Category Archives: Interviews

Daze Prism on his versatile production style, avoiding writers block and his forthcoming Southpoint EP [Interview]

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After a monumental 2017 that saw Daze Prism hone his sound across a series of high quality EPs on a handful of the scene’s biggest labels, we caught up with him ahead of his first release of the year.

First of all, in research for this interview we had a quick look on Juno Download and saw in 2017 you featured on 1 compilation and put out 8 EPs AND your debut album – talk about work rate! Is writer’s block something you find easy to avoid?

Yeah 2017 was a busy one for me! Through the summer I was producing tracks everyday, and luckily didn’t have any issues with writers block. I was writing my dissertation at the time for my MSc and having the music as an outlet really helped with creativity. My advice for writers block would be to have a little jam with a keyboard/guitar – you never know what ideas might come from it…

Something we’re noticing more of at the moment is artists sticking to a small group of labels again rather than the phase of releasing everywhere and anywhere – you’ve consistently released on PAR and Southpoint, who we know try and encourage label loyalty. What are the advantages in having that kind of relationship with labels?

The great thing about sticking to a label is that you can be more selective with tracks you put out. If there’s sound you’re really feeling, the freedom to release that type of music only comes with a familiar label in most cases. When you’re trying to land a release with a new label you have less control over which tracks will end up on an EP – and sometimes you find yourself producing for a label rather than for yourself. 



You’ve got a really versatile sound and no 2 of your releases really sound similar. What are your influences?

At the moment there is a lot of sick music to take inspiration from, you don’t have to search for long to find a track which makes you want to go and start a new production!

In terms of my ‘base ingredient’ influences, I’d have to say Vangelis (the composer of the original Blade Runner sountrack) is a key inspiration for the melodic and more musical side to my tracks. For the more dark and modern parts of my productions I draw a lot of influences from early My Nu Leng, Taiki Nulight and Sly One tracks. Aside from that I try to take influences from any music I listen to, even some mainstream tracks in the charts might have a cool snippet of production in them that can be applied to a track.



Up until ‘Lose Control’ your music has been consistently dark and gritty – is that a choice on your part?

Most of the time the tracks develop into something dark – I don’t usually make a conscious effort to make them dark.

What was the defining moment/track when you realised you had your own original sound?

My favourite production to date is “React”, I think once I got the master back for that I knew I’d found my sound.



Talk us through the Daze Prism approach for putting together an EP?

I don’t really have an approach as such; I’m making tracks all the time and if one ends up sounding right I’ll try produce a few more in the style/mood to fit.

You’ve worked with Sabrina Gunston and Danny Jaqq on your forthcoming release – how did those collaborations come together?

Jay from Southpoint contacted me about getting an EP together for the label. I’d made a few WIP tracks and we decided to get some original vocals in on them. Having the vocals really transformed the tracks – it’s the first time I’d worked with original vocals so it was really cool!

SaidWho and Freddie Martin are also on the EP, supplying the remixes. If you could add anyone else to the remix credits who would it be?

Taiki Nulight!

If there was one track in the world you could remix, what would it be?

Hard question haha, I think I’d choose My Nu Leng – ‘Pushed’ Feat. Detour City. The vocals are really cool and I’ve looked up to those guys since day one. I think they should make more chilled/vocal stuff – I really dig their take on more melodic stuff.



Finally, what should we look out for from Daze Prism in 2018?

I’ve got a new single and remix EP out with Articulate Records later this year – there’s some sick remixers on there! I’m looking to get another EP out with PAR as well. Other than that I’ll see where 2018 takes me…

You can listen to the previews of Daze Prism’s forthcoming ‘Lose Control’ EP below, and pre-order it here.

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Blending genres, challenges along the way and a very busy future; we spoke to Tik (from Tik&Borrow) about the duo’s forthcoming album, ‘Neurality’ [Interview]

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Tik&Borrow have had a very busy 2017, both on personal levels and as co-founders of label In:flux Audio. Most notably, they’ve released a steady stream of their own music, as well as keeping up with In:flux’s demanding release schedule and celebrating the label’s 4th Birthday. Somehow in amongst all of this, they’ve still found time to sit down and work on their debut LP, ‘Neurality’ – an 8 track release with influences spanning Drum and Bass, Dubstep, UKG and beyond. We caught up with Tik to talk about the album process, collaborations and what to expect next from both themselves as artists and the label.

