In preparation for the Witch versus Throwdown event at The Old Red Bus Station on Saturday I caught up with the head honchos of each brand to play ‘Two Truths & a Lie’.
For those that don’t know how the game works, Concordia from Witch and Dee Brown from Throwdown will each take it in turns to say 3 statements, 2 will be true and 1 will be a lie.
It is then up to the other person to guess which statement is a lie; the loser will face a forfeit that will take place during the event on Saturday night!
'So let's begin! I have prepared 6 categories for you to base your statements on, which will give us all an insight and background into your DJ and music production careers:'
1. Name 3 DJs you've supported:
Concordia: "Notion / K-Klass / Endian."
Dee Brown: Endian?
Concordia: Damn it, yes that's the lie.
Dee Brown: “Derrick Carter / Darius Syrossian / Cassio Kohl.”
Concordia: Derrick Carter?
Dee Brown: Correct. I loved playing alongside Darius and Cassio!
2. Name 3 venues you've played at:
Concordia:"Mint Warehouse / Beaver Works / Mint Club.”
Dee Brown: Mint Club?
Concordia: Yep that was the lie.
Dee Brown: “Space / La Terrazza / Mint Warehouse.”
Concordia: La Terrazza?
Dee Brown: Nope that’s true! I haven’t played at Mint Warehouse yet.
3. Name 3 music genres you like to play during your sets:
Concordia: “House / Techno / Bassline.”
Dee Brown: Bassline?
Concordia: Ye, hard not to have an obvious lie on that one!
Dee Brown: “Techno / Funky / Deep."
Dee Brown: Dude that one's off the scale, we know each others musical vibe, ha ha.
4. Name 3 items on your drinks rider:
Concordia: “Water / Gin / Beer.”
Dee Brown: Water?
Concordia: Hahaha nope, the lie was beer!
Dee Brown: “Jack Daniels / Red Wine / Beer."
Concordia: Red Wine?
Dee Brown: Wrong! I love red wine, the lie was JD, I hate drinking Jack Daniels!
5. Name 3 items on your tech rider:
Concordia: “Pioneer DJM-900 / CDJ-2000s / A Decent Monitor”
Dee Brown: Pioneer DJM-900?
Concordia: Damn it you got me, I do love Allen & Heath mixers, but I wouldn’t be that fussy, tbf!
Dee Brown: “CDJ-2000s / 3 Decks / Allen & Heath Mixer"
Concordia: 3 Decks?
Dee Brown: Wrong, Allen and Heath! I'm gonna send you my press pack ;)
6. Name 3 of your favourite tracks to play when your last on the bill and closing the event:
Concordia: “Dosem - Chase The Link / Larse - So Long / Audiojack - Plastic Dreams (20 year Tribute).”
Dee Brown: Larse?
Concordia: Nope, the Audiojack tune was the lie! Although it does all depend on who and when I’m playing for!
Dee Brown:“Johnny Fiasco - I Want It / Everything But The Girl – Missing / Greenskeepers - Go (No Assembly Firm Remix)."
Concordia: Everything But The girl?
Dee Brown: Yep that’s the lie, well done!
So I can reveal that the looser is, by just one question, is Concordia from Witch! Make sure to come down to The Old Red Bus Station on Saturday from 9pm to see her face her forfeit. Many thanks to both of you for playing along!
Head over to the Facebook event for full details of what to expect on Saturday from these two outstanding brands: http://bit.ly/2fDZxnH
ORBS:First of all, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us today, Rupture has been a staple of the underground Jungle scene in London for quite a while now, tell us how it started?
DJ Mantra: We started in 2006 after being heavily inspired by nights such as Bassbin and Technicality. The first venue we used was way too big so it wasn’t the the most successful event as we lost out on a lot of money. But like everything in life it was a learning curve, so we went back to basics, found a 200 capacity venue, and built it up from there.
ORBS:You’re now rolling into your 10th year, which is no mean feat, but what would you say has been your personal highlight since the beginning?
DJ Mantra: If you’d have asked me 2 weeks ago I would have said our second birthday or our Bloc 9 Glastonbury take over but after our 10th birthday on Nov 18th, for me that was a personal highlight. It’s the biggest event we’ve done but it sold out weeks in advance - we never expected the response to be so big. I was really worried that people’s expectations would be too high and the vibe might not be there but there was something really special in the air.
The atmosphere was electric and it was packed out until 8 in the morning. It’s definitely a night I won’t forget in a long time.
ORBS:Tell us about your influences, where did your love for Jungle & DnB come from?
DJ Mantra: Mine is pretty much the bog standard story for most London DnB heads! My older brother would always listen to Kool and would go to all the big raves such as Telepathy, World Dance & Roast. I eventually managed to twist his arm to take me along and I was hooked! We’d sneak out with our fake ID most weekends and if we couldn’t get into the raves there would always be a squat party to go to!
This was around 99 / 00 so I was really into a lot of the techy sounds and eventually the more I got into it the more I started to love the heavy breaks / jungle side of things. When I met Panka we'd go record shopping every week so because of her I developed an addiction to buying old jungle records!
ORBS: Time for a top five - Whose sounds can’t you stay away from at the moment?
ORBS: Aside from the club night, you also run Rupture as a label which has managed to grab some great names already not least of all ‘Seba’, tell us about how that came about?
DJ Mantra: It was a pretty natural step for us to take. When you’re surrounded by music and all your friends are making amazing tunes with not much outlet it just made sense. We had no idea what we were doing but just booked in the mastering date and forced ourself to get ourselves into gear in time!
ORBS:Finally, for those who aren’t too familiar with the Rupture sound, what can our fans expect on the 2nd December?
DJ Mantra: Loads of music forthcoming from the label and a big bag of vibes!
Ahead of the opening of our new monthly house & techno event 'Witch' we had 5 minutes with Back to Basics resident and Vessel Records owner James Barnsley who is headlining at our opening party this weekend.
Hey James, thanks for taking the time out to chat with us.
ORBS: You’re playing our first ‘Witch’ event on the 13th August and have been an integral part of the house scene in Leeds for over a decade, what in your opinion is the main change in the last few years?
James: Hey, Leeds has always had a thriving underground scene, over the last few years we've seen more venues opening and more parties popping up which does have its ups and downs, however, I'm really looking forward to playing Witch and seeing what the future holds for it.
ORBS: Your label Vessel Records seems to be going from strength to strength since it’s inception last year - Can you tell us a bit more about how the imprint started?
James: Yes Vessel is doing really well. I had been wanting to start my own label for some time and I had a few tracks that I had put to one side and had a good idea of the sound I was looking for and at the time I felt like I was ready to do it so here we are.
ORBS: Obviously you’ve been around for a fair while in Leeds - What would you say have been your highlights to date in the city?
James: There's been many highlights of my career in Leeds so far but ones that stand out for me are when I started playing at Back To Basics, as well as many of her memorable Basics parties that I played at over the years along side some of my biggest inspirations. Another was when Basics moved into my own club 'Stinkys Peep House'. I never thought I would ever see that day but I did and those days have been some of the best in my life. Other amazing times were had at my hip hop brand 'Slowdown Sounds' where I played along many other idols such as Mix Master Mike, Pete Rock and do cash money under my alias Jimmy Brooklyn. Finally starting my label 'Vessel Records' has been one of my favourite projects to date and I'm overwhelmed with the support the label has been getting.
ORBS: Can you tell us anything about your forthcoming releases? What’s to come on Vessel?
James: I have a track coming out on Politics of Dancing's anniversary compilation. I really love this Parisian label and I'm really happy to be a part of that. I'm also working on material for London-based No Fit State along with my next EP for Vessel.
ORBS: And finally your top 5 producers turning your head at the moment?
Being in the city of Leeds we can easily overlook our fellow music promoters in the towns surrounding us, but Huddersfields'Sine Wave' have been turning more than a few heads of late with their hybrid mashups of bass driven bass and beats….
We sat down with one of the brains behind the night Jake Briggs for 5 minutes with...Sine Wave.
First off tell us a little bit about the ethos behind 'Sine Wave'?
Well, Sine Wave is a multi-genre soundsystem event and record label, we are based in Huddersfield and we aim to support underground soundsystem culture and provide a platform for up and coming talent to perform alongside bigger names and gain links in the scene all around the country. Our focus on supporting soundsystem culture stems from our home town of Huddersfield being the capital of soundsystem culture in the north back in the 70's and 80's. There's nothing quite like a group of people dancing in front of the accumulation of a sound engineers pride, love and hard work, we just love a big speaker stack in Huddersfield, it's in our blood!
You've been running parties for a while in Huddersfield now, what can you tell us about the music scene there, and how does it differ from Leeds?
Being a town as opposed to a city Huddersfield differs immensely from Leeds, being a soundsystem event in a town such as Huddersfield comes with its pros and cons, the cons include genre interests changing quite often which for a promoter can be quite the hassle, another one is our infamous venue curse. Huddersfield is a sucker for venues, due to the small scene it is hard for a venue dedicated to underground music to thrive, all we have are commercial clubs and bars that frown upon our scene, and sadly that is not the direction we want our hometown to go in. There is something in the works though which is quite exciting but we can't go into that! Leeds contrasts this in so many ways, due to its size there is a venue for everything and there are so many paths to go down regarding genres too which for us being a multi-genre night is fantastic. One of the pros of Huddersfield I will always point out is the people, everyone in the scene knows or knows of each other which brings with it an extreme sense of community, hopefully, we can bring this spirit in full force to Leeds and strengthen the link between Huddersfield and Leeds.
