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Rustie’s Top Five Oz Tour Tracks

Glasgow’s wonder kid Rustie has his sights set on Australia. In March the producer – who had a rather stellar 2011 due to his celebrated album Glass Swords – will be heading down under to destroy crowds and melt minds with his own unique take on the all-encompassing future bass sound.

If you want a preview on just what kind of an effect Rustie’s music experienced live can have on the average festival punter, read my anecdote on Lunice dropping Rustie at the Musica festival in Sydney last year. Little did I know back in December that the album would win The Guardian’s ‘First Album’ award; where the judges felt Glass Swords encapsulated the state of music in 2011.

So to get us in the mood for what will no doubt be a sold out tour, we asked Rustie to share five tracks with FFF Radio that will be in his bag when he arrives in Sydney. Featuring Rick Ross, Vado, Sibian & Faun, Nathan Fake remixing Neon Jung’s ‘Delirium Tremens’, and JME; Rustie’s selections are in live with his penchants for the 8 bit infected RnB, power ambient indie and Grime that have appeared before in his relatively rare mixtapes.

Listen to Rustie’s Top Five tracks below and catch him along with Hudson Mohawke at their Sydney side show courtesy of Niche Productions.

Rick Ross – MMG The World Is Ours

Vado – Louis V Bag

Sibian & Faun – I’m Sorry

Neon Jung – >Delirium Tremens (Nathan Fake Remix)

Listen to a preview of the orginal track here.

Jme – 96 Fuckries

Paul White: Rapping With Paul White

Paul White |
Rapping With Paul White |
One Handed Music |

I’ll be up front with you, I have all of Paul White’s digital releases, mixtapes, some of his limited edition 7” vinyls and purport he can easily be viewed as England’s answer to Madlib. Those of you also in the know probably found him by way of fellow One Handed Music artist Bullion, as both got picked up by the BBC’s Benji B and Mary Anne Hobbs amidst the new wave of ‘future beats’ hip hop. I’m not alone in my opinions: in 2009, shortly after the release of his debut album Paul White and The Purple Brain, the prominent producer / DJ Diplo said he was White’s “biggest fan”; as White’s work strongly parallels Diplo’s early (and largely unknown) psychedelic hip hop album Florida. So it seems White is creating a cult following; by day, a library music producer with credits from Channel 4 and the BBC to his name, and by night he is the ‘new hope’ for British hip hop.

Existing fans will find Rapping With Paul White a stronger release than Paul White and The Purple Brain whilst new listeners will find this is the coolest record they have yet to smoke weed too. In sum, the album includes eight rap tracks, seven instrumentals and a couple of skits. The skits are welcome brain food for sample spotters; they also seem to contextualise, or book-end the narrative in all of White’s collage based work. Rapping With Paul White further accentuates the producer’s love of British audio books, radio dramas and music library curiosities. His avoidance of the traditional soul, jazz and funk hip hop sample sources in favour of progressive and psychedelic rock, retro television and the abandoned vinyl of charity shops affects an intrinsically English hip hop semantic, that is both original and appropriate.

Although White has toyed with the idea of collaborating with rappers before (last year, he reworked one of his own tracks, Ancient Treasure, by having Detroit’s Guilty Simpson rip gangster prose over the beat) this second LP finds the producer concede half of the album to some of hip-hop’s finest; featuring Danny Brown, Guilty Simpson, Homeboy Sandman, Jehst and more. This is no surprise really as Paul White & The Purple Brain, was co-released by both One-Handed and Los Angeles-based Now Again, a sister label of Stones Throw Records (Madlib, Dilla, DOOM etc). Stones Throw artist Guilty Simpson appears twice on the Rapping With Paul White, bringing his Detroit ghetto experience to the stand out track Trust Dirty.

