This week saw Halogenix make his Metalheadz debut. Five tracks of sheet metal, rolling soul; it’s the Ivy Lab player at his crispest and most concise and features jazz legend Cleveland Watkiss on vocals.
We caught up with Halogenix to find out more about the EP and get a few facts about him that he’s never shared in an interview before. He did not disappoint. But first, some release-flavoured chats…
“I was writing this during the Ivy Lab 20 Questions EP,” he tells us. “The creative juices were flowing, I guess so in between studio time with Sabre and Stray, this was written during a lot of late sessions. The first track was actually Shores, which was written in late 2013. I sent it to Lenzman who sent it to Goldie who text me out of the blue. I had no idea who it was from, it just said ‘I’m signing Shores, write me an EP.”
The real jewel in the EP crown, though, is the title track All Blue. What started off as a Brandy bootleg developed a life of its own… Helped, in part, by a very enthusiastic Goldie.
“Yeah man Cleveland is a fucking legend!” grins Halogenix, real name Laurence. “I always knew the track was going to be vocal one, it actually started off with a Brandy acapella which is where the line ‘all blue’ came from. When Goldie said he’d get Cleveland in on the record I was ‘woah!’ It’s my first Metalheadz release and already Goldie’s pulling Cleveland out of the bag!’
“When I sent Goldie the first version of All Blue I got this mad phone call from him. All I could hear was my demo and some singing in the background. It was Goldie. He was like ‘yeah, love this! Gonna get Cleveland on it! Bye!’ then he hung up. I think Goldie wrote the lyrics, or they wrote them together. They were great. I used every bit of the vocals I got sent by them…”
That’s the story of the EP. Here are three more, direct from Halogenix himself. Seldom has a DJ been so winningly honest about their past….
I was thinking ‘fuck! There’s a strong chance I might shit myself behind the decks at Fabric tonight!’
He had a really vivid DJ day dream as a kid….
“So the first drum & bass CD I ever had was Pure D&B by Fabio & Grooverider. I stole it off my brother when I was about 10. I used to play it on repeat, especially the first four tracks. When we were on long car journeys I would have these tracks on and I’d imagine I was this superstar drum & bass DJ called DB Colours. DB stood for Drum Baron and, in my head, I was this big badboy DJ.
“One time we stopped at traffic lights and this kid was just staring at me. I had this mad fantasy where I was like ‘What are you looking at? Don’t you know who I am? I’m DB Colours!’ and he goes like ‘oh my God it’s DB Colours!’ The name was a bit too 90s to keep, but that gives you an idea of how long I’ve wanted to be a drum & bass DJ…”
The title of the first drum & bass track he ever made was ridiculous…
“The first beats I ever made were hip-hop beats. They were as shit as lot of the terrible hip-hop I was listening to, to be honest. Then I got my first laptop when I was 15 and it had Garageband on it. I was so shit! I had no idea what I was doing. When we started making drum & bass I picked a random tempo that I thought drum & bass was at (160 – so I was way off!) and made the shittest drum & bass tunes in my life. The first tune me and my mate made was called The Nangest Gangsterfied Pimp-Slapping Riddim. It was fucking terrible!”
He narrowly avoided a very messy set at Fabric a few months back…
“I recently swerved the worst Fabric nightmare ever. I was playing an Ingredients show and, two weeks before, I had the most horrendous food poisoning. Seriously, I was in bed for two weeks. I was like ‘shit! I need to play this show!’ I was on antibiotics and doing everything I could to make sure this set wasn’t a nightmare. Then, the night before the show, I started to feel better. I thought ‘okay, this is going to be alright’. Then I woke up on Friday and it wasn’t pretty. It was horrible. I was thinking ‘fuck! There’s a strong chance I might shit myself behind the decks at Fabric tonight!’ I dosed up on Immodium and was behind the decks sweating, pale, shaking. It was pretty bad. But it would have been A LOT worse if I hadn’t dosed up. Trust me, there was no hands in the air vibes that night!”