one of his favourite lables; a quick chat with Wittyboy [Interview]

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Following on from his releases on Chip Butty Records and Crucast, Wittyboy’s most recent release see’s him pair up with a label close to his heart; DJ Zinc’s imprint, Bingo Bass. The London based artistss latest 2 track EP is a perfect representation of his hybrid production style. We spoke to him about his history in production, the state of the bass scene right now and the EP itself.

As someone who made their name during the first wave of Bassline, what was your initial introduction to dance music?

I was heavily inspired by early speed garage and 2 step garage when growing up. This was the first type of music other than Hip Hop that got my attention. I used to buy the Sun City tape packs from my local off license; can you imagine an off-license selling tape packs now?! Crazy when I think about it.

What was it that made you want to start producing?

I think it was a natural progression from being a DJ and wanting exclusive dubplates to drop that nobody else had. That’s what made you stand out as a DJ and still does in my opinion.



If you weren’t making Bassline or Garage, what kind of music would you produce?

Probably Hip Hop or Grime.

What are the biggest changes in your own music since you started out?

My technical knowledge and quality in structure and sound. I understand music much better now than I did back then and technology has advanced too which helps.

You’re originally from Leeds but now live in London – what are the biggest differences in the bass music scene that you’ve noticed since moving?

There’s a much bigger scene across the country now whereas before it was literally just up north. There were a few people trying to push it down South back then but not many.



You’ve been on remix duties for a list of massive names; if you could do a remix for anyone in the world right now who would it be and why?

I would love to remix for Jorja Smith or Dua Lipa. They are both amazing vocalists.

Your latest release dropped on DJ Zinc’s label, Bingo Bass. Tell us a little bit about your connection to the label and how the release came about?

I started sending Zinc music and he asked if I would be interested in releasing on Bingo – I obviously said yes and here we are! I have a personal connection to the label historically as some of the back catalog heavily influenced my sound and career.

What was your process for writing the release?

The same as any music I suppose. I just go with what feels and sounds right at the time. This release shows both sides of my style I think. ‘Burning’ is more melodic whereas ‘Working With’ is more bass driven.



How healthy do you think the current UK Bass scene is?

I think the scene has lots of diversity in terms of the music and the fans, which is always a great thing. I think if people continue to create original music that is true to themselves then the scene will continue to thrive.

Finally, what’s next for Wittyboy?

Continue to make original music and work with as many talented artists as I can. Hopefully drop an album too at some point!

You can hear Wittyboy – ‘Working With/Burning’ below, and buy the release here.

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PVC – Trash EP [Southpoint] [Review]

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PVC returns to Southpoint applying his eclectic collection of influences on 3 massive new originals also featuring the vocal talents of Duke and a slick remix from Bushbaby, making it a full on Southpoint family affair.

Trash (ft Duke)

PVC kicks the EP off with intertwining melodies and a gentle contrast between the natural ringing of the tuned mallet sound, a shimmering, falling lead and stretched out atmospherics over a stuttering Funky-esque drums. This rich combination brings out an emotional quality in Duke’s sharp vocal with the pressure steadily building before dropping. PVC is known for twisted, powerful basslines and thats exactly what he’s come through with here; a blend of harsh, higher pitched notes screech over a lower, consistent chug that drives the track on making space only for snippets of Duke’s vocal and galloping drum fills. With the second drop treated to some subtle variations in the bassline, ‘Trash’ is set to be an intense and unrelenting assault on the dance floors everywhere.

Rum In The Cup

One of the reason’s we were drawn to PVC’s music years ago was the fact he loves a melody and he’s back at it again on in the intro to ‘Rum In The Cup’, layering fluttering arpeggios and euphoric stabs under a vocal that is 100% going to have people chanting along; with a brilliant shuffle to the drums and a devastatingly brazen bassline this is destined to be a crowd pleaser. We can’t help but love the little acid-inspired background synth as well as the subtle plucked instrumentation – how PVC found space in the mix for them to shine through we’ll never know but full credit to him for that.

Insane

‘Insane’ starts out as a soulful slice of house, with chunky drums acting as support for a brilliant bit of vocal sampling and a euphoric piano riff. Things get hectic pretty quickly as the track drops into a stripped back 4×4 stomper lead by a catchy distorted bass riff which tangles with a higher pitched version of itself on the second drop. You’ll struggle not to nod your head along to this one, the drums putting us in mind of the Jackin’ House glory days of 2014/2015 but with added funk and a bit more aggression. It’s an absolute banger and we can’t help but love it .

