Serious guilty pleasure but... the Rihanna vocal in the current chart hit 'What's My Name' is outstanding. Here we've got a nice remix from Federation Sound which adds a Dancehall vibe with the use of Vybz Kartel's voice. Check this, guaranteed to get the girls dancing.
What's My Name (Federation Sound Remix feat. Vybz Kartel) - Rihanna
General consensus she's a beauty?!
Oneman and other big players have rinsed this, designed for the club, French Fries on the buttons. Personally not sure about that drop...
One Thing (French Fries Remix) - Amerie
Kastle on a similar vibe. That cowbell pattern seems familiar but I can't put my finger on it. Any ideas?
I Wanna Be Down (Kastle Bootleg) - Brandy
Brackles and Brenmar both giving that old R&B anthem an update.
Me & U (Brackles Remix) - Cassie
Me & U (Brenmar Remix) - Cassie
Jacques Greene caught our attention with his '(Baby I Don't Know) What You Want' which is out on Night Slugs. Watch this name in 2011.
Must Be Love (Jacques Greene's Marriage Proposal Mix) - Cassie [RUDEEE]
Lunice, an unknown name round here however a little research shows, this is possibly his best production yet. Or perhaps the Cassie vocal is just addictive.
Addiction (Lunice Remix) - Cassie
We featured WILDLIFE! back here and since then hadn't heard much. This thumping remix though has put the name right back on the radar.
Ride (WILDLIFE! Remix) - Ciara
Here goes with the launch of a new mix series - this one is going to be for labels/label owners.
We haven't done one of these interview things for a while - we like to keep them special so this time we're pleased to announce we have Donga in the hot seat, the founder of Well Rounded Records. For those that don't know, this is label where Deadboy had his massive debut release 'U Cheated' which gained the attention of the masses. We wanted to know some more about the man pushing behind all these quality releases, so we had caught him for a quick chat.
Donga, tell us a little about yourself and your musical background...
Well I live in Brighton, UK and spend my time between indie record shops buying 12" singles like my life depends on it. I help out in record shops in town, run a vinyl label and get to DJ a bit so pretty much all areas of my day to day life revolve (no pun intended) around records in some way.
I've been DJing and producing since 1993 as well as drumming in a number of bands with varying degrees of success in underground terms i guess.
Why did you decide to start Well Rounded, and is there any meaning behind the name?
I started the label initially to release Deadboy's debut EP, as I thought it was so bloody good, I then added a second release by myself and 2 friends under the name Ultrasound to test the water. These did well enough to provide the opportunity to tentatively keep going - Ben Hackman was good enough to work with us on our third release and then Deadboy delivered Cash Antics 1. It's just continued from there...
And the name blatantly refers to the physical roundness of records as well as referring to 'well rounded' the expression, my adapted dictionary definition of which is "Comprehensively developed and well-balanced in a range or variety of musical vibes".
Have you any advice for new labels starting out?
From a vinyl label’s point of view, this is probably accepted wisdom but don’t view this as an easy career path. The market for vinyl is pretty small and specialist and you can’t afford many mistakes. I take the view that if you calculate the risks involved and can handle any outcome, then you've got nothing to hold you back from giving it a whirl.
How did you and Deadboy start working together? Did you expect that first release to do as well as it has? Would you say that release, in a way, put Well Rounded in the game?
I've actually known Allen (Deadboy) for a number of years. We met each playing in bands that performed together on various bills. It wasn't long before we discovered we both had interests in a diverse range of dance music - not as common amongst the majority of our then peers - so I guess that brings you together. We've been to Sonar and Bloc festivals a few times over the years and he's been a great support haha!
Jackmaster (of Numbers) was hugely enthusiastic about ‘U Cheated’ and Oneman smashed it too so we knew before it came out that there was a fair amount of anticipation and yeah were pretty confident. It definitely kicked us off with a fair profile but I always knew each release was going to be quite varied, so the challenge was to avoid worrying about trying to follow it up or compete with its success and just stick to our musical instincts.
How's the Brighton based club night coming along?
It's going pretty good. I am fortunate to be working with Paul from Aka Aka Roar who is doing a large proportion of the promoting. Aka has to be considered as one of the best nights Brighton has for more underground music, consistently booking people that go on to be significant and key players such as James Blake, Girl Unit, Jackmaster, Ben UFO. The list goes on and on.
We've been aiming for something slightly lower-key with Well Rounded, compiling line-ups balancing artists on the label and producers and DJs that we respect. 3 dates in we've had Deadboy, Doc Daneeka, Hackman, Submerse, Altered Natives and 2562. I really want to get the formula perfected for our night. It's another learning curve like the label
2010 has seen some massive releases on Well Rounded personal favourites being 'Cash Antics Volume 1' & Submerse's 'Hold It Down'. What have you got in store for us in 2011?
Thanks. Cash Antics 2 has just dropped, there's talk of maybe extending the series onto a third. We shall see. And Submerse has kept some special bits under the radar for us that I think will surprise interested parties - he's quite multi-faceted.
We have a hell of a lot in the pipeline. Don’t want to get too far ahead of myself so I’ll just mention the next few projects.
The next Well Rounded 12"/digi EP is by Nottingham's Littlefoot. I guess often perceived as a future garage producer he has however been expanding his sound of late - dropping tempos and channelling influences into a 4/4 Detroit techno meets UK garage hybrid. He’s definitely got his own flex. It's really exciting to catch producers as they are in a new transitional stage. Felt the same way around the Hackman EP - really excellent stuff with an indefinable quality. This will be in the shops in January.
I've also somewhat crazily committed myself to founding 2 new outlets - once again all releases on vinyl. The first new label is Individuals. The main thing to note here is that the styles represented will be quite removed from the usual Well Rounded sound. We would like each of the releases to be viewed as a stand alone self-contained project and we want to let the genre change from release to release in any direction at all. It's just about highlighting producers who are exciting and innovative in their own field whether that is downtempo, electro, juke, techno or whatever. The first release is a banging Juke affair from Wheez-ie from Texas in the US. I believe he stamps his own authority on the Juke template and brings in ideas that are unique to him. The EP is good and broad including a slower jam (at 140!), 2 heavy havoc-inducers and a haunting tune called 'Leave Her Alone' that had me flipping out. This should also hit the streets in Jan.
The second label is Well Rounded Housing Project - as the name suggests this will be a dedicated House label as that remains the cornerstone of my taste. I have 5 or 6 releases lined up for this, including some quite fancied bits, but I’m just trying to decide which to launch with so keep your eyes peeled for info shortly and expect some tasty platters ;)
Watching you play at Pubstep on vinyl was very impressive, is shopping for records like it used to be?
My father was a DJ so I grew up with a man coming in from record shopping and checking out his new tunes at considerable volume with palpable excitement. I think this is one of the few ways we could bond and my fate was sealed haha! It's influenced everything. He had such broad taste - from Disco to Punk to Irish jigs. I think that exposure to so many different styles of music can be seen in the A&R philosophy of the labels - though I wasn't consciously aware of this until recently.
I got my first regular DJ gig at a club in Tunbridge Wells that burnt down sadly. I played records between bands during the first half of the night, then at 11 they moved the gear off the stage which then became a mirrored dancefloor - loads of lights though I experimented freely with utter blackouts at strategic times. I was getting hammered and playing early UK Breakbeat Hardcore, Belgian rave and some Industrial US techno VERY shoddily and swearing down the mic at people. They seemed to really enjoy it. This was 1991. So nearly 20 years outside the bedroom!!
Record shopping is still the same for me though there are fewer places to go. Brighton's got quite a good number of shops though - I favour Rounder, Edgeworld, upstairs at Wolf & Gypsy and Rare Kind. I limit my search to what I physically discover in front of me - so no mp3 or CDRs in my sets. This helps me to focus my search nicely I find. I don’t particularly want to play the same records as you - so I look closely at different genres, checking all the b-sides etc, looking for the lesser-spotted gems! That's trainspotter talk for ya!
I do find having worked behind the counter in various shops over the years that people don’t seem to have as much patience or commitment to checking out new stuff. They come in armed with info off the internet and that's pretty much all they want to find. Also because mp3s are cheap people are a lot more hesitant about parting with the cash for wax. I have readily accepted that vinyl keeps me poor. I guess I’m from a different generation where vinyl was the only option and that's why I’m resistant to change!
Who's impressed you with their productions the last couple of months?
Outboxx from Bristol definitely - got something coming with us - and James Fox's 'New Jack Swing' is a peach! Zoltan Isz from Romania has a special take on heavy and driving house that I’m feeling; Graphics is doing something refreshing at 140 - not easily falling into Dubstep or garage categories. South African house really excites me - seems more raw and instinctive and less considered than some British based stuff. Julio Bashmore is brilliant. Gongon & Bad Autopsy. I'll stop here coz I keep thinking of more and more!!!
Can we expect some more productions from yourself?
Every now and again. Our Ultrasound and Donga & Blake EPs have been quite low-key compared to the other WR releases, but I stand by them hard. I guess the stuff I get involved in is generally a bit subtler. I would never sit down and try to make a grimey-banger - i mean that's not me, though I can appreciate those tunes when made by people who truly identify with harder styles. It's gotta come from an honest place.
Thank you for your time. We’re looking forward to all that forthcoming material. On another note, we have our Brighton club night launch on the 19th of February at Jam with Shortstuff and Tom@Ramp; hopefully we'll catch you there.
I WILL be there - in the shadows I expect haha!
001: Well Rounded Records [mixed by Donga]
01. Doves – Birds Flew Backwards (Chris Watson Remix) [For Us]
02. Cottam – 4 [unknown]
03. Space Dimension Controller – Transatlantic Landing Bay [R&S]
04. Romanthony – Fall From Grace (Tony’s Main Mix) [Azuli]
05. FCL – ‘Let’s Go’ [We Play House]
06. Altered Natives – The Rain [Boscomi]
07. Mical Rhebess & Pevanu – Look Twice (Take II) [Ojodeapolo]
08. Deadboy – Fireworks [Well Rounded]
09. Martyn – Shook Up 
10. Redshape – Future Shock [Delsin]
11. Sunship – Almighty Father (Solid Groove Remix) [White]
12. MCMLXXXVII – Work [unknown]
13. Round Two – New Day [Main Street]
14. Isolee – Jelly Baby [Playhouse]
15. Littlefoot – Great Dark Spot] [Well Rounded]
16. Richie Hawtin – ‘Monkee’ [Minus]
17. Dubbel Dutch – Pulso [unknown]
18. Joy Orbison – BB’ [Doldrums]
19. First Choice – Let No Man Put Asunder (Ron Hardy Re-edit) [White]
20. Theo Parrish feat IG Culture – Traffic [Kindred Spirits White]
21. Caribou – Sun [City Slang]
22. Doves – Birds Flew Backwards (Chris Watson Remix) [For Us]
This time we've got none other than Hackman, who in our eyes, has been one of the most exciting producers this year. He first grabbed our attention on Fabric's 'Elevator Music' at the end of last year although after doing some research I'm sure I've heard his 'Loophole', which was out in the middle of '09, a fair few times (or is it just that sample?). This early release was fairly different, more Dubstep based but you can see how his sound has developed to where it's at today - breaking the all Garage/Funky/House boundaries. It was the PTN release which put him properly on the radar, this was soon followed up by the massive 'Bodies' on Well Rounded Records. If you haven't checked either of these, go do so here. His latest remix duty for Senseless Records has been made available for free, check it below...
Night Game (Hackman Remix) - The Phantom
Forthcoming material sees another release on PTN early next year as well as bits on a few other big labels. He has plenty more bookings lined up so get this on the download for a little flavour of what to expect.
01. El Sudor - Hermit [dub]
02. DJ Dom - Computer Love [PTN]
03. Arkist - I Couldn't Possibly [Immerse]
04. Jera - Another One [dub]
05. Hackman - Semibreves [dub]
06. MJ Cole & Wiley - Angel Riddim [Prolific]
07. Norrit - N Gbekinho [Party Guy Records]
08. Justin Martin & Ardalan - Mr Spock [Dirtybird]
09. Julio Bashmore - Battle For Middle You [PMR]
10. Clicks & Whistles - When I Feel [Party Guy Records]
11. C.R.S.T - Roulette [Ten Thousand Yen]
12. The Phantom - Night Game (Hackman Remix) [Senseless]
13. VVV - Falling Low [dub]
14. Didz & Chicho - Something New [Ten Thousand Yen]
I.D. who I've been following for a good number of years now has just dropped a massive release on his Bass Music label with Rider Shafique. This track needs no explanation, no messy pretentious metaphorical rubbish, just a quick listen on a pair of decent speakers before you realise the brilliance. This is up there with the quality tracks on 'Leftism'.
The Light (feat. Rider Shafique) - I.D. [RUDEEE]
Then, surf your way across to Beatport or the Bass Music Bandcamp where you can buy the full release at full quality (+ all the stems if you go to the Bandcamp). Please donate some of your pennies to this man who works very hard at pushing music forwards. Big respect...
Basslaced are back with another heavy line up tomorrow, 10th December, at Stealth Nightclub, Nottingham. We went down to play the last night and would recommend this event to anyone in the area. Tickets are available from Rock City Box Office, Golden Fleece Pub & Bag O’ Nails and it's only £10 for what's set to be a seriously hefty night of bass laced fun.
In other news their latest podcast has been recorded by none other than Mr Sukh Knight. Sign up to their iTunes feed for future updates.
DOWNLOAD: Basslaced Podcast 003 - Sukh Knight [right click save-as]
Check the Basslaced crew on Facebook and Twitter.
We've started a group where all you Soundclouders can submit your tracks so we can preview them easily, the group will be moderated and the best tracks will make it through to the blog. This will essentially be a place where you and we can discover new tracks and artists with as little hassle as possible.
Spread the word round your friends and family. This group will work best with a decent amount of people submitting tracks - please remember to keep the quality of production to a high standard.
For those of you whose tastes extend to the tropical and tech-house arenas, the 18th December sees the second part of a collaborative night organised by the Jackmode Agency and our friends at You Can Call Me Pelski in London. I hear from first hand sources that the first night was a big success, and this may well be your last chance to experience the two Funktion 1 systems they've got down at the temporary Counter Culture club before it is taken down for New Year. Impressively, they have managed to surpass the acts they had for the first installment, with none other than Made to Play boss, Jesse Rose, heading up the bill. Zombie Disco Squad and Oliver $ offer some exciting support in the main room, while Jet Project are set to tear it up with the Pelski boys in Room 2.
Tickets are cheap in advance (£8 for earlybirds and £12 thereafter), not bad at all for one of the last chances for a big pre-Christmas outing in the capital. Pick yourself up one here, and check below for some of what to expect from the legendary Jesse Rose:
Garden (Jesse Rose Remix) - Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs 
You Know It (Jesse Rose Made To Play Edit) - Jesse Rose 
Friday of last week saw the CD and vinyl release of Subdepth Records first compilation, 'Subdepth Volume 1'. Since their relocation to Bristol Subdepth have continued to support their policy of developing talent from within rather than profiteering from any observable fashion, and this compilation gives a snapshot of the range of ideas they have for bass music at the end of 2010 going into the New Year. With another valuable chance to check the productions of the likes of Dom Hz, Swarms, Numan and Vandera, this is a must-buy for those with an eye to the future.
Whether you're particularly feeling the ecstatic optimism of Vandera's "Move On", the rugged vibrations of Swarms' "Rooted" or the soothing warmth of Simple's "Long Distance Rubdown", what ties the tracks together is that they operate on a level that deals with the dreamlike and the ethereal. Firstly this will make this compilation a good reflection of the times in years to come, since 2010 has been a year where music has often sought to be visionary and complex, in many ways a reaction to the gritty and immediate sounds of last year, but more importantly, the scope of the intangible feelings the tracks convey will ensure this continues to be of value for a while to come. Check out the Soundcloud preview below, but to appreciate the full selection you'll need to buy it in its entirety, available at Juno.
Subdepth Volume 1 Preview
01. Numan – Secrets
02. Dom Hz – You (Vista Remix)
03. Dom Hz – Everyday dreamer
04. Snow Fox – No Time
05. Dom Hz – Blue
06. Vandera – Move On
07. Swarms – Rooted
08. Swarms – Hypnotize
09. Simple – Long Distance Rubdown
10. Lostlojic – Last Goodbye (Vandera Remix)
11. Swarms – Glider
12. Dom Hz – What Goes Up
13. Indigo ft. Poppy Roberts – All Yours
14. Numan – Wild Fire
15. Swarms – Skynet
16. Numan – Kaya 47
Hybris is a fairly unknown name coming out of Czech Republic however there's big news as he has a forthcoming EP on Noisia's own label, Invisible Recordings, which they launched at the start of this year.
A. Noisia & Hybris - Crystalline
B. Hybris - Of Two Minds
C. Hybris - Keeping Me
D. Hybris - Out Of Place
Big mix in promotion for this release, if you're into Drum & Bass and are in need of some fresh listening, this one's right on the money.
Invisible Mix - Hybris [download]
01. Noisia & Phace - Micro-organism (Neosignal)
02. Rido - Exoplanet (Obsessions)
03. Hybris & Presence Known - Absolute Power (dub)
04. Ulterior Motive - Frozen Sky (Reinforced)
05. Hybris - Slima (dub)
06. Enei - One Chance (Critical)
07. Hybris - Keeping Me (Invisible)
08. Hybris - Losing It (Critical)
09. Hybris - Out of Place (Invisible)
10. Triad - Parallax (Horizons)
11. Zero T & FD - After All (Invisible)
12. Nympho - Recollection (Dispatch)
13. Noisia & Hybris - Crystalline (Invisible)
14. Lenzman - Mass Effect (CIA)
15. Hybris - Lair (dub)
16. Eastcolours, Noel & Enei - Cracker (Critical)
17. Hybris - The Guy (Renegade Hardware)
18. Jubei & Ulterior Motive - Tevatron (Metalheadz)
19. BTK - Things I Do (Spectrasoul remix) (Demand)
20. Hybris - Make My Drink (dub)
21. Hybris - Of Two Minds (Invisible)
Our good friends Dark Sky are back with another bumpy 2-step re-rub which has their imprint rubbed from head to toe. Excellence as per usual. Has been a big year for the London-based threesome, I'm already excited thinking about what's forthcoming.
Too Heavy To Stand Up (Dark Sky Remix) - DeLooze 
Easily my favourite production by Joker has been given a re-lick by the ever growing stronger Mensah. This edit tones down the darkness and gives it more dancefloor capabilities with a Drum & Bass pattern over those rich, weighty synths.
Psychedelic Runway (Mensah's Let's Go Faster Re-Lick) - Joker
While on the topic of Joker - latest news is; that track that never got a name which he did with TC is being given out for free. Massive tune - should be an instant download for any Dubstep fan.
It Ain't Got A Name - Joker & TC
This newcomer S-Type has made a big impression on my ears with these couple of tracks which are filled with moving melodies and colourful synths, fringing on what you might hear in a (decent) R&B/Grime instrumental. Both have surprisingly been given away for free - quality free music right here. Go check his soundcloud for some Hip Hop downloads too...
Medusa - S-Type
Terry Nutkins - S-Type
Numan, who also leans towards the instrumental 'purple'/Grime sound, brings us another bouncy number. 2010 was predicted to be a big year for this Mancunian, according to Fact Mag, I've however got my hopes on 2011.
Flashhh - Numan
Hudson Mohawke is the king of vibrant instrumental music so, while this subject this production is very appropriate. For those that haven't come across 'Fuse' yet - I'm afraid to say you've been missing out.
Tried For Your Love (Hudson Mohawke Remix) - Krystal Klear