Earlier this month PlanetMu released 'Stars', the first single from Starkey's phenomenal follow-up album 'Ear Drums and Black Holes.' The single features sublime vocals from Brighton, UK's rising starlet Anneka Warburton and deviates from Starkey's grimey, gutter music that we've all come to know and love. 'Stars' is a heartfelt celestial lullaby built with flittering drum sequences, swelling and receding waves of synth pads and soothing vocals from Anneka that show off Starkey's softer side and versatility as a producer. Slugabed's remix [available as a free download courtesy of NME here] dissects and flips the original elements into a glitched-out, yet restrained arrangement allowing the vocals to remain preserved and suspended above the mix. Listeners of Starkey's Seclusiasis radio show on Sub.fm should be familiar with his other tunes on the release 'Starting Gates' and 'Millenia', streetbass anthems with powerful crescendos of colorful synth-lines, break-neck bass drops and that Philly club swagger. Neither 'Starting Gates' or 'Millenia' will be featured on EDABH and coupled with 'Stars' remixes from Mu associates Ital Tek, Raffertie, and Few Nolder [Digital release only] this release is a necessary companion to the forthcoming LP. Support!!
Ear Drums and Black Holes releases on PlanetMu April 19th.
We recently had the chance to chat with Anneka and talk about the release:
BF: So for those less familiar, would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself and your musical background?
Anneka: I’m currently based in Brighton having just finished Uni here. I’ve had a really varied musical background which I guess reflects really important musical discoveries I’ve made along the way. At 14 I came across a Led Zeppelin vinyl in my dad’s collection which led to picking up a guitar and being in a band for the rest of my teens, to hearing Aphex Twin on an advert and thinking ‘I have to hear more of this, what IS it?!’. Since then I’ve got into a wide range of music, quite a lot of which is electronic based. This has led to collaborations with various producers, mostly on Planet Mu.
BF: The first time I heard about your music was actually through Mary Anne Hobbs' 'Build The Beat' experiment where you, Starkey, and Reso came together and built a tune from scratch over the course of her 2-hour BBC Radio radio show. Could you tell us a little bit more about that experience and how it was working in the famous Maida Vale studio with those guys under those time constraints?
Anneka: It wasn’t until we were having dinner with Starkey about 5 hours before the show that I realised we weren’t going to be performing the track live! So immediately I felt very relieved that it was going to be a track we played back at the end. However it was still an incredibly tall order, especially for Starkey. I was so excited about seeing the Maida Vale studios so it was a really good distraction from being nervous. The two hours of making the track were quite a blur because everything happened so fast- mine and Reso’s recordings were mostly done in the first or second take. It was incredible seeing how quickly Starkey worked and how many samples from listeners and Radio 1 Presenters he managed to squeeze into the track! I had such a great time and am so pleased that Starkey invited me to take part.
BF: How did you and Starkey first meet and how did the 'Stars' single eventually come together?
Anneka: Starkey heard previous collaborations I’d done with Mu artists through Mike Paradinas and wanted me to sing on his album. Once I heard the track that later became Stars I worked on it pretty quickly because the instrumental gave me a lot of visual ideas for lyrics. I loved the sci-fi influenced style of the track. Starkey and I are both fans of Blade Runner and the like!
BF: What was your initial reaction when you first heard the finished tune? Feelings on the Slugabed remix?
Anneka: The instrumental was given to me at first in a near completed state already. Hearing it all come together was great and made me really look forward to it being released. The Slugabed remix is crazy, I love it! There have also been remixes for digital release by other producers; Ital Tek, Few Nolder and Raffertie. It’s cool to hear each of their takes on the track and are definitely worth checking out.
BF: I noticed in the video during the Maida Vale session that you had your notebook with you, would you mind telling us a little more about your writing process?
Anneka: I find it so hard to describe! I guess when I’m writing lyrics to specific tracks I go along with what the music makes me imagine visually and then take it from there, often using metaphors. I get really inspired by films and books among other things too.
BF: Before we let you go, what else you have in store for 2010 and what other projects are you currently working on??
Anneka: I’m currently working on my own EP which will involve some producers I’ve previously worked with. I have vocals that are going to be featured on the next Vex’d and Ital Tek albums on Planet Mu, as well as a single with Blue Daisy coming out on Black Acre. I’m also hoping to do some live guest vocals this summer too.
BF: Anneka, thanks again! Looking FWD to the EP! All the best.
The Autonomic crew have been at the forefront of the movement currently breathing new life into Drum & Bass music. Whether through their fantastic series of podcasts or releases on DBridge's Exit and Instra:Mental's NonPlus record labels, people are starting to take notice. No stranger to DnB himself with releases under his belt on Covert Ops and Nu-Directions to name a few, producer James Clements aka ASC was called up in late 2009 for the 3rd release on Nonplus, ('Porcelain/Focus Inwards') and the rest is history. With his tracks being featured on dBridge & Instra:mental's recent Fabriclive mix and with plans for an LP release later this year, ASC is a name you're going to be hearing a lot more of. After constantly bumping his recent studio mix from earlier this month, we recently had a chance to get up with James and touch bass...
BF: Yo ASC, big ups for taking the time.
ASC: No problem
BF: When did you first start producing and how did you initially get into Drum & Bass?
ASC: I grew up in the UK and was exposed to the exploding hardcore-breakbest scene from an early age. Me and my friends used to trade cassettes of pirate radio stations from the old hardcore-breakbeat days. This was around about 1992-1993.
BF: Pirate radio is something that's always fascinated me, maybe because it's something that we here in the States weren't exposed to growing up. Today, tools like Ustream and internet radio stations act as an outlet for underground music, but during the early 90s what was the overall impact of pirate radio in the scope of the UK underground and how did it affect you and your peers growing up?
ASC: It was massive. It was the equivalant of internet radios these days to a certain degree. The thing I loved about it was these stations were everywhere in the UK. Pretty much every major city in the UK had a number of pirate stations that would mainly all play underground hardcore stuff, so it got massive and eventually some of the tunes, like Blame's Music Takes You for example, ended up making the UK Top 40 chart. In a way, these illegal stations were doing so much for this music - it was basically an unofficial network of free promotion for all the record labels about at the time!
For me and my friends still being at school as this was all happening, it was an exciting time. I have fond memories of a bunch of us in the schools foreign language labs, with tape players and headphones, been given French cassettes to learn, and instead having group intercom sessions with us all checking out last nights pirate radio show that one of us had recorded!
BF: Was there a specific DJ set you remember seeing where it clicked that 'THIS' was want you wanted to do? When was the first time you ever got behind the decks?
ASC: Not really. I wasn't much for the actual DJ's at first, it was mainly about the music. I'd have several mixes on cassette and never know who was actually mixing back then! I guess my fascination with the DJ side of things came when I started to hunt down the tunes and realised that I had to start buying vinyl and decks to do my own mixes. After amassing a nice little collection, I got my first break with a local pirate radio station at the age of 15. Me and my friend used to host a weekly show every Thursday night playing the latest hardcore tracks.
BF: Could you talk a little bit about the first tune you remember making? What it sounded like? What was your frame of mind at the time? What software you were using?
ASC: I can still remember this quite clearly! It was about 1994, me and my friends all had either Atari ST's or Commodore Amiga's and we got hold of tracker software for them both. I think it was Noisetracker for the ST and Protracker for the Amiga. We all taught ourselves from scratch on how to make music with them and would often share tips and our latest findings with each other. I think my first 'tune' (I say that lightly as I can still hear it in my head lol) was a mashup of different hardcore tunes at the time. I'd sample beats, bass, riffs and basically anything I could get my hands on. After this, I eventually got some midi gear together, also a sampler, and switched to Cubase on my ST. This was about 1995-1996, if I recall right. As for frame of mind at the time? Well it was all just about having fun and just wanting to be a part of this amazing music we all loved so much.
BF: How did you initially get involved with the Autonomic heads from all the way out in Cali? It's amazing that you can all connect on that creative level while producing music in such different physical environments.
ASC: I've always been producing leftfield/abstract atmospheric sort of stuff and when Instra:mental burst back onto the scene with their first couple of 12's on Darkestral, I was excited that bigger names like Doc Scott, Marcus Intalex and of course, dBridge were all taking notice. I felt what they were doing wasn't a million miles away from my stuff, so I ended up getting in touch with Damon from Instra:mental and chatting. We then started sharing tracks with each other at the end of 2009 or so and they were both feeling what I was doing. I'd just had a bit of an epiphany studio wise, with my sound heading in a lot of different directions and I was just generally more at home not writing music just for the dancefloors, but mainly just writing heartfelt electronic music at around 170bpm. I came up with a first batch of tunes, which included Porcelain, Starkwood & The Touch, sent them over and the rest as they say, is history.
Porcelain by ASC
I think the fact that the main people behind the music heavily featured on the podcasts (dBridge, Instra:mental, Consequence & myself) are all from different parts of the world is a big reason why we can all bring our own unique vibe to the Autonomic sound, but since we are all on the same wavelength, it works collectively also. Different environments, living conditions, lifestyles etc. definitely have an influence on how you approach writing music and how it ultimately ends up sounding.
BF: What I love about the music coming out right now on labels like Exit and Nonplus is that they convey so much mood, feeling, and atmosphere that they become something that you experience rather than just simply listen to. Al from Instra:mental recently played in NYC and I don't think my eyes were opened once during the whole set. It really is music for the mind, body, AND soul. 'Focus Inwards' [Nonplus003] is an awesome example of this and easily one of my favorite tunes in recent memory. When did that tune come together and how did it eventually get in the hands of Instra:mental?
ASC: Focus Inwards came about after Instra:mental had asked me to start writing for them and dBridge exclusively. I think it was the first track I did after being asked to write an artist album for NonPlus+, which is ironic, as it ended up on the flip of Porcelain and not on the LP!
BF: Mind telling us a little bit about the Autonomic Layers?
ASC: Well, I don't have too much say into what goes into the podcasts or how they come together, but the mixes sections are always about showcasing what we are upto. There's so many of our tunes that have gone unidentified so far, but that's mainly because we are not sure when they will get a release if at all. We are all writing a lot of music and it all can't get released unfortunately, so some eventually end up as being podcast exclusives, although this year should see the release of a LOT more music from all of us involved.
BF: ASC, before we let you go, What else do you have up your sleeve for 2010? Releases? Tours?
Matter Of Time by ASC
ASC: The next thing wil be the 'Nothing Is Certain' LP sampler, which will feature the tracks Phobos, Matter Of Time, and a short ambient interlude called Oort Cloud. Phobos and Oort Cloud will both be exclusive to the 12", which will be NONPLUS006. Following that up will be the LP itself, which will be on 3x12" vinyl, CD and digital download. We're expecting a late April-early May release for it. After that, there's a few 12's for the new Autonomic label which is set for launch imminently, one of which will be Starkwood / The Touch. There's music forthcoming on Exit and there's also plans for another new label so we can get even more music out there.
Starkwood by ASC
ASC Top Ten [March 2010]
Breakage feat. Kemo - Temper
dBridge - Rendezvous
Instra:mental - Red Rooms
Consequence - Marlo
DJG - Hydrate
dBridge - Love Hotel
Vaccine - Abandon
Blocks - Undercurrent
KMC - Parsec
Data & Keza - 4th Draft
The lyrics to the song Atomic Fusion produced by Berlin's wunderkind-MODESELEKTOR-affiliate SIRIUSMO liken the love of two people to a nuclear holocaust. The intensity of their combined chemistry predetermines their inevitable destruction - described here as a brilliant self-annihilating flash. The Son of Kick remix was recently rinsed on the BBCRadio1's Experimental airwaves at the hands of Mary Anne Hobbes.
"colors fade curtain drops lights go on the music stops the drugs wear off the bubble pops it is what it is not'
Malente with this weeks Flashback laying waste this time from the Pagoda once again at Shambhala Music Festival up in the southeastern corner of British Columbia. Catching Malente live is a real treat chopping beats up on the fly and dishing them out on the funky tip. Those green lasers up top are no joke either.
Here is the latest mix from Malente, out to The Fat Club for putting us onto this.
Malente – Mix For Triple J
Hatiras – Your Love
Rockets – Running To You
Malente – I Like It (Riva Starr Snatch Mix)
Malente – I Like It (Original)
Curtis B – Play My Jam (Robb G Remix)
Chris James – Wait A Minute
Lee Mortimer & Foamo – Superman
Acidkids Feat. Marina – Big Foot (Act Yo Age Remix)
Malente & Jay Robinson – Do Your Head In (Sticky K Remix)
Malente & Jay Robinson – Do Your Head In (Original)
The Bulgarian – Midnight Light (KiNK Ghetto Mix)
So Called Friend – Fever (Malente Remix)
Zebra Baby – +1 (Schalchthofbronx Remix)
Major Lazer – Jump Up (Genghis Clan Vs. Riva Starr ‘Mambo Jumbo’ Remix)
Riva Starr Feat. Trim – Dance Me (Oliver $ Remix)
Malente & Dex Feat. Bonde Do Role – Bangkok (Malente&Dex Remix)
Man & Man – La Cabaret Hologramme (Lazy Flow Remix / Malente Re-Edit)
Boy 8-Bit – Baltic Pine (Run Hide Survive Mix)
Malente & Jay Robinson – Dawrfs (Sharkslayer Remix)
Boris Dlugosch – Bangkok (Original)
Malente & Dex Feat. Bonde Do Role – Bangkok (Accapella)
Ex Carter – Fever
Computer Juice – Computer Juice (Tai & DIM Remix / Malente Re-Edit)
Cheerz – Who Da Baddest (Jay Robinson Remix)
Malente & Jay Robinson – What A Bass
Destroy Disco – Here It Comes (Malente Remix)
DOWNLOAD Direct Link
Also be sure to grab his Supermix for Oh My God Its Techno Music below.
OMGITM Supermix 09 - Malente
High Rankin - The Tale Of Clarence Baskerville
Tape 2 Tape - Stitch Up (Tape 2 Tape Short Edit)
Hey Today! - If I Was Wonderman (Bobmo Remix)
Malente – Feel It (Alex Gopher Edit)
Danny T. - Chico (Malente Re-Edit)
Wrongkong – Sweat (Malente Remix)
Malente – Music Forever
Zero Cash - Give It To Me (Malente Re-Edit)
The Darrow Chem Syndicate - The Trioxin (Malente Remix)
Don Diablo - Disco Disco Disco (Mowgli Remix)
Acidkids - Mad Mahoney (Hijack RMX II / Malente Re-Edit)
Chris James - Shake That Ass
Malente – Music Forever (Urchins Remix)
Keith & Supabeatz – Pluto
Congorock - Exodus (Malente Remix)
Lee Mortimer - Champion Sound (Malente Re-Edit)
Jonny L & Horx – 18 Years
Lars Moston & Philipe de Boyar – So Sick
Rob Threezy – You Bad
Malente & Dex – Hyperactive (Nahn & Taan Remix)
Malente & Dex – Hyperactive (Bird Peterson Remix)
Sticky K – Bandari Funk
Malente – Music Forever (Dada Life Remix)
DOWNLOAD Direct Link
It's a Hessle Audio takeover. The label, the brainchild of Ramadanman and Ben UFO have been putting out stunning releases since 2007 and are showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon with plans for a 6-track double-pack release from Ramdanman on April 5th. After years breaking ground on Sub.fm, the crew recently moved over to the Rinse.fm airwaves last month and are quickly growing into one of the biggest cant-miss shows on the roster.
Their 11th release on the label 'The Bells Sketch' from James Blake illustrates the impossibility of pigeon-holing and pinning this label down to one specific genre. It straddles the line between R&B, Soul, and Garage flavors in only a way that James Blake can. Bottom line- whatever you want to define it as, it's great music and that's something you can come to expect from the Hessle crew. You can preview and purchase Hessle 011 from our friends at Juno Download HERE as well as browse the entire Hessle discography HERE.
Whether it's through their silky smooth DJ sets or productions from TRG, Pangaea, Joe, Untold, or Ramadanman himself, the crew has a sound that demands your attention. Buckle your seatbelts and enjoy the ride.
In preparation for the upcoming Hessle takeover of Room3 at Fabric on the 19th of March, Bruk put together a promo mix to get you in the mood:
Bruk - Hessle Audio / FABRICLIVE Promo Mix by fabric
- The West District Allstars feat. Natasha Watts - Reach Up (Enzyme Black Stripped Dub)
- Kid Majesty - Desfile De Los Santos
- Tadow Productions - Rising Sun
- Stephanie Mills - Free (Domu Stripped Down Remix)
- Sony - Sugar Rush
- DVA - Nasty Nasty Nasty (Roska Remix)
- Xara - You Got Me
- Crazy Cousinz - Sonar
- Tonya Renee - About You (Karizma Boucha Remix)
- DJ 2face - I Love You
- Plastic Cash - Store Card
- Ultramarine - Hooter (Carl Craig / Ver. 1.1)
- Karizma - Necessary Madness
- Argy - The Storm
- Thommy Davis - Mars Needs Women
Here's some other Hessle related biz to wet your beak:
BenUFO- Rinse.fm March 4th, 2010
BenUFO, Ramadanman, Pangaea- Rinse.fm February 18th, 2010 [debut Hessle show on Rinse]
FactMagazine: Ramadanman readies new 6-tracker for Hessle Audio
Resident Advisor: Hessle Audio
After his highly acclaimed remix of Darkstar's 'Aidy's Girl Is A Computer' in 2009, they recently tapped 18 year old young gun and Detroit native Kyle Hall to drop an original 12" on the label. Kyle has been making big waves with his EP releases on his own Wild Oats imprint as well as sharing the stage with Detroit Techno legends such as Carl Craig, Juan Atkins, and Stacey Pullen many of which have been producing music since before he was born. The release leads of with 'Kaychunk' which sounds like a distinctly American take on the UKFunky movement, pulling sounds and textures from the forefathers of US Techno and crossbreeding them with that patented Hyperdub sound. The flip 'You Know What I Feel' is a beautiful hybrid of 2step and RnB with shuffling drum patterns and a soulful synthline full of emotion, while underlying sounds of thunder and rainfall brew in the background.
Kyle Hall - EXCLUSIVE fabric Blog Mix by fabric
'Kaychunk / You Know What I Feel' releases in all the usual outlets on March 15th in 12" vinyl and mp3 format.
Their next release comes from the mind and soul of Ikonika, one of the most exciting producers in music today. Her first Hyperdub release 'Please' / 'Simulacrum' in early 2008 was one of the highlights of the year and since then she has released more stunning tunes on the label as well as tracks on Warp and Planet Mu. I remember how I felt and where I was when I heard 'Please' for the first time and immediately welled up with those same feelings of eyes-closed amazement hearing 'Idiot', the first single off of her forthcoming LP. The sound is still defiantly Ikonika's but even more polished and concise than I've ever heard her music before. It's hard to not initially get a vision of Link running through a pixelated dungeon in the original Legend of Zelda and there is a very comforting quality about those familiar sounds that transport you back to your youth. The tune is anything but juvenile though, with complex Cari-flavored rhythm and 8-bit synth harmonics and melody that make your knees buckle. Check out her recent podcast for Made in Glitch below and look out for her full length album 'Contact, Love, Want, Have' dropping on Hyperdub soon.
Made In Glitch Podcast: Episode 11 by BETAMAXNOMATES
The flipside of the 12" is a remix of 'Idiot' courtesy of Altered Natives which turns the tune on it's head into dubby, minimal tribal house while still retaining sound effects and bleeps from the original. Altered Natives hit it big with 'Rass Out' in mid-2009 which got big support from Laurent Garnier among others. Be sure to head over to FACT magazine and grab his recent mix for them HERE before it's too late.
'Idiot' / 'Idiot' (Altered Natives remix) releases on Hyperdub April 12th