Saturday, 31 December 2011


To celebrate the end of a remarkable 12 months, Butterz stalwart Royal T has put together 'The Yearbook', a 50-minute mix documenting the best work of his breakthrough year. From the release of the highly-acclaimed 'Orangeade' back in January to impressive remix work for both Yasmin and Katy B, Royal T's talent and enthusiasm has made grime exciting again without sacrificing any of its energy. His 2-step crossover sound is unique in the sense it also appeals to those less inclined to grime's raw, uncompromising side but perhaps most importantly, it's got people dancing again. With this in mind, Uncle Albert is proud to present Royal T's 'Yearbook':

"Just want to say a big thank you to everyone who has followed and supported me this year. It's been a mad journey so thank you every Dj that's played me, everyone from around the world who has come out to a show of mine and thank you anyone that has listened to a Royal T track. I've got a huge announcement to give soon and I can't wait to tell everyone, look out for it. Happy New Year!"

Royal-T - 2011 Yearbook Mix


1. Yasmin - On My Own (Royal-T Remix)
2. Royal-T - Danger Time
3. Redlight & Skepta - Duppy 16 (Royal-T Blend)
4. Royal-T - Music Please
5. Katy B - Easy Please Me (Royal-T Remix)
6. Royal-T - Cruel To Be Kind
7. Royal-T - Cool Down
8. Wiley - It's Wiley (Royal-T Remix VIP)
9. Royal T - Pulse T
10. Royal-T, P Money & Blacks - Boo You
11. Dizzee Rascal - I Luv U (Royal-T Refix)
12. Clement Marfo - Overtime (Royal-T Remix)
13. Joker - My Trance Girl (Royal-T Remix)
14. Monsta Boy - I'm Sorry (Royal-T Remix)
15. Royal T & Terror Danjah - Music Box
16. Swindle - Spend Is Dough (Royal-T Remix)
17. Royal-T - Space Cowboy
18. Mz Bratt - Selecta (Royal-T Remix)
19. Royal T - Orangeade VIP
20. Wretch 32 & Example - Unorthodox (Royal-T Remix)
21. Royal-T - Inside The Ride
22. Terror Danjah & Ruby Lee Ryder - Full Attention (Royal-T Remix)

Don't forget that you can catch Royal T headlining Uncle Albert's x Lo Note UK at East Village on Thursday, January 26th alongside MIK in what will be the first time the two have performed together live. 

..and to book Royal-T for your

Here's to a peaceful and prosperous 2012 - happy new year from Uncle Albert!

Thursday, 29 December 2011


Following on from the success of numerous releases throughout the calendar year, MIK is back with his final offering of 2011 in the form of the 'Flushin' MCs' EP, a 4-track package released on December 28th via 'MOG Recordings'. Produced by Asa, the original mix is subtle in its conception by comparison to some of MIK's previous releases but works well in the sense that it allows to MIK to dictate the track's energy and direction. Remixes via Woofer Music's Faze Miyake, Ghost House's Spooky and Gobstopper Records' Mr Mitch are all included and each adds a new dimension to the original - look out for Mr Mitch's in particular; a super-smooth, weighty effort that includes a series of really slick drum patterns. The package as a whole represents yet another solid offering from one of the scene's most consistent MCs and keeps things ticking over perfectly as we enter the new year. 

Don't forget you can catch MIK live alongside Royal T at Uncle Albert x Lo Note UK on Thursday, January 26th at East Village:

M.I.K - Flushing MC's (Prod By Asa) by OfficialMOG


Friday, 23 December 2011


A festive top 20 (in no particular order) consisting of artists, tracks, mixes, nights and even mobile phone networks that have caught Uncle Albert's eye over the last 12 months. Half written in JFK airport and finished somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, it'll hopefully give you some insight into what has made the blog's first year such a memorable one. 

Bok Bok - 'Southside'

Great to see instrumental grime embraced by Bok Bok and Night Slugs, who were incidentally crowned Resident Advisor's 'label of the month' back in November 2010. Definite break through in the sense that it represented the first grime EP put out by someone outside the recognised 'grime' bracket and it was certainly no gimmick either - 'Silo Pass' has been a set list favourite for over 6 months.