You guys have been releasing music for a long time, as well as working hard behind the scenes on your label, In:Flux audio. How long has this album been in the works for?

We finished the first couple of tunes for the album in January of this year and we finished the last tune in September, so all in all it has taken 9 months to piece this all together. We’ve had a few other releases along the way this year as well on amazing labels such as Southpoint and Project AllOut Records, which has been really great for us and helped us to expand our horizons a little bit.



Did you sit down and decide to do a full length release or was it more something that ‘just happened’?

We finished the ‘Vision’ EP that went out in February towards the end of 2016, so as there was 9 months until the deadline for our next release on In:flux, we decided we really wanted to give making an album a try. We had a few tracks in the bank, so it really seemed like a logical move forward, especially with the fact our last few EPs on the label had all been really well received.

There’s obviously a huge amount of variety in the sounds on ‘Neurality’ – where did the inspiration come from?

Our sound has always encompassed a lot of different influences, but more so on this release than ever before. The biggest new influence to our sound for the album has been Grime and Dubstep, which was a welcome addition to our composition as the drum structure in those genres really went well with our Neuro-inspired synth design. Our sound has really come full circle now with the Neuro sound from Borrow’s DnB days now combining with my love of Dubstep. It was obviously meant to be!


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Tik&Borrow have put together a Juno playlist of  tracks that acted as influences during the creation of ‘Neurality’. You can check that out here.


What was the most challenging part of the process?

I think the longevity of the process was the most challenging part. Making sure tracks you wrote at the start in January stayed as strong as the most recent tracks written in August is always tricky, and it meant some tracks fell by the wayside along the way. It’s also important to make sure the sound across the album is consistent and tells a story, but we feel in the end we’ve put the best representation of ourselves out there in the 8 tracks.

There’s a big collaboration with Tengu featured, was it a conscious decision to not have more collabs on the release?

We had more collabs lined up but they didn’t quite materialise in time for the album. We are however absolutely chuffed with the one we did piece together for it! The collab we had planned with Pelikann is on it’s way and will now be appearing on his ‘Presents…’ compilation in March and we’ve just lined up another load of collaborations with Sample Junkie, Hamdi, Pharaoh K, Ali McK & IYZ and Aerontonin. Will keep us busy for sure!


 


What’s your favourite track on ‘Neurality’ ?

I think both of us have different tracks for different reasons. The opening four tracks on the album are all solid for different reasons, but for me it has to be ‘Intake’ and Borrow it’d be ‘Wastelands’. The best part about doing the promo for this release is that everyone has come back with a different track that is their favourite.

After experiencing making an album, is it something you’d do again in the future?

It’s something we will do in the future yeah! It is a process that really helps you to develop massively as an artist and when finished is an amazing representation of yourself, something you can look upon with a good bit of pride because of the effort that goes into it.

What were your favourite studio snacks throughout the process?

For Borrow it was beer and cigarettes and for me it’s all about squash and crisps. We definitely lead very different lifestyles!

Which track took the most amount of time to wrap up and why?

The longest tracks were ‘Intake’ and ‘Wastelands’ for the very simple reason that these were tracks from 2/3 years ago that were originally Garage tracks we weren’t too happy with, but when we started on the Grime/Dubstep flex we had another punt at them and they’ve turned into absolute beasts.



What have you got lined up following the release of the album?

We’re going to take the next year to be a little more free with our production and try to write tracks one at a time rather than for a full release. We’ve got a nice little ditty called ‘Fision’ coming out on Southpoint: Introducing in January, and hope to be working more with those guys next year. We then have our beast of a collab with man like Pelikann coming out in March, and of course all our other aforementioned collabs we plan on starting in December. We also have a couple of compilation releases on In:flux lined up, a free Dubstep compilation that will be going out in the New Year and Get Fluxed Vol. IV that will be going out in June. Other than that, we’re interested in putting a few more freebies out next year so we’ll see how that works out in amongst all of this madness!

You can stream the showreel for Tik&Borrow’s forthcoming album, ‘Neurality’, below and pre-order the release here.

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Talking about huge forthcoming collaborations, changes to the Brighton scene and getting into music production with Pavv ahead of his next EP [Interview]

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Pavv is an artist who, for us, is synonymous with consistently sick releases balancing effortlessly between soulful UKG cuts and rave-ready Bassline bangers. ‘Falling’ is his first EP on local label and scene heavy hitters, Southpoint, since ‘That Talk’ back in May ’16 – a combination already proven to yield brilliant results. We caught up with Pavv to talk about the EP, future projects and more.

