Sunday, 26 February 2012


Wolverhampton's much-lauded K1 is the latest exciting up-and-comer to release on Spooky's 'Ghost House' imprint. Fast becoming something of a stable for exciting new 140-driven talent, the 'Apocalypse' EP is the label's third release in a matter of months and is as good as the hype would have you believe.

Comprised of 4 typically hard-hitting tracks, it is in fact K1's subtle use of melody that binds the EP together. Too often we see grime fall short due to a misguided over emphasis on 'greaze', something K1 neither sacrifices nor over indulges. 

Title track 'Apocalypse' arguably sits more comfortably under the dubstep bracket but is measured and thoughtful and perhaps indicative of a greater understanding of what is required to produce electronic music across the genre spectrum. 'Armed Robbery' is a far grimier affair that shares parallels with the work of Splurt and Faze Miyake, although short bursts of violin give the track a surprising melancholy feel. 'H1N1' is the EP's archetypal grime number however, laced together with a series of thundering bass lines that form an excellent, contemporary 140 track. The EP is suitably rounded off by 'Streetlights', a track that would sit well accompanied by an MC although stands up well competently without. Highly recommended. 

GH 003: K1 - Apocalypse EP (Out 27th Feb 2012) by Ghost House Records

The Apocalypse EP is available from February 27th via all good digital outlets. 


Twitter: @K1_Invasion

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

#038 OM UNIT

As both a producer and purveyor of electronic music for over a decade, Om Unit has played a key role in the emergence of a culture that now befits those currently considered to be residing at the top of the pile. Visionary and refined, his sound is a testament to an intimate understanding of what is required to make a great record for his audience and with numerous releases forthcoming on new imprint 'Cosmic Bridge', 2012 could be one of his busiest years yet. With this in mind I managed to catch up with him, albeit delaying his plans to make a few pancakes, on everything from growing up in rural Berkshire to playing alongside Zomby in Utrecht:

"I produce as Om Unit and I make electronic music in London. I've been producing since the early 90's and have released on a variety of labels. 'Civil Music' is my main home but I've also released on 'All City' and 'Terrorhythm' and I've put out remixes on Ninja Tune too. I also run a record label called 'Cosmic Bridge' which I started up last year. Oh yeah I'm a DJ as well - I usually play out across the UK and Europe and I'm also involved in 'Tempo Clash' alongside Kutmah, Kidkanevil and Blue Daisy. We hold parties at our residency in London and are starting to throw a few in Europe too."

Despite growing up in a 'little village called Cookham', it was here that Om Unit first discovered Jungle:

"I'm originally from a little village called Cookham in Berkshire and where I lived, there was nothing. The culture...there was no culture at all do you know what I mean? It was Jungle and Hardcore that hit me as a kid first in early '91 though - it inspired me to start making my own Jungle tracks and from there, I really got into music. Since then, I also got into deejaying and while I was at University I started to take music much more seriously. I began producing under the name '2Tall', my first proper venture into doing music properly, and I'd make tracks just using turntables and scratching. I actually made 3 albums under that alias; 'Beautiful Mindz' with Dudley Purkins and Georgia Anne Muldrow, 'Shifting Tides' and 'The Softer Diagram'. 

The flurry of terms often banded about in the hope of defining some of today's most upfront sounds are something that Om Unit considers irrelevant when thinking about his own:

"I make electronic music. That's all it is. There's a lot of terms that get thrown around but electronic music is where I'm at and always have been, there's no other way of putting it."

That's not to say Om Unit doesn't consider electronic music to be in a good place however:

"Right now reminds me of about '97, it's a similar kind of vibe. You walk into a record shop and there's a massive selection of electronic music and it's very healthy. It's especially great because people can do what they like as a result of the internet, communications and social networking, all of which allow everybody to do their own thing. If you're good at doing your own thing, you'll get the recognition so it's a great time in that sense. The flipside is that there's a lot of music available and as an artist you have to go beyond just making tunes now. You have to know what to do to get your music into the hands of people that actually want to hear it - that's the difference now."

As well as releasing on Civil Music, All City and Ninja Tune, OM Unit has also released on Plastician's 'Terrorhythm' imprint (in 2010), a move that he explains came about 'very organically':

"I guess he was just a fan. My music got passed to him by chance and he started playing it on his Rinse show. He really liked some of it and asked if he could put it out. It was all very organic, I didn't even send him a demo or anything. He was just a big fan. I guess he's open minded and even though he'll play mostly dubstep and grime, he'll still drop whatever he likes the sound of."

As a deejay, Om Unit regularly plays across the UK and Europe, a key factor behind his decision to opt for Serato in the digital vs vinyl debate:

"I release all my EPs as vinyl but I don't play vinyl so much personally. I tend to play Serato because it's convenient with travelling and a lot of promo stuff I get sent is digital. I do think vinyl sounds better but i don't know if that necessarily justifies carrying lots of it around.  We do runs of 300 vinyl on my label and that's services vinyl demand for our stuff. I do still play records occasionally but i don't have a religious standing on it - I'll play whatever is available to me, I'm not particularly militant."

Looking to the future, Om Unit has a number of remixes forecast to be released in the not too distant future although it is work on his own 'Cosmic Bridge' label that should excite most in 2012:

"We're looking at two releases on the horizon. One is a 7'' and digital release on All City called 'L.A. Refixes' which consists of two remixes - one is for Daedelus and one is for Om'mas. The other is a release on Planet Mu - it's a collaboration between myself and Machinedrum under the name 'Dream Continuum' and will be available both digitally and as a 12''. There's more stuff im waiting to hear news on too and I'm also working on my new EP which should be out in the summer. I've got a remix coming on 'Fat City' for Illum Sphere as well and then there's also my label, Cosmic Bridge - we've got about 4 or 5 EPS from different artists out in the summer to look out for."

...and 3 Quick-fire Questions to finish:

What was the first record you ever bought?

"The first record I remember buying was on Flex Records. It was 'Gwarn (Remix) by Three Disciples on a 10'. I loved Ragga Jungle back then and its one of the last real social movements of UK music that still has such a strong social context. As a kid it was just great music that really spoke to me."

What has been your favourite gig to date?

"My favourite gig so far was probably last year - I played in Utrecht in Holland alongside Zomby and a guy called Doshy. It was just good vibes; the people there knew my music, it was a big crowd of maybe 300-400 which to me is a big crowd (laughs) and I just felt at home. Everything went right. Author also played and they were sick!"

What has been your favourite track of 2012 so far?

"It sort of depends where I'm playing and I get dozens of EPs sent to me every week, it's really hard to pick one! Okay, one of the best i've had is by this guy called 'Vaider'. It's called 'Falling' from his 'Falling EP' on Totem Records. It captures a lot of sounds - it's kinda somewhere between dubstep... its a personal choice really. I'm guessing it's probably not everybody's cup of tea because there's no snares but I love it!"


Twitter: @om_unit

Friday, 17 February 2012


The history of UK dancehall is a subject I've foolishly never delved into over the last 10 years, a fact made all the more poignant given the influence it has had on the fortunes of garage and grime, both of which I've spent much of my life listening to. 

Although I'd regularly come into contact with emcees like Skibadee on radio sets and tape pack recordings, their presence on sets was something I took for granted. More recently, the same can be said for the likes of Serocee, who I've seen numerous times supporting one of my favourite deejays in Toddla T, and Lady Chann; each time I failed to look beyond the particular performance. Thankfully, my eyes have been opened by Rollo Jackson's incredible piece of film.

Presented by lynchpins of the current scene 'The Heatwave', Showtime is a feature length piece charting the history of UK dancehall on stage. Although perhaps best known for pioneering their 'Hot Wuk' club nights all over the UK, 'Showtime' highlights their intimate knowledge of music's inner-workings, and a shared appreciation of Jamaican culture and influence. The Heatwave's sound extends far further than just dancehall however - as it says on their website, "The Heatwave sound ties together Jamaica and the UK. Their powerful compilations and mixes show how dancehall is the root of jungle, garage, grime, dubstep and funky." It is perhaps this that proved decisive in the success of 'Showtime' itself, the night that provides the back drop for the DVD.

Filmed live amongst a bustling, fully-enthused audience equipped with horns and whistles (a stable of Hot Wuk nights), Showtime is every ounce a celebration of a key (but often forgotten) element of the UK's musical heritage. Incredible live performances from General Levy, Asher Senator and Glamma Kid in particular convey an unprecedented level of energy and excitement in an extraordinary show of unity - as The Heatwave's Benjamin D points out, "It's a culture that's not restricted to ethnicity, it's not restricted to class, it's not restricted to anything really. It's about loving music and it's about going out raving." This all-inclusive ethos is furthered by the performances of iconic grime emcees Wiley and Riko Dan, both of whom acknowledge the importance of dancehall in the evolution of their own sound - as Riko says, "Grime's what I evolved to do. I was born to do dancehall." The enthusiasm in which Wiley takes to the stage and spits over 'Ice Rink' alongside Riko is also particularly inspiring and gives credence to Wiley's decision to re-establish the legendary 'Eskimo Dance', an event that shares a number of similarities with Showtime. 

Also notable is a poignant tribute to the iconic Smiley Culture, and the sense of prevailing unity that seems to reverberate around the venue after Serocee demands the audience show their appreciation by making as much noise as possible. Although each 'scene' has its merits, it is perhaps this unity that makes dancehall quite unique. 

Female artist Stush comments on the remarkable relationship between artist and bashment crowd too, something The Heatwave's Rubi Dan places special emphasis on: "You give them what they want. You talk to them. You don't want it to seem like you're above them, we're all on a level and we're just here to party." Such a refreshing, positive attitude only adds to the long list of superlatives you can level at The Heatwave after watching Showtime.

Such is the magnitude of the live footage, combined with a series of in-depth interviews that run alongside, it is near-on impossible to convey the enormity of Showtime's achievements. As a DVD, it is a great watch and should be essential viewing for anybody with an interest in the history of UK music and moreover, the evolution of the UK emcee. As a spectacle, Showtime is the clearest indication yet of what can be achieved when music comes first. Brilliant and inspiring in equal measure.   

Further Details:

Twitter: @TheHeatwave

Tuesday, 14 February 2012


In the fourth installment of our collaborative mix series, P Jam has put together an exclusive 55-minute Uncle Albert x Sonic Router mix. Expect plenty of forthcoming new material from both Terror Danjah's 'Hardrive' imprint and his own 'Beatcamp' label, as well as tunes from the likes of Swindle, TRC and the much-heralded Champion.

Read the write-up & download the mix over at Sonic Router here:

Sunday, 12 February 2012


March 19th sees Doncaster-based duo Mista Men present their second EP release with 'Greenmoney Recordings' after their recent collaboration with Detboi on 'Sanctuary of Love'. Purveyors of everything from house to grime, Mista Men's open-minded approach has made them one of bass music's most versatile acts; genre-blurring is one thing but its the duo's complete genre switch-ups that set them apart and their latest offering, the 'Cardiac Arrest' EP is a testament to such.

Title track 'Cardiac Arrest' is a wonderful, bass-laden funky track in a similar mould to some of Champion's recent releases although an injection of Swamp-esque bass kicks gives the track an entirely different (but equally good) feel. Second track 'Babycham' is a gloriously nostalgic disco-house tribute that's been given a slick 2012 makeover - think Whigfield meets Boddika. Rounding off the EP is 'Daylight Robbery', an excellent, skippy hip-hop influenced number, its pace once again dictated by a cultured bass line that runs consistent throughout all 3 tracks. 

All in all, 'Cardiac Arrest' serves as yet another excellent release that further cements Mista Men's reputation as one of bass music's most unique and exciting acts. Genuinely the best music I've heard in 2012 thus far.

Mista Men - Cardiac Arrest Ep Sampler Forthcoming Greenmoney 19th March by Mista Men


Twitter: @MistaMen

Thursday, 9 February 2012

#037 EGO

As a stable member of one of grime's most impressive collectives in 'Family Tree', Ego is an emcee with a desire to thoroughly establish himself as one of the genre's most capable artists. After releasing his first solo EP last year in the form of 'Actually Active' to widespread approval, he is hoping a combination of visuals and live performances, alongside the release of 'Actually Active Vol 2' in the spring, will ensure that 2012 is his most successful year to date. I managed to catch up with him on everything from emceeing at school to the continued significance of pirate radio:

"I'm Ego and I'm a member of the Family Tree collective. This time last year, the video for 'Spartan Remix' had just dropped and that got me some attention alongside Kozzie, Merky and Rival. I dropped an EP not too long afterwards called 'Actually Active'  and I also featured on Merky Ace's 'Blue Battlefield' CD and Rival's 'Lock Off The Rave' remix single. I did a lot of work with Family Tree and also Kozzie and also appeared on Logan Sama's show frequently, including a few 'After Hours' slots.  The one thing I didn't do last year was sort out a video for any of the tracks from 'Actually Active' and that was a big regret - I'm hoping to put that right this year."

Despite initially failing to take his music seriously, it was at school where Ego first tested himself on the mic, where, as he points out, 'everyone thought they could emcee':

"When i was at school, everyone used to think they were an emcee, it was everyone's thing. I weaved myself in on that front too but never took myself seriously. I'd spit on radio occasionally but I never got as far as putting out a track. After I left, I used to make beats first off with a mate who could emcee but he didn't take it too seriously either and I couldn't get myself heard so I thought I'd try spitting again. I literally just jumped back on it and thought, 'Rah, I'm alright at this' and its snowballed since. I've actually only been properly spitting for more or less 4 years."
Whilst some opt to put pen to pad before receiving music to work with, Ego insists that it is an instrumental that will dictate his content:

"Before, I used to think I could write the nangest bars and duppy a track easily but now I feed entirely off the instrumental - if it's a good beat, I'll use that and take that as inspiration. It all depends on the tune I'm given - I can do party tunes too but I never really have a set plan. I never really have a direction without an instrumental."
As an integral part of 'Family Tree' alongside fellow emcees Merky Ace, Shifman, TKO and MIK and producers Faze Miyake and Splurt Diablo, Ego has seen his stock rise considerably over the last 18 months. As well as a shared work ethic, Ego cites their friendship outside of music as key to their recent success:

"Me, TK and Shifman are all related - I met MIK through Shifman because they were mates before and I actually met Merky through him too. I knew of Merky before meeitng him though because I'd heard about him and knew he was gonna be a sick emcee. I thought I'd try and chat to him and it turned out he rated what I was doing so it was a kinda of mutual thing. From there, we all started going to radio together - it wasn't really a crew thing, it'd be a few of us at a time but we eventually clocked that we should all work together. We were all local and it made sense - appearances on 1Xtra, Kiss and Rinse soon followed. 
It was similar with Faze aswell - we realised he was sick after he first got in touch with Merky about beats. The chemistry was there, it was just a straight back and forth thing - we got so much done in such a short space of time and it was all really good quality. The main thing with all of us though is our friendship - we all know each other on a level outside of music and that makes us stronger as a crew. It sets us apart."

With this in mind, Ego acknowledges his first solo release, 'Actually Active', a 7-track EP released in the summer of 2011, as a team effort: 

"With 'Actually Active', it got to a point where I'd just done the Spartan Remix and I thought I really needed to put out a good, proper EP. I had beats from Faze, Splurt and Spooky and ultimately it wasn't too hard to get it put together. I'd get phone calls from Merky just like, 'Yo I'm jumping on that too' and that's how a lot of it all came together - it worked out nicely in the end. I had a promo EP out before but it wasn't a true reflection of me really so I'm proud of 'Actually Active'. I can listen to it straight through even now and I don't have a favourite track either. It's just a good, solid EP." 
With grime currently enjoying something of a renaissance within the wider music world, Ego attributes a changing audience for some of the genre's recent success but bemoans the loss of grime's more old-school 'radio' mentality:

"Whenever I'm out performing, I can see that people are a lot more accepting of grime now than say 18 months ago, maybe even further back than that. The crowd's changed but its a good change - people will go out and buy your music now too which has helped. I still feel radio is missing a bit though and even though we've got 'Deja' back, there aren't as many opportunities for emcees as there used to be. 
Pirate stations play a proper important role. We've done it all - the internet stations in tiny studios, all the smaller urban radio stations across London. As a crew, we've been there, walking to studios at midnight in the freezing cold - it was just what we did because we all knew how important radio was. I honestly think its a real asset to an emcee and I really used to feed off the energy; it gives you a space to practice and learn your trade and it's totally different to spitting in a studio. We can all take that radio element with us wherever we go now but it seems a shame that it isn't really like that anymore."
Looking forward, Ego is hoping to release the hotly anticipated follow up to 'Actually Active' towards the end of spring, as well as shooting videos for a number of forthcoming singles. Bookings are also on the agenda too:

"Visuals, visuals, visuals! I can't stress that enough - I think Merky did 2 or 3 videos last year and I could see the importance of them. I've got a single due out soon too, I'm just waiting on some bits from Splurt and Faze before that gets released and I've  got a single called 'Nuttin Like Back Then' ready as well. I'm also working on 'Actually Active Vol 2'  although there is still work to do on that - I'm hoping to get it done and released towards the end of spring. Bookings too, that's another thing - I'd really like to get myself out there in the crowds; nothing beats the live element."


Twitter: @Ego_FT

Preview & buy 'Actually Active' via ITunes:

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


London-based label & clubnight 'Audio Doughnuts' are back with the first London party of 2012 at Brixton's Plan B on Saturday, March 10th. Crowned one of Mixmag's best club nights of 2011 and always keen to showcase an array of both established and up-and-coming talent from across the bass music scene, the imprint return to London after beginning the year with a sell out Leeds show. 

Headlining on the night will be no other than Portugal's 'Buraka Som Sistema' frontman and 'Enchufada' founder J-Wow, who will play an exclusive London set alongside recent Enchufada signing Diamond Bass. Joining them will be Garage lynchpin MJ Cole and Resident Advisor's Jay Shepheard, who will be bringing his own unique take on Disco House along in a completely live set. Numbers mainstay Redinho is also on hand alongside the legendary Wookie and Manchester's Krystal Klear will round off proceedings with his experimental twist on bass-led Disco.

As ever, Audio Doughnuts family will also be in attendance; LNUK's Pusherman (who will also be releasing with AD) to TOYC, 140 maestro Teeza and Rinse FM's Shox will all be showcasing their unique sounds on the night too. 

Having seen 10,000 party goers pass through the Audio Doughnut doors in 2011, expect this one to sell out. Fast.


J-Wow (Buraka Som Sistema)
MJ Cole
Jay Shepheard (live)
Redinho (live)
Kyrstal Klear
Diamond Bass
& Special Guests

Bobby Champs
Dave Verne

Hosted by: Eyedub & Narkie


Event: Audio Doughnuts LDN Presents
Venue: Plan B, London.
Date: 13th March 2012
Times: 22:00 – 06:00
Pricing/Tickets: £7.50 / £10 / £12 Advance / More on the door

Advance Tickets available from:


Sunday, 5 February 2012


Today sees the release of one of Grime's most hotly anticipated instrumental EPs. Preditah's 'Circles' has been a riddim of choice for DJs across the electronic music spectrum for the past 6 months, after first coming to everyone's attention in the summer of 2011. Rugged and raucous but at the same time club-friendly, 'Circles' has become something of an underground anthem, a stand alone torch bearer for grime's dance floor credentials. It has also won favour from emcees too, with everyone from P Money to Sox laying down vocals over the track since it was first premiered on Logan Sama's Kiss FM show. 

Essentially, 'Circles' ticks all the boxes; it is a track that has successfully managed to appease the wants and needs of DJ, emcee and raver without sacrifice and for that alone, deserves to be applauded. 

'Circles' is available digitally from all the usual online spots and also on limited edition orange vinyl via Logan Sama's 'Earth 616' imprint. Also included on the EP are VIPs of 'Gargoyle' and 'Woah' alongside 'Airwaves', a track recently vocalled by Blacks.


Twitter: @preditah


The third release from Champion's 'Formula Records' imprint sees Champion team up with Princess Nyah on 'Crazy', a colourful, bassy record that sits comfortably within the excellent 'Formula' blueprint. Remixes come courtesy of Terror Danjah and D.O.K, both of whom give the track 'welcomed grime makeovers'. Out on 12'' vinyl and also available digitally from March 5th.


"Once again UK Funky wunderkind Champion serves up another sultry vocal cut - this time enlisting the services of songstress Princess Nyah. ‘Crazy’ begins with a cluster of bongo drums and and colourful funk synths that escalate into a flurry of bassline stabs and groove-laden percussion.

Princesss Nyah’s vocals sit comfortably on this production but still work well with the rugged drum programming that Champion has mastered since his ‘Motherboard’ debut in 2011. As Princess Nyah vents her frustration at a disloyal member of the opposite sex, the low end basslines become more intense and boisterous and this only adds to the smooth but gritty nature of the track.

On the flipside Hardrive head honcho Terror Danjah teams up with D.O.K for a haunted re-rub that still retains the danceable element of the original, but comes with the signature Terror Danjah cackle and gremlins soundbytes. The pair do their best to increase the tracks intensity with 16-bar beat pattern switch ups and haunting chords throughout which gives the track a unexpected but welcomed Grime makeover.

Having been a staple in sets from the likes of Scratcha, Roska, Dusk & Blackdown and Target towards the end of 2011, ‘Crazy’ has picked up where Champion left off with ‘Sensitivity’ and shows just why his work with vocals has been so highly revered as of late."


Twitter: @Champion_DJ // @PRINCESSNYAH