Reminiscent of his spits with Dabrye, yet with an entirely more digestible flow and discernible story, Guilty Simpson seems more at home with his abstract hip hop here; perhaps because Paul has given him an easy run with this and Dirty Slang, two of the most downbeat and accessible tracks on the album. Production wise, Trust Dirty is definitive Paul White indulging in his penchant for sombre and dense psychedelic timbres; as ghostly shepherd tones descend upon dusty swinging kicks and arpeggiated synths build around syncopated drum metal and lusciously layered claps. Trust Dirty is also an example of how, throughout the release, it is really hard to tell whether some sounds are samples or synths; that’s the level of sophisticated pastiche and synth work we are listening to here.

This makes it really difficult to describe Rapping With Paul White more, in terms of sonic components, but once you’ve heard it, you’ll thank me for not attempting this too much; the real joy of Paul White is to be found by simply losing yourself in his wondrous sonic dreams.

Download a free promotional copy of The Doldrums and Trust Dirty, featuring Guilty Simpson, plus the instrumental over here.

Frijsfo Beats Volume 3: Various Artists

Frijsfo Beats have a tasty piece of the 2012 cake on their plate, with the imminent release of volume three in their series of vinyl EP compilations. Tuned in to the various new mutations of garage, this latest release joins label stalwart Geiom with three newer artists; Cardopusher, Desto and Submerse, all of whom have been hotly tipped for bigger things in this year’s blogosphere.

Cardopusher is a Venezuelan expatriate based in Barcelona, where I interviewed him at Sonar 2009 and discussed how keen he was to escape the sonic confines of gabba core. At the time, he was moving into some quality dubstep production, but this hungry producer has ended up pushing through into the golden triangle of tropical house, soul techno, and neo garage.

The opening ping pong beats and game show synths of Then What evoke the sunny days and electric nights of Barcelona, then suddenly the drop falls by way of a comical tom roll in to an early naughties 2-step swing. Full of production tricks that fill the track with dynamic and a slathering of nicely separated, funky triplet percussion; Then What is coloured by filmic strings, electric piano stabs, descending organ lines, and a typical (but pleasing) garage synth bass line. Packing enough technical skill for the headz and buckets of funk for the legs, Then What is an undeniable dance floor starter; easily solidifying Cardopusher into the top tier of the European underground.

Finnish producer Desto, whiplashes us into the next track with his remix of Kuoyah’s Convex Gravity (released digitally last year on Frijsfo). It follows two twelves for London’s hip Ramp Recordings and finds another victim of the Chicago juke and footwork beat wave. Deploying DJ Rashad’s take on chopped and screwed vocals, with Chicago hip hop kits and acid synth lines, Desto’s remix is a violent dance floor throw down that will sync easily into your last Addison Groove 12”.

Next up is 90’s idm survivor Geiom, who first began blowing listeners a third ear hole with releases on Neo Ouija and Manchester’s Skam records, alongside legends like Lego Feet (Autechre), Jega, Team Doyobi, and Boards of Canada. Geiom’s Chip Voices is a happy portamento synth slip n’ side, coupled with time stretched garage rushes and warm chorus bass lines. Listening to Chip Voices, older fans of the more dance oriented idm oeuvre will feel like they never left the 90’s – and really appreciate it – whilst young future garage hipsters will undoubtedly be rinsing this on their next Sub FM show.

Finally, in an exciting coup for Frijsfo, the young Submerse brings his otaku garage following, to what sounds like, the next level of his productions. Toning down his hyper j-pop garage in favour of the uber fashionable kick – milk bottle and chain rattle approach to 2-step; Bubblin’ tends sweet acapella cuts with layers of warm pads, tinted with the noise of a compressed synth breeze and the whistle of electric crickets.

This new work by Submerse may find the producer maturing stylistically, but the polished production and emo heart ache remain amidst a sparser vantage point, ensuring everyone will be seeing Submerse rising in to the next 12 months. Overall, kudos belongs to Frijsfo here for curating a very high quality collection of intelligent yet dance floor oriented works, that will sell well to both DJ’s, critics and fans alike.

Various Artists
Frijsfo Beats Volume 3
Frijsfo

A1 – Cardopusher – Then What
A2 – Kuoyah – Convex Gravity (Desto remix)
B1 – Geiom – Chip Voices
B2 – Submerse – Bubblin’

Review by: Sean Taylor

Alex Smoke: Choral Singing & Clubbing

Alex Smoke’s music may reside on the dancefloor along with his renowned live sets, but it also resonates so much further than this. With a production style drawn from a myriad of influences that blur the boundaries between electronica, techno, classical and hip hop, Alex Smoke evolves in new directions with every new project he undertakes, musically consistently fulfilling, regardless of the listener’s preferred genre. In his own words “ I’m playing live so it’s full of synth, drum machine and cables.” Currently on tour in Australia, Alex catches up with Sean Taylor between Perth and Melbourne. 

FFF: How was Perth, enjoy the gig? Alex: Gig was a cracker. Had a great gig there last time too. The people are fully involved and there was a nice atmosphere. People had told me the scene had shrunk, but as long as people are out and dancing you’d never know it. It was busy.

What do you do when you perform? Is there a big gap between production and performance for you? Yeah I guess so. Performance for me is essentially music for dancing to, whereas in my productions I’m more focussed on the musical content and it covers a much wider range of styles. When you’re performing, the music naturally molds itself to the demands of the audience as you’re always listening to the flow and watching the response.

For a while I had to stand still during my sets after an operation, and it totally ruined it for me, as without actually dancing and moving it became really hard to guage how it felt on the floor. I have all my music broken down into component loops, kick drum, bassline, synth1 etc, then I’ve got a drum machine for playing and a small synth. On top of that i have my own vocals which I use depending on the feel of the night. Some nights suit it more than others.

How did you get involved with Soma records and what was the highlight of your time there? I got involved through friends who worked there. I used to send them demos by the bucket load over several years, and then one day they asked me to try a Funk D’void remix which went well, and suddenly my production just came good and I had a clear view of how it should sound. The first EP and album were done within the year and that was that. I was lucky, but I also grafted hard. Highlight was getting the first album offer from Glenn at Soma, as it was something I really wanted.

Glasgow seems to be a hotbed for electronic music, why do you think this is? There’s a culture of musical knowledge there, where people are proud of having their own tastes and styles, and this is a very rich bed for producers to grow from. We also have a going out culture because the weather is crap, and an excellent record shop (rubadub.co.uk) which really binds the community together. The rest is probably the mushrooms from the golf courses.

What’s your favourite club in Glasgow? I have two really. The Sub Club is where I cut my teeth when I was younger and I’d be there religiously every weekend till the lights came up, listening to Harri and Domenic play deep house. It really was a special thing for me.

Later I also grew to love Club69 in Paisley, which is a nightmare to get to and from but which is definitely the purest club in the UK. It’s underneath a curry house in Paisley, and has been home to all the visiting dignitaries over the years, from Drexciya to Mad Mike to a very memorable Ghostly showcase just as Matthew Dear was appearing on the scene. It’s a bare-bones, small dark damp room, camouflage netting and a bar that used to be a guy from the restaurant handing out tinnies. you can get spirits now though.

How was your 2010 album Lux received and what were you trying to achieve with it? I was worried how it might be received as it was a long time between my first and second albums and it was very different in style from Paradolia, but the response was great and we sold all of them so I’m glad people came with me. I really wanted to use the opportunity to explore new ideas and new techniques, and just to push out in new directions. It took so long between finishing and release that I was fully sick of it by the time it was out, but now I can listen with a bit of distance.

Tell us about the Faust soundtrack project you did? I had done a classical piece last year for an ensemble called the Scottish Ensemble, for 12 strings, and I really wanted to continue to push into classical composition so I wrote a full score for the 1926 silent film of Faust. It’s written for string quintet but there’s also a large sound design element to the soundtrack, where i’ve used references to Faustian pacts in the sound design. It was a labour of love, but by far the most satisfying thing I’ve done, and unquestionably the best music too as far as I’m concerned.

How has your classical training influenced your electronic work? I think it’s given me a real taste for melody and harmony, and that now comes very naturally to me. I played the cello form the age of six and piano too, although I was pretty crap at it, and then the drums when i was at thirteen. I also sang full time in a cathedral choir from when I was nine and that’s been a massive influence as I know choral music back to front as a result. I still love it.

What’s the mission behind your Music of the Month series? DJ charts can be very prosaic, and so ephemeral that you can’t help suspecting that the DJ’s chosen a few things which they don’t even like that much just to fill in the space. So i like the idea of having music of the month to cover everything I’ve newly discovered in a month, even if some of it is a year old. I don’t include really old stuff as that risks making the whole thing seem out of date.

I also want it to represent all the good music I’ve heard, not just the ten best promos from one particular micro-genre. I’ll also never chart my own records, as I think that sucks. I did it once at the request of a distributor and instantly felt cheap. So it’s a chart for people to investigate and broaden their horizons people won’t like everything on it probably, but they’ll know that everything is quality and carefully considered.

What’s in your record bag for the Australia gigs? I’m playing live so it’s full of synth, drum machine and cables.

Gang Colours: In Your Gut Like A Knife

Gang Colours |
In Your Gut Like A Knife
|
Brownswood Recordings |

In Your Gut Like A Knife sets a high bar for urban electronica in 2011 and despite efforts to find anything dislikable about this release, it just doesn’t seem to be there. Like a moping ghost, Gang Colours (aka Will Ozanne) sound sways in ambiguity, not leaning towards one genre or the other and ending up in scarily authentic territory. It’s not so surprising then, that the debut EP finds Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings take a slight step towards the post garage oeuvres of labels like Hotflush, whose break out act Mount Kimbie will resonate strongly with this release.

Like Kimbie, Gang Colours arranges aching melodies and chord progressions with inflections of soul and r&b to conjure the forlorn and the mysterious. Yet, this EP isn’t all down beat and holds enough bump and grind for the ‘purple wow’ DJ mixes of Joker or the indie electronica of Gold Panda. There is a plethora of sound to be found throughout the EP with its washing pitch bent pads that roll in and out against grime paced 808 kits, whilst processed noises rip themselves out in front of the mix and sampled vocals are chopped apart and stabbed back together.

The starry journey of Village & The City gives the initial impression that it was produced on a half broken home keyboard – you can almost picture the producer, head bent over and long hair falling over the keys – before you know it, your in and then out of the midst of a groove that seamlessly comes and goes. Placed strategically at the start of the EP, this tune is destined for wide crossover appeal and is much more positive in its emotion than the following tracks.

Fireworks In Pocket carries slow burning sub synth weight, but remains delicate like an r&b slow jam. It’s tight knit stepping hi-hats are nicely offset against a whole orchestration of lo-fi synth melodies, horn blasts and even synth guitar bridges. The track immediately places you into a headphone zone and is an enticing teaser of what Gang Colours might do with a long player in the future.

Dance Around the Subject can be listed as one for the DJ set with its emphatic builds and drops and (eventual) jamming club melody that would line it up as a useful intra-mix tune. However, the eponymous In Your Gut Like A Knife is the standout tune of this release, with its weaving of warm pads with portamento-heavy organs and restrained hip hop shuffle. The gated r&b vocal is also superbly worked and when let out of its cage, sends shivers down the back while the sweetly simple and cyclic melody leaves you with one hand placed over your heart.

There couldn’t be a better place than Brownswood Recordings for this Gang Colours release, where the status of label head Gilles Peterson and his fine BBC Radio 1 show will undoubtedly see the artist reach far across the spectrum this year.

Sean Taylor



Track listing:

01 Village & City

02 Fireworks In Pocket

03 Dance Around The Subject

04 In Your Gut Like A Knife

Hessle Audio: 116 & Rising

Various Artists |
116 and Rising |
Hessle Audio |

Hessle Audio’s first label compilation release 116 & Rising is a timely output that places the U.K based label firmly at the head of the bass bin vanguard. Existing fans will delight in the array of old favourites amongst the 12 new tracks available on the CD version out on May 16th. Excitingly, this means new fire from Pangea, Pearson Sound, Blawan, Untold, Addision Groove, James Blake and Cosmin TRG. The first disc is all the new work while the second has a cured selection from the Hessle Audio back catalogue. The new tracks will constitute the vinyl edition of 116 & Rising which is a 12″ triple-pack with the graphic finesse on both CD and vinyl editions produced by Will Bankhead.

Founded in 2007 amidst the peak of the global dubstep movement, Hessle Audio epitomises the agency that UK bass music affords in absorbing genres from across the spectrum of electronic dance music. 116 & Rising reflects many of various blends of U.K garage and dubstep, as well as hard house and Detroit techno. It is no small feat to portray such a free and open music culture in a single compilation, yet this release does just that without losing it’s vision of the future bass underground.

Highlights include a James Blake re-edit of an earlier Hessle Audio release Give a man a rod, more in the vocal vein of his recent album. Blake’s electronic soul music, finds a unique nexus in the affected vocals, dancing cowbells, stabs of funky vibrato synth and cluttered post garage beat shuffles. Also present is Blake’s trademark organ arrangements and side-chained compression that feeds a pulsing life into the track.

Pangaea contributes significantly to the ‘core continuum’ sound of the compilation with the dread style garage raver Runout, a tune that will unite many tastes. With its jump up rhythms, catch call vocal sample, tense strings, rising rave organ synth and dub bass line, this tune is just oozing drugs. The relatively unknown artist Randomer straightens things up a bit with his serious tune Brunk; a door slamming kick drum and percussion jam with minimal accompaniment a la fellow 116 & Rising producer Untold, that would fit nicely in a DJ set just pre-peak time.

There are other tunes that are less four to the floor such as Twice, where the curious producer named Joe expounds upon the geeky producer obsession with Casio keyboard beats, typewriter hacks and marble runs. Along with its jazz cuts and what sounds like an Eddy Murphy sample (“…your getting, twice the bass”) this tune is at once accessible and experimental. However, I can’t help but feel that this superb sample find has been used on the wrong track; a producer couldn’t ask for a better vocal sample reference to bass and considering this, the tune fails to make the most of the low end.

Nevertheless, the rest of 116 & Rising is certainly more than bass abundant and features early influences on Hessle Audio such as the never before released archive cut Sub Zero by D1. These sub-bass stabs were a staple of the early DMZ raves back in 2005 and are a welcome reminder of how dubstep can be both refined and dark without getting too aggressive. Overall, Hessle Audio owners David Kennedy, Ben Thomson and Kevin McAuley have raised their best colours for this first compilation outing to successfully unite their artist roster whilst navigating the needs of both their existing and newer audiences.

Tracklist: 116 and Rising
CD 1
01. Elgato – Music (Bodymix)
02. Untold – Cool Story Bro
03. Blawan – Potchla Vee
04. Pearson Sound – Stifle
05. Joe – Twice
06. Randomer – Brunk
07. Pangaea – Runout
08. Cosmin TRG – Bijoux
09. D1 – Sub Zero
10. Addison Groove – Fuk Tha 101
11. James Blake – Give A Man A Rod (Second Version)
12. Peverelist – Sun Dance

CD 2
01. Pangaea – You & I
02. Untold – Test Signal
03. Blawan – Fram
04. James Blake – Buzzard & Kestrel
05. Untold – I Can’t Stop This Feeling
06. Joe – Rut
07. Ramadanman – Blimey
08. TRG – Put You Down
09. Joe – Level Crossing
10. Pangaea – Why
11. TRG – Broken Heart (Martyn’s DCM Remix)
12. Ramadanman – Don’t Change For Me

Mosca: “Well that’s niche, that’s bassline for you …”

2010 was a huge year for Mosca with his debut ‘Square One’ EP launching the Night Slugs label, from which ‘Nike’ was voted no.1 in XLR8R’s favourite tracks of 2010. Since then, he has teamed up with Fabric to release the instant club classic ‘Gold Bricks, I See You’ as well as remixing both Fourtet and Foals in exhilarating fashion. Taking time out from his whirlwind tour of Australia and New Zealand, Mosca sighs: “It just feels like I haven’t stopped really.” Mosca’s tour has seen everything from girls getting down to their knickers in front of the DJ booth to the more down-to-earth experience of stopping off for swims in luscious lakes along the highway from Auckland to Wellington.

When asked what people should expect from his shows, Mosca laughs “All sorts man, you know me, everything from grime to bashment to house, to funky to hip hop to world beats, trying to mix it up, either that or an hour and a half of Dolly Parton!” I wonder if there is anything Mosca won’t play, he jokes: “Yeah plenty! Drum n bass” but quickly reproaches himself, “you’ll always find one or two decent tunes amongst a genre that you don’t like so much, but you won’t find me playing DnB, dubstep and [new] electro.” As he explains, “Dubstep’s always been a tag that people have associated with me and I just don’t really understand why because I never made any dubstep and I’ve never played any dubstep.”

I question Mosca further about the hectic attempts to pin down his sound, he responds: “Well that’s niche, that’s bassline for you … [when] I make straight house, techno, grime, bashment, those boundaries are already there … [but] it all depends on what kind of tune you’re talking about, some of the early stuff, Square One, Gold Bricks, or Nike, they were a little more genre hopping and it’s fair if people don’t know exactly what to call it, but then tunes like Tilt Shift, that’s just straight hip hop, so it’s about those early tunes where it starts to get difficult tagging it.”

Mosca’s tracks run dance floors red but they are also deceptively intricate. As both a DJ and a producer, Mosca extracts influences from a range of underground bass music but he is no stranger to perfecting a certain sound. Tunes such as the 8bit Hindi hip hop of Tilt Shift and diamond-sparkling new remix of Gucci Mane (by way of Sinden for Mad Decent) are both destined to get the gangsters swaying.

Producing since he was 19, Mosca spent close to nine months on the production of his debut vinyl EP Square One. He explains: “Its great feeling your first piece of vinyl coming out … but I’m never 100% happy and never 100% finished with a track either. It’s just like waking up and going ‘enough’s enough’ and putting the tune out … I’ve got loads of stuff that’s almost finished. I almost enjoy it more at that stage when a tune is ready to play out at a club but is not actually released, just as a test to see how it goes off with a crowd.” Yet despite the epic ten-minute track lengths and genre-hopping breadth of the EP, Mosca affirms: “It’s that old cliche, it’s what you leave out as much as what you put in.”

Speaking about the moodiness often present in Square One Mosca is hesitant: “I don’t feel that personally attached to the music in terms of setting a mood, I’m just naturally drawn to that deeper darker kind of vibe.” Championed by the likes of world music aficionado Gilles Peterson, his appeal is broad and stretches far beyond the UK, making it unwise to take the Night Slugs EP as his gospel sound. On the counter, Mosca ticks off his passions for the feel good music of bashment, soca and other world music, such as Kupe de Kalle and Magic System: “They go off in a club!” he says, “it’s a balance thing, in terms of tempo, tone, ‘up-ness’, moodiness. Like everything in life it’s always a balance.”

Going back in time with Mosca, we talk about his early penchant for producing Baltimore when he tells me about his very first digital releases: “I’d been listening to it for years and years, the stuff on [Glasgow label] Dress to Sweat back in the day, Kazey and Bulldog and those kind of releases, they were seminal because they were so well produced, its nice to have some chunky bangers!” Inspired by the UK adoption of the Baltimore sound, Mosca went onto do an ‘on spec’ remix of Cry Wolf’s Mucky on Sounds of Sumo: “Cry Wolf heard my Baltimore remix of Next Hype by Tempa T, a few loops I chopped up and put together. I was just giving it away for free on the Internet and they’d heard that and said ‘yeah, we want this kind of sound, do that again!’”

Since then, Mosca has been inundated with remix requests, but in line with his perfectionist output says he prefers quality over quantity: “The one remix I still play is Heartbeat by T-williams, that’s a tune I’m not sick of hearing yet even though I play it most sets, because you can get sick of hearing your own tunes pretty quickly… It wouldn’t be so bad if you had four tunes out a month!” Mosca’s next release is a hotly anticipated 12” vinyl forthcoming on the Glaswegian label Numbers. The A-side is called Done me wrong which he describes as: “kind of a pretty straight garagey banger.” On the as of yet unknown B-Side Mosca declares: “I don’t know what its called because I haven’t finished it yet, but its shouldn’t be too long now!”

Pearson Sound / Ramadanman: Fabriclive 56

When i met with UK producer and DJ Ramadanman / Pearson Sound, on his Australian tour last year, what struck me was his deference to bass music culture as something that should be left free and foot stomping. Audibly in tune with this encounter is his forward thinking and rolling dance-floor mix for Fabriclive 56.

The 30-track mix delivers a crucial selection embracing rhythms from the Shangaan dance of Tiyiselani Vomaseve to the percussive experiments of London based Die Barbie Musik Kollektive. Other highlights come from illustrious producers like Burial, Mala, Carl Craig, and MJ Cole as well as a number of tunes from Kennedy’s different monikers. Following a deluge of 12″s released last year on game-changing labels like Swamp 81, Hemlock, Aus, Applepips and Soul Jazz, roughly a third of the tracks in the mix are Kennedy’s own productions. The mix also boasts a number of previously unreleased tracks from Joy Orbison, J Kenzo, Pangaea and Addison Groove that illustrate the latest crossbreeds of house, dubstep, garage and juke.

Kicking the mix off with the impending urgency of his own Pearson Sound track Hawker, Kennedy eases into the hand clapping grooves of Levon Vincent’s Late Night Jam and then slides into the dream like melodies of Elgato’s Music. Things soon begin to heat up African style with the feel good vocals of Tiyiselani Vomaseve and tribal percussion of another Pearson Sound beat Wad. Kennedy then quickly migrates the mix into traditional UK club territory with anthem’s from Julio Bashmore and a number of his own techno and juke driven tunes, followed by the knee jerking UK Funky rhythms of J Kenzo and a Lil Silva Dub of Fugative.

In a display of masterful discipline, Kennedy avoids boiling over the funky tip and provides a psychological breather with the Detroit sounds of Demons by A Made Up Sound and Inna Daze by Pangea. Kennedy uses such transitions skillfully to his advantage by not over indulging the denser dubs, favouring his techno and house tendencies to blow away any induced trances with an all out banger. You can particularly hear this around his mix of Pinch’s Qawwali where, if Kennedy was one for big rewinds, the Joy Orbison vs Ramadanman tune J. Doe Them, or later on Girl Unit’s IRL would certainly be spinning backwards for a live crowd.

A regular at Fabric, Ramadanman’s live mixes have the ability to make older tunes sound fresh and new anthems appear unexpected, as they are fluidly teased and pushed into the mix. As Kennedy explains, his Fabriclive mix is, “all very much live mixing – no time stretching or auto beat matching … and is representative of a set I would play in a club.” Indeed, every crossfade works to stimulate a different neuron or tweak a new muscle. His obsession with finely cured beat programming, stabbing basslines and melodic synths are front and centre, as is a lasting affinity for dubstep. “Even though I don’t play much stuff at 140bpm these days, I always like to end up at that tempo as that is the music that got me to where I am.”

Pearson Sound/Ramadanman
Fabriclive 56
FABRIC

Review by: Sean Taylor