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Our series of anniversary assessments continues as we throw back to some of our highest ever viewed uploads, speaking to the men involved to try and capture the vibe of these golden moments in time. And of the top five biggest hitters on UKF Dubstep, no one features as frequently as Flux Pavilion. Three of the top five come from him, and each of the uploads have a really awesome story behind them.
Flux is currently working on some really interesting projects – of which we’ll have news on in the coming weeks – but right now we’ve kidnapped him, strapped him into our time machine and whisked him right back to the summer of 2010. Unlike most kidnap scenarios, he doesn’t seem to mind. In fact he’s more than happy to reflect on each track, how they mark an essential moment in musical accessibility and clique-free freedom AND how they completely bombed when first dropped in a club!
That’s what the UKF audience was always based on: listening to music because it excites you. UKF gave everyone the opportunity to have access to that music. The freshest music. Music that hadn’t come out yet.
“All these tracks made me want to get up, dance and go party. I’m not much of a dancing guy but all of these have made me dance,” he explains. “And they all come with a lesson: Don’t make a record because it sounds ‘big’ or ‘current’, make it because it feels good.”
“People didn’t like these when they first came out,” he continues, somewhat shockingly. “Labels weren’t excited about releasing them. When me and Doctor P started Circus I’d just been to university and grown up in a small town in the Midlands. I didn’t know about scenes or dubplates or the underground. We were just writing the type of music we were writing because it excited us and we thought it sounded cool.
“That’s what the UKF audience was always based on: listening to music because it excites you. Dubstep started as a scene. People would go to shows because they were clued up about it. They knew a guy. They knew a DJ. They knew an MC. But UKF gave everyone the opportunity to have access to that music. The freshest music. Music that hadn’t come out yet. It was the start of the internet being used as the world’s best ever music machine. That’s all the internet is now isn’t it? Just a great way of listening to, and discovering, all your favourite music! UKF started that – bringing the music to everyone who didn’t access to really cool underground, grungy dubstep raves.”
Here are Flux Pavilion’s three most viewed uploads and the stories behind each of them… Be prepared some seriously deep insight.
Freestylers – Cracks (Ft Belle Humble) (Flux Pavilion Remix)
Uploaded: April 27 2010
I actually played this for the first time at The End and it went down terribly. The worst you’ve ever seen a track go down. SKiSM looked at me and said ‘maybe we won’t release this’
“I didn’t know what a remix was back then! With this I thought the vocal sounded cool and I made it into a dubstep track! After that I listened to loads of different remixes and realised that a remix was usually more of a re-mixed track but I’d rewritten this completely! It was my first ever remix and it came about through meeting SKiSM.
He’d just started Never Say Die and I was talking to him online thinking ‘wow, I’m talking to SKiSM!’ I asked him what he had coming out and he listed a few things along with a Flux Pavilion remix. I was like ‘what are you on about? That’s me!’ He coaxed me into it. He willed this into existence. I actually played this for the first time at The End and it went down terribly. The worst you’ve ever seen a track go down. SKiSM looked at me and said ‘maybe we won’t release this’. We didn’t for a while but he needed a B-side so we thought ‘fuck it!’. The same thing happened with Sweet Shop… We dropped it and people walked out. I had to drop a Caspa record to get people back into the dance!”
DJ Fresh – Gold Dust (Flux Pavilion Remix)
Uploaded: May 20 2010
I actually hate collaborating now because my stuff sounds really shit for ages but then it comes together at the end.
“I loved the original track from his Kryptonite album, I loved the vocal version and I loved it when Fresh called me up to remix it. I just time-stretched it at 140 to see how it would sound thought ‘yeah that works’. Sometimes the most simple ideas are the best! To give you an idea of how I work, my life is a mess! I appear to be in control but my studio is total chaos. Doctor P refuses to work with me on certain co-labs because of the way I work. I actually hate collaborating now because my stuff sounds really shit for ages but then it comes together at the end.
People will say ‘oh that sounds shit!’ And I’ll say ‘you wait!’. It’s just how it rolls. And the way this came about is a classic example… I time stretched it then threw samples in, played around to see what worked. Again, I played this for the first time at Fabric and it went down sooooo badly! Fresh actually filmed it on his phone and there was loads of smoke in the club. So it looked like it went off. He showed that to Ministry and they weren’t really feeling my remix at the time. After watching it they decided to release it. They put it out as the B-side. The rest is history.”
Flux Pavilion – I Can’t Stop
Uploaded: August 6 2010
Go with feeling and take it. If you’re excited with an idea stick with it. That’s what I have always done and will continue to do!
“I’ve always tried to get notes and melodies into the basses. I didn’t want to smash out sounds with no real melody. That’s my general vibe; loads of different sounds coming together. Like a four-note chord, played on four different synths. Like reeds on an accordion. I’ve studied instrumentation and learnt loads of interesting things; for example you’d never put a piccolo flute and standard flute together because they sound horrible together. In fact the frequency of a piccolo flute complements an oboe. So when you’re sitting down to write a score you don’t need to hear how it sounds because you know those combinations work together beautifully. I approach synthesis in the same way and this is the first example of me implementing that technique.
Another cool thing that happened during this track was when I was talking to my housemate Odjbox. He was making hip-hop in the room next door. We were chatting to each other on the phone and he was playing music. I could hear this mad melody between what I could hear on the phone and what was coming through the wall. That mad sound was what inspired me to make I Can’t Stop. I eventually went in to his room to listen to what he was making and it was like nothing I was hearing in my head at all! A good lesson there… Go with feeling and take it. If you’re excited with an idea stick with it. That’s what I have always done and will continue to do!
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