The Little Red Book talks to… Jem Haynes

Hi there and welcome back! Sorry for the delay in getting this posted but I had some technical issues back at HQ. All sorted now though, and definitely worth the wait! This week, I spoke to Jem Haynes, head honcho of the Colour Series label. We talked about his music, the label, the Arosa Electronica festival, what he would like to see in the future of music/events… and even managed to get a WORLD EXCLUSIVE from an artist who has been hyped by dance music heavyweights like Laurent Garnier, Nick Warren, Reboot and Digitaria. Jem was also kind enough to put together a mix especially for the occasion, which of course you can listen to here.

You do not want to miss out on this, trust me!

Enjoy!

Seb

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The Little Red Book talks to… Shay D

So last week I went to Shay D’s album launch over at Birthday’s in Dalston. I had a blast there and saw some brilliant acts, even managed to have a bit of a chat with with some of the artists who performed! A few days prior, Shay D had been kind enough to agree to come and be interviewed and have a bit of a chat about her work, the album and the state of the music industry.

We caught up this week, and this is what happened…

For more info on Shay D or her album, click here

 

 

 

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TFIF #5

Hey guys, apologies for the lateness but it’s been a bit of a crazy week! I actually had this done by Monday, but didn’t ever get it updated on here, my bad!

Tried a different style of recording it this time, which hopefully makes it flow a bit faster between tracks and I waffle on a bit less haha! No mix this week as I was awaiting on an exclusive that never arrived, but anyway, I hope you enjoy the tunes, and as always feel free to give me feedback and point me in the direction of tunes that need to be heard – it’s always genuinely appreciated!

Hope you’ve all had a cracking weekend!

Much love to one and all,

Seb

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TFIF #4 …THE PODCAST?!

That’s right! Your eyes do no deceive you. This week I’m experimenting with a podca-blog hybrid!

I’ve got a bit of a mix again this week for you, including some of the track featured on this blog already and some shiny exciting new ones that should get you in the mood to go out! It’s a bit of a litmus water paper test to see how everyone feels about it. This is also the reason why the blog didn’t come out around midnight as it usually does. I hope you guys enjoy it, I had a great time/ massive headache making it but going forward it should be a bit simpler and sound more and more polished every week.

So here it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for/dreading:

All the tracks are listed on my soundcloud page, including the links to download them. Don’t say I don’t try and make things simple for you!

 

Much love as always, and enjoy your weekend!

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TFIF #3

Another Friday, another banging line up of tunes for you all to enjoy! This week we have a mix of drum and bass from non other than Bad Company UK (!), the collective powers of Crissy Criss, Erb N Dub and Malux, a masterclass in turntablism by French legends C2C, and a techno tour de force by Alex Stein, Boris Brejcha and Victor Ruiz. Then of course, we have our weekly freemix which this week comes from Feel My Bicep. There’s something for everyone here. Don’t say I don’t look after you!

So let’s get this party started! Up first we have Bad Company UK with their classic sounding new track Equilibrium. Released just yesterday (at time of reading – yer, I’m that good…) Equilibrium almost harks back to the “good ol’ days” of drum and bass. An ethereal opening, with a bit of squelchy synths in the background is rounded off by an almost digi-didgeridoo before the no nonsense fun begins. A no nonsense track that will have DnB heads nodding along furiously with approval. Is this groundbreaking or revolutionary? No. Has it restored my faith in British music since the laughable, hand me down, sloppy second, soggy-bottomed, festering in bin juice crud-sandwich that was the Brits last night? Yes. Yes it has! Do I love BC for it? You’re damn straight! Am I being too harsh on the Brits? Maybe. Probably not.

Listen to it below, and download it here!

 

Staying with the DnB theme, we move on to Crissy Criss, Erb N Dub and Malux who, earlier this month, released Krokodil. Filthy, grumpy, jump-uppy (it IS a word) absolute banger of a collab, this should be immediately added to any self respecting DnB lover’s catalogue…yesterday! The truth be told, I have over the last year found my faith in DnB wavering. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is partly my fault for not really looking for it as much as I used to. In the main part however, I feel that some of the stalwarts of the genre have completely lost track of what it is they were supposed to represent. I don’t want to sound self important at this point, though I am wary that it’s too late for that, but when thing like respected labels start flaunting the use of their artists on terrible, awful TV shows, or are bought up by profit driven majors, it’s hard not to be skeptical about what they’re doing. Thankfully, it seems not to be completely the case thanks to the likes of Crissy, Erb N Dub and Malux as well as some others, but I digress! Please enjoy the majesty that is Krokodil, and get your bounce on!!!!

 

We’re now changing tack a bit and heading south to France, whilst also crossing over from DnB to the world of turntablism. It’s come to my attention that, despite this golden age of the internet in which we live, many, many people have not heard of C2C. This need to be rectified immediately! C2C are a French quartet of DJs who have won a record four – FOUR – back to back DMC Championships. Scholars of the legendary school of Qbert and Shadow, they set out to try and emulate their footsteps in the early 2000’s. Finding success ridiculously quickly, they soon elevated to the lofty heights of DJ Kentaro, Scratch Perverts, DJ Vadim and Qbert himself. Anyway, enough with the accolades. What really matters – what only matters really – is that the music that these guys produce is just brilliant! Guaranteed to make you want to get up and bust a move, why would you not want to hear this?! So here they are: C2C with their remix of Stevie Wonder’s Superstition!

 

Time to turn to techno as we move on to Alex Stein, Boris Brejcha, and Victor Ruiz who have combined to bring you their track SAW. Now I’m a recent convert to techno, and a big part of that reason is Boris Brejcha’s mixes that he releases around Christmas time. Working as a trio, Stein, Brejcha and Ruiz have created a track that I think will make even the most skeptical of techno dis-creditors rethink their position. The track has some interesting, twisting bass lines, a good build up and a strong enough melodies to keep you hooked throughout, whilst also having a strong beat to carry you through. It’s somewhat topsy-turvy enough to keep you hooked and remain interesting for the duration. I’m a fan. Unashamedly so. There seems to be an accepted notion in dance music fans that you should focus/specialise in only one type of dance music and worship at it’s altar only. I completely disagree, and so unto you non-believers, I offer you this as a way of branching out into other styles!

 

Finally we move on to this week’s mix. Irish producers, DJs and all-round taste makers, Feel My Bicep offer up a kind of house music that will keep you shuffling for hours. They have knack for finding and highlighting artists from across the spectrum of house music, regardless of the label they are signed to. This refreshing attitude to music helps create a sense of community in an otherwise ultra competitive industry. If for that alone, they deserve being listened to that. Coupled to the fact that they have produced some brilliant tracks themselves, and are more than more than capable behind the decks to entertain you throughout the night, this just galvanizes their importance in the world of house music today. Listen to them, follow them on social media and pay attention to who and what they support. Absolute dance floor killers in every sense of the word! This particular mix is from their podcast series in which they invited Japanese DJ Gonno to come in and do what he does best for them. Regarded as being integral to the Japanese house and techno scene, Gonno does not disappoint with his mix. Enjoy it. Share it. Cherish it. Rave to it.

Unfortunately I cannot share it on here to be played, so you’re just going to have to take my word for it and go to Feel My Bicep‘s page and download it from there. You’ll only regret it if you don’t!

That’s it for this week folks! Come back next Friday for your next fill of Thank Friday It’s Free, where you’re guaranteed to get your fill of big tunes and even bigger mixes!

 

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TFIF #2

Thank Friday It’s Free is back, and boy do I have some awesome tracks in store for you! Thank you to everyone who got in contact with me with suggestions – you guys have brilliant tastes in music! So without beating around the bush, let’s cut to the chase!

Up first, we have Kidd Kool who hails from South Yorkshire. Using a fine blend of influences ranging from UKG to house and techno, he has managed to create quite an individual and unique sound. Kidd Kool first came to my attention through a Beatport remix competition where he worked over Mia Dora’s tune “Raw Kiss” (also available for free download). This remix earned him a lot of praise from his peers and led to him being selected by the BBC Introducing team to broadcast on BBC Radio Sheffield.  “Get ‘Em Up” is a perfect representation of what this guy can do: bass heavy, driving rhythms…a great blend of his favourite genres! With his original breakthrough coming in 2015, I’m sure that this is not the last we hear of Kidd Kool, and I for one am really excited to see what the young producer has to offer!

 

Now we have a very young, very raw bass producer from the isolated town of Aberystwyth (my old uni stomping ground)in west Wales here to entertain us. Fujin  is a bass house producer who draws inspiration from trap, house and drum and bass. This amalgamation has led him to create some interesting vibes in his tunes that I think are worth noting! He recently played at  Black House’s 9th birthday party, a night that included names such as Calyx and Teebee and Aphrodite no less! I have nothing but big hopes for this producer, and will be following his career closely!

 

This next track I stumbled across a bit randomly during my weekly soundcloud plunder and is courtesy of Loud Luxury. Apparently the inspiration behind this came during a Nina Simone documentary (there is little better inspiration out there to be fair) and is Loud Luxury’s take of her song “Sinner man“. Now already this had me hooked as I’m a huge Nina Simone fan and that is a personal favourite. Don’t just take my word for it though. Here for your pleasure, Old Man by Loud Luxury!

 

To round off this week, we return to favourites Harry Shotta and Macky Gee with their “Bang Out of Order Volume 2” mix. The Essex and Kent duo can’t get enough credit for what they do together, and long may the two work together! Last June, Harry Shotta, who is already known for his lyrical prowess and skippy flow, released a track called Animal which saw him smash the record for most the most lyrics in a track (previously held by Eminem with Rap God) where he spat 1771 words. On his side, Macky Gee produces choppy, chopped up tunes that deserve to be heard in their own right, on top of being a brilliant DJ. Drum and bass has seen a massive surge in popularity recently – to the point where the mighty and fiercely independent RAM Records has recently been sold to Sony BMG, which leads me to suspect that BMG/RAM are planning on filling the vacuum that EDM will leave behind when it finally implodes…but I digress. In case you thought that drum and bass was run by labels like Hospital with melodic easy listening tunes, Harry Shotta and Macky Gee are a stark reminder that no one is bigger than the genre, not even it’s self proclaimed “giants”. Relatively recently Macky Gee and Harry Shotta joined forces with Skibadee, Shabba D, Stormin, Phantasy and Alpha under the collective name of SASASAS. So many legendary names under one roof, I need to get to see them! Long may they all live!

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Thank Friday It’s Free! #1

Welcome to the first installment of Thank Friday It’s Free! The idea behind this, in case you didn’t know, was to post loads of tunes, remixes, edits and mixes that are currently available to download online for free. So, without further ado, let’s meet this week’s players!

Kicking things off for us is the Left/Right remix of ‘Gosh’ by Jamie XX. The track is the opener of his critically acclaimed album, and came accompanied by a brilliant video which you have to see. Seriously. Go watch it now, then come back here and tell me you didn’t like it. Anyway, Left/Right have done a brilliant job of remixing -dare I say bettering? – this already cracking tune. By removing a bit of the fine polish applied by Jamie XX, adding a heavier bass line and chopping it up a bit, it’s definitely one you’ll be glad to have in your musical arsenal!

 

Check out Left/Right’s soundcloud page as there’s a ton of tracks on there that are available for free d/l.

Up next, we’re staying in the world of remixes but moving to the land of drum and bass and breakbeats where Phibes rules with a funky fist of fury! Comprised of a brother duo from SW England, the Phibes vibe is definitely inspired by the Deekline and Ed Solo school of thought: old school drum and bass / breaks sound with a crunchy beat and extra-wobble for good measure. Winners of the 2014 Subsound Krafty Kuts 10 minute mix competition and owners of a number 1 hit in the Juno charts, Phibes are definitely ones to keep an eye on for the future. You heard it hear first!

…see what I did there? I’m not sorry.

 

This next track comes courtesy of Culprate X Tru Fonix with whom we move swiftly on to wobbly wonky territory of  bass house. The UK duo have an EP coming out on the 16/02/16 on Jakwob’s Boomting Recordings label, home to Rationale, Ghost Poet, Youngman, Kano and Etherwood to name but a few! Can’t wait to get my grubby mitts on that EP! In the meantime, here’s ‘One’, a taster of what’s to come.

 

Moving on! The following track is by Guildford based producers Barely Royal. Charles Broom & Wil Bradbury who met at the ACM Music College in Guildford at the end of 2014. Having listened to a few of their mixes and tracks that they’ve produced, I have high hopes for these guys!

 

We now glide along seamlessly into hip-hop. More precisely into Aesop Rock and Homeboy Sadman’s yard. The two rappers paired up last year to create their album ‘Lice’ which they then released for free…that’s right. An entire album available to you for the princely sum of zilch. Zero. Nada. It’s been my go to album recently when in need of some hip-hop lovin’ and is set to remain that way for the visible future. They use their samples brilliantly, with Aesop’s not-so-dulcet immediately recognisable flow lending itself well to the generally aggressive melodies. A brilliant album that you didn’t realise you needed!

 

Finally, I will end this first edition of TFIF with an hour long high-tech minimal mix, lovingly created by none other than Boris Brejcha. Boris is an absolute master producer. Without wanting to sound too cliched, his tracks are like mini stories or adventures that he takes you on, all while proving that minimal is anything but boring! I have to admit, I’m a relatively new convert to techno, but this is the man that has made me embrace it. with the number of times I’ve streamed his brilliant YouTube videos for his mixes, he might as well have moved in as his face is constantly around the house on one screen or another!

 

Well that is your lot for this week people! I hope you’ve enjoyed the music, and that now your music collection has grown slightly. I will push to get this feature out on a weekly basis, however I have a few exciting projects that I’m working on and may not be able to achieve that. So for now, the next TFIF is due on the 27th of February. If you have any tracks that you feel need to be put up here, or have any kind of feedback for me, please feel free to leave a comment below, or tweet me @sebhodgkiss and I’ll see what I can do! As always, share the love, spread the word and most importantly: keep raving!

 

 

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