Rinse 17

The culmination of almost two years' hard work from grime's pioneering duo Elijah and Skilliam and something they're incredibly proud of. Their Butterz imprint has completely transformed the way in which grime music is both marketed and released and deserves the attention it is beginning to receive from the big players of the electronic music world. Their weekly show on Rinse isn't bad either.

Lord Of The Mics 3

The first two installments were legendary in their raw, uncut depiction of grime at its purest and the third continues the legacy in fine fashion. Masterminded by Jammer,  volume 3 uses the same formula as 1 and 2, with his infamous basement (often referred to as 'the dungeon') once again the setting for emcees to do battle. Notable clashes include Kozzie vs Sox and Wariko vs Diesle - although not for everyone, it has definitely cast the spotlight back on to the art of spitting. 


2011 has been quite a year for Preditah. A relative unknown at the beginning of the year, he is now one of the most sought after producers in the UK. Notable remix work (check his rework of Trim's 'I Am') and two EP releases have satisfied fans' demand for music but you get the feeling he's only just scratching the surface. Next up is the highly anticipated 'Circles' EP due for release on Logan Sama's 'Earth 616' imprint. Expect a very big 2012.

Swindle - 'Moodswings' Video

Swindle's 'Moodswings' has deservedly been touted as one of the tracks of the year whilst the accompanying video from graphic artists 'Karimo' and 'Mr Tit' is arguably as memorable as the track itself. An all out sensory feast of flashing lights and conceptual visuals that make it one of Uncle Albert's favourite videos on the web in 2011.

Splurt - Uncle Albert x Sonic Router Mix 002

A very personal highlight for Uncle Albert - working closely with Sonic Router over the last 6 months has given me the opportunity to introduce some of grime's  most promising talent to an entirely different audience. Splurt's effort was particularly rewarding because not only was it an excellent mix, it got the whole scene talking. The first piece I've put together in which I could really see tangible results.


After spending a few years in relative obscurity and seemingly confined to grime's history books, 2011 has seen an unlikely transformation for one of grime's most likeable veterans. A number of memorable radio appearances alongside Elijah and Skilliam paved the way for the release of the excellent 'I Am' in the summer, whilst collaborations with the likes of Last Japan and even Skream illustrate the potential Trim has to be a major force in 2012. Confirmation of rumours concerning a deal with Rinse recordings would mark a fitting end to an excellent year.


Two of my favourite producers working together can only ever have been a good thing and the meeting of minds that saw Toddla T and Roska join forces to present the 'Toddksa' EP back in January was no exception. After interviewing Toddla, I went along to the launch night at Corsica Studios and witnessed some exceptional sets. The night that first made me realise I wanted to be writing about music for the long haul.


An excellent concept from Gobstopper / Butterz Records' Mr Mitch, who has been an Uncle Albert advocate from the very beginning. The idea that producers can battle in the same way emcees would is genius and not only allows for up-and-coming producers to establish themselves, but promotes the competitive edge that producers are often immune to.  The first clash between Spooky and Darq E Freaker produced two excellent tracks and there is the scope for Beatfighter to grow and possibly branch out in 2012.

BBK Mobile

Is there anything JME can't do? A huge statement of intent and one that brought a smile to Uncle Albert's face in 2011. Astounding.

Pearson Sound's RBMA lecture

A number of RBMA lectures have been broadcast online over the last few months but none have been more insightful than that with Hessle Audio boss Pearson Sound. Famed for his forward thinking, purist sound, the lecture not only explores his influences but touches on a whole range of specifics - a must see for any aspiring prodcuers / DJs.

Watch it on Vimeo:

Mosca - Bax 

2011 has been a particularly good year for Mosca with the release of 'Bax' on 'Numbers' in the autumn being the proverbial icing on the cake. A track that captures the archetypal old school garage sound in bucket loads, 'Bax' is one of Uncle Albert's tunes of the year and puts Mosca at the forefront of the garage revival by default. Great work.

502 Records' Boiler Room

Probably the best music-related experience I've ever had - Teeth, Zed Bias, Terri Walker and Oneman for a little over 2 hours on a Tuesday night. It was so good I wrote a review as soon as I got in.


Another star of 2011, Champion has gone from strength to strength this year, launching his own 'Formula Records' imprint over the summer. 'Sensitivity' featuring Ruby Lee Ryder dominated the Juno charts towards the back end of the year and even made its way onto Ben UFO's selection for the Rinse 16 compilation. Working closely with Butterz and Terror Danjah's 'Hardrive' imprint as well as releasing on Roska's 'RKS' imprint, Champion can look forward to continued success over the coming months.


Despite both going to the same university, Uncle Albert didn't meet up with Oscar over at LNUK (Lo Note UK) until we were both back in London early this summer. Since then, LNUK have launched a sold-out t-shirt range worn by everyone from Mosca to Horsepower and are set to release their first records in early 2012. They'll be celebrating their debut release with us at the Uncle Albert's 1st birthday in January.

Royal T

An unbelievable year for Southampton's Royal T who remains at the forefront of everything good in the world of grime. Numerous releases with Butterz culminated in remix work for the likes of Katy B and Yasmin in the summer and he is fast earning himself a reputation on the decks to boot. A long term friend of Uncle Albert, you can catch him with MIK at the birthday bash in January.

Mista Men

Originally a trio, now a duo from Doncaster who have made a big impact this year. Signed to 'Greenmoney Recordings', debut release 'What You Do To Me' signalled their arrival in the electronic scene and they've continued to impress throughout 2011. Mella Dee has embarked on a solo project making grime too!

J-Sweet & Alias Fact Mix

Great to see two pioneers back at their best and this particular mix was a perfect reminder of their considerable credentials. J-Sweet's recent remix of Spooky's 'Rusty Bell' serves as further evidence that 'Marxmen' are truly back on the map.

T Williams

A straight forward interview that resulted in 6 pints and a trip to YoYo says it all really. Despite getting pissed regularly, he's also had an excellent year - his 'Deep Teknologi' imprint has gone from strength to strength (notably with the release of MA1's 'Elektron' EP) and he was shortlisted to win DJ Mag's 'Breakthrough DJ of the Year' award.

Launch of Spooky's 'Ghost House' imprint

Another long term advocate of Uncle Albert, the launch of Spooky's 'Ghost House' imprint was long overdue. Incredibly dedicated, he rejuvenated the scene back in 2010 with the release of 'Spartan' and continues to embody the genre like no other.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


After first establishing 'Roska Kicks & Snares' (RKS) as purely an outlet to release his own music back in 2008, 2010 brought about a shift in focus that has led RKS to be one of this year's most notable independent success stories. Boasting a discography featuring releases from the likes of J:Kenzo, MA1 and Champion, not to mention RKS club nights at London's Fabric, Roska admits 2011 has been a 'good year' - that's not to say anything's going to change looking to the future though, with Funky remaining very much at the heart of the label.

"Anything that I do that isn't Funky is always gonna be a side project for now really", he explains. "All the stuff I've worked on for other labels, even the 'Hotflush' bits, are generally just me experimenting and exploring other sounds that I like - while I quite enjoy doing it individually, I won't be doing it with the label."

Despite those who have argued for the last year or so that 'Funky is dead' and balked at suggestions there remains a demand for the music, Roska is adamant that Funky never really went away. "We're just showing that there is still a market for it really, keep if funky you know what I mean? It's colourful and you can enjoy it, it's great to dance too and most importantly it gets girls on the dancefloor. A room full of guys ain't gonna do anyone any favours." He makes a good point.

Whilst first taking on DJ Naughty, J:Kenzo and Jamie George back in 2010, this year has seen the likes of MA1, Champion and Tickles release on RKS, a move that has certainly raised the profile of the imprint, especially considering the all-conquering year Champion has had to date. "130 isn't gonna go anywhere, it fits in with a lot of sets and the fact is a lot of people support the music we've released. There's definitely a market for it and that's what I wanna do - I want to help people that are doing the same thing and ultimately push the sound."

