There are few clubs of note left in London. It’s becoming increasingly tough for the newer or less-established promoters to find venues willing to host – although there are a few out there. It’s definitely something we’ve struggled with at FatKidOnFire when we’ve done our events! But every promoter I know of aspires to run an event at what might just be the UK’s most respected venue – one that puts London clubbing centre stage on the global map.
Today’s interviewee hosts three nights a year at Fabric, a thrice-yearly residency if you will. The majority of you will know Rich Reason for Hit&Run; an event that flies the flag for bass music, its artists and fans in Manchester – one of the country’s current talent hotbeds.
I caught up with Rich on the eve of Hit&Run’s latest Fabric residency – to talk promoting, producing, growing up with some of the best producers bass music has ever seen – and pretty much everything in-between…
Hi Rich, thanks for your time. Good year so far? Not at all, my pleasure. The best of times, the worst of times you know… ‘Twas ever thus for the independent promoter!
You’re on of the UK’s most prolific promoters, producers and DJs. How did it all start? Not sure at all about being a prolific producer, but yeah, I’ve put on a fair few raves in my time. I caught the DJing bug at 18. Shortly after, I had my entire music collection stolen (which was on CDs).
There was no such thing as a CDJ at the time; so from that point I decided to buy everything on vinyl – from Bjork to Breakage to Rakim to Rachmaninoff and try and mix it all together.
My sister has been a massive influence on me introducing me to Gilles Peterson and a whole load of acid jazz, funk and soul at an early age.
When I was at uni, a guy called Riz MC started a Drum’n’Bass/ UK hip-hop night and, having seen me play at a few charity nights I had put on (and over a shared love of Souls Of Mischief and Phi Life Cypher), made me the first resident.
Then, after the first year, we ran it together for a few years with a mate called Craig. The night was called Hit&Run.
When I moved to Manchester I started a Northern Wing which is now 7 years old. 12 years of history in all…
Your sets are some of the most unpredictable – but enjoyable – I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. Of the genres you play, which would you say is your favourite? Why? Very kind of you… It’s a tough one because I never play a set which is one genre all the way through.
DnB is ace as it is designed to be mixed so you can be the most creative with it in the mix… I might have to choose disco and funk though; as it is the most timeless – and is the foundation of it all. True musicianship runs through those records which is a rarer commodity. People like Barry White, Curtis, Isaac Hayes, Charles Stepney, Axelrod and the Mizell Brothers were composers of the highest order.
Hit&Run is one of the standout events for bass music fans in the north west – how did the event come about? What’s the best and worst thing about promoting? I used to play at a club at weekends in Manchester called Po Na Na – funk, soul, rare groove – that sort of thing. The only night it didn’t have an event on was Monday – and the manager at time said “Why don’t you start a DnB night and we’ll pay for half the rig” and it grew from there.
Often only 50/60 people came through but we always had a buzz. Big shout to Tonn Piper (who really didn’t need it for his profile) supporting it from the very start.
Best things – seeing new talent flourish, especially the homegrown stars, and introducing them to the open-minded, music-loving crowd we get at Hit&Run. I’ve been very proud to see how the likes of Chunky, Strategy, T-Man, Sparkz, Acre, Chimpo and Dub Phizix have blossomed and are now considered some of the best at what they do in the world – which they are! It’s also been great to see the generation that has included the likes of Joker, Mala, Loefah, James Blake, Sbtrkt, Jamie xx and many more – many of whom played for us at their first ever Manchester show.
Worst thing – me being shit and disorganised . The stress and the uncertainty. And bloody environmental health telling us to turn it down all the time; it’s getting beyond a joke how hard it is to have a proper rinse out in the Mecca of bass music culture these days.
You’ve released on a few highly regarded labels, can we expect forthcoming tunes in the coming months? What are you working on at the moment in terms of new tunes? All came about so quickly – Fantastic Mr Fox and I had a sit down – then the 2nd and 3rd tunes we ever wrote ended up coming out on Hemlock…
I’m not really a producer to be honest – I haven’t got the trappist monk temperament needed to be a good one; all the Reason family are very social beings and think I’m a better suited to promoting other people’s talents than my own. Manchester has an embarrassment of production riches at the minute, I’d rather try and bring them to the world’s attention and help them get by than bring down the standard. And having with the likes of Indigo, and known people like Dub Phizix and James Blake for years, I know what truly great electronic music sounds like.
It’s like that Buddhist saying, if it doesn’t improve on silence, don’t say anything. There’s more than enough mediocre music in the world without me adding to it.
You’re coming up to the latest Hit&Run residency at Fabric – one of (if not the best) the country’s best venues. What’s it like playing to the Fabric faithful? It’s a privilege to play at somewhere that was so formative to me as a young clubber. It’s one of the country’s finest institutions, and synonymous with forward-thinking music. A few of our nights I count amongst Hit&Run’s finest ever moments have been there so THANK YOU Fabric.
Given your eclectic tastes, what are your five must-play tunes (of any genre) that we can expect in Room 3 on the 18th October?
- Tessela – Nancy’s Pantry
- Kaytranada – Killa Cats
- dBridge & Vegas – True Romance (Pedestrian edit)
- Kendrick Lamar – Swimming Pools (Karma kid remix)
- Mike Jones – Still Tippin’ (Falcons remix)
Your London residencies are Fabric are currently ‘thrice yearly’ as you say on the H&R FB page, are we ever going to see a more frequent event in the capital city? We’re very happy limiting our London excursions to Fabric. It’s nice to do a night occasionally where I can just concentrate on enjoying my set, and not have to worry break-evens and all that nonsense.
You’ve got a pretty hectic booking schedule so your dubs folder must be looking pretty healthy. Which producers are you rating at the moment?
- Eagles For Hands.
- Sam Binga.
- Troy Gunner.
- Kaytranada is lord of all at the moment.
Any final words or shoutouts? See you tomorrow! Riz MC, Craig Carr, Hassan, Tom Pearson, Danny, Extended Hit&Run family in Oxford, Manchester and now Leeds. Antwerp Mansion Family, Outlook and Dimensions Fam, Gottwood family, Brotherhood sounds lads, Dave and Shaun at Fabric, Mum and dad, sister, And the beautiful Sarah Leetch. Peace!
Rich and the Hit&Run gang, including grime masters Chimpo & Trigga headlining – with up and comer Acre going b2b with Leadbelly (you can check their promo mix for the event below) – alongside the likes of Werka, Sivey and DVWLX , are taking over Fabric’s Room 3 tomorrow night.
Things are going to get rowdy.
Click to DOWNLOAD
- Acre – Unravel
- Acre – Switchblade Ribcage
- Acre – City
- Wen – Strings Hoe
- Acre – Burning Memories [forthcoming Cold Recordings]
- Untold – Stop What You’re Doing (Kowton Remix)
- Acre – Statue
- Alex Coulton – Murder
- Acre – Symbols [forthcoming Project 13]
- Luke leadbelly – Bomba [forthcoming]
- Dark0 – Hyli Grime refix
- Knowledge & Luke Leadbelly – Eski ’13
- Moleskin – Slippin
- Acre – The Ghetto
- Acre – O
- Delroy Edwards – For Club Use Only
- Murlo – Last Dance
- Kingdom – Fogs
- Luke Leadbelly & T-man – Delivery
- Visionist – Snakebite
- Samename – Bloom Send
Order your tickets for £19 on the Fabric website here – or they’re £20 OTD (£14 for students and fabricfirst members). Doors are 10pm to 6am.
See you by the subs.