Being a label manager, radio host, artist manager, busy DJ probably doesn’t leave a man with much time for the studio, which explains why we have been eagerly waiting over 12 months for Uprise Audio visionary Seven to drop his latest solo release. The time has finally come as the forward thinking producer drops Shaker/Elevate this week. We caught up with the busy label boss to talk about the new sound on his latest release, his exclusive mix recorded with mic man Joe Raygun and the free track "Walter White (VIP Edit)" that you can download now, it is available for a limited time only so be quick!
Hi Eddy, how are things? So it has been over 10 months since we last caught up, back when you were preparing for the launch of the Feonix album, a record which held top spot on the in our Dubstep for a lengthy amount of time, were you expecting such success for the record?
Hi guys, I’m good thanks. Feonix is a phenomenal talent. I had a great feeling about that album. It really touched our souls when we heard it for the first time. It’s a true expression of his versatility as an artist. At Uprise we never release anything expecting it to hit the number one spot and it’s always so exciting when we do manage to top the charts. His album did great, especially lingering around for so long after release. It’s was a blessing and we are really grateful that it was received in the way it was. Big up Feonix!
Uprise has of course been busy bringing the fire releases in the time between now and then, how was the rest of 2015 for the label, your artists and yourself personally?
My plan for last year was to focus mainly on artist development and repertoire. I wanted my team to be able to express themselves in their works so I gave everyone on the label a solo EP release as well as an inclusion on the 7 days EP. I introduced Spec to the public with his Titan EP and got his career rolling. We signed Juss B and put out his first release on UA this year too, the Vain EP. Indiji blew us all away with his Surgeon EP and we took our first full venture into drum n bass with LSN’s Walkyman single, exploring new terrain and planting some seeds to bloom in that direction.
2015 saw us finally get www.upriseaudio.com active too. Our website has been a great way for us to promote ourselves and keep our fans updated with current happenings and also try out concept ideas for marketing and releases. We all took to the air on an international tour together too, spanning over 10 gigs. A first for Uprise Audio. It’s was an incredible journey and we showcased our sound far and wide. All in all, it was another good year for us all and I feel like we spread our wings a bit too. You can be rest assured we will be pushing ourselves even further this year though. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Although perhaps best known for your speaker shaking Dubstep releases, the label has of course never claimed to be a straight Dubstep label, with a broader focus on Bass music as a whole, with that in mind, what direction do you expect the label to be heading in musically over 2016?
We are going to be putting out a whole bunch of music with different tempos this year. Take LSN’s album for example, it’s so diverse and it’s hard to tie it to any specific genre. Their album breaths the UA identity throughout, but expresses itself in unique way. I also plan to put out more DNB on the label too. It’s something people have been requesting a lot from us, coz we have some unreleased killer D&B tracks which are floating about in peoples’ sets at the moment. I wanna open up the sound to new audiences and captivate them with our music though and we can’t do that if we only cater to one crowd. Dubstep is still at the core of our hearts though, so expect plenty of that too.
This week sees the release of your first solo production on the label since your self-entitled album dropped at the back end of 2014 (aside from a cameo appearance on the “Seven Days” record, another lingering number one success). What are the reasons behind the scarcity of your own productions on the label of late?
It feels like an even longer period of scarcity to me than just from my album release up until now. My album was more of a concept project, something more cinematic for listening to, rather than going out to hear raving and certainly not a typical collection of tracks for DJs. Whereas pretty much every single I’ve ever put out I aimed towards the dance floor and DJ sets. My last single on the label before that was actually UA003 in 2013 so it feels like a long time ago now since I had a single out too, especially one for the dance floor and DJs alike. It’s not been a main priority for me though to be honest. I have been far more focused on building the profiles and careers of my artists on Uprise.
It takes a lot of time and effort and doesn’t leave much room in my schedule for my own studio productions. I have missed being in the thick of things and having time to make music myself, but it’s been just as rewarding seeing my artist’s successes and watching them grow into the artists they have become. I’m really proud of them all. They inspire me and I learn just as much from them as they do from me. Having said all that, I do plan on making more music this year and putting out more releases too. I feel hungry again and have just had a new born baby girl with my partner Verity, so I wanna do her proud and push the limits of my own potentials and see what I can bring to bass music as a whole, as well as dubstep of course.
“Shaker” is a seriously dark track that provides a new spin on not only your own productions but on the Dubstep sound as a whole, was this something that you intended when writing?
Thanks for the compliment. I’d love to say yes of course I did intend on writing it that way, but in all honesty I am usually like a blank canvas when I start a track. My only objective was to make something that was gonna sound big on the Gritsy wall of bass sound system. I had a forthcoming DJ booking with them and I wanted to test it out with something freshly made by myself. I’m going to make more tracks like it and I hope other people do too, it’s a fun tune to mix.
So last time we spoke, it was Feonix who had recorded an exclusive mix for us, this time it is you who has done us the honour, please tell us a little about the mix, the selection process, recording set up etc.
The mix is a showcase of music by us at Uprise Audio, as well as some other artists in the scene who I feel are making waves. I mixed in some classics with timeless appeal, those of which are must hear tracks for new fans of our genre. I also included some recently released music in the mix too, so people can purchase some of the playlist if they like them. My good friend Joe Raygun joins me on mic duties throwing down some fresh bars to accompany the music and keeps the vibe at optimum levels all throughout. Joe used his Neumann TLM mic to record the vocals and I processed them through an 1176 compressor. I used my 2x 1210s, 2 x NI D2s, a Pioneer DJM850 mixer (I love the FX unit and beat colour FX so much) and an apple Macbook Air running Traktor. The mix is recorded through a valve summing mixer into UAD Apollo converters.
You are once again, giving away a free track as part of the takeover please tell us a little about the track.
I’m giving away my own personal edit of Walter White. It’s a varied stripped back version of the VIP cut; a version people have been asking me about since I started playing it. It rolls out in the mix on a more progressive tip and pretty mixes well with everything. The vocal is held back a lot and the main focus is really on the beats, bass elements and percussion build up. I’ll probably regret giving it away in a few months when I look back. But I know people are going to love getting their hands on it.
Do you have any more Uprise Audio releases already in the pipeline?
I will have more releases out this year. On Uprise and maybe other label(s). We shall see. I only have a certain amount of time I can allocate to my own releases on UA. I need to be fair to the artists on my book eager for their own releases. So although reluctantly, it would only be viable if I sign my own tracks to other labels too.
Which upcoming artists do you think we should all keep our eyes and ears open for over 2016?
LSN, Feonix, Juss B, Indiji, Spec, No Rules, Guesswork, Darkage, Co:Lateral, Markee Ledge, in fact way too many to mention.
Any final thoughts and shout-outs?
Don’t be a sheep, be a shepherd.
Big love and shouts to Verity J, Joe Raygun, Youngsta, all of my UA family, Paul - Gareth and all at SRD, Beau & Susana Thomas, all my Sub FM family, TRUTH, Liam Guesswork, Nathan Trojan Audio, Wil and Olaf at FKOF, Ill Chill, Urban Vault, Nousless Underground, Peter (WeSC), Toast MC, Pieter DUPLOC, Roy Malloy and so many more, but I will be typing all day if I list them all.
US based deep dubstep purveyor AxH has sure come along way; it's not like you hear of Boston, Massachusetts being a hotbed for innovative future music. This guy have proven there might just be something in the water (or the weed!) out there, given their credentials ie: releasing on London kingpins Tempa and now for N-Type's Wheel & Deal. Starting out with the spooky mood lighting of "Devil Shogun" complete with unsettling kung fu movie dialogue, "Fading Away" then gets stuck into some dystopian low frequency explorations with some help from ARtroniks. "Boneyard Keeper" pursues some more familiar dub flavour translated via dark sci-fi aesthetics. Promising stuff.
Sitting pretty in the triptych heat of halftime, jungle and bass, Nuvaman continues his fractured sermons on Artifice. Instant neck-snappery abounds on "Strength" as amens rifle back/forth/inside/out over dense pads. "Bada" is a more restrained piece of pensive drones and tones while "Throttle" gets up to speed with stark bass and a spacious two-step swing. Finally "Mutu" takes us back to bed with the trippiest low-end designs of the EP. Welcome to the future.
A crucial skank-bullet last summer, Madd's Redders-stamped digidub bum-slapper "Peng Teng" gets the treatment from halftime's man of the moment Moresounds as he dilutes the juice with more space and trippy pace. Itoa ups the tempo with a raw tribal finish on "Catchit" while Madd lays the flex down himself on his 2013 cut "Burning Dance". Switching out the big clunking halfsteps for a skippier summer rhythm, it's another seasonal smash for one of bass music's most consistent creators.
Delivered exactly a year after his huge "Prototypes" sophomore, RDG delivers yet another clutch of innovative bass constructions. It's clear he means business the minute "No Turning Back" a slinky cut where a stretchy sub wriggles, giggles and gets filthy with a 2008-flavoured wub. "Dillinger" follows on a rolling techy flex where the sub fluctuations are complemented by a Distance-weight sheet metal riff. No letting up till the bitter twisted end, "Vengeful Thoughts" combines trad dub drums with alien screams while "Thank You" does the toxic sludge stomp with T-1000 level menace. Plenty prototype hype.
Markee Ledge is back everyone! The drum and bass legend formerly known as Substance who formed breakthrough act Kosheen with Decoder now appears for the esteemed London imprint Tempa. You trust a veteran like Ledge to deliver the goods here like he does on "Underground Railroad" with its immaculately programmed industrial percussion textures hammering away backed by chilling atmospheres and powerful bass pulsations. After first premiering on Youngsta's Rinse FM show over a year ago, we're glad this finally saw the light of day.
Russian dubstep producer Sqz Me makes some emotive and haunting deep dubstep we must say. "Beautiful" samples Justin Timberlake's vocals put through harsh redux that wail over layers of smoky pads and powerful bass pulsations. "Inner Place" is minimal and glacial, like getting vaped and going on an Arctic expedition.Closing this thing out is "Missin Element" which reminds us a bit of bass music classics like "Hyph Mngo" and is absolutely sublime. This young Siberian producer is definitely one to watch out for in 2016.
The 21 year old Manchester dubstep wunderkind Hypho is back on esteemed UK bass imprint Punks run by Stanton Warriors. He offers up "Fiyah" firstly, which is dark and dystopian street level futurism: plain and simple! Second offering "Scatter" shows more restraint but is equally as powerful in its exploration of sci-fi bass therapy; only difference is that these aliens are smoking some serious kush! This young gun really is one to watch.
Duckem and Taztical have already churned out their fair share of bass hypnotics over the last few years, but his newly found collaboration on Foundation Audio marks a new wave of skills and surprises from the duo. "Kokkino Horma" sways its wailing strings over cascading beats, and somehow the producers manage to convey a feeling of the earth's elements colliding against each other. "Pindus Dub" is less murky and more uplifting, although the track is still heavily wound in a mystical Eastern sort of stagger from the heights of the Himalayan cliffs.
Music with a message: after a string of free releases, Czech dub warrior Kletis comes correct with his first official release and a kindly reminder that, even during these most cynical times, not everything is sucky. His music, for instance... From the church crumbling shudders and shakes of the title track to the fluffy emotional tones of "Clouds" to the out-and-out tech fissures of "Mayhem" there's not a negative word to be said. The only thing that sucks here is having to decide which track to drop first.
Calling your track "Heart Of The Soundsystem" is a bold move... But it's a move that LA new-blood Tetrad executes with serious skill: the bassline pumping with thick dub blood, power surges through every cone with life as it worms between sub and higher octaves amid a dense array of Pablovian textures. "Well Maybe Dub" is a much deeper, denser construction with a slow-and-steady kick that's wrapped in ten-tog duffle subs. One for lift off, one for come down... Hearty on.
Debutant Half Normal produces music that's just as deranged as him name implies. These three twisted slices of neural bass funk come courtesy of the young and daring Lifted Contingency imprint, a label that seems to be getting bigger and badder with each single. "The Secret" is a deep, rolling bass melter that flutters its Eastern chimes amid pouncing kicks, and "Salt Of The Earth" follows suit thanks to morphing low frequencies, but "Elk Hide" is where Half Normal really sinks deep into the mix by injecting a tenebrous layer of chilling harmonics and cut-throat sonics.