Repping the Cummings and goings of lockdown life in the bass world… It’s the 12th edition of the UKF Anti-Virus, the weekly internet town cryer celebrating some of the many interesting and honourable lockdown distractions, wholesome projects and DJ streams happening in our music right now.
A cheeky beam of positivity in another drama-packed week online, this week we’ve found out how lockdown inspired Hugh Hardie to write seven tunes in a week, we’re considering drive-in raves, we hear from the semi-finalists in the Dub Wars battle, chat to the Goat Shed about their new event with Bowlcut Garms and more.
Hugh Hardie – 7 Tunes In 7 Days
This is how you make the most of your lockdown… In late March, when the world suddenly stood still, Hugh Hardie set himself a challenge to write a tune a day for a week and film the whole process for posterity. Two months later the world now has a fresh new Hugh Hardie release: 7 Tunes In 7 Days.
“It was near the start of lockdown,” says Bristol-based Hugh. “The whole thing was exciting in a weird way, the world changing so much. I had a wave of inspiration from that change in pattern of daily routine. That, combined with extra time, inspired the project. The trouble was coming up with ideas fast enough. Over six months I’d have perhaps four or five ideas strong enough to turn into tracks. So to have seven tracks in such a short space of time? For me, it’s unheard of.”
Unheard of, but not impossible. The results came out this week and they range from soft, lulling string-laced deep moments such as Back & Forth to darker, more direct shades of steppery like Klaxon. He even references his lovely cat Gretchen (who starred on UKF.com in April for our pets special) with the finale Gretchen Bass. Each track complemented by his own videos and videos documenting the process, it’s one of the most inspiring examples of how the lockdown has encouraged creativity and development which will affect how he works in the future.
“The main difference is I realised that by focusing on one thing I’m much more productive. I used to bounce around different projects, tweaking and changing little things. I was always feeling like I was busy but in reality I actually wasting a lot of time. With this project I just had to focus on the one thing and I got so much more work done. That approach is something I’ll try to carry over after this.”
Sound familiar? Hugh’s approach is something many of us could benefit from. Props for turning this situation into something massively productive. That’s exactly the spirit the Anti-Virus was set-up to celebrate.
As general life lockdown gradually eases, but our live sector remains very much closed down, drive-in events could become a serious party option for ravers this summer. Here in the UK three promoters across various entertainment fields have teamed together to form Drive In Events, a rolling tour of car-based happening across the UK.
Taking over carparks and other municipal places large enough for social distancing to still be practiced, across a week’s schedule events would include stand-up comedy, cinema and live DJs. We’ve seen some of the tbc line-ups they have in mind and it’s safe to say bass fans are definitely being considered.
“”We are in ongoing talks with some of the UK’s biggest artists in their respective musical fields, with artists representing their own cities via drive-in-raves,” explains co-promoter Steffan from Bristol’s Timewarp organisation. “You can expect everything from drum & bass to house, techno, rave classics and disco.”
Drive In Events are set to announce more details in the comings week. You can sign up here for more details about tours in your nearest UK city.
Dub Wars – Semi Finals!
This escalated quickly. Two weeks ago Dub Wars kicked off with a rollcall of 16 exciting new-gen participants. They’re now down to just four: Kolectiv, Wingz, Ill Truth and Creatures will all be serving up the dubs they’ve made this week, ready for your votes over the weekend.
The concept of the battle is brilliantly simple. Acts are paired off and given a sample pack (made by some very impressive names such as Ulterior Motive and Invaderz) They have the week to make the dub before the anonymously titled tracks go head to head in a public vote. There’s some serious loot up for grabs including a year’s sponsorship from Native Instruments. These four acts are in the running…
Kolectiv: “Being in the semi-final is probably a surprise to many. To be honest it’s a bit of a surprise to us. So many talented contestants in the line-up you never know who will go through, even when the tracks are revealed the voting is unpredictable. We are excited to be facing Wingz, who was on fire in the last round. Let’s hope he flies too close to the sun this time. We are ready.”
Wingz: “This competition really sparked my creativity, I wrote like six tunes in the last few weeks (including non Dub Wars stuff) Really looking forward to what Kolectiv have done for this one, as the vocal was not easy to work with. Personally I think, that this is my best entry, as it really reflects what Wingz is about for me. May the better track win.”
Creatures: “This whole battle culture stuff has me super excited! I feel the first two rounds have pushed me to make some cool music in a short amount of time! Can’t believe I’ve made it to the semi-finals and I’ve drawn Ill truth! Finished with my tune so it’s up to the public to vote now and let’s see who’s in the final!”
Ill Truth: “It’s mad to think this competition is nearly over and we are in the semi-final up against a good friend of ours to top it all off. We went into this not knowing what the prizes even were, I think that has been driving us as we’ve strictly been making music to better ourselves every week. That way, even if we get knocked out this week we can honestly say we made some music that we are really proud of.”
Be proud: voting in the semi-finals opens right here tonight, Friday May 29, from 9pm and closes Sunday night. Good luck to all involved.
Monday: Shogun Audio Virtual D&B Quiz with Drum&BassArena
Shogun Audio return with their fortnightly quiz this Monday, June 1. Presented by consummate host Visionobi, this edition is in collaboration with Drum&BassArena who dropped their documentary Drum & Bass: The Movement earlier this week. Ruffling feathers and causing dewy nostalgic eyes in equal measures ever since, it’s been watched over 400,000 times since Monday and has also won the prize of this week’s major online drama. If you’ve not checked it, check it below and start swotting up for the quiz. Find out full information here. We’re looking forward to the V Recordings round.
Diffrent Music Remix Competition
Heads up all producers still on the lookout for new inspirations and opportunities… Experimental South London bass crusaders Different Music have announced a remix competition as part of their 10th anniversary celebrations. The stems up for grabs are of the label’s first ever release. Chills – Everyone’s Mad. Fitting title.
“Later in the year, we’ll be releasing a special compilation album to mark our decade in the game,” the label explain. “It’ll feature Diffrent stalwarts and newcomers, producing original tracks and remixing classics. As part of our commitment to finding new artists, we’re launching a remix competition. One entry will be chosen as the winner by the Diffrent crew and signed to our anniversary compilation.”
Chills’ label-igniting track remains a benchmark for the 80+ releases Diffrent have dropped since. Now’s your chance to be part of that. Grab the remix stems here and submit your remix on the demo drop page on diffrentmusic.com. Go mad.
Liquid Drum & Bass 4 Autism
Makoto, Phil Tangent, Leniz, Low:r, Random Movement, Furney, Blade, Paul SG, Silence Groove, Bert H and loads more deepsmiths will feature on a new album that lands May 31: Redefining The Spectrum. An album from New York initiative Liquid Drum & Bass 4 Autism.
Out Sunday, all proceeds will go towards raising autism awareness and funds for autism treatment, research, and parent training. The sounds run the soulful gamut and include a remix of NYC pop punk band PRSNA by Makoto…
“With all the negativity going on in the world right now, we wanted to shine a light on an important mental health issue while bringing some positivity to our worldwide D&B community,” the organisation tell us. “Our first album features 42 tracks from 46 of our favourite liquid D&B artists drops on May 31st. 100% of the proceeds go directly to our foundation.”
Go direct to Liquid DNB 4 Autism’s Soundcloud for more audio and buy links.
Goat Shed and Bowlcut Garms raise money for MIND with Stay Alert Stream
Goat Shed are back once again. This time they’ve linked up with Bowlcut Garms for a special all-dayer where all proceeds will go to MIND. It’s happening on June 6 and so far AC13, High Rankin, Phibes, Decoy, Annix, Phibes and Goast are confirmed.
“I think mental health is one of the biggest casualties from the pandemic,” states Goat Shed founder Goast. “We want to help as much as we can and raise as much money as possible to help the charities helping people bring vital services at this really uncertain time. Also, bringing people together for a day of music, just chatting to each other really helps with mental health in itself.”
While the Goat Shed has become synonymous with epic marathons, Stay Alert will be focused on just vibe filled day for the lockdown books. Goast explains how the event, which launched today, will focus on the community aspect of the stream and involve more engaging activities. Bowlcut Garms – who launch their own label Bowlcut Beats the day before on June 5 – are all in.
“Goat Shed have really shone during the Covid outbreak and this lockdown as a great example of how live-streams can be used for fundraising and positivity,” says Bowlcut founder and designer Joe. “Mental health is the silent killer and that’s never been truer than now. Mental health still has a stigma of embarrassment about it which nobody should have to feel. It’s bad enough if your head and thoughts are all over the place. People should be able to say it’s okay to not be okay without feeling awkward or uncomfortable. I’ve suffered from anxiety in the past and I wish I knew of Mind when I was a young man and first started experiencing it as I felt like I was the only person going through it.”
June 18 – 21: Zoomtown raises money for the Trussel Trust
Meanwhile in the south west next month, the local scene in Exeter UK is making up for the lack of Boomtown this summer (or any festival) with Zoomtown, a full-flavoured showcase of all local talent across the electronic spectrum. One for the new talent radar, over 40 DJs from the Devon city will be performing.
“Many university students have come together in a collective effort to raise money for the Trussel Trust through our event,” they state. “We are gracious to be joined by acts who have previously opened for big names such as Jungle Cakes! The Trussel Trust is an amazing organisation that is helping with food banks and poverty across the UK – especially in these challenging times. We’ll be live from at least 3pm to midnight everyday so please tune in and support us if you can!”
The event is run between a whole collective of events around the area including Fokus, Zero Tolerance and No More Parties who provided a snapshot of local D&B talent this week with their first ever release – Exeter To The World – on free download. Check it here…
That’s it from the Anti-Virus this week. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any relevant lockdown-related event, project, stream, competition for possible inclusion in June. Be nice to each other!