Sometimes a tune comes along from a new name that seems a little too good to be a newcomer artist. Whether it’s something in the production, the weight, the groove or just too rooted in the classic fundamentals to come from a wet-eared freshman, something doesn’t add up. There’s got to be a catch…
Such is the case with Unglued: his track Bootstrap Bill is throbbing away on Hospital’s new Sick Music album like some type of sore rattling junglist badboy thumb. It’s vibey, energetic, a little unpredictable. There’s a Nightflight air about those opening risers. There’s a Serum or Voltage feel to the rough, electrical current bassline, there’s a punch to the drums that are definitely on the Break spectrum. Something had to be up. No newcomer just lands on one of the biggest D&B labels with a track like this. We smell an alias. Even Rene LaVice did when he dropped it on his recent show. He even thought it was Break, too…
Turns out we were wrong. Unglued is a very new artist. He has had a little previous in other genres but this isn’t a conspiracy, it’s not a big mystery, there is no big drum & bass swindle here today.
“No one knows who I am!” laughs the 23-year-old Brighton-based artist who actually named the track Bootstrap Bill after his mate Matt’s drunken catchphrase. His first interaction with jungle was when he was 10 when his uncle (a man known to Unglued as Stoppy who we’ve been advised to big up) played him an old school mix on a fishing trip. We don’t know if he caught any fish that day but he definitely caught the D&B bug and his local record emporium RK Bass has been feeding it ever since.
“I’ve just been making beats, not sending them to anyone, and I randomly sent some tunes to Nu:Tone’s mastering company. Just to be mastered for a free download I was giving away. He got back saying he really liked the beats and could he have so more. I hadn’t even sent a demo to Hospital! I didn’t think my tracks were ready to send to labels.”
Turns out he was wrong. Hospital’s A&R senses all a tingling the minute Dan Nu:Tone sent over the beats, they’ve since signed two tracks and aren’t ruling out more in the future. The first sign of this pact was Ay on last year’s Hospitality In The Park album where Unglued also played on the up-and-comer-fuelled Incubator stage. A slinky stepper laced with subtle dreamy flourishes, as far as stealth label debuts go, it’s a wounder…
2018 is less likely to be stealthy. Bigger release plans are likely and his DJ schedule is developing with his next major booking being Hospitality In The Dock.
“And it’s my birthday, too!” laughs Unglued. “I’m going to have to be well-behaved! I can’t wait, though. It’s going to be sick.”
For all things sickness in the mean time, Sick Music 2018 is an impressive collection. The label’s first Sick Music collection in six years, Unglued is joined by a whole wealth of genuinely exciting talent. John B, Kings Of The Rollers, Klute, Reso, Seba & Physics, Justin Martin & Leeroy Peppers, Pola & Bryson and many many more all feature on one of the label’s freshest compendiums in years.
“It’s a bit of an honour to be on an album like this,” laughs Unglued. “It’s still all a bit of blur. I only sent something to be mastered and all this has happened as a result. I’m amazed and really excited – I didn’t think shit like this actually happened.”