Which of your events has been your favourite so far and why?
Our favourite event was by far our event last June with the Second To None Music crew. We had Deadbeat UK, Dr Cryptic, Vital Techniques and Mikey B come over to Hudds, and they tore the venue apart, they even shot us an after movie that you can find on STNM and Sine Wave's social media platforms. It was a great pleasure for us to have artists that we have been listening to and supporting for years come to our hometown and enjoy themselves.
Top 5 producers that are turning your head at the moment?
Dr Cryptic: I would say Dr Cryptic has had our heads turned for the past 3 or 4 years, we've been a fan since he was producing Dubstep, and evil Dubstep at that. Yeah, Cryptic will be on this list for quite a while, his production style is on point. And if you've not heard of Sheffield's Chip Butty Records get to know, it's Cryptic's label and they have been smashing out fantastic releases since day one. https://soundcloud.com/dr_cryptic/rico-tubbs-ghost-rider-dr-cryptic-remix
Surreal: Now I'm not sure if it's a bit biased to have one of our residents on this list, but there's a reason Surreal is on our roster. This guy puts in the work when it comes to music, he carries his own style which is rare these days and is the head honcho of Sub:Freqz, which is a record label based in Huddersfield. Surreal has a lot planned for the Label so you should definitely check out Surreal and Sub:Freqz. https://soundcloud.com/joshuaascension/surreal-spacetribe
Thorpey: An it's an it's an it's Thorpeyyy, he's not just turning our head in terms of his productions but also his mixing skills and tune selection, Thorpey knows how to get the zombies in the dance filled with energy again, this is something we have experienced first-hand and I'll tell you now, impressed is an understatement! Thorpey's dominating the scene right now and is gathering bookings all around the UK. This guy really knows what he is doing.
Superior Cornrows: Cornrows consists of Tich and K-orse who are two of the big boys over at Sheffield's Off Me Nut Records. If we were asked to describe the sound of Off Me Nut Records no doubt about it we would play a Superior Cornrows tune (Followed by Smiley Maxx's jungle weapon 'Fukin Dark'). We started listening to OMN tunes with a few Squire Of Gothos and Phatworld songs when we were younger, and Tich being part of both Squire and Phatworld just makes Cornrows right for us, keeping to that old sound that we know but also venturing into elements from the modern Bassline scene. In our opinion Superior Cornrows are the perfect representation of the aesthetic of Off Me Nut Records. Did I forget to mention that they completely shell the rave as well?
Swedger: We have heard people say that Buckfast is the only good thing to come out of Scotland, but boy are they wrong. Swedger puts in the work when it comes to what he does. Producing songs across possibly the widest range we have seen a producer go across, and keeping his own style whilst doing so. All in all Swedger gets our vote! We for sure are having him at one of our nights in the future. https://soundcloud.com/projectalloutrecords/swedger-shimmer-project-allout-presents-lengerz-vol-2-compilation-various-artists
Honourable mentions: Even though these guys aren't in our top five we definitely have to give them some mentions, B Squared, Vital Techniques, Tony Tribe, Blitz, RUFUS!, Simply Dread and Skepsis, they are all doing their own thing and we are loving what they are doing!
What is your top club night tip?
Always be prepared for anything! A lot can go wrong during the production of an event and its crucial to always be on your feet and be aware of any possibility that may occur. Oh and make sure your headliners absolutely BANG!
Your focus in on the more bass heavy genres of dance music - How do you feel this style reflects you?
We focus on mainly bass heavy genres because we believe they carry with them the most energy and I believe this reflects the hard work and enthusiasm put into every one of our nights by our crew and DJs.
Finally - What can we expect from Sine Wave on the 19th?
Expect pure good vibes from start to finish, expect banging tunes and great people! To top of that, expect our absolutely vibing crew!
Many thanks to Jake for the interview - You can catch the Sine Wave crew taking things in a wobbly direction this Friday at The Old Red Bus Station!
Anyone can get 20 years, three albums, and a series of highly acclaimed mixtapes deep into the hip-hop game, but it takes a special breed of artist to also be able to flaunt a personalised answering machine message from the one and only Biz Markie. That artist is DJ Yoda, who returns to your ears on March 9th with Breakfast of Champions, his third album, and his first to be recorded with a live band. We caught up with him discuss the album, and find out the extreme lengths he’s prepared to go to ensure its success.
So for those readers who don’t know, why don’t you introduce yourself?
I go by the name of DJ Yoda and I play records, and have done for a while (laughs).
And I hear you’ve got a new album coming out?
Yes, this album is called Breakfast of Champions, and what makes it different to stuff that I’ve done in the past, is that it’s the first time I’ve done an album with a full live band. I’ve had a number of mixtapes out, and a couple of artist albums before this one, but the artist albums that I’ve done up to this point, obviously I’ve been working with samples or myself, and also working with different rappers on every track. So for instance on the last album I had MOP on one song, had Action Bronson for another song, had Boy George on another song, but I thought this time round, I really wanted to have the same focus on the whole album, and work with a band.
So you curated a little group of MCs and musicians right?
Exactly, yeah. It kind of came about through this venue in Manchester called Band On The Wall, and they do this yearly artistic residency, where they get someone involved… it’s government-funded, so they’ve got money, and they said, put together something new. They approached me and said well, can I put together a band, and that actually they put out adverts, saying who wants to be in a band with DJ Yoda, and so we had all these hundreds of artists who applied, and then I had to think about who do I want in my band, and start whittling it down and finding out who would be good to be in a band with.
The album’s called Breakfast of Champions, and I know the name of that comes from the name of the band, but where does the name of the band come from?
You know what, it’s a very simple answer to that… I just love breakfast (laughs). One of my things has always been that I just love breakfast.
What is your ideal breakfast?
Probably some very rare American breakfast cereal with a lot of different colours, marshmallows…
Oh that’s like, standard stuff, I’m several levels deeper than that.
Have you been to Cereal Killer café yet?
Not only have I been there, I’m working with those guys.
Well they’re going to have a little popup shop, selling the album there. And then we’re taking out a little thing out on the road that involves us selling cereal and me DJing.
Sick! So with the new live band style, how would you say that’s changed how you put together a track? Or has it changed it?
Totally different actually. I come from like a hip hop background where you build tracks up with samples, so in the past the way that I’ve made music has been to collect samples of stuff that I like from wherever that may be. But this time round, it’s a lot more about jamming with a band, and finding which bits sound cool, and instead of using samples, using real instruments.
Do you find it easier to incorporate a wide range of influences, and take the track wherever you want?
It’s different really. The reason I do it this way, is because it’s a challenge for me, it keeps it interesting. I’ve been doing this for a long time man, like this is probably my 20th year of DJing, and the reason that I carry on, is that every year I try and do something different, that is testing myself a little bit. I want to do anything except tread water, I don’t want to do the same thing I did last year. A lot of that comes around through collaborations with other artists. I find that those are the most interesting things to do because it brings out a different side of what you do, and a different side of what they do. If I didn’t do that, then I’d be sitting in front of turntables and a computer by myself every day, it’s just better to have some interaction with another human being in some way.
So you’re finding it’s flowing much more with the live band at the moment?
Exactly man, and the way it worked with this band was that they came from all around the country. So we met up in Manchester and we had a week to intensively come up with ideas and record and rehearse, and having that pressure was a really good way of doing it, because you know that you’ve only got a certain amount of time, so no one is sitting around fiddling with their phones, everyone is giving it their full attention and really getting as much done as possible, and I find that’s a really good way to work, when you have some pressure like that.
So you mentioned the link up with Cereal Killer, so have you a got a tour to promote the album?
We definitely do yeah, it all kicks off next week. All the dates are on the website, but we’re heading round the UK, doing some festivals too, and there’s more dates to be announced as well, so my summer is gonna be travelling round with the band.
What do you reckon is the main difference between how your performances have been and how they will be with the band?
It’s hard to say because I feel like it’s early days with us. We had that week to rehearse and we did a wicked show which sold out in Manchester at the end of that, then we did one at Jazz Café in London, that sold out too. So we’re off to a wicked start, but we have a lot more to do. A lot of bands come up and they’ve known each other since school and they rehearse every week, and we’re like the opposite of that. We’ve just got together, so I feel like this is just the infancy of it.
The album is dropping fairly soon, do you feel prepared?
Yeah man, it’s crazy times now, it’s all kicking off. We’re in the full swing of it now, the album comes out March 9th, so things are busy, but like I said, I like it like that man. I’m much happier to be busy.
High intensity stuff
What’s the most dangerous thing you would do to promote the album?
Fuck man, nothing (laughs). I wouldn’t do anything dangerous to promote my album, the most dangerous thing I would do would be like, sit on the sofa.
Breakfast of Champions drops 9th March. You can order online from DJ Yoda's website.
See here the a video new video from "DJ Yoda Presents: Breakfast of Champions":