We are pleased to announce that the seventh guest at our 8th Birthday party in Nottingham is a man who has absolutely killed it every time he has played for us – Standard Place resident, Rinse FM DJ, 502 Records owner and Boiler Room regular DJ ONEMAN.
Oneman is regarded as one of the UK’s foremost DJs, and is the embodiment of the current bass music scene with his trademark quickfire mix of House, Garage, Dubstep & Techno. Check out his recent mix featuring the likes of Hudson Mohawke, Girl Unit, Drake & Jammer – recorded live at fabric at the Rinse vs. FWD>> Boxing Day special.
Stage monikers, as far as Akua Grant, aka Lady Blacktronika, is concerned, can be the accidental making of you. Such burdensome aliases could possibly carry the weight and worth of a whole career. Frequently tipped as the ‘First Lady of Beatdown,’ you would anticipate forthcoming deep house virtuoso, Lady B, to assume more of a direct and pensive stance to her self-proclaimed title. Yet, as relative her candidly uncompromising releases are, the name transpired from nothing more than a flippant myspace update.
Luckily for Grant, it couldn’t describe her any better. Born and raised in Northern California, Lady Blacktronika has spent her primer years tailoring her own electronic legacy and forging a bulging black book of producer contacts along the way.
A veracious worker, her productivity is unremitting. Not only has she released a throng of densely important EPs in the past year but has been involved with founding Cocaine Records alongside Mattski, developed her own social community, Deep’N‘ Dusty, and has recently set up her latest label venture, Sound Black Recordings. On top of all that, this buoyant entrepreneur is set to make her UK debut at London’s Corsica Studios on Friday as part of Dollop’s involvement with The Garden Get Together’s Eglo Takeover. Lady B will play in Room 2, which is hosted by Phonica Records and Rhythm Section.
Before the party starts, Lady B finds time out of her relentless schedule to speak of her humble beginnings, her imminent prospects for the future, and what we can expect from her in two days’ time – that is if she gets over her sore throat!
I’m Akua aka Lady Blacktronika aka Lady B. I’m about realness, creativity and the freedom to be myself. I am currently trying to get over a really bad soar throat before I leave for London tomorrow. I would hate to disappoint because Berlin got me sick.
How long have you been involved with electronic music? How rapidly have your tastes evolved since your prime?
I got involved really in my mind and heart when I first heard of house music in 1988. From then on I couldn’t get enough and I knew one day I would be a producer and make a name for myself in underground electronic music. My tastes are ever evolving.
You have referred to singing as your ‘refuge’. How much has vocal samples and your personal affiliation with singing influenced your stance on producing? What takes precedence, vocals or production?
Production. I love to sing but I hate my voice so I’d much rather produce then sing. But, I am very self-critical.
You follow a common thematic motif in your releases rooted in racial and gender issues. Have you found it a challenge to relay your cultural surroundings in your tunes?
It’s something ingrained in me. These will always be topics of discussion as we are still fighting for freedoms on many fronts race, gender, sexuality or otherwise.
What does it mean to be the self-proclaimed ‘First Lady of Beatdown,’?
The First Lady Of Beatdown started not so much as a self-proclamation but as a joke on my myspace page’s status mood update. Then it just took on a life of its own and who am I to deny the truth?
You have previously expressed your lack of interest for hip-hop and, especially, gangsta rap. Growing up in San Francisco, what was your area of solace? What was it about electronic music that inspired you?
I actually matured with in the gang culture of San Jose and Hollywood not SF. San Francisco was my escape from the reality that I never fit in around San Jose. San Francisco was an hour’s train ride away and it was like Wonderland to me. Then I moved to LA and was in the Hollywood Santa Monica Blvd scene doing sex work for a living. It was a hard life. All my friends were in to Rap and shit I hated but Deep House and Disco was my escape there.
You are deceptively modest about your achievements. Does that transpire from your own conscientious nature or a general fear of the future?
I wouldn’t like to say yes but perhaps on some level. I think mainly it is that I have always been self conscious and very shy on the inside despite my outrageous exterior.
How much do you owe to Matt ‘Mattski’ Avalos in terms of aiding your production career?
He is my brother and in some ways like my teacher when I was younger. He always had the most underground rare and jacking records by producers I wouldn’t have ever heard of. So I owe my education to him and my continued dedication to playing the best and producing the best.
How much of a struggle has it been to get your music heard internationally? How has the initial response in the UK fared in comparison to, for example, Spain?
I can’t really say. Though I put out more records in Spain then any other country I wouldn’t say that is my fan base really. I don’t know about the UK. I think I’m still pretty much unknown there.
What drove you to start up Cocaine Recordings?
Cocaine Recordings was Matt’s and my brain child. I have since moved on to my put out my own label Sound Black Recordings. Cocaine is more a concept now I’d think than a functioning label.
You’ve been praised by Detroit and Juke luminaries such as Mike Huckaby and Dubbyman. Being very much an upcoming artist, how surreal is it to have such established support?
It’s absolutely amazing. I’m always in awe when ever I find out that big names know who I am. Like when I met Theo Parrish for the first time a couple weeks ago, I was shocked to find out he knew who I was and that he actually digs my tracks.
Your tunes levitate from deep house to groove driven disco re-edits. Do you feel Lady Blacktronika has the breadth to explore a vast range of electronic styles or is there a definitive sound you are still seeking to perfect?
I have influences as far flung as Dream Pop Rock like Cocteau Twins and Speedcore so I mean I really place no limits on myself musically. Except of course I don’t ever want to produce pop bullshit.
Bournemouth based DJ/Producer Charlie Banks is an emerging talent on the House music scene. Tipped for big things by a number of recognised artists and at the age of only 18 years old, Charlie has already made a great start in his career.
Charlie started off as a bedroom DJ at the age of just 15, where he found a passion for Electronic Music. After hours of practice Charlie began picking up DJ sets at club nights on the South Coast. He then got stuck into production and in the summer of 2011 produced his debut EP which went on to get signed to the Berlin based House label Dirt Crew Recordings.
The EP was released in January 2012, with two superb remixes from Bristol based Futureboogie artists Lukas and Christophe. The EP quickly became a huge success, hitting the charts on Beatport, Juno & What People Play and getting regular plays from some of the biggest names in the game.
Charlie has since been snapped up by Hypercolour Records (home to the likes of Maya Jane Coles, Mosca & Huxley), and with remixes forthcoming for the likes of Wildkats (Hot Creations) the future is looking very bright for the young man from the South Coast.
We are looking forward to welcoming Charlie Banks to play at the dollop Nottingham 8th Birthday event at Stealth on Friday June 1st. For an idea of what to expect, listen to his mix for Dirt Crew’s ‘Dirtcast’ Mix Series:
Nestling left of centre amongst the new wave of labels; Dollop brings Eglo Records’ to Corsica Studios on the 20th April, in advance of this summer’s Garden Festival in Croatia. Born from a meeting in that East London haven of experimentation, Plastic People, Alexander Nut and Floating Points’ love child has thus far had 23 releases. Varied and innovative whilst simultaneously soulful and melodic, over 3 years the label has found a warm and danceable equilibrium between digital and analog sounds.
In their DJ guises both label heads operate with a style of sublimely mixed versatility-demonstrated on Nut’s acclaimed Rinse CD from 2009, a tightly woven together collection that found a common thread between the glitchy sounds of Warp Records’ electronica, alternative hip hop, RnB and ‘dubstep’. The mix was 3rd in the list of tastemaking record store Phonica’s top 100 releases that year and Nut’s stock as a dj along with that of his label has continued to rise since- his Saturday afternoon show on Rinse a beloved staple of the former pirate’s roster.
Nut’s partner- Floating Points aka Sam Sheppard is a man with many strings to his bow. His Shadows EP of last November was perhaps a creative zenith for the producer-electronic music made to feel organic and intimate through a highly musical ear. As the leader of his 16 piece ensemble, 2011 saw Sheppard release an Abbey Road recorded EP on Ninja Tune-with an album tantalisingly waiting in the wings for this year. Not content with releasing music which continually defies superlatives, Sheppard is an accomplished DJ who at his best recalls the gleeful diversity and technical skill of Mr Scruff-with whom he shares a propensity for marathon length sets.
A definitively fixed part of the sea of creativity awash in London at the moment, the label is nonetheless free from the hipster driven trend pandering which can occasionally affect the scene. Nut and Sheppard release music they believe in, songs which sit seamlessly amongst their more celebrated influences in their DJ sets and mixes. In addition to Floating Point’s increasingly essential output, the label has played host to releases from a close coterie of friends, amongst them ARP101 (an alias of dnb wunderkind Alix Perez) and Funkineven. Whilst, Eglo is well represented by the genre hopping electronica of these two artists, perhaps its most intriguing prospect lies in Swedish vocalist Fatima. With a style which recalls the vulnerability and soulfulness of a singer such as Erykah Badu, whilst retaining the hooky RnB gloss of that genre’s 90’s peak, in Fatima they have a unique talent-a genuine recording artist to set them apart from the swathes of computer driven music out there. With an outlook which promotes creativity and musicianship whilst remaining devoid of pretension, Eglo is sure to continue to gain fans and admirers in London and around the world.
All sides of the Eglo experience can be sampled at Corsica on the 20th, with the live band featuring Fatima and Hudson Mohawke collaborating singer Olivier DaySoul gracing the stage in addition to sets from Alexander Nut and Funkineven. In an age of London promoters scrambling for warehouse venues to host events in with mixed results, this party is given a safe home in the form of Elephant and Castle’s Corsica Studios. Similar to neither the more commercial and upfront experiences provided by the nearby Coronet and Ministry of Sound nightclubs, nor the voluminous warehouse spaces in the East of the city-Corsica caters to casual clubbers with a spacious yet intimate interior whilst entertaining more discerning attendees with one of the capital’s most consistently grounbreaking booking policies. Packing a fearsome soundsystem rich in sub bass to rival super clubs such as Fabric, the club attracts some of the most interesting line ups to be found either side of the river and along with them a knowledgeable and friendly crowd.
::ALEXANDER NUT INTERVIEW::
Firstly, could you give those not lucky enough to be at the Fabric 3rd birthday party an idea of what to expect from Eglo live band?
We’ve just taken it back to the grass roots, and put together a tight three piece band to back the labels vocalists and run through our releases. its raw and stripped down,,, but it sounds as full as an 8 peice. I didn’t think it was right for the singers to be backed by a Dj all the time. The guys in the band are super nice with it,, it’s all very soulful and they’ve come up with some dope interpretations and version of our tracks. They take the beats to a number of places… dancefloor,,, head nod,,, zone out, … you can’t beat the sound of a real live instrument,, and it free’s up the singer and enables them to really take it there with their own performance. Within the first few bars of their debut they had the whole venue in a trance,,, then proceeded to get them dancing and take them through a range of styles and emotions.
You’ve been quoted as saying that soul is ‘the element that connects all the dots’-and the most recent release (Olivier Day Soul and Krystal Klear) and the live band seem to be a direct manifestation of this. Is this more song based, musical sound something which your looking to push with future releases?
Definitely, im getting sick of software sounds and frequencies… i need that soul that resonates through the ground and travels up through your feet,, something with real heart and spirit.. real tones and colours, not replicated and manufactured sine waves. Theres room for everything and a time and place for everything… but i feel like people have lost their connection with the roots of all of this. When was the last time you danced to a live band for an hour straight? we want to give people the opportunity to experience our music in that way. You can notice the difference straight away.. you can feel it on your skin. this is what are sensory perceptions are meant to be feeling.
On that note, as a label head-are you looking for any kind of common Eglo sound when putting out records?
Na, just looking for great artists who aren’t afriad to be themselves… ones with a vision and a work ethic. I just need to believe in the person and what they are about.
As a career DJ, how much does the dancefloor come in to mind when choosing tunes for the label-if at all?
Not at all really, obviously a big dance-floor hit will gain the most momentum and rise in popularity the quickest…. but good music stands the test of time, no matter what style or purpose it serves. I think producers have fallen into a trap of constantly making tracks for the dancefloor,,, as if we don’t listen to music in any other environments… I listen to the most music 9-5 monday to friday… the dancefloor is just a part of it.
23 releases and 3 years in, is it coming time for Eglo to finally release an LP project this year?
Yep, don’t worry about that we’re on the case… all shall be revealed. We just don’t want to rush anything simply for the reason of having a label. We’ve built ourselves on music alone, no hype, no fancy marketing or bandwagoning,,, we’re just doing it the old school way,, which is the way we feel the most comfortable.
Plastic People-where both you and Floating Points made your names as DJ’s has often been under the threat of closure. In an age of high speed file sharing and YouTube, how important are underground venues such as these, to the development and survival of labels such as your own?
Really important… it’s important for people to have a place to enjoy and express themselves on there own terms and for the right reasons. People who love good sounds, great music,,, great atmosphere and like to dance… otherwise we’ll just be left with clubs where everyone stands around on their iphone and you leave with ringing ears cus the sound was so bad.
Music and art runs deep in our veins,,, our culture is being eaten and destroyed by the power that be,,, it’s a sad state of affairs.. and soon people won’t even be able to tell the difference cus they’ll be so disconnected from it all… we have to defend our cultures and stand up for the things that are right… in the west we are rewarded for our ignorance and foolishness,, we need to get out of that mindset. When people get to experience how things could be and how the real shit feels thats when you can connect with the soul…
‘Secret East London location’ has become the buzz phrase amongst promoters over the last 12 months or so-for you do these warehouse venues offer up an exciting alternative or will they always be second place to purpose built clubs?
Don’t believe the hype…. forget how its labeled… go because you love the music and you want to dance and have a good time. If your interest is in ‘secrets’ then read some history books.
There is a rumbling and a growing excitement in dance music’s underground surrounding an act that is primed and ready to explode onto the scene. Iranian born Amirali will soon have the world at his feet and the universe in his pocket, with his debut artist album ‘In Time’ released on Crosstown Rebels on May 14th.
His mysterious and haunting vocals and forward thinking musical style caught the attention of A&R extraordinaire and Rebels head honcho Damian Lazarus. Damian promptly signed him for an artist album, and used his track ‘My Way’ to open his visionary compilation CD – Get Lost 4. This was quickly followed by the hit single release ‘Beautiful World’ which reared its head in January 2012 and gained huge acclaim from DJs and music aficionados alike.
His sound is guaranteed to make your mouth water and your feet tap and his output is a brilliant blend of house, techno, funk, electronica, disco and everything in between. Think Depeche Mode jet propelled into the 22nd century whilst being chauffeured by Art Department & Underworld.
It is rare that an artist is signed to one of the most established labels out there without a single commercial release previously, but Amirali is an incredibly talented musician, not just a producer. He performs his music live with vocals, keys, loops and effects; re-editing his unique tracks on the fly, catering them to his audience. Having already wowed crowds at Fabric London, Watergate Berlin, Get Lost Miami, Grelle Forelle Vienna, Gloss Club Milan and Rebel Rave shows in Sydney & Melbourne, we are pleased to welcome Amirali making his dollop debut at the Nottingham-leg of our 8th Birthday on Friday 1st June.
dollop will be hosting the album launch for Lone’s first album release on R&S Records! ’Galaxy Garden’ will be released on Monday 7th May. The launch party will be held at South London’s hub for art and music, The Bussey Building on Saturday 5th May.