Wen - Lo-Fidelity [South Fork Sound]
Dark Sky - Shutter Speed [50 Weapons]
Addison Groove - I Go Boom [50 Weapons]
My Nu Leng - Remember In U [Black Butter Records]
Peverse - Tesla [Artikal Music UK]
Daega Sound - Fox Wing [Black Box]
My Nu Leng - Damp (Last Japan’s 4:44am Remix) [LNUK Records]
Nphonix - Getting Run Down (Slow Mix) [Shifting Peaks]
Nomine - Nomine’s Sound [Tempa]
DJ Madd - On Top [Black Box]
Walton - Homage [Keysound Recordings]
Thefft - This Way Down [Fulcrum Records]
MJ Cole - 39 Step [Prolific Recordings]
Wen - Lo-Fidelity [South Fork Sound]
Dexta has been the backbone of Diffrent Music since 2010. Perpetually focused on bringing stripped-back, head nodding music to the world, he’s been responsible for breaking many new artists into the scene. We caught up with the man himself to give us the lowdown on why Diffrent will always be different.
IA: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us at Inorganic Audio! First of all, what are the challenges you found in compiling the tracks for the album compared to an EP release?
D: To be fair I am surrounded with artists who are making loads of great music all of the time, so getting the music together was kinda natural and really easy, having things tweaked and finished was another story but happened with no falls outs! Mastering and Paperwork was the biggest chore, but it all got done just in time for the release date - so again no love lost.
IA: As a label owner and producer, is it difficult striking the balance between business and creativity?
D: The label is my number one commitment so the music making/studio/creative time is just for me a hobby or pastime, for it is just art. I’d never want to jeopardise my lifestyle or rely on direct creativity output to live on with, so I think that balance is forced deep down into my DNA. However, there are times when I’m involved in a music project that involves other people and deadlines and I’ve had to switch to/fro Label/Artist which is quite odd feeling, but it’s what I live for so its not too hard or awkward (yet!!)
IA: How does Diffrent set itself aside from the myriad of other labels?
D: I can’t blow my own trumpet but I’d like to think that the success of the label comes from the hard work put in, from all of the artists in the studio to the DJs on road and all the people who are supporting the music and releases. From an artistic point of view, I’m always on the hunt for new and experimental sounding things, once I’ve heard something done a few times by few other people It bores me, so this level of quality control kinda shines through with the output on Diffrent Music.
IA: Diffrent always have very striking designs, how important is branding to its success?
D: It helps a lot especially when it comes to us small labels who are trying their hardest to become noticed. There’s been a lot of great designers and artistic input to the brand and back catalogue of sleeve design who have all made the label what it is today.
IA: If Diffrent Music was a food, what food would it be?
D: Imagine your favourite gourmet burger place started doing medium/rare giraffe steak sandwiches with authentic jungle flavoured potato wedges.
IA: In your opinion, are physical sales still relevant? Or should labels look for other sources of income through to keep themselves afloat?
D: It’s really hard to shift the physical stuff. Most of the new DJs have not even got or used a real turn table, and a lot of the older DJs from pre-digital or cross-over period have made the big switch. Personally, you don’t own or ‘have’ a tune unless you have a copy of it that you can look at, hold, touch, feel, have and build a lasting memory with. As a label, I feel that you’re not really a record label until you’ve actually put a label on a record. But they are just personal opinions. Diffrent’s happened very organically, it was set up from pocket money from the ground up and along the line a few risks/chances were taken and luckily you can go out and buy the tunes physically which I am very proud of, and I know loads of people enjoy, so big ups all in support of the vinyl movements!
IA: Do you have any alternative creative outlets other than your music?
D: I like to scream and shout in the bath, do a few little random doodles, and a little bit of design - but nothing that makes me feel the way I do after working in the studio.
IA: What are your plans for 2014?
D: Hopefully the Christmas madness won’t break the world in half so we can crack on. Some big changes in the logistics of the label from a release point of view, but cannot reveal just yet, but music from all the album artists, also some stuff from some new names too, which I will be programming into the next GiraffeCast!
IA: First album?
D: “Evolution Of The Giraffe LP” go and buy it now on CD, Vinyl or Digital Downloads (http://shop.diffrentmusic.com) [Ed. previews embedded above!]
IA: Guiltiest pleasure in music? (Something you love but probably shouldn’t).
D: Die Antwoord
Thanks again to Dexta for agreeing to be interviewed. If you didn’t know about Diffrent Music already, you can get at them online through the links below!
Sublogos presents our first podcast of 2014, coming with a 34 minute vision of the contemporary bass-continuum and beyond.
Objekt - Agnes Demise [Objekt]
A Made Up Sound - Extra Time [A Made Up Sound]
Logos - Seawolf [Keysound Recordings]
Kamikaze Space Programme - Black Lagoon [Deca Rhythm]
Akkord - Rocendal [Houndstooth]
SS/S - Siglo 2 [Jealous God]
Acre - Deosil [SATURATE!RECORDS]
Visionist - Snakebite [Leisure System]
Kamikaze Space Programme - Cassini [Deca Rhythm]
2562 - Brasil Deadwalker [When In Doubt]
South London Ordnance - Harrier [Audio Culture Label]
Zed Bias - Ye [Swamp81]
Paleman - Etch [School Records]
Laurel Halo - Chance of Rain [Hyperdub]
In the industrial outskirts of Amsterdam there lies a small village named Ruigoord which was originally abandoned in the 1960’s to make way for a planned expansion of the city’s harbour (which is very close to the site upon which Ruigoord sits). The village became a squat for artists and, though legal troubles are now apparently a thing of the past, the artistic flavour very much remains with Ruigood playing host to various poetry festivals and music events.
On our hazy jollies over to Amsterdam we happened upon a techno event hosted by DOOR! which is held in Ruigoord’s former church (a welcome bit of heresy to get things going). We had some idea of what we were in for before we attended, though upon arrival the place had exceeded all of our expectations.
To get to where the party is you have to walk down a darkened path towards the glow of a big dance and the unmistakable thud of 4x4 drums (which relentlessly battered the church windows until 8am). Perc Trax’s Jeff Derringer found his way onto the line up all the way from the US, promising a maelstrom of sparse industrial techno which did not dissapoint:
The DOOR! residents were a spectacle unto themselves and made it well worth the journey, keeping the cavernous dancefloor packed from start to finish. An interesting touch is that they often record and upload sets from their events to their mixcloud page (see above and below), giving you the chance to indulge in a nostalgia kick, post-party.
Though as cliche as it sounds to say it, “the people make the party” (cliches are often cliches for a reason!) and this was especially true at DOOR! Age-wise it was a very mixed crowd and everyone was extremely positive and very welcoming (we were the only English in attendance and our national reputation abroad hadn’t quite caught up with us). The party pushed on well into sunlit hours with crowds of techno legionnaires still finding the energy to lose it in the darkened church while the tortured windows were still just about holding up.
If you ever swing by Amsterdam, you should definitely experience this place. We’d consider it a wasted journey if not!
Eclectic mix from Soek featuring plenty of his own original productions, constructed in its entirety on a dirty old sofa and tinged throughout with Boards-laden nostalgia.
Rob Swift - Dope on Plastic [Asphodel]
IA: Thanks for chatting to us at Inorganic Audio. BIOS is looking set to make some waves with the forthcoming LP. How long has it taken to get this far?
B: We took a step back, reflected and restructured. D&B is on a high this year, we feel we have returned at the right time to take back our part in pushing quality music again… The LP took nearly 8 months to complete… well worth it I’d say.
IA: In your opinion how different are the roles of label boss in comparison with that of a standard producer? Can anyone set up a label or do you need something a bit more than just musical talent?
B: Good question. I’d say anyone can get a label up and running, there’s not much to it really. BUT, if you want to stand out and not be a run of the mill label you would have to bring in alot of knowledge and know how the scene works with a good team of talented producers and promoters.
Having a standing as a producer would definitely help a lot, also you’d have to have a good ear for what could be a big tune or who could be the next hot artist.
IA: Why should people buy records from BIOS? What do you do that is different from the plethora of labels that exist?
B: Our motto is quality over quantity, theres too many rubbish labels out there. That, in my eyes, helped ruin the market in the last years. Sure it’s not only the labels but the distributors aswell. For example Nu Urban, who had to shut down, they had no proper quality control. It was inevitable that they would shut down.
We take time and carefully select tunes that will be released on BIOS. We can look back on our portfolio and safely say that each track deserved to be released!
IA: The LP is enjoyable but diverse. Did you take a considered approach to the tracklist or did it build over time?
B: Haha, you say enjoyable but diverse - I think its very important to be diverse. I compiled the CD as I would a DJ set of mine… I want to take people on a journey. Wouldn’t it be boring if you went to a club and the DJ would play the same style all night long? In my opinion it;s the diversity that makes the LP what it is - something special.
IA: Do you feel that labels have to be more diverse in the way they distribute music nowadays, or will a strong track always shine through?
B: Yeah you have to move with the times, you have to be on as many platforms as possible, to be accessible to people all over the world. One has to remember not everyone has or even wants to be on the internet.
IA: What does the future hold for BIOS?
B: We have one more Compilation LP planed for this year, the follow up to BIOS Input/Output Vol. 1, this time mixed and Compiled by Sol. iD (from Autumn) aswell as an album by the legendary Edward Oberon. Digital solo EPs from Locksmith, Marte, Survey, Submatic, and Dan-e plus some more exciting 12” singles.
IA: First gig?
B: Damn, thats about 15 years ago, I think it was a birthday party in a venue where I had to bring along my own decks.
IA: First album?
B: I have not released an album yet, its in the works but I’m not rushing it
IA: Guiltiest pleasure in music? (Something you love but know you shouldn’t)
B: Haha good question, hmmm well I used to listen to Billy Ocean, does that count?
Thanks again to BIOS Recordings for agreeing to talk to us here at Inorganic Audio! You can follow BIOS on Facebook and Mixcloud to keep up with all the latest.
Rooted Recordings is a drum & bass label which has been gathering momentum recently. Based in London, the label is organised by the Wales-born producer and DJ known as Chemical Ally. We caught up with Chemical Ally recently for a chat about Drum & Bass past and present, and the future of the Rooted Recordings label. We strongly encourage you to check the label out!
IA: I understand you’ve been around the UK rave scene for quite a long time and that you actually immersed yourself in various strains of early 90’s techno initially. Do you have any particular favourites from that era? And what is it that drew you to techno in the beginning?
CA: In 1990 it wasn’t so clearly categorised as it is today, for me it was just ‘rave music’. By ‘93 there was more definition of these sub genres. I’m 34 now, and at the age of 12 I got a set of decks. To pinpoint what it was that drew me towards one particular sound is difficult, maybe teenage angst combined with a surge of testosterone. With regards to particular favourites, labels such as ‘Industrial Strength’ and ‘Rising High’ really had an influence on me.
IA: It’s easy to see how someone might develop an interest in the techier side of Drum & Bass having come from that kind of background. I can hear the influence of techno quite clearly in this side of Drum & Bass – it is thematically very similar. Is it fair to say your movement into Drum & Bass was a natural extension of that original interest?
CA: Definitely. Drum & Bass really appealed to me when the beats tightened up and the sounds were more stripped back, and this is where I feel it’s similarity with Techno lies.
IA: As the 00’s went on we witnessed a lot of experimentation with older forms in bass music. Of note was a resurgence of the “tech/neuro” sound in Drum & Bass (which also palpably influenced a definite strain of dubstep from the latter part of the last decade). For you, who were the biggest innovators in the early days of this sound?
CA: The producers who stood out for me would be Ed Rush and Optical, Ram Trilogy, Stakka and Skynet, to name but a few. The production skills demonstrated by the artists I’ve named where what really pushed the sound to a new level.
IA: Alright let’s talk a little bit about your label, Rooted Recordings. Do you have any particular vision for the label?
CA: For me having a record label is similar to being a DJ. As a DJ you have an artistic licence to take people on a journey. I see Rooted as an extension of this ability to express my musical interests. This then makes it difficult to have a set vision for the label, as my musical interests are constantly evolving. Quality not quantity is what I’m really looking to achieve.
IA: With the proliferation of communications tech it’s become a lot easier for people to participate in music in a lot of ways, from getting your beats out there through to creating a label or radio show/station – how do you make a label stand out against such a noisy background?
CA: Standing out isn’t really my objective. Staying true to the sounds I believe in, and those that appeal to me are far more important. I suppose some level of consistency is needed, if people can rely on you to put out good music at a certain standard over time the reputation of the label will build.
IA: So how did the Total Science remix come about? Was it a request or simply a track they were feeling?
CA: I asked them if they could remix ‘Cargo Dub’. I had two objectives here, firstly to have Total Science and their years of talent add another twist to what I feel is an absolutely blinding track by Ed:it. Secondly, raising the profile of Rooted by employing such industry heavy weights. On receiving ‘Cargo Dub’, I was happy to learn that they really liked the tune, as was Ed:it.
IA: How do you go about searching for tracks for the label? Do you listen on the go throughout the week, or clear some time in the diary and have a good session with it?
CA: This part of the process is completely random. I tend to listen to tracks when I’m at my computer, and then if there’s something that stands out I’ll listen to them in the car over the course of a week. It’s important to really get a feel for a track, something that isn’t fully understood by some aspiring artists. The internet has created a very fast form of communication for us all, but it in some it has created a need for an instant response.
IA: And the final stretch! Any plans for 2013 you can share?
CA: Not really….I’m just aiming to keep some momentum and put out good sounds.
IA: First rave/gig?
CA: In 1992 I played at a free party in west Wales to around 100 people, proper early days car crash set!
IA: First album?
CA: Probably ‘Mixed Up’ by The Cure.
IA: Guiltiest pleasure in music? (Something you like but know you shouldn’t)
CA: I don’t believe in a “guilty pleasure” when it comes to music. One persons “guilty pleasure” is another person absolute obsession. I don’t feel any guilt for music that appeals to me.
We wanna extend a big thanks to Chemical Ally for speaking with us today. As I said earlier, we seriously recommend heading over to soundcloud and having a listen to the label previews. We’re confident you’ll find a gem or two for your bag or USB. We should also mention that you can follow Rooted Recordings on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all the latest.
Our friends at Dusk have now released the first EP on their own Dusk Underground Music label. You can check out previews above. Available now at Beatport!
Lurka - Full Clip [Hotline Recordings]
Loko & Nitri - TiKi -[Screwloose Records]
Kantyze - Marauder VIP [M-Atome Recordings]
Direct Motion - Inside Out [N/A]
Detail - Green Rain [Utopia Music]
Arkaik & MC XL - Game Changer [Diffrent]
Halogenix - Atas [N/A]
Andy Pain & Z Connection - Explosion [N/A]
L33 - Skepsis [N/A]
Psychical Research - Ice Cube [Subculture Music]
Mr. Foul - Rude Boy Town [DSCI4]
DBR UK & Mtwn - Shrapnel [Dispatch LTD]
Atomik Tags - Moove On [Subculture Music]
Mako & Villem feat. Fields - Whatever Whatever [Warm Communications]
Shiver - Displaced [Protect Audio]
Chali 2na - Comin’ Thru’ [Decon Records]