Tuesday, 31 May 2011


After exploding onto the scene under a new alias a little over a year ago, Boddika has continued to make his mark on the ever-expanding electronic scene. Now an integral part of Loefah's 'Swamp81' imprint and with further releases on 'Naked Lunch' and his own label 'NonPlus+' satisfying fans' demand for new music, he's enjoying one of the busiest periods of his career to date. I managed to catch up with him on everything from vinyl's romanticism to turning down an Australian tour:

"I finished the Instra:mental album about a year or so ago and from that point, i just wanted to write some more club-friendly stuff. I hadn't even thought about an alias at the time, I was just writing lots and having fun with it really. Before I knew it, I had about 12-14 tracks finished so I thought I'd send them on to Loefah to get some feedback and he loved it. I decided I'd need a new alias to fit in with what I was doing and Boddika had followed me around since my younger days so I went with that!
From there, I started to release on Swamp and NonPlus+ and it all just blew from there really. I've been back in the studio a lot recently though and I'm trying to move on from what I've put out already. I'm doing quite a bit of work with Joy Orbison at the minute too, we've already done a few bits together which seemed to go down really well so there's more to come as far as that's concerned. Besides the collaboration work, its just a case of writing lots of new Boddika stuff!
As a deejay, I've had a lot of work come in off the back of the Boddika stuff. I changed agency and moved over to 'Elastic' who've done a great job of getting me gigs all over the place - I think I've got 20 on the gig list at the minute! I've actually just turned down a tour in Australia too - nothing against Australians but I wasn't up for the travel at all. I'm not actually too fussed about big tours or anything like that at the minute to be honest but maybe one day. Having said that, I've had quite a bit of interest from America and I'd like to hit Japan at some point so who knows. Primarily for the moment though, I'm just enjoying being in the studio."

As with most artists trying to define a sound is particularly difficult and although he struggles to define his own, Boddika never likes his work to sound too polished:

"There's a real spectrum across the Boddika stuff really. If you look at what I've put out on 'Naked Lunch' and 'Swamp', I guess its more electro than anything but I never try to work my sound under any particular bracket - I just consider myself to make electronic music at the end of the day. I tend to just go with whatever I make - I never really have a plan as such, I just roll with whatever sounds good at that particular moment - I often just catch a vibe and see where it ends up! The most I'll ever think about in advance is maybe a certain beat pattern but that'll be it. 
I tend to look at it as more of a hobby too to be honest - I love messing about with equipment and old drum machines and whatever else. I'm very specific about what I like things to sound like though - I don't like anything to sound too polished. I like using lots of outboard equipment which tends to keep my stuff sounding gritty and true." 

Despite possessing a near exhaustive list of musical influences,  Boddika cites a particular Randall set from an 'AWOL' Jungle tape pack as the 'main reason' for first wanting to take to a pair of decks:

"The main reason I do everything I do now goes back to when I was 16-17. I bought an 'AWOL' tape pack and they used to run niche Jungle nights all over London. On one of the tapes was a Randall set and listening to it just completely blew me away! Straight off the back of hearing that set, i got some turntables and decided pretty quickly that I wanted to be a deejay. That was honestly the main reason. 
Now, I'm much more into my Detroit and Chicago stuff and I grew up on a lot of Hip Hop so I take influences from everywhere. The list's too long though to be honest, I've listened to so much music over the years so it's hard to put a finger on specific tracks. I am a big fan of Kassem Mosse though, he's probably my favourite producer and has been for a while now. His beats, his tracks and arrangements are all just amazing - he's just finished an EP for NonPlus+ actually so I'm really looking forward to putting that out. I don't actively listen to too much new music these days though."

With so much variation currently present within the bass music scene, Boddika feels 'the sky is the limit' for producers and deejays alike:

"I think the fusion is brilliant! Dubstep came in and kinda took over but it seems to have outgrown itself really quickly - it's almost mirrored what happened with Drum 'n Bass but at twice the speed! You'll always have your pioneers like Skream and so on but it's the pattern of the beat that gives a track its own identity. Recently, its all just become a tempo and everyone's going away and doing their own stuff with it - the sky really is the limit again. The whole 'Swamp' thing and everything I've done as Boddika has all just come together too and everyone seems to love it. I guess you could say everything's in a bit of a transitional stage but the music just keeps getting better and better. I just wish there were more people doing more original stuff. You don't always need original concepts any more to be honest, people just run with one idea and rinse it so I guess more genuinely creative minds would be a good thing for the scene. Overall its fucking brilliant at the moment though!"
As a deejay, Boddika is an advocate of the smaller venue although he admits that the crowd play the ultimate part in making or breaking a night:

"I prefer playing at clubs with about 500, maybe 600 people - a good crowd who are up for it is fantastic. Bigger gigs are good but I do like smaller venues generally. It does depend though, things can take you by surprise - it's always the nights that you least expect that'll take you by surprise. I'm a resident at Fabric too though so I love playing there, it's always a good party. The unexpected ones are definitely the best though - a lively crowd is unbeatable."
He remains a firm fan of vinyl too, although he does concede that digital formats have 'kinda killed the concept':

"Vinyl is massively important with regards to dance music. I play on CDs now but I used to play a lot of vinyl when I was younger and in my days doing the Instra:mental stuff, I was always doing it. As far as vinyl goes now, I've still got a very healthy collection but I tend to listen to it all in my front room these days. I still love the collectable aspect to them and how the sleeves are designed and so on. I just feel that with releasing vinyls now, they need to have an edge to them - they need to have a reason to be bought you know? A lot of stuff I tend to go for is vinyl only or limited press because I like the idea of being one of only a small amount of people to have that particular vinyl. I guess there's something quite romantic about it really (laughs). It is a shame that even though it's trendy again now, digital has kinda killed the concept. Having said that we still see quite good sales at Non Plus+ so that's all good! I don't think it'll ever die out though and actually thinking about it, I want to play more house sets in the future so I think I'll be bringing a few of my own vinyls back out to play."
With more releases forthcoming on 'Naked Lunch' and 'Swamp81' and a whole host of remix work currently keeping him occupied, Boddika shows no signs of letting up over the next 12 months:

"My next release is gonna be a track called 'Grand Prix' which will be out on Naked Lunch and that's got more of a techno sound to it. I've got a track called 'Windy' coming out too and then the collaboration with Joy O , both of which will be released via Swamp. I've got lots of remixes on at the moment too which are keeping me pretty busy. Besides that, I'm just writing as much as I can as Boddika and trying to keep mixing things up. I got bored of what i was doing before so I'm trying to see where this new stuff is gonna end up. The bits with Joy O should be good - we both work well in the studio and he's full of great ideas so the two of us working on stuff together just makes sense. Ah and I forgot to mention I'm hoping to put another Boddika release out on NonPlus+ by the end of the year too!"


NonPlus+ on Juno Records: http://www.juno.co.uk/labels/Nonplus+UK/

Saturday, 28 May 2011


Regardless of the recent controversy surrounding the release of Spooky's 'Bag of Myths' EP, it remains a project that deserves considerable praise. Whilst Spooky is often referred to as one of Grime's most influential producers, 'A Bag of Myths' is essentially a bag of remixes, each one more concerned with fine tuning as opposed to radical overhauling. Breaking with his trusted formula somewhat, its the subtlety of each remix that makes this such a refreshing release; minimal change equals maximum impact.

Track wise you can't pick fault with the selection either; SX's 'Wooooo', Sukh Knight's 'Born Invincible' (vocalled by P Money on 'Left The Room'), Doctor P's 'Sweet Shop', Scratcha DVA's 'Nasty' and Sunship's 'Cheque 1-2' are all tracks purpose built for the dance floor and Spooky's reworking only furthers their credentials. The refix of Sukh Knight's 'Born Invincible' is perhaps the most hard-hitting of the five, although each track delivers on one level or another and as a collective, they come together to serve as an excellent advert for instrumental Grime. Purposefully put together and very much rave-friendly, this is an EP that deserves to be played out by deejays all over the country.

NB: Don't play it too loud on trains though - I've had some quizzical/worried looks on the 11.40 to Manchester so far.

Download 'A Bag of Myths' for free: http://www.mediafire.com/?kw3tu1n2s4uzbhf

+ order either the 'Quadrant' or 'Murderer' EPs via http://oilgang.co.uk/ and receive a free copy of 'A Bag of Myths' on vinyl. 

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


Albert's second piece for Sonic Router sees the nation's favourite Uncle catch up with Spooky. With 'Spartan' already under his belt and the much anticipated 'Curry Chips' EP currently doing the rounds, 2011 is shaping up to be a defining year for one of Grime's biggest producers.

Check out the interview over at Sonic Router: http://www.sonicrouter.com/2011/05/spooky-making-sense-of-the-madness/ 

Monday, 16 May 2011


With an excellent video for title track 'The Art of War' already receiving notable recognition, Sketchman is back with the video for 'Enemies' featuring D Capital E and Amp. Taken from his new project, 'The Art of War', 'Enemies' is a typically gritty offering that will no doubt provoke an instant screwface-pout upon listening and the video only serves to further such a reaction. Excellently put together and conceptual in it's thinking, the video also highlights the promise of not only Sketchman, but D Capital E and Amp, two up-and-coming emcees with the talent to make a considerable impact on the scene. Enjoy!

You can also check out Sketchman's revised Grimepedia page here: http://grimepedia.co.uk/wiki/Sketchman

and don't forget that 'The Art of War' is available for purchase on ITuneshttp://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/art-of-war/id430669626

Sunday, 8 May 2011


Soon to embark on a four-date tour down under, Mumdance has put together an exclusive 60 minute mix for Australia's 'Triple J' radio station, showcasing some fresh releases and a track from the forthcoming Mumdance vs Canblaster EP. Intelligently put together and flawlessly mixed, offerings from the likes of Blawan, Mista Men, Dark Sky and Seiji give the mix an ambient feel whilst Mumdance and Canblaster's 'Say Yes' doesn't disappoint.


1. Funkin Matt & Teki Latex - Get Loose (Canblaster Remix)
2. Instra: Mental - Thomp
3. DJ Juanito - I'll Be Good
4. Mumdance & Canblaster - Say Yes
5. Blawan - Bohia
6. Bambounou - ???
7. Skream - Where You Should Be (Seiji Remix)
8. NT89 & Camel - Flush
9. Distance ft Alys Blaze - Falling (Sunship Remix)
10. Mista Men - I'll Still Love You
11. Jubei - Alignment (Boddika Remix)
12. Para One & Teki Latex - 5th Dimension
13. Dark Sky - Armour
14. Submerse - Mecha
15. Jack Sparrow - Dread
16. LV - Northern Line
17. The Endz - From The Endz (Knicker Bocker Corey Frontin' Remix)
18. Eastwood & Oddz - Coalition
19. One Way ft Al Hudson - Don't Stop (Ever Loving Me)

You can read Mumdance's interview with Uncle Albert here: http://unclealbertsays.blogspot.com/2011/02/011-mumdance.html

Monday, 2 May 2011


The third in the series of exclusive Uncle Albert mixes sees Mr Mitch take to the decks to put together a superb 25 minute offering. Comprised of tracks from his 'Gobstopper Records' imprint and some of the scene's latest hard-hitting instrumental offerings from the likes of Darq E Freaker and Teeza, this is a mix that warrants extended listening.  

#003 Mr Mitch UNCLE ALBERT MIX DOWNLOAD: http://www.sendspace.com/file/xb591v


SRC - Untitled (Dub)
Fantastic Mr Fox - Fool Me (Black Acre)
Moony - Waiting (Gobstopper)
Mr.Mitch - September (Dub)
Mattwizard - Candyland (Dub)
Darq E Freaker - Next Hoe (Avalanche)
Teeza - Bounce (Earth 616)
Moony - Im a UKG (Gobstopper)
Darkos - Super Double Dash (Gobstopper)
Mr.Mitch - Fright Night (Gobstopper)
Numan - Punch Bag (Dub)
Terror Danjah ft DOK - Code Morse (Planet Mu)
TRC - 10 Mins (Dub)
Royal-T - Damn It (Boogaloo City)
Deset - Troll (Gobstopper)

You can also read Mr Mitch's interview with Uncle Albert here: http://unclealbertsays.blogspot.com/2011/03/019-mr-mitch.html

...and don't forget 'The Advocate EP' is available from May 20th: http://www.junodownload.com/products/the-advocate-ep/1733176-02/

Sunday, 1 May 2011

#022 J-SWEET

As one of Grime's original pioneers, J-Sweet has remained a loyal advocate of the sound for over ten years, firmly establishing himself as one of the scene's most respected producers in the process. With a back catalogue spanning almost a decade and a whole host of remix and instrumental work for a number of different labels to his name, he's remained pivotal to the inner-workings of the scene. Now focusing on pushing a host of new material to an ever-emerging audience, a series of releases towards the back end of 2010 and the recent release of J-Sweet and Alias' remix of Spooky's iconic 'Spartan' suggest that the future looks bright for one of Grime's true big-hitters. I managed to catch up with him over a beer on everything from 'Bump 'N Grind' to bringing the studio to the stage:

"Ah where to start, I can't even remember! I had a single out called 'Bass Abuse' on 'Wheel and Deal Records' last summer and obviously I've just had the release of the Spartan Remix alongside Alias put out on Logan Sama's 'Earth 616' label which seems to be doing quite well. I've also just done a big feature on Cameo's 1Xtra show where I was able to showcase a whole load of new music, including me and Alias' new tune 'Clash', which is actually due for release on a well-known label in the not too distant future. Production-wise, I produced the instrumentals for 'Pick Up The Mic and Spray' and title-track 'Blam!' on JME's album too. Outside of that, I've just launched my new website www.jsweet.co.uk and also www.grimeproducer.com, which I'm hoping will shed more light on the work of the producer because we're often forgotten about. Ah, I did some promoting too - I ran 4 'FresHype' nights in Epsom and each of those had a Grime artist top the bill."

