With a growing reputation as one of Grime's most original up and coming producers, Birmingham's SRC is looking to build on 2010's success. A series of releases on the impressionable 'Rwina' and 'Butterz' imprints drew praise from all sectors of the instrumental scene but it was always SRC's remix work that particularly stood out for me, a sentiment typified by his excellent rework of Mr Mitch's 'Fright Night'. Now actively pushing his own label, 'Gold Coinz', and working towards releasing a new EP, I caught up with him on everything from putting melodies first to frantically taping pirate radio sets:
"Round about this time last year I released the 'Goin' Out' EP on 'Rwina' and then 'Gold Coinz' dropped on 'Numbers', before I put out 'Ryouko' on 'No Hats No Hoods'. The 'Goomba' VIP came out on Butterz too and I remixed Mr Mitch's 'Skittles' for them aswell. I also did the 'Fright Night' remix for Mr Mitch and I did a remix of 'In The Summer' by Crystal Fighters too. Most recently I've put out 'Silly Crush / Sex On The Beach'.
Deejaying wise, I've been all over the place! I've been to Rotterdam, Estonia and Ireland and I've played at 'Crazy Legs' and at 'Heatwaves vs Deadly Rhythm' amongst a few other nights - it's been pretty sick really!"
When it comes to defining his own sound, SRC classes himself as making Grime but not in the conventional sense:
"I never really have an agenda when it comes to making music - I just go with whatever happens when I'm at the computer. I find its more difficult to make something when you think about how it should sound - worrying about whether its gotta be dark or angry or have a certain feel to it detracts from your own creativity you know? I have a lot more fun when I'm spontaneous with it. I always consider myself as making Grime because that's what I've grown around but at the same time, it's a bit outside of it - it hasn't got the aggression of traditional Grime at all, it's a lot more 'happy' I guess. I was always much more concerned with the melody as a starting point for beats as opposed to the bass or drums."
Whilst some cite record shops as an inspiration, it was an obsession with pirate radio that convinced SRC to take to producing:
"Radio. I was always listening to pirate radio! I was honestly obsessed with it, particularly the Birmingham stations like 'Passion' and 'Serious'. I used to taped the sets and listen to them over and over again, trying to find out the names of certain beats. The first beat I actually remember making was almost like a fake version of Jameson's 'Urban Hero' and i gradually got into it all from there really. I used to check out the tunes at 'Tempest' too - they'd always have new Garage and Grime stuff in there. It sadly closed down last year but that used to be the main spot to catch up on all the newest Grime releases."
As for particular artists, SRC cites Timbaland and the Neptunes as two of his of his biggest early influences:
"The first stuff I really got into musically was all pretty commercial, lots of Hip-Hop and RnB bits. Timbaland and the Neptunes were always a big influence because they were producers who you could identify straight away, regardless of which artist was on the track. I did eventually get into Garage and from there, I started to really care about what I was listening to and I started to broaden my horizons. A few early tracks I can remember really liking were Missy Elliot - 'Beep Me 911', Warren G - 'Regulate', Sticky - 'Triplets 2', Wiley - 'Bird Tune', Snoop Dogg - 'Doggy Dogg World', Nas - 'Nas Is Like' and DJ Narrows - 'Saved Soul'."
With Grime currently enjoying one of its most fruitful periods to date, SRC is glad to see more producers 'taking the initiative' with releases, but admits that he still misses the old radio sets:
"I like Grime still although I do miss the old radio sets like a lot of people. I'm definitely a fan of the way its all changed though - a lot of good instrumentals are coming out and producers are starting to take the initiative by releasing their own stuff. I like how people are trying to make more club Grime too. Having said that, I'm not up on emcees at all though and that's something I need to look into a bit more but it would be good to see more emcee personalities coming through like back in the day. The biggest change has been in attitudes though - nobody seems to are about musical boundaries anymore. You end up with Grime, Dubstep, Garage and even Funky all crossing over quite a bit and it's opened up the sound to a whole new audience, which has helped Grime grow you know?"
At the forefront of the current scene are a number of increasingly influential Grime labels, each of which SRC accredits with helping change Grime's image:
"I love that Grime labels are coming up so prominently at the moment. If you look at Butterz for example, they've only been going as a label for just over a year and they've achieved loads. it's really inspiring to me to be honest. Fans know now what to expect when it comes to tunes and releases now too and hopefully more and more labels will start to surface."
As for the current vinyl resurgence, SRC is also a fan despite sticking to Serato as a deejay:
"I always was a fan of vinyl in Grime, more to collect than anything else but they are an important part of the genre all the same and people who still buy vinyl tend to be dedicated music fans - its important that people keep releasing on vinyl to maintain that audience. I tend to deejay with CDs and Serato nowadays but more and more deejays are going back to vinyl. I hear a lot of deejays saying that vinyl decks in clubs don't work properly or are badly maintained which is a shame because vinyl live does sound great. Hopefully it's not the end for vinyl though because I think the option should always be there, whatever a deejay chooses to use on the night."
Humble but strong-minded, SRC is focused on building an even bigger platform over the coming months:
"I'm just working on my next EP right now which is due for digital release on my own label 'Gold Coinz' but I still haven't come up with a good name for it yet! Besides that, I'm working quite a bit with an emcee called 'Donkey Conf' and should have some tracks to put out in the near future. It's all just a case of building my own platform and seeing how it goes from there."
'Gold Coinz': http://goldcoinz.co.uk/