From afar, the wait for the release of music, both physically and digitally, can often seem no more than a minor inconvenience but for independent labels, each release can mean the culmination of 3 months hard work. "Admin, mailouts, release schedules, mastering, selecting the tracks, artwork...honestly it's mad. I'm just starting work on MA1's next release and that's not out until February so that gives you an idea! I generally give myself 2 to 3 months per release - it gives the artist the right amount of time to prepare the track and it gives me time to push it, not forgetting the distributors either. It's a really long process."

With so much work riding on one release, there is huge pressure on label owners to ensure that tracks selected for release are going to be 'good enough' to excite consumers, although Roska explains it soon becomes second nature: "It's like wrestling really - they've all got their finishers, they've all got that signature sound that I can hear in every track but some more than others." Whilst wrestling is probably a pretty good analogy to use when describing the differences between individual sounds, Roska also sees colours. "Take Champion for example, whenever I hear his stuff I see orange for some reason - it's kinda mad but it reminds me what it is I'm looking for in a track. To be honest, all the guys who've released on RKS fit the vibe I want to push; MA1 has that soulful vibe and stabby keys, Naughty's got the skippy brand of electro/funky going on and Champion's got that deep bass - they're all different, but it works." 

2011 has seen a number of top independent labels branch out in an attempt to keep consumers happy but Roska insists that whilst some collaboration work is in the offing, RKS is intent on pushing a consistent sound. "We had a good year this year so I'm definitely not looking to do anything different or random but I haven't really ventured out too much yet. I've actually looked at a lot of demos but they're not fitting what I want to do at all. People are still on that pitch-bending, airy spacey vibe and it ain't my thing." Props to that.

From looking at RKS as a label, it would appear that consistency is at the heart of everything Roska does and despite the competitive nature of the independent market, it has had an excellent 2011 by all accounts. Forthcoming releases suggest the label will continue to prosper in 2012 too but for all his efforts, recognition isn't something Roska is looking for. "All I know is that people are interested in our music and that's good enough for me." And that says it all really.

You can check out (and buy) the full RKS discography here

Uncle Albert's top 3 RKS releases:

1) Champion - Rainforest EP (December 2011)

2) J Kenzo - Ruckus (November 2010) - Martin Kemp Remix

3) DJ Naughty - Firepower EP (May 2010) - Roska Remix

Further Details:

Sunday, 11 December 2011


Uncle Albert has managed to get his hands on a pair of tickets to welcome in the new year alongside Garage supremos Oxide & Neutrino and Artful Dodger at the Westbury. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is answer this question:

In what year did 'Bound 4 Da Reload' reach number 1 in the UK charts?

Email your answers and contact details over to A winner will be drawn at random and notified on Boxing Day - best of luck!

You can check out all the event info via Facebook here:

Monday, 5 December 2011


Thursday January 26th sees the Uncle Albert blog turn 1 and with the help of our friends over at the excellent 'LNUK' imprint, we're gonna throw a party! Join us at East Village to shake a leg to the sounds of Butterz mainstay Royal T and the excellent Last Japan alongside LNUK deejays. Entry will be a mere £5 all night and there'll be a few surprises along the way too. 

Click on 'attending' if you're rollin':

Hopefully see some of you there!


Saturday, 3 December 2011


An excellent 3-track offering, Sandman's 'Run It' EP represents the first foray into the world of electronic music for Dutch imprint 'Progressive Intelligence'. Consisting of the original plus a remix from Nasty Fm's Moony and another from Sandman himself ensure that the release is solid and uncomplicated yet distinctive in its conception. 'Run It' has been described as an 'up-tempo grime instrumental with a bashment twist' although there are also elements of 2-step which Moony brings to the fore comprehensively in his remix. Sandman's re-work of the original is far more skippy though with a series of punchy bass kicks evoking memories of the archetypal grime instrumental. All in all, a bold, pleasant surprise of a release that deserves all the praise it receives and is available for purchase via all the usual online spots from December 12th.


'Progressive Intelligence':!/progressintelli

You can  also listen to previews via Soundcloud here:

Friday, 2 December 2011


Spearheading the excellent 'Build' imprint, Baobinga is rightly regarded as one of the UK's most innovative bass producers. Incorporating elements of dubstep, house and garage, his sound generally finds itself at home between 130 and 140 bpm and tends to draw influence from everywhere, although he now admits he may have reached 'a bit of a crossroads' creatively with regards to 'doing a bit of everything'. Fresh from putting the finishing touches to his 'Joint Ventures' collaborative album alongside a real mix of fellow bass-driven talent, I managed to catch up with him on everything from life in Bristol to playing pots and pans with chopsticks as a kid:

"Well I guess the big thing from the last 12 months has been the collaborative album 'Joint Ventures' that I did for my label ' Build'. It was probably about this time last year that i really got stuck into getting it ready, getting heads down to the studio, working on ideas to send to people I couldn't work with in person and whatever. Once the musical side of it was sorted, it was straight onto working out the promotion side of it, and sorting out the artwork, PR, press and so on -  once it came out, it was a case of pushing it to the shops, hyping it online, and deejaying to help support it. I guess now we are kind of reaching the end of that particular cycle and it's been really interesting. I think it did a lot for my profile, which was one of the main aimsand it got me coverage in places like Fact, Pitchfork, XLR8R and the like, all of which are really good places to be making connections with."

Whilst some were first hooked after raiding mum and dads' record collections, Baobinga cites growing up playing classical piano and listening to Placebo's first album when he was 14 as his first 'defining moments'  in music. He was really into synths and mountain bikes too though:

"I grew up playing classical piano and even as a baby I was always getting the pots and pans out and plaing them with chopsticks, so eventually I learned the drums as well. One kind of defining moment would be when I was maybe about 14 or so and I was really into the first Placebo album, but also starting to hear jungle and such on 'One In The Jungle' - I listened to that Placebo album loads, and I rememeber one day really clearly thinking, 'hang on - all these songs have the same drums and the same guitar sounds... but this electronic stuff can use any sound in the world!' and just being pretty blown away by that concept. 
It's kinda mad, from a really young age I was also obsessed with keyboards and synths and I used to drag my mum into the music shop in town so I could gawp at the latest models. When I passed my grade 5 piano, she got me a Yamaha DX11 - like a less famous cousin of the DX7 FM synth which I've still got and still love. Before long, I'd persuaded my Dad to get me an Atari ST and I'd midi them up and make little jams, sequencing off the Atari. I didn't really know what I was doing at all, it was just for the fun and the challenge of working it all out!
At the time I was also really into mountain bikes, and that was what I wanted to do with my life - go into engineering and make bikes, so I wasn't thinking about trying to do anything with music at all really. I didn't do music at GCSE or A-Levelbut for some reason I took a left turn before Uni, went to China to teach English for  6 months and came back and decided to do a music technology degree!"
As well as Placebo, Baobinga also took an early liking to 'loopy' techno and jungle:

"My first loves in terms of music were loopy techno and jungle / DnB, both of which are massively drum led styles and i think you can hear that in most of what I do. The drums are normally pretty interesting, sonically and texturally because I can't handle stuff that just sounds like stock hits out of Logic etc. Me and I.D. often say that a really good drum track is enough to loop for 5 minutes and the little melodies and shifts in the drums will keep it interesting - trhere's almost an internal melody in the percussion that not everyone tends to pick up on."
Despite being renowned for his ability to mix sounds from almost everywhere, Baobinga concedes that 'a lot of people' are now taking a similar approach and as a result, a new alias could be on the cards:

"I think at the moment I am at a bit of a crossroads in my sound because for a long time my whole thing has been to try and bring ideas and influences together from all over and do a bit of everything. The idea with my label 'Build' was that one side would be around 140 and the other around 130, so you could pay both sides of the record at different points of your set. The thing now is a lot of people are doing that at the moment so being a contrary bastard, I am feeling like maybe I need to find a sound that no one else is really looking at and just focus on that for a bit. It could result in maybe even changing the name up to do that... I dunno!
It's a weird one with alter egos - if you're someone who is into loads of different music and listens to music to be challenged and excited, the idea of one person making loads of different styles is really cool and exciting but I think the reality is that most people don't consume music that way. Most people want to know that when they pick up a record or go to a show, they can be pretty sure what they are going to get so switching up aliases for different sounds can definitely help. I know I've had to battle preconceptions about Baobinga, although much less now than it used to be!"
Bearing this in mind, it's interesting to note that Baobinga finds the current scene 'a little dull', although he does reserve some special praise for Grime and Spooky in particular:

"I'm gonna go out on a bit of limb and say it's a bit dull at the moment. There's a lot of nice people making really nice music but where's the edge? The heavy stuff is just comedic horror for students and a lot of the 'cool' underground stuff seems all quite tame... I want to hear more sweat, sex and danger in the music. I also think there is a lot of quite bland, standard production being held up as 'great'  - it all sounds okay until you go and compare it to some actual next level stuff like say, The Neptunes maddest stuff or some of the Bmore classics;  drums and synths straight out of Logic don't cut it for me. I do think Grime is going through a pretty exciting phase though and an obvious example would be Spooky - Spartan. The mix down is technically not brilliant but the vibes are massive and it sounds different to a lot of the clean stuff out there at the moment."

Despite being at the forefront of the vibrant underground scene in Bristol, Baobinga is originally from Hull and also spent almost a decade in Manchester:

"I was born and raised in Hull, then Manchester for the best part of 10 years, before splitting up with my long term missus and deciding the time had come for a change of scene. I'd been going down to Bristol to work with Ginz on our 'Bodysnatchers' project for a few years by that point, and I'd always had a fascination with the city through seeing what Full Cycle had achieved, not to mention the obvious ones like Massive Attack, Tricky etc. Bristol is great in that it is small enough and friendly enough that you can meet everyone really quickly and easily without a lot of bullshit, but it's big enough that people can achieve and visualize success. I do miss the mad swagger that Manchester has though."
As a deejay, Baobinga has played at venues the world over and remains a fan of the smaller, more intimate venue, citing a good sound system and a receptive audience as key ingredients for a good night:

"First up, the basics; a good sound system, not too big a room, ideally a small, dark rave cave with proper sound - not harsh, plenty of bass, somewhere you can get immersed into. No stage either or just a very small one so you're not isolated from the crowd - I hate being 6 ft up and 10 ft back from the ravers. Crowd wise, you need a good mix of people who are willing to follow you in what you do rather than what is getting more and more common, which is that people bring their 'YouTube' music mentallity out with them; 'I don't know this song, i want to hear this other song right now, make it happen'. I think because so many people consume music from YouTube, where everything ever made is right there ready for you, they almost find it frustrating when they go to a club and can't recreate that exact experience -'What do i click to make the song i want come on???"

Despite the occasional frustrating crowd, Baobinga has found promoters (and local stores) in the US far more relaxed:

"I played a warehouse rave in San Francisco once where the promoter was giving out acid on the door...that was quite interesting. I actually played in Oakland a couple of years later (Oakland being just next to San Franisco and generally seen as being the kind of gully neighbour), chipped out to grab some fresh air and maybe a can of drink andended up buying a can of Lil Jons' 'Crunk Juice' drink from a corner store. One of ingredients is Horny Goat Weed. Needless to say it was one of my better foreign gig purchases."
Looking to the future and with 'Joint Ventures' now complete, Baobinga is continuing to work hard in the studio and has a series of exciting new releases waiting to grace the 'Build' imprint:

"Next up for 'Build' is the Kahn remix of 'Gun Talk' which is sick. That's backed by a fresh raggastep tune from myself and I.D. with Rider Shafique on vocals. Me and I.D. have also made a track for Pinch's 'Tectonic Plates 3' compilation and I've continued to work closely alongside Guido and more recently, Om Unit too. Feel free to hit up holly@tfabookings if you would like me to merk your dance!"

'Build Recordings':

Don't forget you can buy the 'Joint Ventures' album, featuring Ginz, Gemmy, Guido, Geiom, I.D., Roska, Mensah, Untold, Jack Sparrow, Hyetal, Rider Shafique, XXXY and Kowton from the 'Build' site or read up on it via Fact Magazine here first: