WORDS

6 Reasons Why We Need To Pay Attention To Southpoint

 

As a label, their releases are supported by the likes of My Nu Leng, TQD, Conducta, Skepsis, Holy Goof, Compa and N-Type.

As a collective, they boast stacks of exciting bass music newcomers and hyped risers: Bushbaby, Bru-C, KXVU, Moony, Pavv, Inkline, Mofaux, Chemist RNS and many many more.

As a sound, they dig deep into the darkest corners of the dance. Anything from 128-140 goes as they fuse, smelt and twist up elements and references across the board; grime, bassline, dubstep, house, breakbeats and everything in between.

It’s Brighton-based Southpoint: A label who have rocketed to underground prominence since launching just over two years ago, and done so on their own terms with their own local artists. 10 albums, 30 singles and 20 parties deep into their ambition, the label – run by KXVU and Josh Gunston – has developed into a 24/7 machine that also includes management and publishing operations… And seems to be growing by the day.

To celebrate 5k followers on Soundcloud, they’ve just dropped their fourth free Interval album: The Refix edition where some of the artists remix each other’s tracks. It includes concentrated gully like this…

With new sounds and names firing from all sides on a near-weekly basis, we called KXVU and Josh to learn the Southpoint story so far…

They’re a legit crew with roots

Like many of music’s best crews and collectives, Southpoint comes from a tangible moment and physical place in time. Inspired by the underground party scene in their hometown Brighton during the early 2010s, Southpoint runs counterpoint to the scene’s sudden decline two years ago.

KXVU: Josh and I both grew up here, we both came up to grime and dubstep. I was DJing and playing out at 15 and was lucky enough to be playing during Brighton’s bass golden age. Around 2009 – 2013. It was on point. There were three or four big dubstep or grime or drum & bass nights happening every weekend. It was like how Bristol is now. But somewhere along the line it all fizzled out. The switch of emphasis went on student culture rather than music culture. More VIP champagne socials, more house nights instead of bass music. It was a big shift in how the city was perceived.

Josh: There were still nights happening and still people doing things but it didn’t feel connected or really exciting. So I approached Jay (KXVU) about starting a label. We knew there were people here making music so we went for it. We did the first release and instantly we felt like we were connecting things locally again. Bushbaby was another one. From there a lot of MCs and beatmakers who had gone on to do other projects were coming back and re-engaging in a scene and collective like we had eight years ago. Word spread and we were lucky to have a core unit of artists.

 

They’re not riding off big names or hype

Nurturing their own sound and talent, developing their message from the roots, Southpoint champion new talent and encourage each other as a crew growing together.

Josh: We’re really proud that a large section of our core people were brought into it with their debut release with us. Not all; Moony for example has been around for a long time who we’ve looked up to. Pav is another one who’d been doing things before but it’s all been very organic – there’s not been any forced releases like getting in touch with a big name and asking them for a release. We don’t see the benefit of it – we like keeping it like a story. This is where we went, this is how we’ve grown together, this is what we’re doing…

KXVU: Our most successful releases are from the original collective. Me, bushbaby, Drax, Noble, Triple S, Inkline, Tengu, Pavv, Moony, JFO. We don’t go hunting for people. We got a core group of 35 artists. We’ve got enough people on the come-up we don’t need to look elsewhere and outsource for a headliner release. We want to build them up so they can go on any label and sell it out. We want them to be in for the long run. We’re not just slinging out singles. It’s a story and everyone plays a lead role. There are no extras.

 

The same goes for their parties…

No big headliners rung-in for failsafe elbow room solutions: Since launching last year, Southpoint parties and takeovers are all about their own crew. Just like the label releases.

Josh: Our first night was for our anniversary celebration last summer in Brighton. It sold out and there were people I hadn’t seen in years from the old music scene all coming out for it. That was so important for us. We work the nights around our line-up rather than going out to get big headliners. If we’re going to start our events our artists need to be billed as headliners. We’ve done a lot more parties now and spread around the country doing things in Bristol.

 

They’re a home for bass music’s new generation of MCs

MCs are valued as highly as producers and DJs at Southpoint with the likes of Bru-C, Razor and Danny Jaqq representing the new breed of mic men. Southpoint’s recent free album Interval Volume 3 is a great snapshot of the vocal presence on the label.

Josh: MCs are essential. They play a major part in the events, the radio sessions and the releases, from now.

KXVU: Vocals are a huge thing for us. There’s a massive gap in bass culture for MCs vocaling EPs in an underground fashion. So we’ve made them a serious part of the collective. Not just featuring on tracks but, like the Interval album that crafted with vocalists who’d worked with us, done radio shows, performed with us. It was like a proper album.

With their Introducing project, Southpoint are constantly contributing… A lot of it is yours for free, too.

The vocal Interval album is just one of many free Southpoint deliveries. Since launching in 2015 they’ve marked anniversaries and community growth with various full free download albums. Interval Vol 4, released this week to mark 5000 followers on Soundcloud, sees the label’s talent getting their paws mucky on each other’s beats, while Southpoint Introducing is a vehicle to support and amplify more new talent. Launched earlier this year it’s been responsible for blinders like this…

KXVU: We’re getting a lot of people sending us music but we plan a year ahead on the EP side of things so we need to find a way of supporting it and getting it out there. So we set up a second channel that’s just singles and is our way of releasing and bringing new people into the collective. We can use it as an outlet for current artists waiting. It’s part of our release promo with free releases. It’s a second lane that eases the congestion.

Josh: We treat Introducing releases and the free albums as we treat full releases. There’s never any throwaway tracks on there. We strive to have the best free download album. I’m really pleased with Interval Vol 4. It’s a homage to our talent. It represents everything we’re about and all the people who wouldn’t have worked together before without the hub we’ve created.

 

Most importantly, they’re not f**king about m8…

Two years deep and Southpoint have accelerated from a small Brighton-based label to an all-out operation comprising management and events. No half measures; this is a long-haul thing.

Josh: A lot of new artists haven’t seen a publishing contract or know that much about it. This is what I’ve trained in and I want to do this the right way. The real way. I want to look after our artists and develop them. Just because it’s bass music it doesn’t have to be amateur. If the big labels can do it, why can’t we? I wanted to make sure our artists were published so they get their royalties and other revenue streams. Our artists are growing with us and could see how well the label was doing so they were happy to be managed by us. We want to make sure there’s money in it for people so they continue making music and don’t quit because they can’t make a living. Things might have happened quickly for us but we’re in it for the long game.

Download Interval Vol 4 – The Remixes

Follow Southpoint: Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud