130 jungle, broken beats, darkstep, UK bass…. Call it what you want, 130BPM breakbeat-based music is in the rudest health for well over a decade right now.
From the likes of Cause & Affect & Taiki NuLight & LO’99’s Warfare to the endless broken funk arsenal on Night Bass and Punks and the work of Special Request, Jaded, Wuki, Mella Dee and LOADS more, breaks are the driving drum force in bass music right now.
Need more proof? Check Detboi’s Joyride EP on Metalheadz: four tracks of abstract futuristic slo-mo jungle. It’s yet another superlative dispatch from Goldie’s perennial beat station and develops nicely from his Scatter EP last year on the similarly respected leftfield bass authority Keysound. At time of writing it’s also currently slapping the UK official vinyl charts at 37.
Detboi may seem like a new name to fresher bass ears but he’s been around for the best part of a decade during the explosion of electro/fidget. With two albums, two epic nine-track EPs, countless singles and a two year hiatus to his name during that time, he’s been pretty prolific.
The best is yet to come though, he reckons. We’re inclined to agree. Get to know:
You’re up early…
I’m a 7am man… Nine-to-fiver, you know?
I do. I assumed you made music full time!
No I’m a graphic designer as well. But I’m happy with that. I like the normality of it. It keeps me grounded. I was doing it full time for a while, maybe five or six years ago, I was touring all the time but I felt a bit off-kilter during that period if I’m honest. I know everyone dreams of being the big artist who tours the world but I like the security of the day job. It’s not very rock and roll but that’s the way I am!
And the music always remains a fun pastime rather than a high pressured career…
Absolutely! That’s so so true. That two-year period when I was full time in music I felt my creativity was completely compromised by the situation. I was second guessing myself all the time because the releases became so pressurised. It was real job and every release had to be better than the last and had to make money and everything. That stifled creativity.
I’m gonna try and guess when you stopped doing it full time and started to give less fucks… Maybe the Sliding Doors album?
Bingo. That’s when I stopped producing for other people and produced for myself again and followed my heart. I started listening to a lot of old jungle and garage and started sampling loads of old stuff. I was happy with Sliding Doors and thought I’d put the music to the side for a while, took time out and worked out what I wanted to do. Then came back with Scatter on Keysound last year. I wanted to have that space and remind myself where I’d come from and where I wanted to go. I’ll sound like a proper old fogey now but I just wanted to go back to those original Moving Shadow and Metalheadz records that really inspired me. So old roots but with new ideas.
Which brings us nicely to Metalheadz… How did this release come about?
Oh this is a mad one… I was on holiday in New York having a great time. I’d sent these tracks to Paul Woolford for his Special Request sets and he’d played a few of them on his Essential Mix. Ant (TC1 – Metalheadz manager) heard them and got in touch with me and asked for my number. I got back and he replied ‘Goldie is going to ring you in 20 minutes’. Bang on time he called me, we had a chat, I had the tracks in my back pocket so to speak. I sent them over and they were all signed. It was perfect. Luckily I hadn’t sent them to any other labels.
Yeah it’s something I learnt very early on. Don’t send your music out to every label in the world. Keep hold of it until the right situation comes along. Value it. Mind you, I never valued the EP on a Metalheadz level but that’s the beauty of this situation!
Just when a holiday can’t get any better, Goldie calls!
Great isn’t it? He signed all tracks immediately. It was a 100 percent hit-rate too. That’s very rare. And then to get to work with Goldie on top of it all is just another level. We refined the arrangement and tweaked the production and added Goldie’s spoken word to create the aerodynamic version you hear today.
First time I heard it I thought Goldie was saying ‘you can’t help but do H’. Obviously he’s not saying that. But what is he saying?
Hahah! Everyone hears different things, which is the beauty of it. But he’s actually saying ‘you can’t help but be on that edge… We’re just joyriding’ It was inspired by these photos a photographer Ross McDonnell took of kids living in the Ballymun flats in Dublin. It was a really really deprived area in the 90s and the kids had literally nothing to do. So robbing cars is one thing they did to pass the time. It’s a pretty deep inspiration for a track but the raw reality of Ross’s photos hit me. Goldie’s line worked rhythmically over the beats so perfectly. He smashed it.
So we can expect more Detboi business on Metalheadz?
There’s definitely more to come, yes. I’m always sending them stuff now. Including 170 stuff too. It’s very exciting… It feels like the sound I have has found a home with them.
It feels like breaks have a found made themselves at home this year! Loads of interesting stuff happening now at all tempos. Especially the 130 mark.
So true! If I played the stuff I do now back in 2010 – all the weird, off-beaty, brokenbeaty, breakbeaty type of music – then I’d clear the floor! It’s the combination of garage and UK funky and dubstep and jungle and techno all coming together in this really exciting futuristic way. It’s very exciting!