Flashback: Five big moments in the life of Joe Ford

Joe Ford

Joe Ford first appeared on the UKF Network with raw rumbling dubstep tracks such as Unsafe and Frozen Sound. Confidently establishing himself across various genres, right now he’s peddling some seriously full-strength drum & bass.

Gritty, muscular and peppered with savage sound design, his previous releases on the likes of Bad Taste, Caliber and Med School have landed him a secure place among the Shogun family. Teasing us with Stride on Shogun’s Way Of The Warrior collection late last year, he’s now fronting with his official label debut – The Moment / Neon.

“This is the first time I really pushed and pushed myself in terms of quality,” admits Joe. “I put my all into it.  With me, if it’s not sounding great after a few days then I give it up because I’m sick of it. So if I spent more than a few days and it wasn’t releasable, I’d bin it. With this I had to carry on with it. I got obsessed with it.”

The obsession’s paid off. The Moment is backed up by the equally stunning Neon and is out now on Shogun Audio. Expect plenty more, including his first full EP for the label before the summer. Joe’s incredible journey is just beginning… We asked him for five moments that have left the biggest impressions on him so far. He came back with six. What a champ.

Moment 1: Buying Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory

When I was a young kid, weirdly enough, I never cared about music. I was fully into skateboarding and nothing else. I didn’t have time for music! I didn’t dislike and it was around me but I never bought records or played anything so it took me years before i bought my first album… Hybrid Theory by Linkin Park.

I must have had it on repeat for years. I adored it. This, combined with my brother starting to play the drums, meant I started getting lessons and my musical life started. I wouldn’t be here talking to you if it wasn’t for this album.

Moment 2. Hearing dubstep for the first time

It sounded nothing like anything I’d heard before and I instantly wanted to know how those crazy noises were being made.

I was on a lunch break at school and a couple of mates of mine where on a PC listening to awful quality rips of Datsik tunes on YouTube. I’d heard about dubstep, but I’d been told it was just noise and I ignored it along with every electronic music genre. Anyway, I gave it a go and was instantly caught by Datsik’s  Havoc.

It sounded nothing like anything I’d heard before and I instantly wanted to know how those crazy noises were being made. We had some lousy copies of Logic in school so I knew what I needed to get started and began collecting some bits like Cubase and some soft synths. The next few months I just buried myself in crazy wobble sounds. Like I say, I hated electronic music out of principal before this but Datsik was so different to what I’d heard before. I was hooked!

Moment 3: Signing my first record

I was at work scanning greeting cards for hours on end when I got an email from the owner of Ammunition records saying he was interested in releasing my music. I could not believe my eyes!

It was Serrated on Ammunition. I had no idea Ammunition were interested in it… I’d just put it up on Soundcloud and the Neurofunkgrid had sent it around. This email came from nowhere. I was like ‘what?!?!’ and I spent the next hours relentlessly refreshing my emails after I replied… Simultaneously making sure my boss didn’t know I was on the internet. I must have text everyone i knew right then and there!


Moment 4: My first gig abroad

After producing for a couple years there had become a demand for me to start playing sets and start gigging – something that I had never really thought about. I had naively thought I could make a living from just producing music!

After a very short time practicing it was time to fly out to Vienna, Austria and play. This was only my second time performing so naturally I was shitting my pants! Looking back I wasn’t very good but the crowd were great and received it well. I loved it and didn’t really realise until a few months later that it was the first real taste of what my career would become… I couldn’t be happier that making tunes lead to these exciting times I’m living now.

Moment 5: Signing the deal

It was hard to believe I was sat having a meal with the owners of Shogun talking about ‘joining the family’!

Through a few friends my music had managed to reach the ears of Shogun Audio’s head bossman Friction. I was having a pint with a mate one night and I got a text from the man himself!

I initially thought it was a hoax but played along… It turned out he was interested in releasing some tunes of mine and I ended up going down to Brighton to the offices to meet them. I remember the whole day vividly, it was equal parts exciting and scary… It was hard to believe I was sat having a meal with the owners of Shogun talking about ‘joining the family’! One of my fondest memories to date.

Extra Moment: Hearing Noisia – Stigma

For those who haven’t heard this tune, please please check it! It remains, in my eyes, one of the best  – if not THE – best drum & bass tune to date. It’s everything I wanted (and still want) to capture in my music. I was in my mate’s room at university and he said there’s a tune that he really needed to show me… He was right!

Not only was this a great piece of music, but it led me on to the artists who remain in my favourites today. Artists such as Spor, Calyx & TeeBee and of course Noisia themselves! A massive musical life-changer.