Wednesday, 31 August 2011


It's not often Uncle Albert isn't waffling on about music, so it was a nice surprise to be sent a press release regarding the launch of a smart new range of t-shirts courtesy of 'TheBluMile'. Feel free to have a read through and check out the label's designs:

"New from the South London Based Fashion Label and Media Platform comes the first range of Tee’s. Focusing on offering simple but iconic designs on logo/screen printed T-shirts that are affordable and yet made to premium quality with ‘front and back’ designs. The accompanying images show the two versions of tees for Men and Women. Kranium Extrude (exploding skull) and TheBluMile Text tee are offered just to show the first delving into the fashion sector from the two entrepreneurs straight out of South East London. With their own New Era Hats coming out in the ‘Fall’ and a whole collection of Apparel Due out by the end of the year be sure to pick up your first piece of the Journey."

Get the First line of Tee’s on and check out for 
more information. 


Sunday, 28 August 2011


Following on from the success of the 'Motherboard' EP on Hardrive, Champion is set to release the 'Lighter' EP on September 12th, a 3-track offering that marks the debut of his own 'Formula Records' imprint. Title track 'Lighter' is typically hard-edged but retains the funky element that Champion's productions have become renowned for, whilst 'Bongoshot' on the flip demonstrates a mellower sound. Also included is a punchy VIP rework of 'Lighter', all of which come together to form an excellent EP to welcome in the Formula imprint.


Release details for the 'Lighter' EP and everything else 'Formula':

& don't forget you can still purchase the 'Motherboard' EP via Boomkat:

Wednesday, 24 August 2011


Widely regarded as playing a pivotal role in the birth and subsequent growth of Dubstep alongside fellow pioneers Hatcha, Skream and Benga, Plastician remains one of the most revered deejays in the world of electronic music. I was lucky enough to catch up with him over his afternoon cuppa on everything from Fruity Loops to FWD in one of the most frank and honest interviews I've had the chance to write up:

"During the last 12 months I've had to leave a lot of the stuff outside of the live DJ gigs on the side because I moved house. It meant production took a huge back seat and also meant I had little time to deal with the record label stuff as well so I've been rather selective with my approach to signing stuff, but did take the time to locate the entire back catalog and re-release it digitally. I still managed to fit a lot of bookings in, particularly towards the end of last year! My radio show with Rinse moved to a new Sunday night slot which I'm enjoying - it's now Sundays 9-11pm. Although production took a back seat I did find time to finish a few tracks I've had lurking on my hard drive for a few years, one of which was 'Retro',  recently vocalled by grime MC Doctor. That's been snapped up for release on New York based label, 'Trouble & Bass' and is due for release in the coming weeks / months."

Whilst acknowledging his initial lack of finesse on the production front, Plastician accredits Musical Mob's 'Pulse X' with 'opening the door' for artists like him but also reflects on Croydon's merits and the first time he met Slimzee:

"In the early days I always knew I would like to produce, but when I began playing around with the software (Fruityloops to be precise) I couldn't replicate the quality of the music I liked at the time so never really got too into it. It wasn't until the success of Musical Mob - Pulse X that I finally thought, "I could make something like that"! Coming from the garage side of things, particularly the darker stuff, it always sounded so rounded and clean until Pulse X. It opened the door for people like me who had all the ideas but not so much of the production finesse of the likes of El-B, Steve Gurley, Zed Bias and Oris Jay whose music I was playing at the time. I started playing a lot of the early 8 bar grime stuff because it offered the dark instrumental style that I loved, but with a new raw energetic feel to it. I used to DJ for a crew of MC's back then so it was perfect for radio and mixes. That style definitely influenced a lot of my early production in the Plasticman days.