First taking to production back in 1999, it was his spending time at a record shop in Soho that first opened J-Sweet's eyes to the potential of making music:

"I've actually been releasing since about '99 I think but back then it was more 2-Step Garage that I was making. I was extremely young, didn't really know what I was doing and spent a lot of time working at 'Uptown Records' in Soho which got me into the whole scene. The Grime sound seemed to develop soon after that really - us younger guys at the time started to mess around with bass lines and ended up making a new, darker sound. We basically made 'darker Garage' if you could term it that!
I actually started off as a deejay and got really into the Garage scene because it was such an exciting new strand of music at the time - I remember I used to love guys like 'Bump 'N Flex' and 'Sunship' . There was actually a dub on the B-side of a Bump 'N Flex tune that sounded so dark at the time but looking back on it, it was so tame (laughs). That tune was the equivalent of something that Rusko or Datsik would put out nowadays honestly!"

As far as influences go, it was Hip-Hop that always caught J's ear:

"I'm still a big, big Hip-Hop fan, more the proper underground stuff though and I love scratching so I guess that's been my main influence. I've been using loads of strange samples recently aswell - been digging around for the weirdest stuff I can find and you can hear some of it when you listen to 'Can't Stop Grime' and then 'Streethawk' is like some 80's throwback! Can't forget Garage either, that's been a big influence on me too."

After watching the scene grow, develop and evolve over the last ten years, it's interesting to get J-Sweet's take on where he thinks the scene is headed:

"The emcees and artists are doing really well with Grime at the moment which is good to see, but I still see there being a big divide between producers/deejays and emcees. I feel like some emcees see Grime as a stepping-stone to chart success where as instrumental guys like myself, Terror Danjah, Swindle etc are far more concerned with pushing that Grime sound. We're doing our stuff at the moment and the sound seems to be really growing - we're opening it up to new audiences who actually appreciate Grime for what it is. I can see club nights being dedicated to solely Grime deejays / producers in the not too distant future to be honest. I think the main problem was the whole 'crew' element - people associate the word 'crew' with gang and I think that really dented the scene in a way but luckily that's died down a bit over the last few years. 
More than anything, I love the fact there are people out there who appreciate the energy that Grime brings - we go mad putting it all together! I love how everything's growing at the moment too and it's great to see guys like Terror Danjah traveling the world and getting love for going out there and playing Grime. Producers and deejays kinda lost their way a bit for a while and without a vocal, nothing was getting played but that's all changing now. Having said that, producers still don't get the credit they deserve for big instrumentals - the emcee will always take the acclaim!"
Taking this into account, J-Sweet was also quick to point out that he feels Grime will one day become a worthy part of the wider, electronic music bracket:

"The levels have definitely been raised recently and I think that recognition will come one day. The best thing about Grime is it brings a different energy to a rave than any other type of electronic music - it's got that rhythm and vibe that you can't escape and I think people are starting to embrace it. It's so much more professional now too, that's been a huge difference - we didn't used to have a clue what we were doing. When Grime was first making waves, none of us knew how to market it or how to try and sell it and it showed. Producers have started deejaying now too which only helps the scene - everything's changing! The way I deejay's totally changed too, it's not just a case of turning up with a few CDs anymore. There's so much skill involved now and I think once people start seeing us out and appreciate what we can do as deejays, the more the sound will continue to be appreciated."
The recent cross-genre, vinyl resurgence is also something that J-Sweet feels has helped improve levels of professionalism whilst subsequently pushing the sound to an entirely different audience:

"I used to own a record shop in Croydon so I'm all for vinyl and people wanting to release a physical music product. I'm gonna be bringing 'Marxmen Dubs' back in the summer and one of the first things I'm going to do is make sure that I'm pressing vinyls. I tend to use a lot of outboard equipment when I'm deejaying and kinda bring the studio to the stage so to speak but I still love throwing in some vinyl and I think the spate of recent Grime vinyl releases are helping put the sound on the map."
Forthcoming releases with Alias, the re-launch of Marxmen Dubs and a renewed passion for deejaying all suggest that J-Sweet is intent on pushing the sound to a whole new level over the coming weeks and months:

"You can expect a lot more stuff from me and Alias and there's gonna be releases for 'Can't Stop Grime', a track called 'Okay' and 'Clash'. Oh and 'Streethawk' is due for a release too and it's hopefully gonna get vocalled - not 100 percent confirmed as to who it'll be yet though. The major focus is gonna be on revamping the 'Marxmen Dubs' label - I'm hoping to have it up and running by the summer and you can expect a good amount of vinyl releases. I used to do stuff like 1-sided vinyls and limited-presses so I'll probably re-introduce some of those ideas. I like the concept of doing a limited press because it encourages people to invest in the music - you either get one now or they're gone you know? I'm fully focused on my deejaying too - I want to push that this year and basically throw together some fully live performances!"


Everything else J-Sweet: http://www.jsweet.co.uk/