You first cropped up on our radar back in 2015 with huge EPs on Project Allout and U Wot Blud and since then you’ve been a go to name for high quality, ukg infused, bass heavy tracks. Was that always the sound you wanted to pursue?

Most definitely. UKG has been a massive influence throughout my years of production, with Grime, Dubstep, House and even hip hop in some ways. When I first got in to producing Bassline, everything just naturally sounded garage-y so I kept that sound throughout.

What was it that made you take up production and Djing?

When I left school I didn’t really have any type of career in my mind (like most kids) that I wanted to pursue. I used to MC for fun in my spare time and I’ve always loved music and been fascinated about how it was made, so I looked through a college course book and saw a Music Technology course and just thought why not!? When it came to Djing, the moment I started getting relatively good at producing I thought if I were to ever get booked to play a night, Id need to be able to DJ. So I bought a pair of 1210s as I was already collecting vinyl (addictive personality) and was taught by a good friend of mine.



Where do you draw your inspiration from and what would you say your biggest influences are?

Without sounding too pretentious, I draw inspiration from everything around me. Whether it be music from different cultures that I like or simply watching other artists work rate. That makes me want to work hard.

As a Brighton local, how has the scene changed from your point of view in the last few years?

I’ve been here five years. When I first got here the scene was ripe, mid-week raves were very common and the array of artists that played was crazy. Gradually the city has turned in to a very university focused city. Club goers are drawn out by free entry and drinks deals and not really for the music. But, that has been changing over the last year or so, there’s so many club nights promoting underground music and artists and the students are starting to get into the music rather than the nightlife alone.

You’re latest EP, ‘Falling’, is being put out by fellow Brighton stalwarts, Southpoint. You’ve worked with them a few times now, how did the relationship kick off?

I’ve known Jay (KXVU) for a good few years now just through being a Brighton regular, so when I heard he was starting a label I was very interested in getting involved. I originally approached Josh Gunston (Southpoint’s other co-founder) to enquire about a remix of a track they had just released. He pretty much sent me the parts the same day and then when we met properly we got talking and arranged for me to do a full EP, which was That Talk. Since all of that, I’ve become good friends with both of them and we are set to do many more things in the future!



Brighton really seems like a hotbed for talent recently – which 4 other artists are you tipping for big things?

Tengu, Zero, Freddie Martin & Hamdi. There are many more doing bits though, and  more than most are part of the Southpoint team!

Vocals seem to be a huge part of your productions, with Charli Brix and Duke featuring on your new EP- is there any plans get some more original vocals down in the future?

You will see alot more tracks with vocals from me next year, 100%. Bru-C and Dread MC are two that I can confirm but the others are still under wraps!

The whole ‘Falling’ EP really showcases your style of soulful instrumentation and gully drops – talk us through how the project came together?

After the first EP with Southpoint doing so well, we instantly had plans for another down the line. I wanted this EP to showcase all the styles of bass I enjoy to make, with all the influences I also enjoy. ‘Falling’ was inspired by old school bassline, big strings and synths with soulful vocals. ‘Pick up the Pace’ is a dark bass driven track so I thought I’d get some vocals to match that, and who better than Duke?! ‘Gully Face’ is just a straight rave banger, and the Hamdi Remix is mad! And ‘Scatter’ was inspired by my love for reggae stabs and ragga vocals.

What was your favourite track to make and why?

Most probably ‘Pick Up The Pace’. Lots of the sounds I used are different to my normal synths so it was more of a challenge to mix and get the levels right. Duke is one of my best friends outside of music so to create something that I loved and then have my good friend vocal it with pure fire is a blessing to say the least.

Hamdi’s remix of ‘Gully Face’ is absolutely massive! How did that come about?

Isn’t just?! The guy is on top form at the moment. Basically, KXVU hollered me asking who I wanted/who we both thought would do the tune justice, and Hamdi had recently had his first release on the label and it was huge so I asked KXVU to ask him and get it sorted. A few days later he sends a clip of pure madness to my inbox, and that was that.



If you could have one more producer on remix duties for the release who would you pick and why?

PVC (Purple Velvet Curtains). He is one my favourite producers, he has a skill like no other to take any sound, and use it in a way that you know its been made by him, one of the best signature sounds in the scene.

We’ve heard on the grapevine that you’ve got some collaborations on the way. Are you able to give us any info on them?

