It started as a bootleg… It ended as dancefloor smasher.
Last week we uploaded Friction – Dare which, most of you will recognise, is a D&B flex-up of a 2005 Gorillaz classic. Will full approval from Damon Albarn himself and the vocals re-sung by Noodle herself, we called up Friction to find out more… And left with even more information than we expected: It seems Friction’s label Elevate is levelling up and his debut album is currently en route!
“I’ve now established Elevate Audio as part of the Shogun Group. It’s the label for the bigger dancefloor smashers and allows us to make sure Shogun can be dedicated to the underground sound we’ve developed. If anything I want to take Shogun even deeper and darker! Having Elevate Audio for the bigger tracks will ensure we’ve got the labels for both types of sounds which I love and play in my sets.”
Why now? Simple… He wants to release his album on Elevate next year so is putting everything into place and developing it from here.
“There was never plan with Elevate before,” he explains. “I’d just made tracks like Long Gone Memory and Freak and knew didn’t fit Shogun so put them out on Elevate. It was never right to properly launch the label with any real long term mission until now; the album is nearing completion we’re ready to take it to the next level. There’ll be more EPs throughout summer and autumn of 2016 and we should hopefully be looking at an early 2017 release.”
First, though, Dare. It’s backed by three other propane party busters: the riffy electroid Hyperion with Fourward, a horn-kissed piano slapper Find Our Way and Connected, a techy roller that pays homage to Underfire Records, the crew Friction broke through with in the late 90s. And here’s how it came about…
Friction – Dare (Hold It Down)
“I’ve always thought for ages that Dare would make a really cool bootleg. The original has always made me think it would work well as a D&B tune. I looked for an acapella online for hours and the only one I could find was this terrible quality version. I thought I’d try it out as a bootleg and see if it worked. To be honest, it was a botched job. I had to do so much to get it semi-passable to play out but it had a great reaction… The chorus is one of those ones that everyone knows and the reaction was actually beyond what I expected. People were going nuts for it.
“So I asked my management ‘is there anything we can do with this?’ Rather than give it away for free, it would be great to try and develop it into a full release with a re-sung vocal and everything. So my publisher contacted Damon Albarn, he heard it and approved it and let us use the vocal! I really thought Damon wouldn’t be up for it. Just didn’t think he’d be up for a drum & bass version to be honest! So it was a pleasant surprise when he did.
“What was even more surprising is that I already knew Noodle. It’s Roses Gabor. I didn’t know this! We’ve been talking for years about doing stuff together as she’s a fantastic writer and singer. Finding out she was Noodle was a touch. She came and, no pun intended, elevated it from a bootleg with a horrendous 128k internet sample to a proper track that I’m incredible proud of!”