FatKidOnFire http://www.fatkidonfire.com Illuminating the Underground. Mon, 15 Aug 2016 16:20:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.3 Headland & Sepia – WRDUBS002 http://www.fatkidonfire.com/news/headland-sepia-wrdubs002/ http://www.fatkidonfire.com/news/headland-sepia-wrdubs002/#respond Mon, 15 Aug 2016 16:17:56 +0000 http://www.fatkidonfire.com/?p=1619752749 WRDUBS is one of Donga’s record labels; an imprint that belongs to the Well Rounded Records collective, focusing exclusively on the 140 BPM/ dubstep sound.

Donga and the team, building on the success of their first sold-out split 12” which featured Foamplate and Corticyte (released in this time last year), are back with their sophomore effort.

WRDUBS002 is another split 12” and welcomes FKOF fam Headland and Sepia to the roster. Both producers are known for their somewhat experimental style, always searching for and pushing the limits of, the sound – creating a somewhat different approach to dubstep . This seems to be precisely the sound WRDUBS are looking for, which may explain the breaks between001 and 002 releases. Each release should contribute to the scene – special and high-quality tracks are vital in that effort – so props to Donga and the team for taking the time to get it right.

WRDUBS002

With WRDUBS002, Well Rounded have found two artists and tracks that are relevant to the sound; tunes that deliver a long-lasting impression.

Headland’s Local is the producer’s vinyl debut and acts as a perfect introduction to Gene’s uniqueness and creativity. The innovative track starts with a short intro consisting of highly processed voice elements. Heavy effects and elements announce the mood of the track: somewhat desolate and, in a way, lugubrious. On the drop, an oscillating and tough sub bass kicks in – combining with a gnarly and peculiar midrange section – these synths definitely will make your teeth grind. At unpredictable moments, a majestic and bombastic synth stab or a processed vocal sample interrupts your experience, while the rhythm section remains steady and driving (laying a pleasingly solid foundation). The relative unpredictability of the track, perfectly underlined by the distinctive second drop, is one of its distinguishing features – creating a journey that holds one’s interest from start to finish.

On the flip, Sepia’s long-awaited Amber appears. As a dubplate, this track received consistent support from the scene’s curators – and is a firm fan favourite. With its release, we can now enjoy this emotional track to the fullest. The track opens with fantastic and scintillating vocal samples, which inspire mesmerising daydreams. Perfectly-placed percussive elements complete the intro, while the vocal sample reveals some of Theo’s emotions or inspirations when writing the track. The drop, as expected, is seriously weighty.

The mighty bass swerves and swings through the lower frequencies, calling out to and controlling an ancient primal power, while being warm at the same time. This, combined with the continued vocal samples and a sublimely layered percussive section, make this track a personal favourite for 2016!

All in all, a truly stellar release from both imprint and producers involved. Big up Headland, Sepia and Donga – we hope it’s not another year to WRDUBS003!

Sepia
Headland
Well Rounded Records

Words by Joost Berndsen

You can watch a short film on the life of Brighton-based producer, DJ and listener Ashley Marlowe AKA Donga here.

Peace, love and respect.

FKOF

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Kaiju – Seven Sins http://www.fatkidonfire.com/news/kaiju-seven-sins-medilp012/ http://www.fatkidonfire.com/news/kaiju-seven-sins-medilp012/#respond Fri, 12 Aug 2016 23:06:49 +0000 http://www.fatkidonfire.com/?p=1619752742 At the end of 2011, MakeItGood’s Lara and I were approaching the 100th feature in our collaborative feature series. As always, I was asking some of the artists I respected and admired if they’d be interested in collaborating — but taking the £100 spot. Beezy was the first to respond — and smashed the first instalment of MiGxFKOF100.

But the second artist spot was harder to fill. We were just over a year old and had yet to establish connections with those who’d become friends and family over the subsequent six years. So I turned to our existing group of FKOF fam and asked around — who’d been doing things worth celebrating and who did we, collectively, think was onto something. Brett from Perverseanswered the call and introduced me to Jamie Schildhauer.

You’ll know Jamie as one-half of Kaiju.

Kaiju - MEDi086

Over the last six years, the dubstep faithful have collectively watched as Jamie and Paul, having stamped their mark on the DnB world (as Hunchbak and Shaded, respectively), built what has become one of the largest — and most powerful — collections of (mostly) unreleased dubstep material the genre’s seen in many years.

It took a while for the duo to find their groove — but they’ve always done things their way. Their MiGxFKOF mix was one of the last studio mixes they did where they played other producers’ tunes, for example. Soon after that, they stopped sending dubs to the majority of the scene’s DJs. Slowly, but very surely, Jamie and Paul built a fanbase — fans who flocked to the monsters for their unparalleled music (if you’ve not experienced Kaiju lowend on a big rig that can reach the necessary depths, you haven’t lived).

KAIJU2

The Kaiju following grew, as did label attention. Jamie and Paul signed to Kryptic Minds’ Osiris Music for their first few releases -a partnership that brought us four sell-out releases (five if you count RUFFCUT002) across two years. J:Kenzo followed and signed a further release for 2013’s LIONCHG003 (yes, another sold-out record) before Jamie and Paul went quiet for 18 months. Well, as quiet as you can be when you’re touring Europe and the USA, smashing up Rinse FM and putting an album together…

It was soundchecking at the Osiris Music fabric night, back in 2013, when Jamie first played me Justice and told me Mala had cut it. Having released on a near-exclusive basis with what was, at the time, arguably one of the two finest dubstep imprints, there were few labels that would make a more suitable home for Kaiju material than Osiris Music.