 I learned a lot of my production techniques from other people in Croydon who were producing on Fruity too, thats why people always talk about the importance of the TS404 in early dubstep production. We were all writing all those filtered basses in the same program and used to share eachother's presets back then (some of us were more generous with them than others!). Because of this though, we all probably indirectly were having influences on eachother because at the time, we were writing music that although it had the same production ideas as the East London grime sound and the South London dark garage, we were all using the same equipment, the same sample packs and the same presets as eachother, and we were all constantly swapping tracks with eachother to play in our sets. For people not in the know, I'm talking about Skream and Benga mainly as they were both producing on the exact same equipment as me. Hatcha kept us all in a loop because he'd play our music on radio. He was the only one on radio at the time I started producing, and then trhough production I met N Type who was a DJ on Delight FM back then who eventually played one of my tracks once I got a CD to him. Back then, Hatcha and N Type were my main inspiration to write beats because I was writing in the hope they'd play my stuff on radio. Back then my own pirate radio appearances were sparce and weren't on well run stations so I was banking on those two to get my name out there. Eventually 'FWD' the night started and it gave me an opportunity to put my CD's in the hands of DJ's from other parts of London on other radio stations. Slimzee was the master back then of blowing up new producers, particularly grime ones so I was especially driven towards getting my stuff heard by him too - so meeting him at FWD gave me the chance to get him a CD which eventually he signed 2 tracks from, the rest as they say is history! Since the beginning though, my influences have been infinite. I am influenced by everything, I'm always trying to think of some new avenues for the sound so it can be anything from hip hop to straight up pop music, downtempo, electronica as well as whats current in dubstep and grime as you could expect."

A Grime enthusiast from the very beginning, Plastician sees a real possibility for progress in the current scene, particularly with the means available to the new wave of artists:

"Right now Grime is seeing a new generation coming through. This is in no small part down to people in the scene maturing and the mature people in the scene becoming more business minded. Along with that you have to take into account how easy it is to release music now when compared to the long process of releasing music on vinyl 10 years ago, particularly for young kids with no money. Suddenly all these bedroom producers have a platform to promote themselves as well, websites like soundcloud, twitter, facebook and also the youtube platform make it easy to get heard and be contacted. We never had this 10 years ago, it was all physically burning cd's, writing on them, travelling, putting that CD in somebody's hand or meeting DJ's at cutting houses to let them cut a dubplate of your new track. And without stereotyping too much, your average 16 year old kid can't be arsed to do that! This goes for dubstep as well now though, since the average age of dubstep fans is probably about 17/18 now I think, so producers are appearing as young as 15. With all this in mind it's meant I've been alerted to a lot of good new producers and MC's over the last few years. 

Production wise I'm still playing a lot of Mr Virgo tracks. As far as the young blood is concerned I always make time for Rude Kid, Teddy, Spooky, G.Tank and Teeza. I've also had some brilliant instrumentals from the 'Project All Out' label based in Sheffield. Where MC's are concerned I've been working loads with P Money. He's going to blow up soon. It reminds me of when I used to work closely with Skepta and JME before they started BBK. All the audiences know his lyrics, and he respects me as a DJ allowing the two of us to have a share of the limelight at gigs, which works better on the whole from a performance point of view. I still rate everything Newham Generals put out, thats without exception too - it's always brilliant, and I still get hyped whenever Dizzee Rascal puts out anything remotely grimy. OG'z output has been solid too, Jendor, Little Dee, Blacks and P Money have been really putting the work in. I think you'll see a few more major label signings soon, which could mean a few more annoying pop/dance records with grime verses on them. But I think it's only a matter of time before some of these acts outgrow their major label deals and have the freedom to take the music they love to the mainstream listener. From that point on, its just up to the artist themselves whether they want to make a quick buck, or try to make a change."

Whilst Grime continues to push for recognition, the exponential growth of Dubstep over the last 3 years has seen the sound rapidly evolve to the annoyance of many of the genre's early fans. Whilst Plastician acknowledges the scene's transition from underground to mainstream, he sees it as a natural course of progression and predicts that Dubstep will 'blur even more genre boundaries' over the coming years:

"Dubstep is in a different kind of push. It's going more mainstream, but then you look at artists like Skrillex - bigger than any other dubstep act out there right now, without any major record label releases under his belt as of yet, but with the most twisted and insanely hard music I've heard in years. A lot of people hate Skrillex for this because they don't believe it's dubstep. The way I see it, the sound is so big now that there's not a single genre that it's touched or overlapped, and Skrillex is just another artist who has taken the dubstep idea of making a track centered around the bassline, and added his own influences to give it a new take. He has mentioned that Aphex Twin / Richard D James is his biggest influence, you can hear it in his production too. I don't see what's wrong with that? The guy's production is spot on, whether it's for you or not is down to personal taste. I just think the majority of us need to realise that everything morphs into something else and moves forward. Of course it sounds different to the dubstep of 2006 - but what does anymore? There are a few new boys coming through like J:Kenzo who are embracing that traditional sound though, and of course you have your original heads like Mala still churning out amazing blissful sub bass classics. The sound is still very much alive in a lot of us, but outside of that people are just blurring the lines again between dubstep and other forms of electronic music - and in some cases, pop music. There's nothing wrong with this, it's just innovation, and without it we'd be moaning about how boring and samey everything sounds. People always need something to moan about, every society or community needs a common enemy, and unfortunately for a lot of these new producers, they are finding that they are that enemy that the forum stalwarts have been waiting for. 

As far as looking into the future, I can only predict that dubstep blurs even more genre boundaries. In some parts it will become even more hard and twisted, and in other parts it will become more intricate and beautiful. Whatever it becomes, it's going to continue to spread far and wide, low and high, to the depths of the darkest club nights right up to the heights of the national pop charts. The sound is so huge now that nobody can really explain what Dubstep is anymore, its more like a movement or an idea than an actual musical genre. It is whatever you want it to be, however it matters to you, thats what it is. It can't be explained anymore."

With regards to his own sound, Plastician explains that it is his mood that will dictate the nature of a track:

"This is a nice easy question to answer. When I make a track, I make whatever I'm feeling at that time. I just want people to hear that. I still make grime tunes, deep tunes, hype tunes. Whatever mood I'm in or whatever sounds I'm messing with, thats what people are going to hear. I never really start making music with any aim, I just hope that I'll end up with something finished that I like enough to play out and on the radio. Anything that comes after that is a bonus."

As a deejay, a slot on Oris Jay and Virus Syndicate's Rinse FM show granted Plastician the break he needed to solidify his obvious credentials and his debut at the legendary 'FWD' soon followed in 2003:

"I started out buying records just as a punter. UK Garage records that I was hearing on pirate radio stations and in my mate's cars off their tape packs back in my college years between the ages of 16 and 18. I bought my first set of decks for my 18th birthday off a mate of mine and eventually taught myself to mix by copying the mixes on an old DJ EZ tape I had. Eventually I learnt that the tunes were built in patterns and could start to make more sense of it which eventually gave me the skills and confidence i needed to start DJ'ing in public at house parties and college parties when I was around 19. My big break came when I started guesting on Oris Jay & Virus Syndicate's Rinse FM show. One week I had to do a show on my own when the boys couldn't make it down from up North, I hosted the show but played all the usual grime and dubstep stuff so people could know the tunes I was playing and what they were called, when they were coming out etc. Geeneus heard the show and thought it would be good for me to have my own show as nobody on the station hosted a show playing that kind of music at the time, it was all crews and MC's spraying bars over the instrumentals, or garage and house DJ's hosting the lighter side of the sound. From getting my own show I eventually got my first gig at FWD playing the warm up slot b2b with Mark One, this was in June 2003. From there I began getting more recognition paired with the new Rinse show. Over the last 10 years I've had the chance to play some unbelievable shows. I've played the main stages of 2 of Europe's biggest festivals - playing after DJ Shadow at Exit festival in Serbia to around 20,000 people was insane. I also overcame the odds last year after multiple technical problems at Big Chill to play the main stage to around 15,000. I still have really fond memories of playing certain dubs for the first time at FWD to a half empty room as well though. For me my memories of FWD will stay with me forever, particularly when I played my 'Fight' remix for the first time, and also the last time I played there with Skepta, at JME's birthday bash back in 2006 or 2007. Those crowd reactions will always be looked back on with pride! I think my all time favourite gig was probably my Outlook festival set last year on the Thursday. It was sheer madness in there, then about halfway through, P Money joined me on the mic and all hell broke loose - I'm excited about this year's set!"

Moving on to look at the influence of vinyl, Plastician points to a number of factors that suggest the format is headed for a very uncertain future:

"It's hard to say. I love vinyl, and releasing music on vinyl makes it feel like it has more worth, yet my distributors are telling me not to bother with it any more, and I agree with them after my last 3 releases on Terrorhythm ended up losing me a lot of money. Music is not all about money obviously, but it makes no sense to waste it. With regards to the use of vinyl for DJ'ing though, I much prefer it, and platforms like Serato give it some legs. The thing that will eventually be the end of it is the manufacturers discontinuing their production of turntables. The vinyl pressing plants are dropping like flies as well, but ultimately the fact Technics are not making the 1200's or 1210's anymore means eventually there will be no working decks in clubs. And from recent experience, very few clubs even look after their decks anymore - I use CDJ's 90% of the time now just because I expect to have problems at most clubs I play. I know I'm not the only person too. The only time I know I'm going to use vinyl now is when I set up my Serato at home on my own decks."

Having already achieved so much, Plastician plans to focus on continuity but the completion of a new studio suggests we can expect a whole host of new material over the coming months:

"I just want to keep doing what I'm doing. With as much competition as there is out there now, it's hard to keep ahead of everyone out there, and I can respect people are overtaking me in terms of their fanbases but as long as I can continue to play the quality of gigs that I am currently I will be happy. Production wise I have just had a new studio set up put together and am going to get back onto that soon. It's going to be like learning from scratch again with all the new sounds and synths I've got, but I'm looking forward to experimenting and toying with some new ideas."

As for forthcoming releases:

"Retro / Bad Like Us' EP will be dropping on 'Trouble & Bass' soon, and I've just collaborated with Kutz on a remix for Wolfgang Gartner and Will.I.Am so I expect that should be doing the rounds pretty soon too. I've got a few projects in the early stages but I don't want to talk about those until I know they're happening for certain!"


Download the latest 'Sound That Speaks Volumes' mix via Get Darker:

& don't forget to lock in to Plastician's Rinse show every Sunday night from 9-11pm via:

Tuesday, 23 August 2011


Bass Music's latest release sees Setspeed present us with 'Komu' / 'Detail From A Larger Work', both of which combine to form the label's most distinguished release to date. Earning support from the likes of 2562 and Dark Sky, Setspeed's electro-tinged production works flawlessly at 116 BPM alongside a healthy dose of sub-bass. An excellent release.

For those who fancy their hands at remixing the track, Bass Music are offering the chance to buy the remix stems pack via their bandcamp site:


Friday, 19 August 2011


The second of Gobstopper Records' forays into the world of electronic music sees Deset present the 'Virus' EP, complete with heavyweight remixes from Dexplicit and label-owner Mr Mitch. Although eagerly anticipated, Uncle Albert wasn't aware just how good this 4-track offering was; title track 'Virus' builds ominously before a chorus of violins suddenly explodes into arguably one of the best Grime instrumentals of the year thus far. The remixes aren't bad either; Dexplicit strays from his 4x4 roots to create something quite unexpected and Mr Mitch is typically experimental, essentially re-inventing the original without sacrificing it's energy. Also included on the EP is Deset's 'Troll', a much darker, more sinister affair that appears to draw influence from the 'Circus' Records stable to great effect and proves a solid accompaniment to 'Virus'. All in all, an excellent release and one that  deserves all the praise it receives. 

You can buy the 'Virus' EP from Juno here:

+ don't forget to keep up to date with everything Deset & 'Gobstopper' via Twitter!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011


Whilst releasing on the impressionable 'Greenmoney' imprint as a collective, individually, Doncaster's 'Mista Men' continue to experiment across a whole spectrum of new and emerging sounds. Woozee is the latest to offer up an excellent solo piece; a smooth, ambient remix of Imogen Heap's 'Headlock' which Uncle Albert has been fortunate enough to get his hands on. Genuinely superb, 'Mista Men' are one of the most exciting new collectives in the UK. They don't do too bad on their own either. 

Enjoy + share!

Listen first via Soundcloud here: 

..and then download for free via Mediafire here:


Woozee Soundcloud:

Mista Men Twitter:!/MistaMen

Mista Men Soundcloud:

Thursday, 4 August 2011


Logan Sama has been an integral part of the Grime scene for the best part of 10 years. From starting out life as a Garage deejay back in 2001 to securing career-defining shows on first, 'Rinse FM' and now London's 'Kiss', Logan has established himself as arguably the scene's most revered ambassador. Fueled by an unrelenting passion for the genre, his radio shows in particular can be accredited with spreading Grime's energy to audiences worldwide and he remains as intent as ever on securing public approval for a scene which he considers to be the most exciting in the UK. Fresh from releasing the 'Summer Sampler Vol 1' on his 'Earth 616' imprint, I managed to catch up with him on my holidays from a field in France (via numerous signal failures) on everything from taking Grime to Ibiza to the downfalls of social networking:

"Towards the end of last year I went out to New York for a while and did a few gigs to show everyone over there what Grime was about. I'd love to get over there again this year at some point but I'm quite busy as always. Besides that it's just been a case of doing as much as possible. I've got Skepta's 'Wedding Bells' tour coming up in October and I might be doing a few things for Lord of The Mics 3. I'd love to take some form of Grime stage show out to Ibiza next year too which would be a really good look for the scene. There's a whole different generation of people going out to Ibiza every summer now with different listening habits - when you see 'Rinse vs Fwd' able to command a venue like 'Amnesia', you know things are changing!"
Unbeknownst to most, it was Garage and pioneers like Todd Edwards and Zed Bias that first captured Logan's musical imagination:

"I was a kid who loved Garage! Unfortunately, people stopped innovating and decided to start reproducing the stuff that worked previously. By 2001-2002 it had stagnated and I got the feeling that money and commercial success had killed Garage's experimental side. I got into it all through pioneers like Todd Edwards, Wookie, MJ Cole, Sunship and Steve Gurley but the only place people were really experimenting with the music was through the underground, which was thriving on pirate radio at the time. I actually started out playing solely Garage but the exciting stuff was coming from what would turn into the Grime/Dubstep scene - guys like Zinc, Geeneus, Dizzee and Wiley. As a result, I found myself playing less and less Garage and I started to turn my attention to the underground stuff, to the point where I decided to focus entirely on what was to become Grime. The emcees were raw and exciting and they were representing their culture independently. The music was sick aswell - you'd never heard anything like it anywhere before. After a few years, I managed to get my own show on 'Rinse' and that, combined with being around all the artists, cemented it for me. I was directly involved with the scene and everyone that was responsible for making this exciting new music. I remember cutting dub plates and going along to loads of different studios - I had access to everything and I saw my job as promoting it and luckily it's all worked out for me.
I'm sure that like Garage, we lost a lot of Grime fans when people turned their back on the scene after securing commercial success back in '06 too by the way but I've always focused on keeping people up to date with what Grime has to offer. That's actually partly why I set up the labels: 'Earth 616' is more concerned with instrumental releases but 'Adamantium' still puts out vocal work. I've actually been quite involved with quite a lot through 'Adamantium' actually - Jammer, Trim and Chipmunk have both released stuff through it and Scorcher's first mixtape 'Simply The Best' was put out on it too."
Despite the success of his show on Kiss, Logan's slot (alongside all other specialist music shows broadcast on the station between 11 and 1am) was cut by an hour back in early 2010, a decision that Logan admits he understands but still considers an 'annoyance':

"It's a shame that commercial radio doesn't really back underground music in general, especially when its spawning some of the stuff that now fills their daytime schedules - it's just a bit of an annoyance really. Grime emcees are getting number 1 records for the first time ever right now so you think it'd be the perfect time to support grass roots music in the UK. Sadly, economics dictate that daytime playlists are marginalised which only works to the detriment of music to be honest. Radio seems to be built purely to 'stay on in the background' as opposed to actually being listened to these days. Having said all that, Kiss is still an amazing platform and I've been fortunate to work with some amazing people over the years - it's not all doom and gloom at all. It is what it is."
Subsequently Logan launched the 'After Hours' series, a concept that essentially serves as an extension of his radio show:

"The 'After Hours' concept is just making the best of a bad situation really - it was born out of having the show cut down. There's always people willing to come and film so we're basically extending the show. Like you say, it's done quite well and its there for everyone on YouTube so people can always go back and watch it again. It  sorta chronicles a bit of Grime history in a way as well, it's archived. I wanted to make sure I was utilising technology too - back in the day people were happy swapping tapes but nowadays people want to see stuff too so it's a case of making the most of multimedia. Kids grow up differently now don't forget - I used to be happy with a TDK!"

