Who did you have round to celebrate your first birthday? Your mum? Maybe your nan? Some cousins? A chum from nursery?
Sorry to tell you but Annix and Simula have you beat. To mark the first birthday of their label Neksus Sound, they’ve got the likes of Emperor and Phace over to the party. More guests are arriving over the next month, and they’re not just playing the typical games you’d expect at a kid’s party. They’re remixing some of Annix’s many massive bangers!
It all began with the Emperor remix of Diagram mid-September. A savage flip from Phace is dropping tomorrow, Friday October 8. Three more huge versions are dropping over the course of the next four weeks. All from incredibly on-point, forward-thinking artists.
To mark the occasion, and catch up with the lads since we announced the label in September 2020, we asked Annix to share some worldly wisdom about remixes – including their favourites and three golden remix rules. But first, a few notes on Neksus, making club music during a global lockdown and where hybrid jump-up is at right now. Get to know.
It’s been a year since you launched Neksus Sound – how’s it been?
To be honest, the response has blown us away. It’s come so far already in such a short space of time and the team we have around us is amazing. The main ethos of the project has been passion and we hope that shines through.
Let’s have some highlights…
What jumps out for us is probably War Cries from Hexa. He’s a new artist from Newcastle making some really cool tunes. It was a dub for ages and had a lot of hype online, as well as in the clubs pre-lockdown.
Another would be Angels from Simula. It’s one of his best tracks and we were really pleased he wanted to put it on Neksus. Simula is giving 10% of his royalties to MIND charity in support of mental health. It’s a great feeling to be able to do something like that with this project.
How would you say the hybrid jump-up sound has developed in the last year?
I’d say it started to incorporate a lot more influences from other styles of music, but it was also weird putting out all this music during lockdown, as the main thing we look for in every release is, ‘Can this work in a club?’ This was certainly ironic, as we weren’t going to clubs, I guess it’s more a feeling it needs to give us. Now we have all this amazing music to play now that clubs are open.
Besides yourselves, who are the real shining lights pushing the hybrid jump up sound the most?
I think it’s definitely worth mentioning Skantia. He has a really nice blend of technicality, vibe and emotion, and for us that’s perfect. Also Simula of course, and there’s a handful of new artists making very interesting stuff that we’re very excited about.
Earlier on Noisia were definitely a massive influence on that sound, around the time of Stamp Out, Reptilians and Diplodocus. When those tunes came out a lot changed, and a lot of the neuro/tech guys started giving more Jump up influenced stuff a chance. Hazard definitely had early influences on the sound too.
So tell us about this remix EP…
It started off with wanting to do a Diagram remix for the anniversary of Neksus. We really wanted an incredible producer who could push the song further. An opportunity came up for Emperor and of course being big fans for a while, we jumped at it. We then decided to turn it into a remix project and got a load of Annix stuff from throughout the year remixed from some of our favourite producers. We are so happy this project, it has been really cool to hear some of our favourite producers take the tunes further. Big love to everyone involved…
Annix’s 3 Golden Tips For Remixing
* The first process would be deciding if there are elements in the track that inspire creative ideas. It could range from as little as a vocal sample to lots of sounds that you may want to use or twist. In general, we’ve found if there isn’t a creative idea in mind from the get-go with a remix, then the execution can lack and it doesn’t always come together.
* It needs to somehow be coherent with the original track. Sometimes a remix can be so far from the original track that it almost isn’t a remix anymore. I think a good remix should have at least some of the vibe from the original track or it seems pretty pointless. The best remixes are usually a mix of the nostalgic feeling of the original vibe in context with something new and fresh. Similar to how a lot of DJs play sets.
* Realise when it’s not working. There’s no point forcing something out. Generally if the main vibe of a remix doesn’t come together quickly then it maybe isn’t worth carrying on with. For us anyway! We’ve started lots of ideas of remixes for people and, somewhere along the line. the vibe has been lost, so we normally just leave it. I think it shines through in music when the process has been fun for the artist.
Annix’s Top 3 Persy Remixes
MUST DIE – Hellcat (Annix Remix)
This was one of the main tunes that gave us a step into the D&B scene. It got a lot of DJ support from across the board, including Skrillex and Noisia. We started doing a lot more international shows after this came out and we had loads of fun doing it; the old school rave chords in the intro instantly jumped out at us as a cool element and we came up with an idea pretty quickly.
Mefjus – Pivot (Annix Remix)
When Martin asked us to do this we were honoured/shocked. It was so amazing to us to know he was a fan of what we were doing. He is hands down one of our favourite producers of all time and we are constantly blown away by what he does. So, to remix one of his tracks was a big thing for us.
Potential Badboy – You’re Mine (Annix Remix)
Again this was another track that was an honour to remix. It was such a big tune back in the day and we have so many great memories surrounding this era of D&B. We were able to pick a track from the Playaz back catalogue to remix and instantly this jumped out as something we wanted to do.