Yeah – Me & PVC have got something in the works that I’m very gassed about. Another one with PVC & DeadbeatUK. One with Tengu which is already sounding mad. A couple on the go with Killjoy and one with Wölfe. I’m also going to be putting out an old one with DJ Direct soon as well.

What else should we look out for from you after the release of ‘Falling’?

Loads more music of course, raves, a collaborative compilation album next year. I’ve also got a couple of projects started that are separate to Pavv but I wont go in to that now…

Finally – what’s your favourite pizza?

Tomato base. Buffalo mozzarella. Smoked pancetta. Prosciutto. Cherry tomatoes and Basil.

Pavv’s lates EP, ‘Falling’ is out on Southpoint on November 16th. You can stream previews of the EP below, and pre-order here.

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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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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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Talking collabs, working with MCs and Yu-Gi-Oh! with Tengu & Mofaux [Interview]

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For Tengu and Mofaux, both long standing members of both Brighton’s underground music scene and the Southpoint family, collaborating with each other must be second nature. With a string of a releases either working together or remixing one another’s music, the pair have teamed up again on a huge new EP, ‘Jinzo’, set to drop in early October. We caught up with Chris (1 half of Tengu) and Mo about their early influences, creative processes, their current favourite producers and more.

You’ve worked together a lot on both collaborations and remixes for each other – how did your musical relationship begin?

Chris: I was actually a big fan of Mo’s old project Rakta. We got talking through knowing we were both producers! We kicked off our musical relationship with our first tune ‘I’m Ready’, which still to this day kills dance-floors, and ever since we have been not only great influences on each other but great friends.

Mo: Yeah, I met Chris through the music scene and knew Ken (the other 1/2 of Tengu) through DJing at a local night club. There’s not much of a scene in our town so when I heard the tunes they were making it was obvious we had to link up!



How does a collaboration between you normally work?

C: We always meet up so we always vibe off each other when making a tune. It also helps that we are a 10 minute walk from each other’s houses. Jinzo was incredibly natural and just came out of no where. We honestly think that tune defines both of our sounds.

M: We just have a laugh really; we pick a day then I get over to Chris’s and we just vibe. Get some food in, listen to some of each other’s new tunes and projects we’ve got going…Then just let the tunes roll!

If you could pick a 3rd artist to collab with you in the future, who would it be?

C: I personally think we would both make a sick track with Albzzy – again, another massive friendship we have gained in the scene. If it was anyone else, I’d (as a dream) love to collaborate with either Hybrid Theory, TS7 or Notion.

M: That’s a tough one! For me personally, Bushbaby or Distro. Both are producers I’m constantly rating and would both bring their own flavours to the mix. Then again, I could imagine us working with TC4; together we’d make something really sick.

Do you find it easier working with other producers or on your own?

C: It depends really because some tunes I get so engrossed in I feel if anyone touched it, it wouldn’t have the same impact as I am hoping. However, I have loved collabing with people recently. It’s a great way to gain more friends in the scene and also to get past some mad writer’s block!

M: Easier, I would say, on my own because I can always find time to produce – I even spend my whole 1 hour lunch break every day working on tunes. But the sweet thing about working with someone is bouncing back and forth ideas and getting something you could never create on your own.



What got each of you into dance music and how did you end up making the kind of music you are now?

C: Pendulum. That band inspired my whole way of thinking musically. Ironically, I could never ever produce anything like them, but I will always be inspired and smitten by Rob Swire! Kenny grew up in the garage and grime scene from the beginning. We went through his collection of vinyl once and got inspired by everything we listened to. For the scene we’re in now however, the sound of Tengu got madly inspired by the likes of EZ and the whole old school garage scene, as well as names such as Notion, Jakes, Mikey B, Tuff Culture and many more – there’s too many dons to shout out.

M: In 2011, me and my mate Nathan AKA Like Son stepped into the Dubstep scene under the name Rakta after we met studying music tech at college. That’s what really got me into dance music. As for the music I make and play now, probably the influence I’ve always had from Dubstep and the crazy new ideas coming from My Nu Leng, Taiki Nulight etc when they were first transitioning into the UKG/ UK Bass kind of sound.

When making tunes, whats 3 things you can’t go without?

C: 1 –A clean and tidy work space – I get horribly irritated being surrounded by rubbish.

   2- I need to be in the mind space that ‘This tune I’m about to make is going to make people want to tell me to “fuck off” when I play it’

        3. I need to always make sure that the tune is going to be different to the last tune but also still have that Tengu sound!

M: 1- Logic Pro 9, for obvious reasons.

          2. I like to have some sort or midi keyboard/ pads when programming drums to get the proper groove.

   3. Ideally a Pomegranate Arizona because you’ve gotta stay hydrated!



On to the new release, where does the name ‘Jinzo’ come from?

C: We both grew up (and still throughly enjoy) Yu-gi-oh! Jinzo was my favourite card, and this tune has some sort of ‘mechanical, cyborg -esque’ style to it don’t you think? In all seriousness, we just loved the name also.

M: Only the best damn card game ever created! We’ve been planning to have a duel backstage at our next gig – any other DJs feel free to challenge me!

C: We give guest list to anyone who can prove they believe in the heart of the cards.

You’ve both got tracks with vocalists on the EP, did your approach to production change to cater for original vocals, and how did you find the whole process?

C: I’ve been madly inspired to work with more vocalists ever since working with Dread; ‘Murda Murda’ is still our biggest achievement. However, ‘Parasite’ needed that evil, angry sort of vocal. We wanted Duke on the track because we have been a big fan of his for a while and he’s the nicest guy, which is ironic after saying we wanted evil and angry vocals! He absolutely made the tune what it is and its now my favourite ever production –  people even already know the words!

M: I’d actually had a pretty much finished tune when I sent it to Jay (KXVU, Southpoint co-founder) and we spoke about an MC feature. For me, Razor was an obvious choice- he’s a Southpoint don and mad on the mic. It made sense to keep the MCs within the Southpoint family too



Talking about family, how did your relationships with Southpoint start?

C: Funnily enough I sent them a demo which we didn’t release with them in the end! We ended up releasing quite a bit with Southpoint and I have never been disappointed with the releases. I gained a true friendship with Jay and Josh and honestly cant thank them enough for all the help and support they have given us! I fully respect both of them and I have gained some amazing relationships and collaborations with pretty much the whole family.

M: Well, I also met Jay through the Dubstep community years ago when he was also under a different alias. I heard the first few Southpoint releases and knew I wanted to be involved, so I sent Jay my tune ‘Safe’ which sampled P Money ,and next thing I know it’s released on Southpoint Presents Vol 2! And on a side note, Southpoint are the most organised and hard working label I’ve ever worked with, no question!



With Habouchi on remix duties for the title track, it’s clear you both rate his work. If you could have each had another up and coming artist remix ‘Jinzo’, who would you have picked?

C: Habouchi honestly destroyed the remix! I am so glad he did, he’s someone I’ve had on my radar for a long long time, and he’s incredibly talented. If I could of picked someone else up and coming though, I would of picked either Freddie Martin or Affiliate – both artists have such an incredible, unique sound which I rate.

M: Yeah Habouchi is still really underrated, he’s a top guy too. If I had to choose someone, probably Hamdi. He’s recently remixed my tune ‘Rewind’ and it’s doing bits! The kid has some UK Funky, Grime, UKG vibe going on and I fully rate it!

Finally, what’s next for each of you?

C: We have a few major collabs we can’t talk about just yet that are in the works and releases with Southpoint, In:flux Audio and more!

M: Well, next up after the EP is a remix I’ve done for an artist called TK Vicious. The tracks entitled “8 Track” and I’ve given it a bit of a garage remix. I’ve also got an official remix of “Ravin Face” by Tyrone in the pipeline, and not to forget my debut Four40 release!

Stream the showreel of Tengu & Mofaux’s forthcoming ‘Jinzo’ release on Southpoint, below:

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Making grime, vocal chopping and the state of Brighton’s underground scene; a chat with Moony [Interview]

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Hot on the heels of his ‘3 Days’ release on Vex Records, Brighton based producer Moony is continuing his sunshine tinged, UKG assault on dancefloors up and down the country with his forthcoming ‘Bullion’ EP on Southpoint. We spoke to Moony about the Brighton scene, production techniques and what’s coming next for him.

Easy Moony! So we first heard about you a fair few years ago after Aaron Hanson spun your Delilah remix on Rinse. How has your music career changed since the release of that track?

I’ve been doing music in some capacity for a decade now, so for me it’s been peaks and troughs. Some years have been manic, some have been relatively calm but I’ve always tried to maintain a presence and keep progressing; last year was really busy with bookings where as this year I’ve focused more on production and lining up releases. Basically as long as I can stay consistent and relevant I’m happy.

How has the underground music scene in Brighton changed over the last few years and how has it affected you? 

Brighton’s always been historically a Dubstep, D&B and, obviously, Hip Hop place so in terms of Garage, Grime and Bass music it’s 100% changed for the better. There was a time when I felt like I was the only person making Grime and Garage but now there’s loads of producers and DJs that are smashing it and I’m very pleased to be a part of that.



Do you think the UKG scene is healthy right now?

I think it is yeah but I guess it depends how you want to define it. That 1999-2001 sound that originally got me into UKG has obviously had its day but if you put stuff like Bassline, Funky etc under the UKG umbrella then I’d say it’s had a pretty respectable legacy and there’s definitely been a 2step revival in the last couple years. So yes, I’d say the scene is very healthy.

A lot of your tunes have a summery vibe to them. Is that something that comes naturally or is it intended? 

It’s not really intended, I’ve just always been naturally drawn to the more melodic side of things so I think that just comes through in whatever I make. In some cases I try to tone it down a bit but with Garage I feel like it’s a formula that works if done tastefully.

Talk us through the way Moony approaches and and makes a tune? 

I don’t really have a standard approach; sometimes I’ll come up with a melody on the keyboard, others I’ll just be working on a bass sound and go from there. Although more often than not I’ll start with a sample or vocal and that will dictate the general feel of the tune.

What’s the secret behind your vocal chopping?

 No big secret really, just pick a good vocal to start with – soulful vocals with lots of vibrato and variation work best as opposed to 2 or 3 note repetitive pop accapellas, and most importantly less is more.



Do you prefer making tunes or playing out?

I’ve been asked this a few times and I cant decide, I love both for different reasons. Making music is more of a necessity it’s just something I feel I need to do. The feeling of making something from nothing is very satisfying for me but then some of the best experiences of my life have been playing out so I could never pick one over the other.

If you weren’t making UKG, what kind of music do you think you’d be making? 

A few of my friends rap and mc but ain’t really into Garage so I still actually make the odd rap tune. I went through a long phase of just making grime so I’d do more of that sort of stuff I guess. And possibly experiment with more live instruments as well.

Who are 3 UKG artists you’ve been rating recently and why? 

  1. Mind of a Dragon – Because his drum programming is so on point. He proper channels that Steve Gurley, El B type of bumpy 2step in a way not a lot of people can.
  2.  Conducta – Even though he doesn’t make millions of tunes everything he makes is quality, keeping the old school sound but with modern production techniques.
  3. PVC – Though not strictly Garage in the traditional sense I think he has a very unique and interesting style.

There’s loads more that I haven’t mentioned but they know who they, I don’t play anything I don’t personally rate

Is there anyone you would collaborate with if you were given the chance? 

As far as our scene I’d collab with pretty much anyone –  I actually think that’s what’s great about this generation of UKG. There’s no real big egos and everyone works with each other. I’ve made tunes with people like Conducta, Flava D and Killjoy in the past  and they’ve all been well received tunes. I think the ravers/listeners really like artists collaborating as well.



How did your relationship with Southpoint first come about? 

I think they got in touch about me playing an event for them and it went from there. I’ve always been happy to do bits with them just because I really rate how they operate for an independent label/brand. They are very professional, the standard of music they put out is always high plus they’re decent lads so I was pleased when they asked me to do an EP with them.

Did you approach the Bullion EP as a dedicated project, or is it more a group of tracks you made separately with a similar vibe?

Definitely more the latter. I mean I knew I was going to do an EP for SouthPoint and when I made the lead track ‘Bullion’ and saw the reaction it got in clubs, I did think ‘Yeah, I’ll use it for the EP’. The rest were all made around the same time though so in terms of feel and sound there’s sort of a theme throughout.

What’s your favourite track off of the Bullion EP?

Mine’s actually ‘Be Your Only’. Bullion is the lead track and works great in the club but musically from a producers point of view ‘Be Your Only’ is my favourite. It’s got that old school sound without sounding dated, it’s melodic without being cheesy and still bangs in a club.

What’s coming next for you? 

More releases! I think my next one is an EP on Four40 which I’m looking forward to, the tracks are mastered and ready to go. I haven’t got hundreds of bookings lined up this summer so I’m just planning to get my head down, get in the studio and line up more releases.

Stream the title track and a showreel of Moony’s ‘Bullion’ EP, forthcoming on Southpoint, below.

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