10 years old to the day. On March 12, 2010 we uploaded a game-changing release from Netsky…
Netsky’s third upload on UKF Drum & Bass and his first release on Hospital Records, Memory Lane was part of the label’s legendary Sick Music 2 album. Released as a massive double-A single ahead of the album with Camo & Krooked’s Turn Up (The Music) it was a pivotal release for the young Belgian artist who was aged just 19 at the time.
“It was an exciting time,” grins Netsky, AKA Boris Daenen. “I had been sending demos through AIM to Hospital for some time, hoping something would get picked up. There was always thread on Dogs On Acid or Drum&BassArena where everyone would be excited to hear which demos Tony had picked to play on the Hospital Records podcast. That was the biggest thing to happen in any young liquid producer’s life!”
It worked. In mid 2009, Boris’s AIM persistence – and the consistent noise he was making on other labels such as DJ Hype’s Liqweed Ganja, BCee’s Future Retro and KG’s Talking Beats – led to a discussion Hospital founders Tony Colman and Chris Goss who showed interest in his music, Memory Lane in particular. But then he heard a track that made him doubt everything.
“Then Beautiful Lies came along,” says Boris. “I remember hearing it and thinking ‘wow. I don’t stand a chance of getting signed to Hospital when there’s talented people like this. This is it for me. Bad timing. There are too many artists on Hospital – they’re never going to want me.’ B-Complex had made a song that incredible.”
Turns out Hospital did want Netsky and there was more than enough space on the label for both tracks. B-Complex’s cult banger Beautiful Lies landed on the inaugural Sick Music album in June 2009 just as Boris had begun talking to the label. Nine months later, Memory Lane came crashing into our lives. As did many more significant Netsky releases… Including his debut self-titled album that landed just months after.
“It all happened in such a rush,” Boris recalls. “It must have been 2009 so I was 18 or just 19 and Hospital Records invited me to take a trip to London. Before they signed me they added me to the Hospitality line-ups in London and Brighton and everything just spiralled from there. It’s quite interesting to think how quick everything happened at the time. This was where everything really started to take off…”
10 years, two more albums, countless killer live shows and extensive explorations across the electronic music board with artists from across the widest possible spectrum later and rumour has it Boris is back on the D&B. Could we see a sign of a return to vibes like Memory Lane that gave him that boost on the label ten years ago?
“I’m really enjoying drum & bass at the moment, sure” admits the man who’s collaborated with an incredible range of artists from Beth Ditto to David Guetta via Lil Wayne, Aloe Blacc, Macklemore and Emile Sande. “I’ve always enjoyed it. But I think it’s fair to say I’ve been very inspired lately…”
Make of that what you will.