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.
In just a few short years, London's Uprise Audio has made quite an impact as a label that explores the deeper, more textured side of dubstep and bass productions. Here label boss Seven collects 13 of the dopest new jams by the label's impressive roster. Highlights include Seven's own "Get Down", which features squelchy, metallic bass and stop/start trappy beats, the creepy mechanical tribal cacophony of "Herd" by Feonix and the retro horror synths meets digi dub grooves of "Arcade Dub" by Markee Ledge.
What a year it's been for US deep bass imprint Version Collective. Exactly a year ago their inaugural Certified Organic collection lit a raging fire of smouldering singles and, most recently, a remarkable album by Sweepa. Now comes the sequel... Once again it's a far-ranging exploration that takes in some truly unique perspectives with highlights such as the discordant metallic strings of Lilti's remix of "Womple", the delicious didgeridoo-style bass weirdness of Basiclee's "Voyage Dub", the gully croaks and slaps of Drew's Theory's defiant "Nonsense & Knowledge" and the industrial strength drum textures and springy sub of Mr K's "Damage". Another serious statement of intent and showcase of exciting, forward-thinking dub talent, Version Collective are staring down the barrel of another exciting sonically innovative year.
Already under heavy vinyl pressure, Deep Heads sister-stable OTE finally unleash three more definitive cuts from Manchester's finest, Biome. Each track exploring a different corner of the dance.. "Turn" is the theme tune to a sci-fi tragedy that's yet to be written. Evocative and charged with rolling drama, there's a real narrative to rolling groove and momentum. "Remembrance" takes a step back for more of a deep tech perspective before we tap out with the cascading breakbeat rolls of "Niagra". A hurricane of emotional pads wrap around subtle rave influences to create a timeless floor-burner that unites all corners. Serious business, as always from Biome.
Belgium's Clearlight is most certainly dominating the bass domain as of late, particularly the realm of deeper, darker, more cerebral-minded dubstep. In essence, the dude is carrying forwards the tradition set by Mala et al., in the past. He returns to Subaltern with six post-apocalyptic slices of hardcore continuum-funk, opening the skies with the broken sonic shards of "Fractal Clouds", an utterly beatless affair, which falls neatly into the preposterously itchy percussive groove of the minimialistic "Illness Point". "Magic Service" lays out a little bit of tranquility thanks to its placid beats and synths, and "Carousel" evolves that mood into an eerie, grey-scaled beat sway, but it's "Back Liquid" and "Subcounciousness" that provide the most alluring moments on this tidy yet sinister blockade of bass-weight. Top stuff.
If Pugilist sounds familiar, that's because he's one half of 140bpm dupstep duo, Perverse. This solo offering though, is a very different kettle of fish indeed. A showcase for the breadth and scope of this producer's production abilities, and one which the label feels is an 'embodiment of the genre's hybrid tradition', we get four tracks of impressive richness. "Astral Plane" is a slow and weary trek across a lonely planet, while "Chalice Riddim" is a spikey reggae-tinged slice of primal dubstep. "Mantis" meanwhile, is sparse and gentle jazzy garage, and closer "Acceptance" is a stunning slice of dreamy pads and scattershot beats.
Some bass artists aim straight for the dancefloor, but some craft new forms of art within the boundaries of the genre. Pete Saturn (aka Owl) is the latter. The Coola #6 EP is his debut for the Foundation Audio label and features 3 supremely deep jams to get lost in your head to. "Zoon" kicks things off with ominous, crawling rhythms and atmospherics, while "Coola #6" edges towards dubstep, featuring slithering and restless beats. Lastly "Allia" is a completely different of fish, featuring slo-mo beats and recurring blissful melodies. Gleb Choutov also reworks the title track into a creepy, snarling, caged beast of a workout.
Encrypted aren't messing around in 2017 are they? Following key releases from Ghast, Trop, Rygby, DMVU and Argo comes abyss veteran Karnage. Last spotted on FKOK via DayZero's EP, here we find in well-oiled rolling mode as "Zaoichi" cascades further and further into itself with loopy introversion. "Model 29" steps back to refocus on a much starker, classic bass riff, with all the right dub hallmarks and skies of space between the elements, this was designed for one thing only: smashing systems. "Killswitch", meanwhile, is tailored for smashing bodies.... a real menacing mechanical funk is at play as strong themes of techno run throughout. "Mokko" provides essential counterpoint with its wonderfully wobbly sub and big breeze pads that enter mid way. Full spectrum.
A/T/O/S stands for A Taste Of Struggle, and it's safe to say that Amos and Truenoys have certainly put their backs into this project. The duo were originally picked up by Mala back on 2014, and haven't looked back ever since. This is their second LP to date and, much like their debut, it touches upon many different elements of the enlarged dubstep continuum. There's plenty of tunes on here that'll liven up any dance, but this is very much a pensive and meditative bass affair. Much in line with Mala's pioneering 'deep' dubstep, it's clear that the Deep Medi head honcho has foud some new, young, and like-minded talents to carry on his dynasty.