Looking beyond the realms of radio, Logan is a firm advocate of independent Grime labels and their forrays into the world of electronic music thus far:

"I think they've done really well - it's not just a case of them getting the music out there and played by different audiences but also collaborating, which brings new thinking to the genre. Labels like 'Butterz' have gone out and tried to accommodate new ideas and they've capitalised on it to their success, making the music more accessible to a totally different group of listeners in the process. Its great that they're doing that really: the more people getting into Grime through those channels, the better. If people know about the LV remix of Trim's 'I Am' then they're likely to hear about Preditah's remix, which in turn could lead them to buying his EP which is out on my label in a few 

With this in mind, Logan believes a change in attitude holds the key to Grime earning the recognition and respect it deserves:

"If we treat it like its an amazing thing then everyone else will believe it. Unfortunately people in the scene are too quick to talk down about it and a lot of people involved tend to take it for granted. It naturally forms a negative picture of the whole scene and thats a shame. I guess bad mouthing is Grime's biggest downfall, it's not good at all. Other people will look at it from an outside perspective, especially on Twitter for example, and will form their own opinions directly from what's being said. Dubstep never had that problem - they didn't have a load of egotistical artists running the genre down all the time. They just got on with it and promoted it like the exciting new sound it was.
Looking at the bigger picture, I guess social networking has been brilliant for Grime in some ways but at the same time, it has been a problem. A lot of characters lack the required professionalism needed and their frustrations will only undermine the scene, especially when they're letting people know on Twitter every 5 minutes.  We need to embrace Grime for what it is and promote the fact that it too, is an exciting genre."
Looking at the scene's current crop of emerging talent, Logan has been particularly impressed by two producers in particular:

"I'm really interested in the stuff that Faze Miyake and Preditah are doing at the moment - they've really come in and taken over the mantle of hottest new producers from Teddy and Rudekid, who are now established producers themselves. I just want to see people advance and put out good Grime tracks to be honest. You can see now that people are a lot more accepting of music that isn't just your standard, radio-friendly daytime pop so I think there is room for Grime to develop. Unless you're on a major label with a massive marketing budget then making music like everybody else isn't appealing anymore - more left field, quirky music seems to be making its way into the charts now. You can't forget nobody has had a top 10 with a Grime record since Dizzee Rascal's 'Stand Up Tall' back in 2004. Its about time we put some work and effort in and put out and effectively promote some quality songs. A lot more logic is needed when it comes to releases, that's the be all and end all."

As far as the future's concerned, Logan is looking forward to helping Grime grow to fulfill its undoubted raw potential:

"The 'Summer Sampler Vol 1' is out now which consists of 4 tracks that were previously unavailable on vinyl - I thought it was important for music to put them out there. Its a strictly limited edition release; only 200 units are available and 50 were already pre-sold. Following on from that, I've got a series of artist-driven EPs to be released - 4-track projects with Preditah, Davinche and P Jam can be expected and I've also been working with NuKlear on a few things. There's also the 'Keepin' It Grimy' project which has been running for the last 6 months which is concerned with promoting good, Grime journalism essentially. We're not talking interviews in KFC or car park freestyles - I'm on about real journalism. It's a big scene full of amazing talent and I want to make it look good and professional like it should - I want to put across how exciting it really is. The idea isn't to accommodate or pander to the mainstream. It's taking Grime for what it is and expanding it - we're not changing it, we're taking its good elements and letting everybody know. 
I guess it also serves a place for young people to come to with their ideas too - I'm keen for bloggers to embrace the idea and get some accredited work done. 'Keepin' It Grimy'  is a whole brand though - I'm hoping to put together some live events and broadcasts in the future and the idea is to work and collaborate with people in other industries to put some exciting, Grime-related projects together. I want to take this culture to places its not been to yet; a job half done is a job done badly. I want to take my time with everything and make sure the legacy lasts."
A few last words:

"I don't wanna be Tim Westwood or Chris Moyles - they're great at what they do but I can only be Logan Sama. I'm the best there is at what I do and that's been my mantra for years - it's done me well so far and I plan to be here for a long time!"


Buy the Earth 616 Summer Sampler Vol.1 + other exclusive Grime vinyl via "Keepin' It Grimy':

And don't forget to check out Logan on Kiss: