Monday, October 31, 2011

Rinse October ft Damu

Me & Dusk were back on Rinse Thursday 27th at 11pm with very special guest and Rinse debutant, Damu.

DOWNLOAD the audio here.

Dusk & Blackdown ft Damu Rinse FM October 2011

Princess Nyah and Champion “Crazy (Martin Clark special)” [unreleased]
Sepalcure "The One" [forthcoming Hot Flush]
Champion “War Dance” [forthcoming Roska Kicks and Snares]
DJ Salem "Bomberman (Mr P remix)" [unreleased]
Sunday Roast “Troitech” [forthcoming Soulserious]
Sunday Roast “Roll On” [forthcoming Soulserious]
86 Baby “86 Baby” [free download]
Reuben G “East West” [unreleased]
DJ Salem “Bomberman (Truce Tribal Remix)” [unreleased]
DVA “Polyphonic Dreams” [forthcoming Hyperdub]
Matt IQ “Hench” [unreleased]
XI “Whiteout” [Surreal Estate]
HGLDT & Hissy Fit “Last Summer Dub (Martin Kemp Remix)” [forthcoming]
Cardopusher “Guava Blossom” [forthcoming DVA]
Joss Ryan “Who Knew” [forthcoming DVA]
Author “Fix” [Tectonic]

***Damu in the mix***

Thefft “Simple Questions” [unreleased]
Adam & Eve “Untitled” [unreleased]
Damu “Balistik” [unreleased]
Damu “Pro Doubt” [unreleased]
Damu “A Day Without You” [unreleased]
Brackles “No Games” [unreleased]
Benoit & Sergio “Walk and Talk” [Visionquest]
Damu “Shimmer” [unreleased]
Richelle “Bendin” [Pelican Fly]
Damu “Muse” [unreleased]
DJ Rashad “In Da Club For 11 o Clock” [Planet Mu]
Wheez-ie “Keep Yer Chin Up” [Embassy Recordings]

Dusk & Blackdown: last 30mins

Author "Mothership" [Tectonic]
Author “Revolutions” [Tectonic]
Visionist “Waves” [unreleased]
V.I.V.E.K. “Soundman” [forthcoming Deep Medi]
Trim “I Am (Epoch's back 2 the jack moves remix)” [unreleased]
No Fixed Abode “For the Thrown” [unreleased]
Preditah “The One” [unreleased]
Gremino “Accordion Tune (VIP mix)” [via Bandcamp]
Roska “Without It (Terror Danjah Remix)” [unreleased]
Sines and Juxta “Untitled” [unreleased]
Swindle “1035.1” [unreleased]
??? “BIRDIEremixCOOLEYBAmaster” [???]

You can still download last month's audio here. All our old Rinse shows are archived here. (That page means a lot to me).

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Berlin 2011

BASF: how east do you go?

Dusk and I were in Berlin last weekend for our first gig there and I thought I’d share some reflections before they fade. Getting to travel through DJing is a wonderful blessing, not just because you get to share the music you feel the most with a bunch of new people, but because you get to absorb new surroundings and environments.

Given the rich history and current vibrancy of the city I’m unsure if I’d ever be able to cover any meaningful amount of ground after a mere weekend, but I wanted to part what I’d adsorbed over a weekend through the medium of the shots I took.

My first experience of Berlin was a long, winding bus ride with one of my hosts, Mene, co-promoter of Zeitgeist Sessions. Busses are great ways to watch a city and it was even better taking one not having to be anywhere in a hurry. It snaked through fairly nondescript parts of town before offering up the kind of surreal experience usually only NYC affords, as you turn a corner and find yourself piecing together one new-yet-so-familiar ionic sight after another (“oh that’s the Fernsehturm ... ah there’s the Reichstag... oh hello Brandenburg Gate...”).

Yet I nearly missed the cities’ most famous landmark, the wall, having walked passed it with my guide without quite realising its significance. Standing in former no man’s land, it was hard to take in the full historical importance of the now much graffiti’d wall, not least because the club we were due to play that evening (reggae venue/compound Yaam – think the apocalyptic Black Swan in Bristol x the West India Centre in Leeds but with a beach) is literally built out of it. Standing in cold biting wind, absorbing the Technicolor graffiti and talking about the process of explaining to your Christian grandfather about converting to Sufi Islam (and about others that had), its difficult to imagine what had gone on in that space, decades before.  

While I’m interested in identity, graffiti, in the classic NYC tradition, isn’t really my thing. Sure it’s underground expression but there came a realisation in the last decade that it was the underground expression of the youth of the ‘80s – and it had dated. Part of me feels sometimes you need to reject certain canons to move on. This was probably accelerated by having to write about breakdance events at Knowledge mag and having Sadler’s Well’s PR try and sell me their graf backdropped event. Sometimes you just gotta let certain shit go and make the present your own. (I felt much the same, about 10 years ago, about the aging acid house bores who told us all at length how everything we experienced in clubs couldn’t possibly be as great as it was in ’88. In the privacy of my own mind, I told them to shove their mind blowing memories and went off to discover the seeds of dubstep and grime).

Either way, Berlin, it has to be said, is absolutely covered in graffiti and I’m not just talking about the examples on the wall that you see above. Every wall of every home or building has some kind of quickly scribbled tag on it. Most of it looks childish, the kind of thing you do in early secondary school and if that’s the case someone really needs to give a lot of 14 year olds in Berlin something else to do. I’m really into urban decay but mostly it makes lots of the buildings look grubby in an uninteresting way. These caught my eye though...

The latter wasn’t me, honest...

Next off was the compulsory pilgrimage to Hardwax records, the stairs of which you can see above. I first began buying Basic Channel records and hence dreaming about Hardwax, longer ago that I care to remember, so for my first visit to Berlin I simply had to attend, even though my personal thirst for actual vinyl now has diminished (I have a lot of vinyl now, I spend large amounts of time getting vinyl made but I listen to music mostly while on the move, I get sent more music that I have time on the move...).

I’d asked around and sent an email in advance, and Torsten (aka T++ aka Resilent  aka Various Artists) was kind enough to reply that he was in the shop that day and to come say hello.

We stood by the window and within seconds fell into the kind of conversation I usually have with old friends I’ve known for years. It was wonderful, uncannily akin in warmth and intensity to speaking with Mala. We talked about a bunch of things but I especially recall returning to a theme I’ve thought a lot about over recent years, about the relationship between money and music, especially as I’ve seen so many people I artistically respected evaporate all that was interesting about their music so they can pander to ever larger audiences and pay for mortgages and the like. (I’m all up for people paying off their mortgages, I just don’t want to have to listen to music that sounds like it was written while picturing someone’s bank manager).  Hearing Torsten’s passion for uncompromising music was great though as people buy sterile commercial music in ever increasing volumes, I fear his convictions were more familiar to me than most.

Now why include the two, fairly self-centred images of a Keysound section in Hardwax and our flyer for that night on their wall? Ego ting, no?!

Taking those shots took me back and reminded me of why I originally got into music, what my reasons and motives were. I try and think about that ‘me’ now and then, so I don’t lose sight of where it all came from and, well, end up writing/writing about music for my bank manager.

I guess all musicians/bloggers/DJs probably have hopes, dreams or even ambitions and I suspect over time they may change. But part of me thinks they never should, that you should be as idealistic and devoted to the music as you were when you first fell in love with it. If that’s last week then you’re good but if that was quite some time ago then chances are other factors and forces have challenged you.

Personally, I don’t have epic ambitions when making music. I don’t wish to DJ to 50,000 people; some of the biggest gigs - like the one we did at the Roxy on Hollywood Boulevard – were some of the most soul destroying. And that's cool: we DJ with a Plastic People mindset and there was a disconnect. So when I see my records in Hardwax – a distant illusion of a shop I dreamt of as I first passionately began to fall in love with music many years ago – I took a moment to recognise to that old self of mine the milestone that had passed, and to recognise it as an important milestone – not dismiss it as trivial now peers have achieved far greater notoriety.  

[L-R] Pinch, Shackleton and Kuedo. 

When talking to Torsten about people who have managed to reach wider audiences without compromise, Shackleton’s name came up and thanks to a little advance planning, we were due to meet him for drinks that evening. I’d also contacted fellow Berlin resident Kuedo aka Jamie Vex’d (ex-Vex’d?). As fate would have it Pinch was also in town so we all met up.

It was great to see everyone again. As they sat there in the bar in Kreutzberg, it occurred to me that I’d met all of them – Pinch, Kuedo, Shackleton – at Plastic People... and look at them all now! Jamie’s written perhaps my album of the year, Shackleton’s Fabric CD was so zero compromise it’s not funny and Pinch, well to say I admire his vision and work rate is a total understatement. He reeled of a handful of amazing projects he’s working on or has finished, has collaborated with one of my all time hero’s and was off for dinner that night with a second. Respect where it’s very much due. 

My interviews with Pinch, Shackleton and Kuedo are, erm, there.

As for the gig, well it one of the ones that dreams were made of. When we entered the Yaam compound it wasn’t exactly rammed but you immediately got a sense of warmth from the place and everyone who was there stayed.

Over 90 minutes we played music by Damu, Sully, Logos, Dubble Dutch, Kowton, Champion, Act Raiser, Eastwood, SP:MC, Goth Trad, Visionist, Double Helix, Amen Ra, Footsie, LV, Trim, El-B, Wiley, Sines, Boogie Times Tribe, Omni Trio and of course quite a few of our own beats.  Everything we played people came with us: I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days after.

The next day a few of us went on a tour of one of Berlin’s underground bunkers or to be precise the Flakturm Humboldthain. When the first Allied bombs fell over Berlin, Hitler wasn’t too pleased as this was never supposed to happen. He drew a medieval castle-esque sketch and insisted an anti-aircraft fortress be built to defend the capital. What was built was so vast and impregnable that they could house 15,000 people and held off the Russian army for 3 days (only falling when the commanding officer committed suicide). More impressively, several armies couldn’t destroy them and in the 1980s a demolition company wanted $20m to take it down.

Instead they buried them. It turns out – I’m paraphrasing from the tour guide here so geologists, please correct me if I’m wrong – that Berlin is built on ancient sea bed aka sand, so it’s flat and pretty difficult to build upwards on. The water table is super shallow so foundations fill with water and hence there are very few high buildings and almost all the hills are man made, including the Flakturms.

Deep inside them was all twisted steel and decaying concrete, accompanied by the tour guide who had mastered English vocabulary but not the intonation such that it was mesmerising to listen to as you had no sense of when she was about to stop or say something of any import or emphasis. Funny what a difference it makes.

Sadly there was no photography allowed on the tour but afterwards we wandered up onto the old gun turrets to admire the sun setting only to see a remarkable sight: some local climbers had strung a flat tightrope up between two of the turrets and, 30 foot over spiked fences, were attempting to traverse between them wearing harnesses. 

One girl began to edge round the fence - held from the inside by her boyfriend, before taking to the rope in bare feet, despite the ambient temperature feeling about 5 degrees. At first it was like hanging around to watch someone kill or maim herself i.e. quite unsettling. But as she fell and was caught by her harness time and time again, it became mesmerising watching her staring off into the distance, focused on gaining her balance enough to stand up high above the city.

I wonder what she could see?

Berlin: ready when you are for the rematch.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Elijah & Skilliam v Blackdown part 2

Ahead of their Rinse 17 mix CD launch, last week I published the first of four parts of an epic interview with Elijah and Skilliam. This week the conversation continues, ending with, erm... Elijah nearly drowning himself. Don't believe me? There's video evidence. Before that I have a specially commissioned "Roots of..." mix for you guys, blended on vinyl. Enjoy and read on...

"Roots of Elijah and Skilliam" 100% vinyl mix

Footsie "Scars"
Danny Weed "Kick Off"
The Ends "Ends VIP"
Alias "Gladiator"
Youngstar "Pulse Xtra"
Skepta "DTI"
Plasticman "Cha"
Dizzee Rascal "Go"
Wizzbit "Jazzy style"
DJ Oddz & DJ Eastwood "Champion VIP"
Wiley "Ice cream"
Wiley "New Era"
Wizzbit "Jam Hot (Davinche Remix)"
Dizzee Rascal "Strings Hoe"
Jon E Cash "War"
Treble Clef "Ghetto Kyote"
D Double E "Birds In The Sky"

Elijah & Skilliam v Blackdown interview part 2

M: So did being on Rinse force you to go out to get more producers, or did you find more producers and then get on Rinse?

E We weren't officially on Rinse until April 2009. We did cover shows for a period of three weeks, where we covered for Vectra when he was away. He was doing Fridays 11-1, and then we had three guests. Terror Danjah the first one, Swindle the next. Teddy as the last one.

M  This is what I thought was always your first genius move: to notice that there were loads of really good producers that no one was picking up one, because everyone in grime was focussed on MCs. Was that clear mission for you guys or did it just come about?

E: For me it was the dubstep thing, and that kind of sound like our music. OK, if people like Ikonica, they'll probably like this, and Ikonica is doing alright, so if I represent it in the same way, so at least they have a choice, but it wasn't being presented in the same way. So they had no choice.

M: I also got the sense that a lot of the big grime DJs didn't seem to be finding new producers that they maybe should. And as there aren't that many big grime DJs, that means less exposure for new producers.

SK Like TRC, he used to get things about  to people, but I don't think they were recognised. They just thought you were sending tunes and they just played it.

E That where their job stopped. You're a DJ on the radio, so you send  a tune and I play it. That’s it.

M What else can you do to add value to it?

E At that time, “1-Up” was the best example, because we were the first people to play Royal T's tune, and then it picked up. We'd send it to other DJs and then it got picked up by No Hats No Hoods. I was thinking, imagine if that happened in the future and loads of people's tunes got picked up by labels. There was only one label, so it kind of goes back to the point of having to have you own, otherwise its a vicious circle.

M The focus for grime was for producers to make vocals on mixtapes. Why they were called mixtapes though - they didn't have much mixing on them?

E It was just albums wasn't it?

M: Albums without structure

E Even that was dying. 2009 was the year Uptown died, and Rhythm Division died in 2010.

M Yeah but was the king for mix CDs, they nailed that market by basically giving people P&Ds for it, and knocked that market off. I feel less worried about Uptown because they just didn't move with the times, but that has more of an effect on producers because they were finding out that they were mix CDs that they probably wouldn't get paid for. Or the credit for.

E I suppose the people coming through as well, people we were feeling, they didn't want to do that. Swindle had already made a mixtape. His mixtape has like Chipmunk, Ghetto , Professor Green.

Sk People who are big now.

E Wretch 32 too.... When we met Swindle he was done with grime. “I can’t see myself in this.” He was going to do house. And he did “Who Said Funk” which ended up as his last house release, and since then he's been doing kind of 140 stuff. It stopped him from doing urban music kind of things.

M From the beginning though, the first interaction with Butterz really was with Terror, right? That's got the be a really cool thing because the producers you brought through - they became more famous through you - but Terror was bit of a legend before the Butterz the label existed, it must have been quite an honour, how did you get to know him?

E My friend Loud Mouth, he's a big producer and rapper in Aftershock, and we've been friends for like 10 years. He introduced us. We actually travelled up, me him, Miss Bratt and my other friend Dane. We travelled to Nottingham to UK Takeover, and that's where I first met him. “This is my friend, he does that blog, Butterz…”

M Terror is pretty friendly.

E He was like "OK, I'll hook you up with tunes" and you don't think anything of it, but then he kept in contact and if anyone speak to him on the phone, he'll speak forever until you leave. Imagine, at that time there was nothing going on and he said to us that at the point the was at it was worth taking a punt, because these guys never send their tunes to anyone.

SK And he had done it before so he knew the ins and outs

E He said take a punt. Sent in tunes, and even came on the radio show. He invited producers into Rinse, and who does that?

M It seems beyond that, you guys seems to have formed a proper friendship with him, or an understanding that is more than just you putting out one of his records.

E I think we've got the same type of vision of - you know you call it the hardcore continuum - I see it different just like from a rave perspective. And that’s why the Butterz night at Cable was the way it was. But Terror was looking at it going "there's no raves!". The raves we were going to at the time were like....

Sk ...10,000 people!

E  Yeah! So he's talking about raves with 1000s of people, but at the time, to hear grime we were standing in a room with about 60 people. It wasn't raving, it's just in a room listening to music. Terror wanted the whole vibe back, and we hadn't experienced enough of that vibe when coming up on it.

M The other things that strikes me with Terror and you picking up producers and so on , is that, to me, the essential shift from garage to grime is like a redistribution of the power between DJs, MCs and producers. In garage, it's MCs as hosts, and producers making beats for DJs. So DJs and producers were more important than MCs in Garage. But that shifted when 8bar and Sidewinder grime came through, but it almost went too far to when MCs were the only thing that mattered  in grime. Rinse had a go at shifting the power balance back in 2004. The DJ tape-pack idea where they interviews lots of DJs in grime, and they had a rave in Ministry.

E: we were there!

M: I was there too, it was Boxing day or something. So they attempted to shift it back and they also threw all the MCs off the station at one point too. So there were times when they tried to redistribute but it remained - especially when you guys got known - that it was all MCs in grime. So what made you guys different was focussing it on DJing and producing again, you weren't there just to please MCs.

Sk I don't really like MCs to be honest. Not I don't like them, but I like things simple. If someone is spitting too fast, I don’t study what they’re saying too much. I like it broken down. I've got to enjoy the flow before I sit down and see what they‘re saying. If they are just speaking quickly it's a lot of nonsense, I fully won‘t pay attention. I saw a lot of MCs doing that.

M: I used to have these discussions with Chantelle Fiddy, she could quote every lyric of an MC like a record spotter could name a back catalog of a label. Whereas I could tell you what the beat was saying and if I liked the MC, but not the bar. And that example was symptomatic of grime fans at that time that could name lyrics but not necessarily who made the beat. And it feels like you guys shifted that balance back in a meaningful way. You, Terror, Royal T, Swindle… You didn't need an MC to tell you it was good.

E I suppose the other people who were about at the time - who are still around now - like Spyro, who was doing shows with Tinchy and that, they weren't focussed on bringing in new music, so he's just going to go and play what he has, and what was big, and not really breaking in new tunes. Maximum is the same, he's always about with Skepta and JME and playing tunes for them. His brain is wired differently, not breaking any tunes.

JJ and Vectra were like the next two in line for Spyro and Maximum, but they want to be like them, so they're only going to be a clone of them. We're outside that bubble, and we've been customers, whereas they're so born into the scene. The reason why me and Skilliam work well with different scenes and people, and put together a good product as I'd say, is because we've been at the other end of the shop - we've been a customer. At the rave, or the guy on the forum waiting for things to get uploaded.

M We had a conversation before about people getting really big and forgetting what they like. If your objective in life it to make a lot of money, you'll make decisions based on that. If your objective is you love grime and you want to be really good, you can remember that it's likely to be that guy buying records in Independance, or Big Apple or Rhythm Division and hope that it was that good - and then put out your own records to that standard. To me the end goal is never to be Tiesto. It’s to be as good as Slimzee in ‘03 or Hatcha in ‘04 or Oneman in recent times. I don’t aspire to be Tiao Cruz.

E We met some guy, he was 17... I keep telling everyone because it’s so significant… we were just sitting there about to record a CD, and he came up to us and said "You guys are a big inspiration." I was like "what!?". I was like, how old are you, and he said 17, and obviously Cable was coming up as well. So the first sort of raves that he's going to go to, and the things he's been listening to in the last couple of years is probably going to be a Butterz rave. So that rave has to be the best thing he ever experiences. Everything he experiences has to be so different that anything else he can experience in London right now, otherwise he won't go again, and that might warp his love of the music, so that's why Cable was like it was, you know, a bit over the top - people making mad tunes and having whistles, lighters and all this crazy stuff.

We'd go raving just as normal people, customers, and its shit. RnB and hip hop from the last 20 years, and imagine if that was you as an 18 year old, that wouldn't motivate you to rave for the next 10 years.

M This is no different to you treating the 1-3am slot like 9-11pm. It's the sacredness of saying that this moment is really important and so it’s important to be as good as you can, right then.

E I've been to big raves and clubs and all that, and experienced grime in a big room environment, but there were people younger than me who, the biggest they'd seen is Rhythm Factory. That's only 2008, and what has been going on since then?

M: were you those guys that when Dusk and I played after Ghetto’s launch party set at Rhythm Division and everyone in the club left within 5 records, you were still standing there?

E Yeah yeah, sitting on the sofa…

M: yup, they turned the lights on and wouldn’t even sell me a beer! We played the Chubby Dread vocal VIP of “Eskimo” that never came out, I remember you metioning it, and this is just symptomatic of you guys in general: everyone else went for the door but you went the other way.

Sk: we paid money to get in the rave, we wanted to get value!

M That thing about a 17 year old is that people forget everyone has a starting point. Maybe 2001 grime doesn't mean anything to them, but I'm always surprised how young sometimes people start listening.

E [Even] if he started listening at 12, that would only take you back to 2006. Slimzee wasn't even around. Logan is their Slimzee, but who's the next big thing? Who's their Mak10? Now I don’t want to claim that for us but who is going to be that person, what is going to be that label? like that I admired. Like when Boy Betta Know were the shit and I was like “this is the best thing,“ that's how I want Butterz to be.  I wouldn't write on Twitter like "We're the best"  - not in that way. But in the way we do things, we have to have the best raves, the best merchandise, production. Do you know what I mean?

M: I think British people have trouble saying those things whilst Americans just naturally talk like that. But if you don't think like that with your label, and take pride in what you do, then you either lose a huge amount of money because your records won't sell and they're average, and/or you just won't go anywhere.

Sk Like putting out records once a month, it was tough

M People don't know how hard that is. It’s three month’s work in one go.

E And its the volume of music as well. We did 6 in 6 months this year, but there was nothing that we're comfortable with putting  after that. We're supposed to be around the most talented producers and MCs, but there was still nothing. We could have knocked something out, but we didn't want to do that. The Trim situation arose which was sick.

M But you sat on “Boo You” for a while?

E Yeah but we couldn't move on that because we had a back log.

Sk And no one knew about that one as well.

M No one knew! You certainly didn't tell me! The first time I heard from was when you told [Keysound, Hyperdub and Butterz’ distributor] Bill. He was like "They've got this amazing record."

E A lot of labels treat every record the same, but you can't.

M Some records have a lot of play, but some records get just good promotion when they come out. But you guys seem to understand promotion really. I'm never entirely sure, I'm very allergic to forced marketing but it feels very natural what you guys do, but also quite proactive. If there's a lot of stuff about, it usually means someone has put a lot of hours in. What things do you do to make sure people hear about your music?

E It's the radio. I imagine if you go six times in a month, it's a difference. The coverage you get is sick. And social media. All of these things, I just do them because they are what I want to see. Not because this would be a good way of advertising how to sell it. When we did “Mood Swings” video, we thought it would be cool. That's the value, it's not because we wanted to market it. We did it just because it would be nang.

M No one is questioning your motive, but the fact that you chose to do it shows pro-activity.

Sk And we added videos to the iTunes single.

M Another thing that was a really smart move was “Air Bubble,” giving away parts of it. Which kind of goes against label mentality of "this is the thing I'm selling", and not giving it away. Especially broken into 30 pieces. But you did it. How did that come about? It went a bit viral, how many versions were there in the end?

E Nearly 200, something like that. If you go on Soundcloud, there was 130 late last year. The reason why is started was because I thought I’d get a few remixes of a tune, and we sent it around to a couple of people...

Sk ...and they sent it back!

E ...Yeah. Royal T and Swindle work so quickly, if I send them parts today, by the time I wake up they'll have something on the go. And people went “I heard you gave him the parts, can I have them?“ At the time, there was no remixes of anything. You can't find a grime remix from 2009, they don't exist. We like remixes, I've got loads of records that are just remixes. So its that kind of thing again of wanting to hear different peoples takes.

When it got to about 5 or 6 people, I phoned Terror and asked if I could give out his parts on the blog. He said "Not too sure - it's got my drums on it....but alright, go on." He knew I must be asking him for a good reason, and that's why he's wicked to work with. Most people would be "No."

Sk You've got to have a back up to say "OK, I can make new tunes now. You can have that sound- I'm done with that sound."

E “Air Bubble” was sick because we discovered all these new people. I don't know how people used to get tunes to Maximum and Spyro, but I was bait with the email, my email was everywhere, and the volume of tunes I was getting in 2009, 2010 was sick, with all these different names popping up, but it wasn't really consistent - you could only play one tune by a given name. But with “Air Bubble,” it kind of brought all these people in - people who have done other things now: Teeza, Dark Tone Sound, Bray, Starkey... There was quite a few people.

M With the label up and running, and you being an outlet for the music, you've moved from just putting out the beats to almost A&Ring them a bit, and being the filter for their music. It's not just like, here's record and you put it out or you won't, you actually have a relationship with these guys, and you help push their music and develop them, and give feedback. Does that go on?

E That was always my criticism of No Hats No Hoods. They just pick up records: anyone can do that. The record gets big like what happened with The Royal T “1 Up,” Rude Kid, “Ruff Sqwad Mandem,” they had the mechanics to put out records, and that was it.

I remember Royal T saying that you couldn't get through to him and with stuff like that - you're only going to accept what's presented to you. Whereas we're on the radio, so I can say to Royal T you can change it, do this, and go back and forth for three months on a song.

Sk So you might get a radio show and just hear the song developing. You hear swag versions of the first one, before mixdown, and it just goes up into something nang.

E You can hear that with a lot of the tunes put out. Aside from “Woo“, everything else put out has maybe gone back and forth and that's how it should be. Obviously it's a shame that we can't just randomly pick up records at the moment. If there were a good few loose bits I would still be open to putting out a good Merky Ace song that isn't attached to anything.

M You sort of did that with the kind of white labels - with “Woo“, “Ghetto Kyote” and “Wu Glut” and stuff? They weren't records you broke, nor that you A&R'd?

E No, but then the “Woo” stories funny, because Fabric used me to get in contact with him as Ramadanman wanted to use it for his Fabric CD. Who knows things about grime? Let's call Elijah. "Elijah, where’s SX?” This was late last year. So I was like "OK, I'll get in contact with him," and I did, and they sorted it out.
People wanted it on record - people were asking us for “Woo,” and we were playing the Q mix at the time. So we were like shit, let's put it together. It's kind of being presented to you easily.

M The funny thing is that chose to do it without the Butterz branding.

E Because it came out digitally already, so we didn't want to step on its toes. The same with TRC, so we kind of gave it its own little space. We were never doing the digital.

“Woo Glut” happened because Ramadanman just emailed me - imagine that! I emailed him after hearing the tune in June 2010. Your version was sick, do you wantto send it.  He replied saying “na“, and that just for him and his mates. I was like "OK, safe." In February this year he emailed saying, it’s great you put out “Woo” on vinyl, I picked up a copy "do you want to put out Woo Glut?” I don't even care about the money, just put it out as people keep on asking for it." I respected him for that. He is doing a lot at the moment, and that could have easily not happened, or he did it himself, but he was just like "fuck it, let them have it." And we put “Bricks” by SX on the flip randomly and it’s blown up now.

M: Before we move on to the more recent stuff I wanted to ask about “Air Bubble” video, looking at the pictures on your wall… and Skilliam mentioned you’re going to Ibiza again… any plans to go swimming Elijah? Perhaps you should tell people who don't know the story what you did.

Sk He jumped off a boat!

M Which is fine except…

E … I can't swim. And if you jump into the sea, and I wasn't even prepared...

M And were you sober?

E I wasn't that bad, it was in the afternoon. But someone said "You wouldn't jump, obviously?". [I said] "Yeah I would." Took of my socks and bang, straight in. When I got in I thought "oh, this is like the middle of the sea."

Sk Got half way round the boat....

E ... and I looked up. That was my mistake.

M  Was the bet to do a lap around the boat then?

E I jumped off one end and had to go round the back to get back on. But when I was swimming around I looked up, and I was like "shit, that's high up!" They were looking down on me, and it was hot, and I got scared and just froze. You realise you’re in the middle of the sea.

M: And your feet don’t touch the bottom! So were you near death?

E I went under water, but they got me out.

M  Your friends pulled you out?

E No, not my friends… why do you think that? My friends stood there and watched, filmed me!

Sk  That’s why video exists!

E Two random guys just jumped in and pulled me out.

Sk Yeah one guy jumped in all the way over the rail. I was like "raaah!".

M Was it a long way down?

Sk Yeah. One of those movie boats.

E I was pretty scared. When I got back on I was on the boat for nearly another hour because I was in shock, and shaken up. I was like "I nearly just died!".

M But again, back to talking about making an opportunity out of a negative situation, turning it into a video for “Air Bubble.”

E Yeah, when we got back we put it together and that was it. Bit of fun.


Read part 1 of the Elijah and Skilliam interview here. Part 3 will be published next week. Rinse 17 mixed by Elijah and Skilliam is out November 14th


Royal-T – Orangeade VIP
D.O.K – East Coast
Swindle – Pineapple
P Money & Blacks – Boo You feat Slickman
Faze Miyake – Blackberry
Wiley – It’s Wiley (Royal-T Remix)
Mr Mitch – Centre Court
Rossi B & Luca – Lost in Limehouse
P Jam – Arizona Skyz
Terror Danjah – Full Attention feat Ruby Lee Ryder
Royal T – Royal Rumble
Spooky – Spartan (Terror Danjah Remix)
Teddy – Community Links
Swindle feat Terror Danjah, Rude Kid & Wizzy Wow – Tag
Bok Bok – Silo Pass
Royal T & Terror Danjah – Music Box
Trim – I Am (Preditah Remix)
Faze Miyake – Take Off
Swindle & Silkie – Unlimited
Treble Clef – Ghetto Kyote
S-X – Woooo (DJ Q Remix)
Royal T – Music Please (TRC Remix)
Terror Danjah – Air Bubble (Starkey Remix)
Starkey & P Money – Numb
TRC – Into Sync
Starkey & Trim – This Ain’t Me
Swindle – Mood Swings VIP

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What is the single biggest influence on how you buy music?

Something's been on my mind recently and rather than stew in my own juices, I wanted to ask you guys.

We live in an era of a very wide distribution of types of media and given that it's hard to tell what matters any more and what doesn't - especially to underground music fans.

Do print magazines matter any more? Are podcasts like shouting into the ether?

Sometimes for Keysound I wonder so hard I don't know any more. So I'm asking you guys. How do you chose to buy music, apart from what the track sounds like of course?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Zeitgeist Sessions

While I've been to Germany a few times, I've never been to Berlin. This oversight is about to be corrected as Dusk and I play Zeitgeist Sessions on the 21st of October.

We'll be bringing some of the usual Keysound flavours and might well pack some old school (UKG, dubstep and jungle) as there's talk of a bonus, extended set. Will keep you posted.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Damu Unity out today

Keysound Recordings

Out today!

Hear and download the 7 track sampler here...

Damu - Unity [album sampler] - Keysound Recordings

Breathless by Damu

Download the 320 sampler here for free.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Elijah & Skilliam v Blackdown part 1

A month or so ago, I headed east to meet up with Elijah and Skilliam. They'd recently submitted their Rinse 17 mix CD and it was time for the sleevenotes. 

I''ve been talking, off and on, with the duo for three or more years now and have come to have immense respect for their vision, their work rate and how they go about things. Having hopped on a bus with no precise idea of where I would get off, luckily I found them waiting for me at a bus stop. We headed to Butterz HQ.

There'd been so much happen between that I felt not only did it need documenting but in some ways I felt it represented how grime as an entire scene had evolved in recent years. The resulting interview is the largest transcript I can ever remember doing in my entire journalism career... yes longer even than Loefah and Si Kryptic Minds.

So to celebrate the Rinse 17 CD and indeed the achievements of Elijah and Skilliam, I'm going to publish the transcript here in four parts, one a week until the CD is out. Each week will include some exclusive content. This week...

EXCLUSIVE DOWNLOAD: Elijah & Skilliam Live from Plug, Sheffield October 2011

And so, to the interview...

Elijah & Skilliam v Blackdown interview part 1

Martin I'm going to start right at the beginning, because we should have done this a long time ago. How did you two meet? And how do you know each other? Because it feels like - looking at that [Elijah’s wall covered in hundreds of photos and flyers] - that you've been mates for quite some time.

Skilliam University....You know what, I actually saw you before university one time - I was with one of my MCs, one of my old crew. He used to do videos at that time. I didn't say anything to you, because I was just with him, but he met you and that was it. And then we went to uni and I saw you walking around - it was like the first day I think, and obviously Dane was in my halls - and I was like "I know I've seen him before somewhere", and it clicked.

M When did you guys clock that you liked similar music?
Elijah It must have been pretty quickly... Well it was in the first few months of uni.

M So what times are we talking?

Elijah This was like 2005.

M And was it about grime then?

E Yeah, yeah.

M Good time to like grime!

E But then because we were… not isolated but I was in Hertfordshire, the Rinse stream had just started. I don't know how many people I knew were locking at the time - it wasn't many. So the only way I was hearing stuff was downloading it afterwards, and it wasn't even proper podcasts, it was people ripping it... Barefiles. People used to float about tapes - just exchange stuff.

M Literally “tapes!” Cassette tapes. Tape packs. You’re looking at me like I’m odd but certain generations won’t know what that is.

E Uni is liked a kind of closed community, isn't it?...

Sk ...It's like a little bubble. An obviously in Herfordshire, you can't go anywhere else apart from the campus.

E Yeah, all that stuff never really came to us, like raves and that - maybe Kano once in a year. When did Boy Betta Know come? in the second year?

Sk And Lethal B.

M But really, you would have to come into London to go to clubs?

E Yeah, just on the weekends when we were back we'd have Dirty Canvas  - which was still going at the time, and stuff like that. But I remember the first time we were hooking up was when I brought the decks up. I was like the only person on campus with decks.

M  It's a big investment when you're a student

E It wasn't even an investment - these were just some shit decks...  I still use it now. It was just something to do, I was just spending like 18 hours awake a day, you need something to do. There's nowhere to go. This thing about students sleeping all day, you don’t really do it do you?

Sk There's either nothing going on or there's always something going on.

E Yeah - "just come over for a mix quickly"

M We were talking before the tape was on about things being of their time and how quickly a time and place can pass and one of the things I only clocked later about uni that you definitely don't notice at the time is that you're in a community where everyone is your age. Hundreds of people who are exactly your age. As that’s time and a place, other phases of life  are not like that.... But then you're surrounded by people who might be like you.

E But we weren't, that's the thing. [Apart from] me and Skilliam, how many other people liked grime? We were still outcasts - the majority was like Friday night, put on a shit shirt and listen to Baywatch riddim. That kind of stuff is wicked, it's fun, but then we still liked our own kind of music from London.

M: What did the other black guys like? Did you have any black mates who liked grime?

E: There weren't a lot of black people in our year.

Sk The next year, people started coming through.

M Everybody who likes specialist music finds themselves a little bit isolated.

E Imagine here, we think it's bigger than it was. But when I got there, I though "oh right".

SK People know it, but - I don't know - they mature out of grime sort of. Everyone went into the RnB and hip hop sides of it. That's what happening at the raves. Djs: they all play RnB and hip hop & bashment. You don't really get grime in the clubs. Even on a Wednesday - nope.

E We went to uni early, before the funky thing popped off.

Sk When we started to do the radio show.

E Oh yeah, yeah.

M I think there were Funky guys in '05, but they were literally just playing American house.

E Straight up RnB and then there would maybe a couple of token grime records, “Hype Hype,” “Pow” if you’re lucky . In halls, I would walk past the kitchen, and I didn't really talk to [the other guys] for a while. I'd pop my head in and say "safe". One day I was just sitting around, and a guy just looked at me. "‘Safe’s’ a good thing right?” And I was like “wow”. And when you're here [east London], you think everyone knows things like that, like "Wha gwan?" Those are the things that I say that you think everyone in the whole country knows, but pretty much my  vision is different now, because most people don’t understand these things or know what grime is.

Sk You might even get people on Twitter saying "what does ‘safe’ mean?", and “teach me some East London slang!”

M That's something I definitely noticed, because I came to London and started working in places like Deuce magazine where I started writing about grime. It was in Hackney Wick and Stratford, and I definitely clocked that the MCs there had a world view that it was the ends. I asked if they had ever played in up north and they said "Yeah, we've played in Watford". I meant like Glasgow. And that was quite symptomatic of it being that world that they lived in,

E Yeah north to us is Tottenham. Their perspective of grime was Heat FM, and ours was Deja. Someone in south was On Top FM. And that's only in London.

M Or Raw Mission?

E Yeah. See how small it was? Though there were loads of stations over here [in east].

M I like each station basically being like a galaxy or universe in itself, but at certain points it must kick in in that decade that things could be recorded so that people can hear other stations outside of it’s radius.

E Most of them never crossed over.

SK: I used to go to online stations like Axe  and Heat as well, but you know get North MCs that go there, rather than cross over MCs.

M And I guess only certain MCs were big enough to go on multiple stations

E And the people who were listening to them online were still people from the ends, who knew the website. You think on occasion there might be one person listening in Canada. Now, you speak to people, and they've never been to England before, and they don't know anyone in England, but they know Rinse.

M So, you're at uni and you clock that you both like similar music. The normal thing is that everyone gets in to music, and if they really like it a lot, they start participating and getting involved. How did you find ways to participate? DJing originally? Buying records, I guess, but how did it develop from there?

SK I used to give Dane CDs as well.

E  There was no motive. We were just doing it. You know, did you talk to a person in a shop when you were buying this record? You just buy it because you like it. I used to listen to clips on the Rhythm Division Website, before I was buying records.

M Realplayer Clips!  I love that phasing effect that early file hosting had on dial up, I used miss it when I buy the actual record. was the same. It was a like a phase, pulsing down and up sound

E People used to come round my halls and have a mix, chill out, like normal friends do innit. Everyone is going it because they enjoy it. The part where we started interacting with people is when we were did the blog.

M Did the blog come before being involved with grime forum, or did that come after?

E  Before, grime Forum started in 2008.

M When did you start the blog?

E Early 2007. That was because other people that I was reading just slowed up or stopped. I was still going to the nights, whereas they weren't.

M Always a good reason to start anything, really, is that you feel there is a need to do it and no one is doing. There is a hole, I should go into it. there's something missing - I should do it. And it's funny because lots of labels and DJs have come out of blogs, and in a way they probably shouldn't, but it's a good platform for getting yourself known, and working out what you like about music and sharing it.

E But that wasn't a motive. When I interviewed Maniac it wasn’t the intention to get songs. I did it because I wanted to hear what he had to say.

M Of course, and I wouldn't say otherwise, but its often the effect of it rather than the motive - a bonus effect.

E Its weird, if  I wasn't at uni at the time, then I wouldn't have had the free time to be listening to everything again, to write about it and all that kind of stuff. If I left school and went into a job I would just live a normal kind of life. There’s so many ways I would have not been on it…

M I remember a time when you said that you'd had a guy turn you down for a job because you mentioned the music in your CV.

E Yeah, that was the last job I did. I was applying for recruitment consultancy roles. I came back from uni, and he said I had the job on the Monday before I was supposed to start, but on Friday he called me up and said "bad news, this music thing. We looked at it on Google and we think it would be a conflict of interest. If you need to stay until eight o'clock, then you won't be able to do your radio show." He put all these stipulations on it. I thought “arrg, this is long.”

M  Did you believe him?

E I didn't question it, I just left it. I knew there would be a point where I'd just go "OK", and do it 100%, go full throttle. It was just odd that it happened. I was gearing myself up, I’d been to uni for three years and done a year of work experience. So I was gearing myself up to work - to be in a office and wear a suit. I was comfortable with that -  I think. It's not even that I was comfortable of it, I was capable of it. I still am now.

M You [Elijah] did marketing right?

E Yes

M What did you [Skilliam] do?

Sk Business Management

M You see, those aren't intrinsically bad things to have as a background for musical careers. They're both actually pretty useful things to have. They are kind of things that most musicians have to work out later, or pay someone to do it, rather than having a bit of a grounding in it.

I don't know if there was a tipping point for you [Skilliam] with DJing, often things can look like a tragedy but actually turn out to be one of the biggest opportunities of your life. Maybe you wouldn’t have had all you’ve done as Butterz if it wasn’t for that?

Sk It's all decisions. What actually got me started DJing was that I had a choice of two schools, and the one I went to they went to me: "You want to be a DJ?" - that's what got me into it. If I didn't go to that school...

M The school wanted you to be a  DJ?

Sk No, my friends, the MCs said “we need a DJ and we need you to be it.”

E That's how crews started when you're kids.

Sk Yeah, they named me and everything, saying "You're gonna be Skills!". That's how it went. If I went to the other school, none of this would have happened at all… well, I might have been.

M You don't know - I've definitely had that with people I've met. The difference here though is that's a decision that was a positive one, that you've gone to a school and good things have come out of it. But the weird one is when something bad happens to you, and actually it ended up being a really good thing. At the time you're thinking "I've got no job, it's a really bad thing".

E I think the economy thing in general - if it was pretty straight forward to get a job, we'd have got a job. Because you've been through the whole university process, its natural, and much easier to make a living. Its the next stage isn't it? You go to college, go to uni, you get a job.

M With me, I also didn't get a lot of jobs for a long time in music journalism. I only permanent job I had was the Deuce one and it was really badly paid. It was great - writing about Deuce magazine early grime, but every other job I didn't ever get. I think if I'd ever got one I wouldn't have had time to specialise. Those times were hard, and I was really, really poor for ages. But the people I met there are now my really good musical friends, and a really good investment that, at the time, looked like a total disaster.

E At the time you can only see the short term, but when you look back at it now...

M How long were you with  Grime Forum?

E The four people who started it were just on MSN having a conversation about RWD Forum. RWD had gone, it was useless, so imagine the place was everyone had been going for years, it had no news on there about grime for ages, so the site was useless. And then, they didn't bother having a forum. There was no place for grime anymore, so we kind of had a conversation. "Who can do that? - I can do that.", once everyone kind of clubbed together...

M And who were the people?

E There was the Hij guy - he already had the Grimepedia thing going on. Lemon, who's a technical guy. Aza-T who was doing podcasts at time, and me who was doing the blogging thing. There was probably a couple of other people that liked the idea, but didn't get into it heavy at the start, you know Hyperfrank was around. If I could find the first 10 members of the site that would be a good statistic. Even at the time I'd only met one of them personally, but when you see names online and on blogs, you feel like you know them

M The funny thing about grime and forums is that for a lot of while I think a lot of the MCs saw it as what they would call really neeky right? I learnt a lot about garage and grime through forums. Uptown forum I used to read a lot. RWD forum. Those two were my staples for finding out about Pay As U Go. People like Logan were being really aggressive on forums. A lot of MCs used to look down on forums, but now it's just normal that you would be on Facebook, Twitter or whatever.

Sk I think that they'll see someone criticising them and take it to heart so much.

E But that could be your only feedback though. Remember that if you didn't have your Twitter of people praising you, the 30 people who are responding to your video, or you wouldn't even have the YouTube video up there. Think of all these things that are there to give them a decent level of feedback [at that time].

M The thing is, it's not just that they weren't there, in the grime scene, they were used to the fact that if someone had said critical things to them and they were in their area, then they would go and do something about it. They would have a word saying "You can't say that to my face, this is what's going to happen", or things would get retracted.

Suddenly, things are being said by people they couldn't get at. I saw this with jungle guys before, they were used to a similar sort of thing. Normally you'd say something to his face, but then you online you couldn't get at these guys.

E I never thought of it that way.

M The grime forum was good though, important,  it kind of incubated a  lot of people who were into grime and kept things in one place. Did it have an influence on you guys? Was it useful.

Sk Yeah. We used to post our shows on grime forum. It was on the university radio station, that's when we would be like on Krush. That guy Geo.

M So how we get the link of you guys being on that station to Rinse? How did the link with Rinse come about.

E Scratcha. I knew him because I'd been interactive with producers who were making grime and stuff. It kind of goes around that there is a person that is doing interviews in grime. That kind of thing goes around. The explanation he gave me was that Rinse are looking for grime DJs, and where would you find a grime DJ at that time. It was 2008, and the funky thing was popping off. It was like, why in the hell would you start DJing grime in 2008, there's no reason - not to say there were no big tunes at the time - but there was nothing stand-out at the time that would make someone new go like "yeah, I want to be a grime DJ."

M It didn’t have the momentum of ’04. It wasn't flavour of the month

E The year after “Wearing My Rolex” came out

M It gave you an opportunity I guess. People who know about you now, probably don't appreciate... To me that seemed like a leap of faith by Rinse in a really good, positive way, because it's not like you walked into Rinse at the level you are now. So you definitively worked up the visibility and exposure you've got. So how did it feel, and how did it come about in being asked to join Rinse, or demo?

E We had done a guest demo thing and its weird… the whole grime DJ thing is the height of DJing in grime is playing on Rinse. So getting an opportunity was like "oh shit!". We had like two days to sort out tunes, and imagine I had never done a proper radio show. We were doing the uni radio show, but it's not the same. Me playing on Rinse was like “we need to step it up a level.” We got told on the Thursday night, but I remember where I was.... I was in my girlfriends house in Harrow. We did it on a Saturday 9 until 11 in November 2008

M So you didn't have to submit a tape or an example of what you’ve done before?

E No, just come and try. There was no-one on before or on afterwards, you remember?

Sk [Laughs] Yeah, we had to go and get the key!

M Was this the studio that was underground? Actually I know two old ones that were underground…

E The one in Bow. I remember asking for feedback and they were like "Yeah, soon." We never got the feedback. The feedback was “11-1?” It kind of never stopped, we do cover shows now all the time.

M You do put the time in.

E But then we are on on 1 till 3 am, and I think it's important. We value that slot like its 9-11, And I think they recognise that we treat the Thursday 1 till 3 like the prime EastEnders kind of slot.

M I think if you have that mentality in Rinse - that you treat every show as sacred - that they recognise it - I hope they do anyway.

E I assume they do because we're doing this [mix].

M Rinse also recognise when people put the grind in outside Rinse. By their contributions they give back to Rinse. You’re loyal to it but you've made something by yourselves rather than hoping they do the work for you.

E That was obvious from when we got there, because we didn't them and they didn't know us, we had no conversations. A lot of people that were there when we started, they've come through their  connections to them. We're just totally disconnected from everyone. He [Skilliam] knows Spyro.

Sk But I didn't get a bring in from Spyro...

M Spyro seems to know a lot of people, don't you think? Well DOK because he's related to him right…

Sk The youth clubs and stuff- he used to go everywhere. Even at the time he was one of the strongest DJs, and everyone knew about Spyro. He was on Flava.

E We knew about him.

M There are a few DJs on Rinse that can do things that other DJs can't, like mixing wise and he's definitely one of them. I think that it's like Spyro, Oneman and Youngsta. Youngsta for his accuracy. Spyro and Oneman have similar abilities to blend things forever really quickly. I don't know who else you guys would look to, technical DJ wise…

Sk EZ?

E Plastician- when he was Plastic Man. He still has the skills now, but I prefer the music he did when he was Plasticman. Our show was based on him. The way he does it, yeah, is that he has all these instrumentals and he used the vocals as the glue. He'll play like 10 instrumentals, and only play one strong vocal every 20 minutes. The vocal stand out so much that it makes you enjoy it 10 times more. The format of all the grime shows was like play a tune for 4 minutes - OK that's finished - play another one. You're fitting in all these vocals that weren't all that good anyway, off mixtapes… random. First hour would be vocals unmixed, then it would be instrumentals time.

M Do you remember the times before that where they were playing American RnB in those early sections?  Then Dizzee started making “You Were Always,” they started making their own version of RnB songs, and then it became mixtape era.

E So now when we got into Rinse, it wasn't our idea, but we wanted to run the mix all the way through, so every show sounds like a CD. You can take a show from 2009 and its going to feel like an album. So you could listen back a bit, which was always important, especially as we were on so late. If people were picking it up, they could listen to it in an afternoon.

M So this is what Dusk and I do. You have an arc to your show, a shape to the show. I think some DJs just get up there and play tunes, whereas we try to say that this tune can really fit here, and it sounds like you also do that.

E Because of the volume of the show we do as well, it's not straightforward to do it. We might get in there and start with tropical songs, like the ones from JME’s Project, so once you get started on a vibe...

Sk ... You can go from there.

E Yeah

M A starting point

E Yeah. Or, if we know we have a couple of new Trim vocals, and we have to play them the beginning, as they won't sit in the middle of a mix.

M And they can be quite strange tempos as well.

Sk And even the listenership as well. Being one o'clock in the morning. You have to catch those one o'clock people.

E Yeah, otherwise they kind of drop off. Never save a good tune until 02.55am!

M [Laughs] Yeah, I see what you mean. So you got on Rinse, and I definitely remember a point where you were like "we're starting a label". How did that crystallise? Because, you know, starting a label in an era when records don't sell anymore, CDs or digital or download or anything. Why? When? Who's idea was it?

E I don't think it was any one person’s idea. I wouldn't let anyone take credit. If I said it was me, he could say "no".

M A shared mind..

E Yeah, and the volume of tunes we were playing, especially with our format, where I'm listening to Vectra's show, and he would only get through 35 tunes, but because we were in a mix from 1-3am, we were getting through 60 tunes and then 90%  by talented guys were not coming out. People who are really highly rated today, like Terror Danjah, Swindle, D.O.K at that time had no outlet for their music.

M Terror was in that lull period wasn't he, after Aftershock and Flash and all that, but before Planet Mu.

E: It was a myth. No tunes came out.

The interview continues here: Part 2 of Elijah and Skilliam v Blackdown. Rinse 17 mixed by them is out November 121st.

Rinse 17 mixed by Elijah and Skilliam tracklist:

Royal-T – Orangeade VIP
D.O.K – East Coast
Swindle – Pineapple
P Money & Blacks – Boo You feat Slickman
Faze Miyake – Blackberry
Wiley – It’s Wiley (Royal-T Remix)
Mr Mitch – Centre Court
Rossi B & Luca – Lost in Limehouse
P Jam – Arizona Skyz
Terror Danjah – Full Attention feat Ruby Lee Ryder
Royal T – Royal Rumble
Spooky – Spartan (Terror Danjah Remix)
Teddy – Community Links
Swindle feat Terror Danjah, Rude Kid & Wizzy Wow – Tag
Bok Bok – Silo Pass
Royal T & Terror Danjah – Music Box
Trim – I Am (Preditah Remix)
Faze Miyake – Take Off
Swindle & Silkie – Unlimited
Treble Clef – Ghetto Kyote
S-X – Woooo (DJ Q Remix)
Royal T – Music Please (TRC Remix)
Terror Danjah – Air Bubble (Starkey Remix)
Starkey & P Money – Numb
TRC – Into Sync
Starkey & Trim – This Ain’t Me
Swindle – Mood Swings VIP