Never Say Die aren’t taking any prisoners as they barge into their fifth year of business… On January 26 they’ll be launching a brand new label with a gargantuan 12 track compilation, complete with an ear-melting mix from label boss SKisM himself.
An impassioned reaction to dubstep’s interesting evolution last year, Never Say Die Black Label is dedicated to more new music from more exciting new artists. It starts with the compilation Black Label XL featuring the likes of Trampa, Trollphace, Megalodon, LAXX & SKisM, Badklaat, P0gman and original badmen BAR9 with this dramatic devastator…
SKisM’s on tour down under right now so we sent him a few questions about Black Label. Read on to find out what’s popping at Never Say Die HQ PLUS hopeful hints at new SKisM material too!
So what’s Black Label all about, then?
“It started a series of compilation EPs on Never Say Die. I was hearing really cool, underground dubstep from producers who weren’t yet associated with us and wanted a way of getting these tracks out there. Compilations are a great way of us giving multiple artists a release without overcrowding our schedule. The audience lapped it up and with each release I felt like a momentum was building.
Throughout 2014 more traditional swampy dubstep evolved in a big way and darker trap / dubstep hybrids got cooler than ever so I felt the time was right to start a second outlet to allow us to release more music.”
How will Never Say Die Black Label differ from Never Say Die?
“It has more of a ‘sound’. Most of the releases on NSD are dubstep influenced, but we still have an ‘anything goes’ policy as long as the quality is there. I want the artists who are signed to Never Say Die to have the freedom to do whatever they want. Take Eptic for example, his last EP was his most diverse yet, featuring all styles & genres which is what we love to see from our artists.”
How long have you been cooking up plans for this and what inspired the decision to establish the new label?
“The XL album has been in the works for a few months. During the A&R-ing process I realised that if I really want to explore the depths of this sound and feature multiple new artists we need a proper outlet. The decision to split it off into its own label was actually fairly recent.”
Tell us specifically about your mix and some of the key tracks…
“It’s always a challenge doing Never Say Die mixes because I can only really use the tracks in our catalogue. I’m really particular about mixing, and I like my mixes to flow and for tracks to work well together, so piecing together a mix from a limited pool of music is very much like a jigsaw puzzle.
All 11 exclusives from the XL compilation are in there, as well as some forthcoming Black Label and NSD dubplates. We’ve left the tracklisting mostly blank for now and will reveal track names as each exclusive is premiered in the build up to release.”
What follows this release?
“The label won’t just be releasing compilations. There will be individual artist singles and EPs.
First up is Trampa’s EP. The guy has the most unique vibe, it’s so raw and he somehow manages to infuse elements of trap with the gnarliest dubstep sounds. He’s been featured on every single Black Label EP so it was only fitting that we sign him exclusively and really push him this year.
After that we’ve got a release from BAR9 which I’m hoping will remind dubstep producers worldwide that they were pretty much doing what everyone is calling ‘Riddim’ since 2008 and they’re still the dons.”
Made any new year’s resolutions?
“To try spend more time with my family. Djing, running the label and managing my artists can be all consuming, but working hard is pointless if you can’t enjoy it.
And to my fans – I may POSSIBLY try to make some music this year, can’t promise though ;)”
Never Say Die Black Label XL is released January 26: Pre-order now!
Listen to SKisM’s mix right here…