We’re heading down to Deptford tomorrow night to take part in this week’s edition of Trailer TV also on the bill is Monoak (check our interview and podcast with him here), Killawatt and Shift Work (Live).
Recommended listens from the week just gone…
1. Bleep43 EP002 with Stingray 313 and Mariska Neerman
For Bleep43’s second release the London ex-party camp have invited Stingray 303 and Mariska Neerman to each put together two tracks for a split EP. They’ve just upped the whole release to stream while they have promised a release date for just a few weeks time…
2. Datassette – Offal (1999-2014)
All I can say is a big yes to the trend for tune dumping, there’s so many tracks that yield good listens stranded on hard drives this 100 tracks compendium of ideas, demos and full tracks from Datassette is essential listening.
3. Crack Mix 87 – Sync24
Great to see Cultivated Electronic’s main man Sync24 in the mix for Crack Magazine, it’s all to promote his upcoming set for Electrix at Bloc this March, more info and ticket to that here.
4. Neil Landstrumm – The Rise Of Slime
This track’s taken from the next EP upcoming on Sunil Sharpe’s Earwiggle imprint that includes tracks from DeFeKt, Bintus, AnD, Boner M. Neil Landstrumm’s offering The Rise Of Slime was upped by Boiler Room last week which you can listen to in all it’s doom rave goodness here:
5. POWVAC011 – V/A ‘Vectors 2′ Preview
A teaser of what’s up next on Bintus’ Power Vacuum imprint with Jerome Hill, Vacated, Cylob and Anklepants all contributing tracks it’s shaping up nicely.
6. Chris Moss Acid – Slam The Box EP (Free Download)
A free download of Chris Moss Acid’s Slam The Box EP from last year in MP3 grab it while you can, or for a high quality file head to bandcamp here.
7. Pip Williams – Concerning Irregular Figures
A new production from Pip Williams with little explanation from the maker, but it’s been on repeat on my player this week.
8. DJ Stingray – Unknown to the Unknown Mix
Every single mix that DJ Stingray drops lives up to expectations – frenetic and fast paced he has his own and inimitable way of playing electro.
9. L.I.E.S. podcast 20-DJ Overdose “True Patriotism”
For their 20th podcast US West Coast label L.I.E.S. invited Rotterdam’s DJ Overdose to put together a fresh mix, he’s turned out a 57 minute mix of electro drawing on his early Miami bass influences.
10. MNLTH – Headlight
A full stream upped this week from MNLTH, lifted from producer’s Time EP which you can buy now via Bleep
Here’s the latest round up of null+void’s recommended listening…
1. Tesla 286 – Zukunft
This record first appeared on Housemeister’s AYCB label last year and it’s a pretty glimmering expression of electro and electronica sounds, it’s now been upped to stream in full making it top of our recommended listens this week.
2. µ-Ziq – Mucky Puppy
Made years back by µ-Ziq inspired by hearing Aphex Twin’s demos when they were actually first made and released this week as part of a feature set up by Boiler Room inviting a host of artists to comment on Aphex’s recent (and continuing) release of archive tracks as user48736353001 on Soundcloud.
3. LOVCAST #04 Beatwife Guest mix [February 2015]
In just a few weeks time I’ll be at Power Lunches with the Love Love Records crew with Beatwife and Scrase (tickets here). Here, Beatwife lays down a whole load of acid and amens.
4. EPM #65 – Egyptian Lover – Live
Originally recorded in 2004 at STEREOLIZE Electro Bass Festival, Paris 2004 on Egyptian Lover’s first European tour.
5. ALSO – Blyford Bass
More dreamy production from Second Storey and Appleblim’s ALSO project coming soon to R&S.
6. SPACES – Potential
Last year SPACES released his debut EP for Bleep after being discovered as part of their FILTERED new talent project, it caught the attention of Bjork and lead to a pretty cool working relationship with one of their collaborations landing on the Icelandic songsmith’s latest LP Vulnicura – which is kind of an opportunity that only dreams are made for for any producer. In the following week of this announcement this EP emerged online, for free download showing the latest solo studio offerings which I recommend you check out to get a picture of Flynn’s ear for sound design and vision for changing up structures in a pretty unique and mesmerising way…
7. 70/|/| K|\|4PP
Icasea boss Tom Knapp has also caught the archive dumping bug and upped a load of tracks tagged #oldshit to his Soundcloud.
8. Kerrier District – Soundcloud Archive
Vibert’s gone and got a soundcloud account this week which times neatly with the announcement o fKerrier District Four coming out this year on Hypercolour the same label who presented 2014’s Ridmik LP. Here Vibert’s DJ sets and first Kerrier District LP have been made available to stream…
9. Flourescent Grey – The Acroplane Guide To Electronic Music Mix / 1955-1984 (2011)
A few years back Acroplane records released a project by Flourescent Grey Antique Electronic Synthesizer Greats 1955-1985 which now has three volumes to it and saw US based Flourescent Grey dig into the electronic music archives sampling records from the archives to create something new but representative of the history of synthesiser tracks. Just last week the artist put the archive into an hour long mix which is now up for streaming…
10. DJ Stingray 313 – Cognition EP Previews
New Stingray coming soon on Lower Parts.
A bumper edition catching up of all the best audio of January 2015.
1. Fran Hartnett DJ Set at Process Cork
Here’s a DJ from Dublin who majors in techno but with a great mix of broken and distorted beats making for a compelling and interesting listen.
2. user48736353001 – Aphex Twin archive dump
109 tracks and counting from Aphex Twin
3. Aphex Twin – Computer Controlled Instruments Pt2
This project released on Warp, sees Aphex Twin link up a range of instruments to midi mixing machine like drum programming with organic sound.
4. Also – Formation
ALSO are Appleblim and Second Storey – here’s a track from their collab out now on R&S.
5. Second Storey – One Sound (Luke Vibert Remix)
Second Storey’s label Houndstooth linked him with two of his all time musical heroes to remix his latest EP with both Cristian Vogel and Luke Vibert taking the reigns and here’s Vibert’s offering.
6. Cristian Vogel Lost In The Chase (Veslemes Video Edit 2015)
7. Helena Hauff – 50 Min Boiler Room Mix
8. London Modular Alliance – In Vacuum 120
9. Galaxian – From Glasgow To Detroit
With a title that references his inspiration and connection with Detroit’s DJ Stingray this track is Glasgow based artist Galaxian’s own hi-speed underwater take on electro.
10. Various Artists – Mutant City Acid
Unless you got hold of one of the 303 vinyl copies available this bandcamp stream is the only way you’re going to get to hear Balkan Vinyl’s. Volume two is in the works so don’t sleep when pre-orders go up.
11. NE170: L/F/D/M
12. Pip Williams – Fleck ESC – Nice Guy (Pip Williams Remix)
This remix is lifted from Fleck ESC’s new EP for Electrix, this Pip Williams remix kind of nails it.
13. Clark – Winter Boots (Part 1)
A suprise free EP from Clark this free download employs samples from Die Antwoord, Frank Ocean and Diana Ross.
14. Cristobal Tapia de Veer – Utopia 2 Soundtrack
Utopia was the most visually stunning and dramatically compelling television to come out of the UK in memorable history and the soundtrack by Cristobal Tapia was a huge part of making it so special (and weird). Here’s the previews of the soundtrack for the second (and regrettably final) series of the Channel Four epic.
15. Radioactive Man – Transponder
Lifted from his new 12″ on Reindhart Records
Great to be back on Rinse so early into the year and with some especially great music and exclusive plays of new Chris Moss Acid, MNLTH and Polybius Trax material:
1. Shinra – Fallen [Forthcoming null+void Recordings]
2. Second Storey – Layer Lock [Forthcoming Houndstooth]
3. Himuro Yoshiteru – I don’t Care What They Say [Acroplane Records]
4. Physical Therapy – Givin Me Live [Forthcoming Unknown to the Unknown]
5. Aa3_Tzt.[RN500] – Hinkley Point [Stray Landings]
6. Unknown Artist – Caress Like a Wave [Rewire]
7. Shelley Parker – Beachy Head [Structure]
8. DJ Spider & Franklin Da Costa – Second Bass [Forthcoming Killekill]
9. Ingen – Greification [Fixate Records]
10. Warlock – Seventeen Camels – [Forthcoming on Kick & Clap]
11. Abandoned Footwear – Mind Over Matter [Forthcoming Polybius Trax]
12. Chris Moss Acid – Spatial Dimension [Forthcoming Computer Controlled Records]
13. Chris Moss Acid & DMX Krew – What Size is your Jack [Unreleased]
14. Datassette – Tescnu Chaffinch [Unreleased]
15. Chevron – Vishnu 303 [Forthcoming Balkan Vinyl]
16. Obergman – Rosetta [Brokntoys]
17. Flec ESC – Nice Guy (Pip Williams Remix) [Forthcoming Electrix]
18. Duran Duran Duran – Rejectro [Tigerbeat6]
19. MNLTH – Traffic [Forthcoming Central Processing Unit]
20. Weevol – Worms in your Stinky Ears [weeDJs bandcamp]
21. Physical Therapy – CMERE [Forthcoming Unknown to the Unknown]
22. MNLTH – Headlight [Forthcoming Weme Records]
23. Shinra – Ball & Chain [Forthcoming null+void Recordings]
24. Luke Vibert – Fast [Rewire]
25. Second Storey – Cristian Vogel Remix [Forthcoming Houndstooth]
26. MNLTH – Time – [Forthcoming Weme Records]
This year has definitely been rich with stand out music on our radar. To nod to the year just gone and re-live some of the best moments here’s our run down of the favourite tracks from the year pulling out radio playlists, DJ sets, blog posts and some we missed from the year just passed. In no particular order…
1. Gesloten Cirkel – Zombie Machine (Acid)
This album featured heavily on numerous end of year lists but this track in particular stands out for its acidic and relentless thwomp of a groove.
2. Falty DL – New Haven [Give The Drummer Some] Luke Vibert RMX
This is a kind of match in heaven between two producers who push the limits of sound creation both with a penchant for jungle. Vibert has seen a healthy amount of releases this year thanks for a new relationship with Bristol imprint Hypercolour which is super welcome and His first Amen Andrews release in 10 years actually came on Falty DL’s own Blueberry imprint. This remix works off Falty’s pensive and Utopia envoking original which is then launched into a whole new junglist world thanks to a lick of Vibert’s slick drum programming.
3. Jerome Hill – Paper Bag Acid [Super Rhythm Trax]
Jerome Hill’s had a great year. He’s launched a THIRD record label, Super Rhythm Trax, delivering some pretty on point acid while maintaining the output of his hip hop focussed Fat Hop imprint and production under his Itsu Uno moniker, Laid down the rave with his Hornsey Hardcore EP’s while also keeping up his true techno label and night Don’t. This track for us is the highlight of it all. Oh and he was also named one of the scene’s most underrated DJ’s by Fact Magazine which is a sentiment that we can very much get behind.
4. Dead Sound – limafx1 [Labrynth]
This is an industrial burner powered by a machinic groove that really pushes things along. Dead Sound seems to be able to get the balance between industrial but funk perfectly.
5. Tinfoil – Foil 5 [Tinfoil]
The collab between Defekt and Sunil Sharpe that this year has brought something pretty intense out of these two Dublin producers. Out of the two EP’s this year this is our favourite.
6. Ben Pest – Massive Flounce [Fun In The Murky]
Ben Pest has been pretty on it this year in general and has been featuring heavily in our DJ sets but if we have to pick one favourite of the year Massive Flounce wins in uplifting glory.
7. Objekt – Ganzfeld [Leisure System]
Another artist with an incredible year of releases behind him especially considering that TJ Hertz has kept the output of his studio close to his chest with only a handful of releases behind him. Everything he delivers conforms to his self-set-high-production-spec and this track sits king on his history to date.
8. Pip Williams – Pleasure Deficiency Syndrome [Brokntoys]
Pip’s EP for Brokntoys was as dark as ever and this track does it the best.
9. Clark – Superscope [Warp]
There’s a freight train coming…
10. 214 – Yellow Jackets [Unreleased]
You’ll have to jump to the end of this rinse show to earball this… Look forward to a null+void podcast from its maker in the coming year.
11. Morphology – Magnetospheric (Sync 24 Remix)
This track reeks of Detroit which is probably what makes it great, plus it kind of feels a bit insane.
12. Scrase – Movon [Love Love Records]
Big up the Scrase! He’s had a great year with some killer sets going down, we’re very excited to hear what 2015 brings…
13. Datasette – Salad [Unreleased]
I know it’s kind of not fair to include tracks not released BUT this is another one we had the privilege of airing on our Rinse FM show’s this year. While the year saw Datassette release on Apollo this just does it for us that bit more.
14. Stormfield – Rebuild [Combat Recordings]
There’s actually a load of remixes that accompany the Combat Recordings boss’s EP but this is our favourite from the release. It has a life of its own, sparking acid into a continually building heat of intensity.
15. Ingen & Boris Noize – Root & Stem [Fausten Remix]
Another from camp Combat and also from the hand of Stormfield but this time in collaboration with Monster X reworking Boris Noize & Ingen’s EP. The thing about this one is it contains all the terror that is Fausten; evoking the sounds of a crazed animal zoo at its peak. Sometimes it’s good to be scared by a track.
16. Hape – 130103
This is by Estonian producer who goes by Taavi Tulev on Soundcloud who got in touch with us this year and kind of have a lot of love for his music. As well as this 150bmp weirdo electro monster there’s a lot of truly engaging drone that we recommend people check out here.
17. Luke’s Anger – Eat Em Up
This is taken off the Bonus Round boss’s longplayer this year and is just a bit of funky fun really.
18. Function / Inland – Rhyll
This release heralded in a new chapter for Function and also presented some particularly beautiful brain food.
19. Beatwife – Dwistico [Love Love Records]
An welcome acidic outing for the at times challenging producer released by our friends at Love Love that we had the pleasure of premièring earlier in the year.
20. DJ Skurge & Juan Atkins – Turn The Knob
This was premièred on Benji B’s Radio 1 show this year but still can’t be found on wax! Still we can enjoy the master and creator at work alongside DJ Skurge via You Tube.
A big thank you to everyone who has supported this blog this year.
Big ups Rinse for having us back was a pleasure as always and for Jerome Hill providing a killer guest mix. You can listen back to the show in the player here and the tracklisting is below.
Synchronoise – Inter-Dimensional Synth Cats
Cristian vogel – Forest Gifts [Forthcoming on Shitkatapult]
Ukkonen – Agogic Helia [Forthcoming Uncharted Audio]
Bintus – Strange Gait [Power Vacuum]
Bass Clef vs Frak – Strange Gait [Smorgasboard Records]
Luke Vibert – Stuph [I Love Acid]
Mark Forshaw – Take Off [Forthcoming Computer Controlled Records]
Tudor Acid – Acid Travelodge [Virtual Urban Records]
[Bed – Jerome Hill – Paper Bag Acid [Super Rhythm Trax]
Jerome Hill Guest Mix
Bob Brown & Paul Birken – Couldn’t
Jonski Feat. Jock D – Get Up
Jerome Hill – Paper Bag Acid
Neil Landstrumm – Can’t Keep Up
Marshall Jefferson Presents Hercules – Lost in the Groove (Jerome Hill Remix)
The Exaltics – Corroded
JoeFarr – Gabba Problems
LFO – Mummy I’ve Had An Accident
Patrick Sjeren – Heart Condition
Luke’s Anger – What The Hell Are You Doing In My Car
UVB – Five O
The Wee DJ’s – A Little Atomic Bomb [Forthcoming Combat Recordings]
Lukes Anger I’m Still Here [Forthcoming Ugly Funk]
Objekt – Interlude (Whodunnit?) [PAN]
Sync 24 – Memory Bubble [Forthcoming Central Processing Unit]
Model Citizens – Drive [Toolbox Records]
DeFeKT- Your Automatik [Forthcoming Boys Noize]
Dieter 1982 – tchn006 [Soundcloud]
Amen Andrews – News Of The World [Forthcoming Blueberry]
Radioactive Man – Wah [Una Sound]
DJ Stingray – Behaviour Modification Implant [WeMe]
Andy Stott – No Surrender [Modern Love]
Spaces – In Wait [Bleep]
Tickets: Resident Advisor
I’ve witnessed Ben Pest in many live forms over the years rocking out on a Nintendo DS, in full hardware synergy with Cristian Vogel under their Black E moniker and also playing all reams of electronic funk in a DJ capacity. He’s also an artist comfortable creating on pretty much any platform you throw at him and under a huge range of collaborations – as keyboardist for Ninja Tune’s Pest or in the studio with Luke’s Anger as Bebop & Rocksteady even finding himself most recently in the studio alongside Keith Tenniswood (Radioactive Man). There’s a common thread before his work this off kilter funk that’s pleasingly odd – I’ve been a fan for quite some years now so finally nailing a mix from Mr. Pest is quite the score for the null+void podcast series.
So Ben when exactly did music start for you?
Hard to say exactly. I remember my dad having one of those stacking / changer vinyl players from the 60s. bought my first 7″ from woolies in Collier Row, Axel F by Harold Faltermeyer.. but always loved it for the b side ‘shoot out’.
What were your early influences was there a particular musical scene that got you involved?
After metal it was techno early/mid 90s. I met Tom Fedka/Pest at Sabersonic in about ‘96 or something and he gave me a fresh take on music. Jazz got massive for me suddenly a bit after then. Its nice coz iv known all the Pest band for so long, we’ve been through a lot together over the years and we’re still doing it. Shouts also to Vinnie, Matt ‘porn’, Wayne ‘slap’, Tenderlonious and ‘slick’ Nick!
How did you get started in producing? What kind of gear was available then for you?
My school had an Atari with Cubase 1.0 and a Roland s-550 in the music stock cupboard, so there, I suppose. I worked in a music shop for a bit after that so got myself various keyboards. Eventually I had keyboards plus Tascam 4 track cassette thing and an FX box or two, loads of fun. Couple of years later I spent the entirety of my first student loan on a Nord 1 rack and an Akai S950 running off an Amiga.
I remember many a set with your DS Korg – what do you like about performing on those? It seems so old school now with ipads but I guess then they were some of the only touch screen technologies available…
Still love that Nintendo for the DS-10! I first saw Michael Forshaw bang a set with two DS’s and I said “fucksake I play Mario Kart on mine! what was THAT?!” – he thought I was taking the piss but I wasn’t. It’s limited, and only does 1 bar loops but it excels at industrial sounding techno and there are some lfo tricks to make em sound like 2 bars, even though they aint. I’ve got so many patterns on there have never seen the light of day I still need to get out of it. The horror boogie 12” I did earlier this year has 2 tracks which are purely DS-10 sounds sorta ‘produced up’ as it were.
Exactly how much and in what ways has working with Logic’s latest version changed how you work and the outcome?
I just shoved Komplete 10 in there so that number of options is now exponentially ridiculous.. Almost too many! It’s all completely brilliant, natch, but I have to set myself some arbitrary limits at the beginning or my music making goes nowhere fast. That South Park episode where they show Randy using Logic just made me laugh! Yeah it’s ‘almost too easy’ but only if you want to go down some predetermined route, which i never do. to me it’s all just an extended writing tool. Hardware is all about the limits though, and generally that stuff gets messed with very little compared to the tracks I start from scratch in Logic. I’ve been getting really into making tunes with a tb303, tr808 & tr909 recently & just letting them roll, jam it out. Sometimes I have better results when I make life difficult for myself. It’s all random.
Obviously over the years you’ve collaborated with a number of people – Luke’s Anger, Cristian Vogel and more recently Radioactive Man what do you like about working with others in the studio? can you tell us anything about these individuals in particular?
Collaboration is one if the best things about music. It’s just so fun and satisfying when it works. It’s also great to have someone else around who even if they aren’t doing any of the actual production stuff, they are still contributing on an integral vibe level type thing. To me that’s still 50/50 collaboration. Anyway, if you go into it with that attitude then everyone does their bit, I find. Collabs with Luke are great because they’re are no rules, as such. Can be in person or remotely. Its more just like a very protracted and ever-ongoing conversation which happens to yield tracks I love. Result! With Cristian we spent 4 or 5 days in his studio in Barcelona, and made a whole EP from scratch. Pretty good going. With Keith Tenniswood it’s been few ideas developed over this last year and now coming together into an EP. Some tracks have come together more quickly though. As I say, there are no rules as such. The Pest boys are my longest running collaborators. Oh yeah and I didn’t name the band after me by the way! I was asked if that was the case, once. No my mate Grant aka Sikaflex suggested Ben Pest is what everyone called me anyway, so there you go.
In this mix who’s on it – what other artists are you listening to at the moment?
The mix is all my stuff apart from some Bebop & Rocksteady tracks, which I wrote with Luke’s Anger. I’m far from ignorant to other music, though. My sound is fairly distinctive for better or worse, iv made loads of tunes, and they seem to make sense to me mixed together on Traktor. What can I say. Been listening to Phatworld vs Squire of Gothos on my tube journeys, big smiley music. Loads of the electronica I love is made by my mates but I’m always grabbing various other bits and bobs – I’m less of an artist follower generally, I’m more about certain tracks. But rules are there to be broken etc. Luke Vibert is consistently great. Gutted about Mark Bell too, loved so much of his music and saw him live a few years ago. amazing.
There’s quite a few releases you have coming up can you give us a quick run down what’s forthcoming?
Fun in The Murky 02 which I’ve got a track on is dropping this week. There’s a 5 track EP on Balkan Recordings very soon and a track on the next Balkan Vinyl 12″, an Off Me Nut EP and a couple of tracks on new vinyl label The Beyond. And a Bebop & Rocksteady cassette release on Acid Waxa. Got this thing currently in production with Radioactive Man too. I’ll squeeze another EP of my tracks via my Bandcamp page in due course.
This Saturday night from 1-3am I’ll be back on Rinse FM this Friday night with an exclusive guest mix from Jerome Hill who’s Don’t party is next Saturday night at 512 in East London which I’ll also be laying down a set at.
Also coming up on the show is double new Luke Vibert his new acid release for I Love Acid as well as Amen Andrews I’ll also be playing some tracks from Objekt’s new LP, the oustanding new Combat Recordings Ten Years compilation as well as new material from Sync 24, Defekt and Cristian Vogel.
Combat Recordings are a true bastion of industrialised, uncompromising and concrete hard electronics . Operated out of East London for the last 10 years label boss Stormfield has fearlessly compelled this label’s sound on a solid journey, commissioning releases from his self professed heroes Scorn and Milanese as well as providing a home for some spectacularly epic productions from Dead Fader, Point B and Scanone among many. All these artists through the medium of impeccable sound design deliver a high, high quality of music to the label – there’s always a lot to listen to even though it can be a challenging experience for some. Still this music has it’s place in the rave and it’s actually an admirable thing that we should count ourselves lucky for that someone is still willing to put their neck out and self fund something that isn’t cash viable – that’s kind of what art is about you know.
The first Combat release hit the world back in 2004 and this November as a special gesture Stormfield has put together a stonking 19 track compilation to celebrate this landmark anniversary as well as a commemoratory rave. So with such a huge event imminent we caught up to chat with the man be hind the label Stormfield himself to look back and forward over this time and to share some of the comp’s audio along the way…
What does it feel like to be at this point, when you’ve reached 10 years in operation?
Running for 10 years is a bit of a surprise to be honest, as I never really planned to do a label in the first place.
Combat was born through a very specific set of life circumstances and the need to vent in a disciplined, focused way. It felt like the right thing to do and just grew from there. The thing with living in London is, the pace is so relentless anyway – you end up running around doing stuff week to week, and time simply flies past year after year. Now it’s apparently 2014, we’re somehow at “Ten” and having to organise something special is more of a pain in the arse as I’d rather hide away and get on with making music and visuals Gotta be done though.
Looking back at this time what do you feel are your proudest moments?
Travelling and meeting a lot of people over the years, some of whom have become solid friends. Seeing some really good artists go on to do bigger, higher profile things after their initial push via Combat. Likewise, chatting with some great artists who said the Combat’s output has massively influenced them over the years, offering tracks for the compilation, which turned out better than their releases on other labels! Bringing together unlikely artists from different backgrounds and countries on the same track via remixes, re-remixes and collaborations.
Mary Anne Hobbs dropped Cursor Miner’s “Carnivore” as her track of the week, twice in a row on BBC Radio 1.
Aphex Twin playing one of our tunes at Nordik Impakt festival. Just tried to find the youtube link, someone’s taken it down, but the track in question was Audio Assault by Machine Code.
The development of Combat A.V. around 2009, to bridge the label’s sound and visuals in realtime. This fed into the Fausten project on Ad Noiseam.
Watching Cursor Miner annihilate the place at Trigger Soundsystem in Birmingham. Ending up in a Dominatrix’s house filming sexual torture for the Fausten project, then performing the visuals as an AV set in front of 1500 goths in a German turbine hall, while wearing Hawaii shirts on stage. Bizarrely, playing gigs in a Peckham laundrette and the former SS headquarters in Berlin, both in the same month. Releasing music by my production heroes Scorn and Milanese. Doing visuals for Scorn during his live set at Bangface Weekender.
What in your experience has been the toughest thing about running an independent niche label?
Cash and time limits.
Cash. I decided from the start that Combat’s music is personal and thus has to be kept free from any pressure of hype / sales. Of course I’m happy when more DJs across the board are supporting the tunes, but I’d never go “yeah better make it sound more like [insert trendy bollocks genre]’ just to shift a few more sales. You end up weakening or deforming your sound for the sake of a popularity that is only fleeting anyway, fuck that.
But the cost of this stubbornness is you end up having to power the label from your own funds, which I accept, but unless you’re already rich it does impose a natural restriction on how many releases per year, and not being able to do vinyl for every release. Time is the other pain in the arse, especially if you split it between dayjobbing, producing music/visuals, giving seminars, playing gigs and running a label, bearing in mind that a lot of smaller labels are one-man operations.
Can you talk about the music itself on this compilation are there selected tracks from the archive or are they all freshly commissioned for the release?
The original idea was “ten years / ten tunes / ten artists / ten-ten-ten-you-cunts!” but as submissions came in, the tracks were too good to refuse, so the original concept got binned in favour of simply having lots of good music.
And here we are at 19 tracks. The selection hopefully represents the full spectrum of the label’s sound, from darkest bleakness to beautiful melancholia, from heavy soundsystem smashers to intricate cinematic ambient. A friend described it as “brutality and finesse” which I guess is fairly accurate. It features artists from the very beginning of the label’s history (e.g. ScanOne) up to totally new names (Marco Donnarumma, Nonima) who have releases forthcoming. Some tracks are specially commissioned for the release, while others have sat on my hard drive waiting for the right moment to appear.
What else is in store for the celebrations?
We’re going all out for this one with a full audiovisual lineup. Short films and sneak previews of Fausten videowork at the start of the night, followed by a freestyle electronic jam session between Monster X, Cursor Miner, Marco Donnarumma, Stormfield and Emoresh. Then Shelley Parker does a special Combat live set to kick off the rave, with new label signing Nonima doing his first ever set in London. Fausten then smash it up hard with Scorn-type darkness and sinister visuals, and ScanOne doing a DJ set at the end to take things back to our junglist/hardcore roots.
What are you looking forward to the most in the next 10 years?
More music, more video/visual work, more sound design, more gigs. Keep on evolving. More Combat!
Combat Recordings release Ten Years on 10th November 2014 and will be releasing audio previews via their Soundcloud page in the run up.