Trash (ft Duke) [Bushbaby Remix]

Bushbaby’s take on the title track starts off bringing the layer of emotion from the original track to the forefront as Duke lets loose over airy pads, dark strings and long leads anchored down by the most satisfying drums – the snare rolls are a thing of beauty and so is the fill before the first drop. Initially keeping things to a regimented 4×4 pattern with the metallic bassline sounding off, Bushbaby manages to filter in the UK Funky vibe from the original intro by eventually adding offbeat, shuffling snares. With the second drop equally effective as the first, the contrast between the calm, melancholic breakdown is breathtakingly good. If you ever needed a reference track on how to smash a remix, this is it.

Selecta’s Favourite Track: Insane.

Overall: 9/10

Summary

Before we even heard this EP we knew it was going to be, at worst, decent; Southpoint’s quality control has never dipped from the day they started and PVC is one of the most accomplished, interesting and technical producers in the scene. The man from Croydon has come out all guns blazing though, and delivered a selection of hefty cuts that portray a heap of his influences if you listen carefully enough. Every track is rave-ready, and there’s a lot of fun to be had, particularly on ‘Insane’. Duke is on top form on the title track, his vocal contributing to building hype but also nuanced with feeling; a subtle element on the original but dragged into the spotlight by the atmospheric, emotionally charged remix from Bushbaby. Top work from everyone involved. 

You can by PVC – ‘Trash’ EP here.

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The influences of Croydon and Dubstep, finding his sound early and gigging with Jauz; an interview with PVC [Interview]

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Purple Velvet Curtains, or PVC as he’s known, has been involved in the UK Underground scene for years, crafting an incredibly unique sound that sets him apart from anyone else and makes his productions instantly recognisable. Ahead of the release of his next EP, due out on Southpoint at the end of this month, we caught up with him to talk about his musical roots, Dubstep, and his favourite moments as a DJ.

We first started hearing your music on Marcus Nasty’s show years back, and it immediately stood out from what everyone else was doing – why do you think your sound design was so different from so early?

I guess at the time there really wasn’t many people pushing that kind of 130 Jackin’ House vibe with Bassline; it was either Jackin’ at 130 or Bassline at 140 so big shouts to Marcus for putting tunes like that and myself on the map. I just don’t think there was enough people experimenting, I was young at the time so I really didn’t  think much of it and I almost thought I was the only one using Reason as well. People used to look at me funny when I told them I was strictly Reason and in a sense that kind of made me think I could use things others couldn’t.



What was it that first made you want to get in to making music?

I always had a big passion for mixing music – I had a set of decks by the time I was 13/14 – and wanted my own music to add into mixes ever since. I actually organised a few ‘raves’ (using that word lightly) when I was about the same age just because there was no way for me to play in a proper club. I started making music for fun; growing up in Croydon I kinda took a lot of Dubstep and Garage influences from people around me (Digital Mystiks, Benga + Skream, Monsters etc.) but being in that younger generation it was a lot of watching and learning whenever I could get a chance or whenever I was lucky enough.

With originally being from Croydon, how did the emergence of dubstep have an affect on you?

As mentioned before I was really young at the time compared to the guys that were really coming up. Although I spent my fair few weekends down at Big Apple and even after it shut down it was always a case of kinda soaking it all in and the spending hours each night trying to recreate what I heard that day. With everything my sound evolved to the point I was making strictly 2-step and bass house for a while but couldn’t ever stray from that Dubstep influence which I still think I use in my music now.



Now you’re in Brighton, how does the scene compare with that from the Capital?

Very different. Not in a bad way at all but when I first moved down to Brighton it was an underground music hub that put on events with artists that were fully on the come up – just as a quick example I remember seeing Preditah with 5 people in the rave the first year I landed and it blew my mind. Now seeing him sell out tours is incredible and just shows how ahead of its time Brighton was. I honestly am slowly starting to see that happen again but for a few years there was a big transition in what people wanted down here. I feel London has always been quite consistent and it’s a big enough place that you don’t even have to be looking for a decent rave to find one.

The track that really put you on our radar (and a lot of other people’s) was your bootleg of Ten Walls’ ‘Walking With Rhinos’; how do you think you’ve changed and developed as an artist since releasing that?

Life kicked in big time after I released ‘Walking with Rhinos’ and I’ve taken a few breaks in between then and now. Honestly,  I’ve only started to feel in the last year that I’ve developed into a person I feel comfortable with so I guess my sound develops and changes with me. As an artist I feel like I’m improving and developing daily; I’ve had some great opportunities to work with some crazy people in the last year and learning every step of the way has been an eye opener. With so much more to come it’s exciting to think where the music could go!



You’ve played all over the country and internationally but for those who haven’t had the pleasure of witnessing a PVC set, what can ravers normally expect to hear from you?

Energy, energy, energy.  I love a good party so I like to show that throughout my set! I’m playing a lot of unreleased stuff at the moment from myself and plenty of my pals that seems to turn any place upside down, although I love to throw in a few classics too. I tend to go through the whole spectrum of bass music from UK Bass to Garage to Bassline with some random bits chucked in between. All-round a lot of fun and good vibes.

What’s been your favourite set so far and why?

My favourite set so far would have to be Cross Club in Prague. It was a crazy experience and the club was incredible, topped off by having a restaurant inside the rave which is probably my favourite combo ever. Was with some really nice hosts and the city is just a beautiful place. An honourable mention would have to be a hometown show supporting Jauz at XOYO – to meet the man himself was enough but to play to a sold out show with so many old faces in attendance was special.

With your next release coming out on Southpoint, tell us a bit about your relationship with them and how you put the EP together?

Southpoint have always been my bros from since I moved down here and they started up. It’s been a long time coming for me to be jumping on the label for a release but I feel it’s definitely come at the right time! Everyone on the label I have plenty of time for including my hometown pal Duke who jumped on the release for me with some mad vocals and Bushbaby who has done a killer remix of ‘Trash’ as well. It was very fun putting the whole thing together and I hope it shows.



What’s the general process for a PVC studio session?

The general studio session really depends on who I’m with or the mood I’m in. Typically it starts with a cup of tea with Mary, and then follows with something stronger if the mood takes me… I’ve got so many ideas and voices in my head and a lot don’t really suit this project (PVC) so I write a lot of music that constantly gets me working with other people which is so much fun and obviously very beneficial but I tend to bounce off people a bit and go with the flow. I try and take influences from as many different places as possible and cram them into the PVC side of things which makes things new and relevant. A Deliveroo is essential and so is having just enough utensils around me so I don’t have to move.

Finally, what have you got lined up after the release of the ‘Trash’ EP?

There’s a lot going on this year, some crazy collabs and a lot more vocal work for some special people that I’m fully excited about! I have two singles coming out in the summer and a few bass heavy EPs swinging about in between. I’m also hoping to get PVC out a bit more during the summer so expect some last minute bookings and appearances from myself causing a bit of mischief with my pals.

Also, I’d just like to thank you guys for having me on here, the Southpoint boys for helping me out with this EP and to Duke & Bushbaby for their involvement in making this happen, the love is real!

PVC’s next EP, ‘Trash’, is due for release on Southpoint, 27/04/18. You can hear a couple of tracks from it below

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Premiere: Fork & Knife + Tigs – ‘Bring Your Crew’ (Common Underground Remix) [Forthcoming Raw Tactics]

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Raw Tactics are on a roll as label boss Tigs teams up with London based Fork & Knife on their latest release

We’ve been really liking what Raw Tactics have been putting out as of late and it seems like they have no intentions of letting up, delivering 3 new weighty, versatile cuts into our inbox; the label’s next release sees head honcho join forces with Fork & Knife on two originals with a seriously good remix of the title track from Australian duo, Common Underground.

‘Bring Your Crew’ is a chunky slice of two step that centres around a catchy riff, a high-cut vocal and frantic (yet immaculate) percussion teetering on the edge of Garage and UK Bass; whilst 2-step rhythms are in play, the majority of the low end is provided by the heavily distorted kick drum and there’s plenty of hi-hat triplets thrown in for good measure. The non-committal to either camp doesn’t stop it being a banger, and that riff will definitely bury itself in your sub-conscious

‘Like This’ follows the ‘catchy riff x filtered’ vocal pattern, but is a very sick tune in itself. Whilst giving off a slight Funky vibe owing to the drums, it’s a Grime-y UK Bass tune anchored by gritty 808s and scattershot snares. There’s plenty of percussion on top of everything else to bring more momentum and really drive home the fact that Raw Tactics aren’t lacking in artists who can program very very good drums.

Common Underground’s remix of ‘Bring Your Crew’, premiered by ourselves, grabs the original riff and vocal by the scruff of the neck and launches it firmly into UK Bass territory. The combination of massive 808s, tech-y lead line and attention to detail in the drum work puts us firmly in mind of Hypho, which can never be a bad thing.

You can hear the premiere of Fork & Knife + Tigs – ‘Bring Your Crew’ (Common Underground Remix) below, and the whole release is due out 13/04/18.

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Eclypse and Heretic team up on a sensuous slice of vocal UKG

Ignite-(Soundcloud)

The Netherlands based producer returns to Southpoint with vocalist Heretic and an instant classic

Southpoint have made a name for themselves as a go to label for top notch UK Bass, Grime and Bassline productions but do 5 minutes digging and you’ll find out that the Brightoners also have a soft spot for UK Garage – smooth, soulful UKG in particular.

With appearances from the mighty Moony, including his amazing ‘Bullion’ EP, as well as a smattering of tracks from up and coming producers both on their compilations and their Southpoint: Introducing series, it’s clear that amongst all the heavy basslines and thumping drums, Southpoint’s ear for quality Garage is top notch.

They’ve struck gold once again, this time with a beautiful new single from Eclypse – making his return after releasing the grimey ‘Don’t Talk Crud’ EP – and Leeds based vocalist Heretic.

The tone is set from the start on ‘Ignite’ with slinky filtered pads, shuffling stop-start drums and chopped female vocals creating a base layer for Heretic’s incredibly smooth voice. With harmonies and ad-libs all on point and a liberal dose of reverb, the lead vocal sits delicately above the bassline, which is catchy and a touch moodier than the rest of the instrumentation.

Full credit has to go to Eclypse for his attention to detail production wise – the drums, bassline and vocal are all mixed to perfection and whilst they may be the most upfront elements of the track there’s plenty of tiny flourishes to enjoy; a soft arpeggiated square wave panning from ear to ear on occasion, which when combined with a gorgeous, shimmering harp-esque sound adds a huge amount of width to the track and a Rhodes follows the same pattern as the bassline which is simple and subtle yet effective.

In all, ‘Ignite’ is a scintillating example of how new school UKG with vocals could and should be done. It’s versatile enough to both slot seamlessly into a set at a rave and your playlist for summer and we firmly believe that Southpoint, Eclypse and Heretic are sitting on a stone cold classic here.

Stream a preview of Eclypse – ‘Ignite’ (feat Heretic) below. The full track drops tomorrow (6/4/18) on Southpoint.

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Premiere: KSO x Eddie Craig – ‘Dub For Ya Speaker’ ft Dread MC & Tengu (NuBass Remix)

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The rapidly rising NuBass is on remix duties for Kissy Sellout’s latest release, featuring some massive names

Kissy Sellout is keeping the pressure on with a collection of huge remixes of his second single from his forthcoming album, enlisting the production talents of NuBass, Virtue and Zurra.

The credits for the original mix of ‘Dub For Ya Speaker’ read like an Allstar collection of the UK underground, with The Wideboys’ Eddie Craig, Dread MC and Tengu all involved. A breaks infused Bassline anthem, each remix puts a new spin on things.

The NuBass version, which has been premiered by ourselves, brings fresh energy as an in-your-face, all out Bassline stomper centring on Dread’s tough vocals and a rinsing, metallic bass. Virtue comes through with a hefty drum and bass roller whilst Zurra has opted for a pounding tech-house approach.

You can stream the premiere of NuBass’ remix below (which is released this Friday, 6/4/18), with ‘Dub For Ya Speaker’ set for release on KSO’s forthcoming album.

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Premiere: Witchdoctor – 6AM [Forthcoming Downplay Recordings]

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2 of the freshest new forces in UKG team up on a blissfully sweet release

Since Slime Recordings started their sister label, Downplay, they’ve worked hand in hand with a collection UK Garage’s new crop of exciting producers, and their next EP stays true to that formula – this time pairing up with highly rated up and comer, Witchdoctor who has provided the goods on his second full EP, ‘6AM’.

If you haven’t heard of Witchdoctor until now, we strongly advise you go and check out all of his tunes to date. He’s clearly a hugely capable producer across the spectrum of underground UK music, including Bass House and Bassline, but UK Garage is where he really seems to be at home.

The EP kicks off with ‘Champagne’, pre-empting the forthcoming Summer with an array of glistening chords, staccato strings and flashes of vocal over 2step drums and rolling snares. ‘Wot U R’ is also on a feel good vibe, though this time Witchdoctor has opted for big, skippy 4×4 drums that lay the foundation for more bubblegum vocals and gorgeous keys – a Summer anthem in the making.

The title track, premiered over on our Soundcloud, is the darkest track of the 3 and probably the most dancefloor focused.

Title track ‘6AM’ takes another path entirely, with a low-slung 4X4 rhythm guiding the beat across chord washes and a rolling bassline that gives the production a full-on warehouse bumpy bubbler taste that’ll have the floor full in no time.

– Downplay Recordings

Witchdoctor – 6AM is out on Downplay Recordings on 6/4/18. Preview the title track below.

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