But Mala’s DEEP MEDi MUSIK, probably the only label every dubstep producer aspires to release on, is — and probably always will be — the gatekeeper and champion for 140bpm bass-led music. And the most perfect home for two music-making monsters.

Justice would go on to become the A-side on the Kaiju debut on DEEP MEDi, alongside Creeper & 3+2. Another sell-out record. Earlier this year, we had a surprise 10″ white label drop as well — Burn Down Babylon and Wrong Tings. Another sell-out record.

Kaiju - Seven Sins

Today, DEEP MEDi have released the debut Kaiju album. Seven Sins represents a body of work Jamie and Paul started three years ago — a project the duo put together as a shared personal challenge on their own terms with no clear goal in mind. An album is a very special thing to see released; even more so on an imprint like DEEP MEDi.

So I won’t review the Sins. It’s a very personal collection of music, one you should experience yourselves in your own time without it being spoilt. It’ll be worth it, trust me.

It’s been a pleasure watching Jamie and Paul building to this point in their careers and it’s a genuine honour to have worked with them over the last six years.

Kaiju’s Seven Sins is out now

Kaiju
DEEP MEDi

Peace, love and respect.

FKOF

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LD – Blanka http://www.fatkidonfire.com/news/ld-blanka-fkofwheelydealy51/ http://www.fatkidonfire.com/news/ld-blanka-fkofwheelydealy51/#respond Fri, 12 Aug 2016 15:26:32 +0000 http://www.fatkidonfire.com/?p=1619752733 Last week, we sat down with Leon Day, otherwise known as mastering engineer, producer and DJ LD, to discuss his return to the dubstep sound with a new four track EP on N-Type’s Wheel & Deal Records.

This week we’re, once again, teaming up with N-Type and LD to celebrate the impending release of LD’s Beta Blockers EP – his first release since completing a degree in Audio Production.

Today, we’ve got an extra special competition for the dubstep producers out there— and we know you’re going to love it! In the run-up to the release of the Beta Blockers EP next week, we’re giving you the opportunity to remix LD’s Blanka — a tune we’re releasing as a FKOF Free Download today…

LD - WHEELYDEALY051

“August 2016 marks the return of a key player in the early development of the dubstep movement. South London DJ/ producer (& ex-Transition Mastering Technician) LD returns to his dubstep roots after getting his head down and crafting his sound.

“LD’s Beta Blockers EP is a fresh take on his signature sound mixing elements of grime, tribal and tropical beats with massive basslines. With his debut on the label, LD has also introduced Wheel & Deal to the Stems mixing technology and we have decided we’ll be offering Stems for many future releases”.

The FKOF review:

After a short refocus on education over production, DJing and mastering, LD’s Blanka reveals the new creative space the producer finds himself in with a welcome return to dubstep. The tune inspires memories of old-school video games, with its returning sample loops that run through the mind?—?only stopping when the break breaks its silence. On-point percussion adds to the almost jungle-esque vibe at 140bpm, spicing up Blanka’s vibrations. With our first free download with him, London’s LD has highlighted his ability to intelligently places samples, bassweight and future sounds into a wicked addition to the Beta Blockers EP. This one’s a highly recommended stepper!

DOWNLOAD BLANKA STEMS

Entries
To enter our remix competition, you need to download the Blanka stems. Once downloaded, it’s up to you to put your own spin on the tune?—?remix to your heart’s content!

The release drops a week today (19th August 2016) but we’ll be running the competition over the next few weeks. Submissions close end of August.

Submissions
Once you’re happy with your remix, upload to SoundCloud (with download disabled) and tag the upload with #fkofwheelydealy51. You can also submit your remix by emailing it to dubs@fatkidonfire.com (with #fkofwheelydealy51 as your subject line).

What do you win?
LD’s kindly offered up a free mixdown, master and STEMS master for the winner. We’ll champion the winning remix across Wheel & Deal/ FKOF’s socials and websites?—?and you’ll get your hands on a Wheel & Deal vinyl pack; as well as a copy of our latest FKOFUn/Known02 compilation album.

Pre-order WHEELYDEALY051 on iTunes

LD
N-Type

Wheel & Deal Records
wheelanddealrecords.co.uk

Peace, love and respect.

FKOF

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Sleeper – Crushin EP http://www.fatkidonfire.com/news/sleeper-crushin-ep-crucial007/ http://www.fatkidonfire.com/news/sleeper-crushin-ep-crucial007/#respond Mon, 08 Aug 2016 20:45:33 +0000 http://www.fatkidonfire.com/?p=1619752728 Crucial Recordings couldn’t bare a more appropriate name. Sleeper’s record label accurately describes the dubstep community’s collective regard for his releases. The artist produces in the spirit of a DJ. He channels the rhythmic energy of the dancefloor with skill and precision, and his tracks pulse with the very dark magic they perpetuate. In that respect, the Crushin EP isn’t anything new. The four-track release is powerful, playable, and will inevitably prove pervasive in the dance.

Sleeper - Crushin EP

The seventh release from Crucial Recordings is also the label’s fourth EP produced by Sleeper himself. The Crushin EP is right at home among the Crucial catalogue — that much seems self-evident. In context of his most recent releases, the EP also fits a less obvious description: it sounds like Sleeper.

Since his official induction to the realm of dubstep in 2012, the artist has undergone a constant evolution.

It almost feels like it’s been a while since we’ve really known what to expect from the producer. Crucial’s first release — the Too Close EP — marked a transition in the producer’s persona; in the wake of Shatterz and Burn Finger, his current musical identity assumes a distinct and audible form. TheCrushin EP fulfils the metamorphosis with a self-aware sense of purpose.

The Crushin EP plays as the inside of an enchantment. Its four tracks play out with a flawless sequential continuity also revealed as cyclical when the triplet-fueled momentum contained by Crushin, the release’s final tune, flows seamlessly into Girl Scout Cookies to begin again. It’s a loop weaved together by a gentle, haunting melodic quality suggestive of siren seduction. The soft hint of sinister intentions is understated in every tune, but amplified by the eerie repetition of their shared subtleties.

In absence of a clear climax, the EP takes the character of an endless and unbroken curse. As a pure listening experience, the Crushin EP has an unusual appeal. Even so, the release is better regarded for what it is: four hypnotic dubstep tracks begging their chance to enchant the dance floor.

From any perspective, Akai Headbutt stands out as the centerpiece of the release. The EP’s second track is emphasised by design: it echoes the mischievous verbalisation that personifies the release as a whole. “Don’t be afraid” — the words hardly promise authentic reassurance, but from the inside of a curse, we’re left with no options but to believe. The ominous words ring with a sincere suggestion.

Their message is surely meant to penetrate the sound-system induced state of pre-conscious meditation that dubstep’s spell inspires. On the decks, Sleeper is a master of such revelatory moments, where the collective submission to primal instinct leaves us vulnerable to the powerful language of human consciousness. His productions are laced by the quiet power of words, and his affinity for careful eloquence is reflected elsewhere in the Crucial Recordings catalogue (notably Oxossi’s poetic Reflections EP). A full release crafted to empower the incantation feels not only justified, but natural.

To seasoned fans of Sleeper, the vocal should sound familiar. The same mantra — “Don’t be afraid!” — is featured in the 2013 tune Species. Aside from this line, Akai Headbutt shares little in common with the Chestplate track. The refurbished vocal seems to signify Sleeper’s decided shift away from the label’s heavy, aggressive signature. Akai Headbutt is suited to the style of the artist’s current sets; as they creep through the tune’s immersive musical elements, even the words themselves ring with a re-negotiated weight. Whatever his intent, the tracks reveal both Sleeper’s creative evolution and his consistency.

In lieu of feigning a conclusive analysis of Sleeper’s Crushin EP, I offer the eighth instalment of the Crucial Recordings podcast as its primary interpretation.

Sleeper’s artistic ingenuity birthed yet another 140 bpm gem. Now, the EP’s full value will be determined in the dance at the discretion of the DJs.

The Crushin EP is available now via Crucial Recordings.

Sleeper
facebook.com/crucialrecordings
facebook.com/sleepercrucialrecds

Peace, love and respect.

FKOF

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“It was the atmosphere that I loved the most” http://www.fatkidonfire.com/interviews/ld-wheelydealy051/ http://www.fatkidonfire.com/interviews/ld-wheelydealy051/#respond Fri, 05 Aug 2016 11:12:14 +0000 http://www.fatkidonfire.com/?p=1619752714 Wheel & Deal Records have always impressed with their releases, whether from the early days of the imprint through to what’s come through over the last year or so.

The next EP to drop from N-Type’s label features one of dubstep’s early influencers. An incredibly talented individual who mastered the tunes that became classics at the now-legendary Transition Mastering studios, produced his own dubstep (which released on some huge labels) and even played the early DMZ nights.

Yes, we are of course discussing the one and only LD

LD x FatKidOnFire

LD. How are you, sir? I’m good, thank you… Excited about sharing my new music.

For our readers unfamiliar with your work, can you take a minute or two to introduce yourself? As you may know, my name is Leon Day and I produce dubstep and DJ under the alias of LD. I have had releases on a few popular labels including Hyperdub, Dubpolice, Domino Rec, VP Records, Sin City, Ringo Rec and now Wheel & Deal. I have also worked for over 10 years as a mastering engineer. Recently, I have been studying and completed a degree in Audio Production (which I received with 1st class honours).

Going back to the early days, you were a mastering engineer at Transition right? Yeah, I was at Transition for over 10 years — to begin I was a runner, but then did an apprenticeship and worked all the way to a vinyl mastering engineer. Whilst working at Transition I heard lots of different styles of music which were encapsulated by the dubstep sound.

If there’s one crucial lesson you’ve learned from your recent studies, what would you like to pass on to the readers? To be honest, I learnt a lot at university — maybe too much to go into but there are definitely a few simple techniques I would love to pass on.

The first simple, but powerful, technique is filtering. When mixing, you should remove all unused frequencies from each channel. For example, on your snare channel, you should Hi Pass Filter (HPF) from around 100hz and on your hi-hats channel you should HPF around 1KHz. The filtering will remove unwanted frequencies that may be there (but very quiet). If these are left untreated, it could interfere with other sounds in the mix. This should be applied to all channels — remembering to listen to each channel separately and only filtering out unwanted frequencies. It’s a bit technical, but for those who produce, it is a really handy tip.

N-Type during his set at Paaspop © Ali Mousavi

How did you get into mastering, and what was it like working with the Transition team during the early dubstep days? My brother in law (DJ Paleface) was working at Transition and he told me about a new runner position being available. I applied and was given the job. Working at Transition was fun. We all became good friends and are still good friends now.

Although it was fun, we worked hard, often cutting dubplates and mastering into the early hours of the morning. In the early dubstep days, I cut a lot of dubs for the pioneers of dubstep, including Benga, N-Type and Mala. The first dubstep producer I cut dubs for was Distance — that was special and something I will always remember. DJ Chef joined the team and we instantly clicked. We ended up doing a radio show together at Rinse and DJing b2b all around the world. Transition was like a hub for the dubsteppers… Everybody was in and out of the building. I was in a great position to trade dubs with other producers on the scene too.

Founding fathers

Being involved in the early days, how was your experiences with the seminal events like DMZ? My first DJing experience at DMZ was b2b with Chef at the 2nd B Day Bash. The event propelled my DJing career as many heads only knew me for mastering. When they heard me DJing and selecting some of my own tracks, lots more people became interested in my sound. I’ve played at DMZ many times over the years and look back on the early days with fond memories.

DMZ crowd

It was the atmosphere that I loved the most. Everybody was there. Producers, DJs, agents and, of course, the public. People would travel from around the world to come and experience it. It started at Third Base, but stepped up to the main room at Brixton Mass by the 1st birthday. I was lucky enough to play in both rooms.

You took some time out of mastering (was it mastering and music in general?) but have recently returned with an EP on Wheel & Deal. How did you first meet N-Type? Yeah, I took some time out from music in general for a few reasons. Firstly, dubstep was changing. It became really noisy and, to be honest, it wasn’t inspiring me. I would still produce the odd tune here and there, but wasn’t releasing music as much at all. Lots was also happening in my personal life. I got married, bought a house and went to university. When I finished my studies at SAE, I started back up with the music and found out about a new style of DJing with STEMS, which really inspired me. I sent some of my new music to N-Type; he was feeling them and so we went from there.

I’ve known N (N-Type) for years! We’ve been around each other in the scene for so long now its nuts. I met him at Transition and was cutting lots of dubs for him. He was one of the first people to play my music and continues to support my sound today.

LE - WHEELYDEALY051

What can you tell us about the release you’ve got coming with the label? I am very excited about the release. It is a 4 track EP going back to the roots of dubstep. It represents what I have been working on over the last few years, trying to create the energy and diversity that made me fall in love with dubstep. It breaks away from the noisy ear piercing sound that has become, in my opinion, quite numbing and destroyed what the music was originally about.

It’s my first release on Wheel N Deal and it will also be the first release that I have mastered myself, with the added bonus of being in STEMS format too. The EP is like a selection box of music, offering different tastes and textures within each track. Beta Blockers, the headline track on the EP has a computer game feel, whereas Space Walk is a halfstep growler. Hinka Tinka has tonnes of energy, being inspired by the early work of artists like Skream and Stitched Up has more of an electrical vibe. Each track represents the sounds that have inspired me, with elements of the signature LD vibe.

When did you start producing tunes as well as mastering them? What’s your production workflow? That’s a funny question actually. At first, I never used to master my own tracks, just because I wanted unbiased ears editing the sound. It would always be J at Transition. As the years moved on, I started mastering my own tracks at Transition too. You have to put on a different hat. Producer or Engineer. Once I was able to go from one discipline to the other, I was set.

Currently, I mix and master all in the box, using a variety of plug-ins. I built my own studio and invested in one of Genelec’s flagship speakers, the 1034. When producing, I use Cubase and Native Instruments and always start with the drums and bass. Once the rhythm is set, the melodics take form… Synths, chords ect. Finally, I add the finishing touches like the sound effects and fills. Once this is done, the track gets a mix and master.

Have you changed how you approach sound design and mastering after completing your degree? If so, how? Yes, I have. Hmmm… without giving too much away, getting a track loud is usually what is wanted from the customer. Getting a track both loud and clean is what I now do. My new secret weapon is parallel compression.

How did you start working with Native Instruments’ new STEMS format? What are the benefits of working with STEMS? I saw a promo video online and instantly saw the potential of the format. I bought an S5 controller and haven’t looked back. I’ve even got my 9 and 11 year old sons learning the craft! Mixing with STEMS enables the DJ to create bespoke sets, which may never be recreated again.

Being able to manipulate the different elements of the track is nuts. I can now put a vocal from one track with the bass line from another track and the drums from another. It’s sick! The possibilities with Stems are endless, and so, I plan to make all of my new releases STEMS-ready. This is something Wheel N Deal also envisions, and so, all Wheel N Deal releases will now have STEMS Masters too. It is the next phase in the evolution of DJing. Those who don’t know, get to know!

You’ve kindly put a STEMS mix together for us — it’ll follow in a later update — what can you tell us about the mix? There is a lot of my new material in there, with a few old classics. You will see what I mean about being able to manipulate the tracks whilst mixing. You can have 4 tracks going, with 4 STEMS from each track all at once! I use it to its maximum potential. I hope you enjoy it.

We’re previewing one of the tracks from your W&D release today; what can you tell us about Beta Blockers? Beta Blockers is the headline track on the EP chosen by N-Type but also my kids’ favourite on the EP. It has a triplet or even a 6/8 feel to it, which creates a bouncy energetic vibe. I called it Beta Blockers after the heart medication as I felt like the track had an uplifting and healing ambiance.

Any final words or shoutouts? We’ll be following up over the next few weeks — looking forward to linking up! Shout out to N-Type, Chef, Crazy D, all the heads who have been there from the beginning and all the new heads I’ve met along my journey.

It’s all about making real music with a love for the sound. Enjoy the new tracks and watch this space coz LD is back!

We’ll be rolling out a more detailed overview of WHEELYDEALY051 in the next week or so, as well as a FKOF Free Download and STEMS-based remix competition. Big thanks, as always, to N-Type for the linkup on the awesome tunes.

Share your thoughts on our feature with LD via the footer below or get in touch with FKOF via email, Twitter, or Facebook.

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DMVU x IllChill – Green Tape http://www.fatkidonfire.com/news/dmvu-x-illchill-green-tape/ http://www.fatkidonfire.com/news/dmvu-x-illchill-green-tape/#respond Thu, 04 Aug 2016 09:44:40 +0000 http://www.fatkidonfire.com/?p=1619752700 DMVU x Ill Chill - Green Tape

“Nothing is sacred.”

It didn’t make it into the final draft, but I’m certain that DMVU said this to me in an interview about the side of his musical personality showcased byGreen Tape, now available on Turbo Tape. This is the spirit in which I review the album. The collaboration with Ill Chill is a hip-hop album, and its best and most interesting quality is purely that. An over-analysis of the record would do a fundamental disservice to its musical merit.

But you don’t need me to tell you that DMVU and Ill Chill made a great hip-hop album — you need headphones. Through Ill Chill’s rhythmic eloquence, the music speaks for itself. Still, it’s worth appreciating what Green Tape speaks to, too.

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you know DMVU and Ill Chill from dubstep.

Ill Chill’s deliberate California-cultivated cadence and the immersive depth of DMVU’s production are familiar fixtures over sound systems, clearly recognisable at any bpm. Green Tape is hip-hop for hip-hop fans, but to those who already know, the residual influence is audible. The artists’ association with dubstep is embedded in the album’s musical soul and substance. Perhaps this is the biased perspective that makes it so easy to forget that Green Tape is supposed to be about weed.

Green Tape is about pot in the same way as dubstep is about Satanism — it isn’t. This much is evident in the lyrical content of the album, where the herb and rituals surrounding its consumption are referenced often as literary devices, but not as the substance of Ill Chill’s wisdom itself. Among the most remarkable qualities of Green Tape is the careful intention weighing each and every syllable of Ill Chill’s every word. In contrast to his lyrics, the regular reminders of the album’s supposed subject matter seem crude. The crackle of a pipe, periodic requests to “light that shit”, a suggestive cough — the tracks are punctuated with these elements. They’re easy to overlook from within the album’s rhythm, but in focus, they feel out of place.

DMVU x Ill Chill - Green Tape

The clash between Green Tape’s musical substance and its thematic focus on pot plays out with clever purpose. Marijuana is a symbol holding elevated status in many circles: hip-hop albums about pot, for instance, are nothing new. But DMVU and Ill Chill embrace the stereotype in the spirit of subversion. In the context of Green Tape, the magic of marijuana is mundane. Compared to the shimmering supernaturalism embodied by the music, the forced allusions are lacklustre. This is also the context from which Green Tape was made: legal pot is the day-to-day reality for DMVU. For the native Coloradan, weed is tight, but the notion that it carries mystical properties is laughable, and its worship is misguided at best. So rather than a hip-hop album about weed, Green Tape uses weed as an excuse to make a hip-hop album — and gently knock the prized plant from its cultural pedestal. It is one subliminal iteration of the personal philosophy expressed by DMVU: nothing is sacred.

Pot serves another thematic purpose in Green Tape. It aligns the album with its hip-hop aesthetic, establishing its intent to appeal to the genre’s typical audience. DMVU and Ill Chill did their best to approach this project as hip-hop artists with little regard for the segment of followers who identify as dubstep fans. Still, they knew their dubstep fans would inevitably be among the album’s first listeners — so they made a quiet point to de-sanctify our symbols, too. Like any respectable American rapper, Ill Chill makes a show of calling out his colours. DMVU dresses the MC’s lines in vibrant attire, but throughout the album Ill Chill does not let us forget that he is, in fact, wearing black. In some places the description is sewn into his rhymes — “all black in the night, they can’t see me” — but the artists can’t resist escalating to comic exaggeration. Ill Chill’s declaration, “I’m wearing black!” is made in the same breath as similarly staged comments about smoking pot on at least two occasions. Perhaps this truly is an innocent nod to the community from which the artists rose, but it feels more likely that the pair seized the hip-hop stereotype as an opportunity to mock dubstep’s accepted aesthetic without breaking character.

That’s not to paint Green Tape as inauthentic: there’s little doubt that black clothing was worn throughout the making of the album, just as pot was surely smoked in astronomical quantities. Yet the subliminal commentary isn’t arbitrary. The primary point of Green Tape is simply the thing itself — good music. Its underlying point is, for all practical purposes, the same. Like the dubstep tunes featuring Ill Chill’s vocals, the lyrical message lacing the tracks that comprise Green Tape is ultimately one of empowerment. The pervasive refrain in Undeniable comes to mind: “I just wanna free myself”, and true freedom isn’t something that can be smoked, or a status attained by stoners. DMVU and Ill Chill share the ideal of good music as a vehicle for awakening touted by dubstep’s celebrated ethos, but sound system music isn’t a social status either, and listening to underground music does not make one a good person. Their subtle dig at underground fashion is really a condemnation of elitism and empty trends. There’s nothing wrong with getting high and wearing black t-shirts. It’s just more important to think for yourself.

And, therein, lies the total brilliance of the personal intent behind Green Tape. Not only did DMVU and Ill Chill make a good hip-hop album — they made a good hip-hop album that challenges superficial standards set for music without breaking them outright. Green Tape appeals in every way to anyone who would self-identify as a fan of hip-hop albums about weed. But unlike most albums of any genre about anything, Green Tape is audibly and undeniably real. Ill Chill spells out the revelations that some of us learn from sound systems in a way that is infinitely more accessible. His wisdom weaves with DMVU’s uncompromised instrumentation to form a coherent, genuine artistic expression. Most people recognise quality when they hear it — but most never hear it at all. Green Tape has the potential to change ears and elevate minds. For those who don’t know, Green Tape presents a wickedly simple opportunity to find out.

So all cleverness aside, here’s the true takeaway of this review: buy Green Tape. Roll a fat one with friends who don’t know, and play this shit for them. Good music, like good weed, should always be shared, and you know how it works — “if you got something good, I’ll match you.”

DMVU x Ill Chill - Green Tape

DMVU x Ill Chill’s Green Room (TTV002) is available to purchase now

DMVU
Ill Chill
Turbo Tape

Peace, love and respect.

FKOF

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“All the good small clubs we like are shutting down” http://www.fatkidonfire.com/interviews/walsh/ http://www.fatkidonfire.com/interviews/walsh/#respond Wed, 03 Aug 2016 10:49:37 +0000 http://www.fatkidonfire.com/?p=1619752687 It’s been a minute since our last sitdown with Biscuit Factory Records bossman, DJ extraordinaire and dubstep producer Walsh. Too long, if you ask us.

After a recent trip to Malaysia re-focused his efforts on producing new material, we caught up with the musician to find out more (and bagged a new guest mix in the process)…

Walsh x FatKidOnFire

Hey Walsh, it’s been a while! What’s up? Easy fellas! First of all, thanks for having me again. Yeah, I’ve been well. I went to Malaysia recently for a holiday to meet up with family and friends. My mum’s from there and has a big family so there was a of catching up to do!

You’ve done us proud and come correct with a new FKOF mix. What can you tell us about this one? Thanks a lot! I really like what I’m playing at the moment. Well, it’s pretty much all new stuff with a few exclusives in there — especially the one from N-type (which is sick)! 

You’ve got the usual suspect names, plus some new guys I’m pushing. I like to play everything within my range, so there’s some dark halfstep, a few techy rollers, some melodic zone-out tunes (and, of course, some dark jumpup). It’s a good representation of my style, I think.

How’s Biscuit Factory doing these days — what have you and the label been working on? Since I’ve been in Asia, the trip gave me time to reflect what I want to put out next. I think it’s time that I, “Walsh”, put out same music again. So my pal Syxx and I are working on an EP! We’ve finished a track- which is the Bandicoot remix (we did of the Genetix track), which originally came out on Biscuit Factory.

DJ Gomes - the final Oi!

The System soundsystem

Who’ve you got your eye on for bringing into the Biscuit fold over the next few months? In the mix, there’s a track by Gomes (who runs the famous Oi! parties in Holland) called Ratta. It’s coming out on Hench so watch out for him. Also a friend of mine called Reza from Malaysia has sent me some wicked tracks, very dark energetic and techy. They’re just how I like it; so big up him and his music partner Tubby! They booked me in my Mum’s hometown in 2010, which was so surreal because it was rammed!

There are too many names in my record box folder to mention — so I don’t want to miss anyone out! I tell you, though, what I get sent from all over the world, literally, proves ours is a global movement.

What’s on the to-do list for the rest of 2016 — any big plans you’re able to share? I really want to do a Biscuit Factory night! Maybe not here in the UK though, it’s tough at the moment for some reason. All the good small clubs we like are shutting down… And it’s hard to create the same vibe (we’d get in the smaller venues) in these big clubs. Respect to Vivek though — System is sick! I really do miss the old FWD and DMZ days, man. They were life changing times for many of us!

I was on the phone to an old school pal yesterday. It looks like we’re getting back in the studio again after 10 years… Make of that what you will!

Any last words or shoutouts?Yeah, for sure! Big up my family first; especially my two little nieces who I Iove to bits.

Shouts to everyone following the Biscuit, the Big Apple family and basically everyone doing their thing! Peace.

Click to DOWNLOAD (450MB)

Track list:

  1. Variations — Untitled [exclusive dub]
  2. Bukez Finezt — Eerie Voices [Subway Music]
  3. Gomes — Ratta [forthcoming HENCH]
  4. Reza — Badman Ah Kill Dem [dub]
  5. N-Type — No No No (instrumental) [exclusive dub]
  6. Dark Tantrums — Darkside [dub]
  7. Mesck — Symbology [dub]
  8. K-Man — Unit 1 [dub]
  9. Dark Tantrums — Jungle Fever [Anti Social dub]
  10. Blank — TheSandbox [dub]
  11. Distance — Survivors [Chestplate]
  12. Genetix — Bandicoot (Walsh & Syxx remix) [Biscuit Factory dub]
  13. The Others & Proxima — Jupiter [Dub Police dub]
  14. Caspa & Rusko — Fruity Loops [Sub Soldiers]
  15. Dark Tantrums — Twisted [dub]
  16. The Others — Food Chain [Dub Police dub]
  17. Sukh Knight — Scorpion [dub]
  18. Distance — Crashing Tibet [Chestplate]
  19. Caspa & Rusko — Arms House [Sub Soldiers]
  20. Benga — To The Future [exclusive dub]
  21. Kromestar — Untitled [dub]
  22. VIVEK ft. Dego Ranking — One Heart [System dub]
  23. VIVEK — Slippin VIP [System dub]
  24. Dayzero — Ishval [dub]

Walsh
twitter.com/walsh_cr3
facebook.com/walshdeeejay
facebook.com/biscuitfactoryrecords

Share your thoughts on our feature with Walsh via the footer below or get in touch with FKOF via email, Twitter, or Facebook.

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Win a TP of J:Kenzo’s ZAMZAM44 http://www.fatkidonfire.com/news/win-a-tp-of-jkenzos-zamzam44/ http://www.fatkidonfire.com/news/win-a-tp-of-jkenzos-zamzam44/#respond Tue, 19 Jul 2016 20:56:02 +0000 http://www.fatkidonfire.com/?p=1619752676 By now, you’ll know how much we love working with record labels, artists and music initiatives of any size inside dub(step) culture — as long as we can connect with the underlying ethos.

ZAMZAM44

Portland’s ZamZam Sounds is a near-perfect blueprint of how to achieve positive impact across the world’s dub culture. The family-run imprint, shouts to Ezra and Tracy, is an entity we’ve become a huge fan of and, as is often the way, we’ve become good friends with the duo along the way. We’re really pleased to have the privilege of working with them both once again to celebrate and promote ZAMZAM44, J:Kenzo’s forthcoming addition to the label’s legacy.

After our recent sit-down with the Artikal boss, we’re pleased to continue our collaboration by hosting the latest FKOF comp. Head over to FKOF FB for your chance to win — and please support this fantastic label, brilliant producer and our international culture!

Jay’s ZamZam44 (Without backedwith Within) drops August 18th — right before Zbantu Shake on Artikal. Make sure to keep some cash held back for the impending stream of mind-blowing vinyl releases from the Kent-based producer!

Clips of ZamZam44 will be online very soon…

Much love, as always, to Ezra & Tracy at ZamZam Sounds & Polygon Press for their continuing efforts to push some of the finest sounds and visuals in bass music.

Peace, love & respect.

FKOF

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FKOF Sessions – July 2016 http://www.fatkidonfire.com/live/fkof-sessions-july-2016/ http://www.fatkidonfire.com/live/fkof-sessions-july-2016/#respond Thu, 14 Jul 2016 13:45:54 +0000 http://www.fatkidonfire.com/?p=1619752672 We’re back with the latest instalment of the FatKidOnFire Sessions – broadcast live on Chew

It’s the long-overdue 21st show in the series, hosted by Korrupt and FKOF fam Influenza. Broadcasting live from our Rotterdam HQ – with assistance from the chatroom crew and everyone locked from across the world…

Full track list & podcast to follow

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“I’m a sucker for an 808” http://www.fatkidonfire.com/interviews/im-a-sucker-for-an-808/ http://www.fatkidonfire.com/interviews/im-a-sucker-for-an-808/#comments Sun, 10 Jul 2016 20:57:01 +0000 http://www.fatkidonfire.com/?p=1619752644 There aren’t many producers in our beloved dubstep sound who produce, release and ultimately curate some of the finest music in the 130 to 170 BPM range as actively as our next interviewee.

Whether dub(wise), dubstep, UK garage or other uptempo examples, this interviewee is a phenomenal bass veteran who’s known by many monikers, labels, (incredible) DJ sets — and, of course, a much sought-after music catalogue many agree to be timeless. We are, rather obviously, discussing the many talents of the mighty J:Kenzo

J:Kenzo

The Kent-based producer began his adventure as dubstep curator as the founder of Soul Shakerz, an imprint which he launched in the golden years the mid-2000s. Back then, he’d already acquired a specific Tempa-esque sound that would catch the attention of the DJ Youngsta — resulting in a relationship that’s to date produced eleven EPs/ singles and an album.

It didn’t take long for J:Kenzo to garner support from the biggest names in the sound; and the quality releases followed. And, in 2012, Jay joined forces with Mosaix (the duo were producing together at the time) to launch Artikal Music UK — a label that’s become one of the most respected in 140 BPM. He followed up with the launch of Lion Charge Records the following year. Both imprints have catalogued the duality of the dubstep sound — Artikal homing the deeper material and Lion Charge focusing on the dubwise.

As both labels’ following grew, Jay’s sound continued to develop — matching the evolution of his hand-stamped releases on Lion Charge and the army of FKOF fam signing to Artikal with the dub-oriented Sound Control project. Sound system shakers like the awe-inspiring Electrocution Dub and Salute The Rockers soon followed (not forgetting the VIP version that surfaced on limited-to-50 7″ Lion Charge release).

It’s safe to say, with his countless dubplates blowing up the dance (not forgetting the Rinse FM airwaves), J:Kenzo’s become a favoured dubstep tastemaker the world over. If you don’t know his UK garage Jodo Kast alias (supported by Roska’s Kicks & Snares), you’ll do well to check last year’s Start the Chase EP too.

As long-time fans of the producer, we’ve been after a sit-down with Jay for years. We recently found the opportunity to exchange a few word thanks to our friends at Outlook Festival — discussing Jay’s vision, forthcoming releases and what to expect in Croatia this summer…

Hey Jay, how goes? I’m good thanks.

How are Artikal Music & Lion Charge doing at the moment? Both labels are keeping busy with releases lined up until the end of year.

Artikal has releases from Compa and Argo upcoming — and something special from myself dropping.

Lion Charge has a 12″ from Moresounds coming in July that I’m really looking forward to releasing.

What challenges have you faced managing these (now successful) labels? It’s all about managing time. Planning and preparation to meet deadlines and release dates is the hardest with a very small team running a label. There is also the risk when pressing vinyl… But we are still selling records so that’s a massive plus.

Artikal Music

How do you assure that the quality of your label is on a continuous level (e.g. what makes an artist fit to break through in your eyes)? If we are talking music wise it’s hard to say… I can usually tell whether I want to sign a track to the label after a couple of listens. If it has a certain flavour I’m looking for it’ll hit me instantly. A track has to have an identity in some way.

What’s your view on the current 140 scene? What are your thoughts on its move into various sub-genres? To be honest, I’m not sure of what sub genres have been created now. The 140 dubstep scene seems a little fragmented but the original players are still about doing their thing. There are new producers and labels coming through from all over the world which is good to see.

How do you find combing managing the multitude of labels you run with your personal life? It’s tough but I enjoy doing it. Working on projects and planning releases. Working with established artists and also bringing new artists through and giving them the platform to have a wider audience hear their music is something I take pride in.

After the madness that was Electrocution Dub, when can we expect some new Sound Control material? I hear that new material is coming soon… Keep your eyes peeled!

Who are your five ‘artists to watch’ at the moment? Causa, Moresounds, D-operation Drop, Argo & Cimm.

What do you enjoy the most: remixing a track or building a VIP? That’s a tough one… Remixing another artist’s work and giving your own spin on it is something I enjoy doing in the studio. With the VIPs, they are like a challenge for me to try and better the original. I can’t really choose between them if I’m honest.

What’s your formula for good sub bass? Any tools you’d like to recommend to the producers of today? I’m a sucker for an 808, although they can be one of the hardest elements to work with in the mix-down process.

You can’t really go wrong with a sine wave if creating from scratch. Add some distortion, some saturation and a bit of processing… The most important thing is making sure that nothing else in your mix gets in the same frequency range as the sub bass.

Subtle Sound

Of those you’ve played on, have you got a favourite sound system from your career? The Void soundsystem I played on in Leeds for Youngsta’s Contact event was proper.

Subtle Soundsystem in Christchurch, New Zealand — shout out to Figzy.

The PK Sound rigs in and around the US and Canada are always a pleasure to play on.

You’re at Outlook again this summer — what do you look forward to the most and what makes this festival so special? Outlook Festival for me is full of good vibes. A time to link with friends from the music scene and connect with the ravers from around the world.

It’s special because it grew with the dubstep scene and is an experience of sound system culture that everyone who appreciates bass music should have.

Have you got any amusing or memorable experiences from Pula you can share? There are so many good memories that I’ve taken from Outlook. Playing at the Dock stage in front of 3,000 people in 2012 was crazy… Also, in 2014, playing the Moat stage for Contact was something special.

One of the funniest moments was a drunken taxi ride from the festival back to our hotel with dBridge, SP:MC, Ash and very well known garage producer. I can’t divulge the details but the whole taxi was in tears.

Looking at how Outlook’s grown over the years, what’s are yout thoughts on the hype around festivals (in general)? Festival hype is always going to be there. They are a great way to see your favourite DJs and artists in one place over several days hopefully with decent weather.

Any final words or shoutouts? You can catch me playing at the Moat stage at Outlook Festival this year as well as the Contact and Hatcha and Friends boat parties.

Also new music soon come on Artikal, ZamZam Sounds and a return to 31 Recordings.

As we’d hoped, it sounds like there’s more than enough material coming to keep even the most ardent J:Kenzo, Sound Control, Artikal Music or Lion Charge fans satisfied in the coming months.

We can’t wait for the 2016 J:Kenzo appearance in the Pula sunshine or the new music from the producer (and his artists). As with anything, consistency and quality is key to maintaining superiority — and Jay epitomises executing both with his own material and that he signs for release.

Thanks and love to Jay and Outlook for the opportunity you’ve read above — see you all in the Croatian sun with your FKOF t-shirts on!

Share your thoughts on our feature with J:Kenzo via the footer below or get in touch with FKOF via emailTwitter, or Facebook.

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