The Questions: Untold

London UK’s Jack Dunning, better known as Untold, is a relentlessly brave producer, whose willingness to throw musical curveballs results in exciting and sometimes innovative music (for conclusive proof, check the 2009 scorcher Anaconda at the bottom of the page). In between music, running his own label Hemlock Recordings, and a brand new collaboration in the works, we got Untold to drop some wisdom on The Questions…

Name: Untold

“You’re only as good as your last record” Untold

The name of the first song i was really proud of was called: “Test Signal” on my first Hessle Audio release in 2008

Most fun person i’ve ever worked with: Samuel Chase - The singer I’m writing with on my side project “Dreadnought” He’s probably the most infuriating person I’ve ever worked with too.

Best musical advice i’ve ever been given: You’re only as good as your last record.

A piece of gear i couldn’t live without: SSL Duende plugins

A piece of gear i wish i could live without: My K701 headphones when I have to turn the volume down late at night.

My studio environment in three words: Standard nerd cave

A song i wish i’d written:  Dillinja – Silver Blade

If i could do it all again, I’d: Do less remixes

Untold: Twitter / Facebook

Check out the highly individual Anaconda below, and those of you who want to get inside the sounds of Untold can do just that if you own NI’s Massive, with his new DnB/Dubstep Presets Loopmasters pack.

Finest Ego - UK and Ireland

Finest Ego – United Kingdom and Ireland Collection

We know what you’re thinking… the Oh Drat podcast is looking strangely absent. It is coming, but it’s getting harder and harder to separate time in the lab to grow in all directions at once so we’re doing our best to make sure that we put our time into making it great… and maybe having a little think about the style and format we present it in.

musicians with various genre leanings have come together to create new styles and a scene that is held together with a six degrees of separation-esque collective similarity

This Friday’s music post is a compilation – gratis, no less – that showcases some of the finest talent that the UK and Ireland has to offer. Over the past decade, the electronic music melting pot has bubbled away like never before. Electronic musicians with various genre leanings have come together to create new styles and a scene that is held together with a six degrees of separation-esque collective similarity, as tempo, tone and rhythm are freely experimented with yet the resultant music can always be tied in context somewhere in the collective ‘beats’ atmosphere. What we’re presented with here is an amazingly sonically diverse slice of that phenomenon, from the turntable focused musing of Vince Mack Mongrul to Darkhouse Family’s take on West Coast funk, Om Unit’s mesmerising touch with rhythm and meter, and more… Download it.

Sonnyjim & Sleaze

Interview: Sonnyjim & Sleaze

Sonnyjim and Sleaze are two Birmingham, UK based emcees who have come together to release an EP – the forthcoming Writing In Mnemonics. Both of them are heavily involved in running their independent imprints Eat Good Records and Greasy Vinyl, and they had some great insights into releasing music independently, being part of a scene, and staying true to their art…

Oh Drat: So, I was trying to work out whether Work In Mnemonics is a pun or not…

Sonnyjim: Well, Sleaze is the best to answer what Work In Mnemonics actually is and the breakdown of it…

“we’re from the same ends so we’re on the same page anyway even before the music” Sonnyjim

Sleaze: You can look into it a few ways man, there’s not just one meaning to it, do you know what I mean? One way we’ve started working, we’re putting in work, that’s one way to look at it, nahmean, also people work in journalism, work in radio, we work in mnemonics.

Oh Drat: Okay cool… and as far as you two working together, how did the decision to put out a joint project come about?

SJ: Basically… shit. I can’t remember where it was but I heard about Sleaze on the internet somewhere in, when was it Sleaze, ‘09?

SZ: What track are you talking about man?

SJ: Erm… I can’t even remember where I heard him but I when I did I was like ‘ain’t nobody sounding like this guy’, innit, and he sounds just like where I grew up so I though,  yeah, this guy’s reppin, he sounds like a proper Midlands geezer innit. He’d just dropped his album Theolovision and so I looked on the CD and he had this feature from a guy called Ruffstylz and I know Ruffstylz from back in the day so I hollered at Sleaze, he came to the studio and had a blaze, and we had this one Beat Butcha beat. The title track on Work In Mnemonics was the first track we made – it came out really good so we just thought fuck it, let’s do an EP, basically.

OD: Was the fact that you two are from the same area something you looked out for – there’s not a great deal of Birmingham emcees in the game, really…

SJ: Yeah there isn’t man, it’s all still quite London centric… but you know what, every area they’ve got the same mentality but also they’ve got their own individual area’s mentality too and we’re from the same ends when it comes to the country as a whole so we’re on the same page anyway even before the music.

SZ: Standard.

OD: And how do you guys approach being… a niche in a niche, I guess, in that you’re British musicians, not from London, and you’re not really making the style of hip hop, or perhaps more broadly ‘urban’ music that’s got the largest following at the moment?

SJ: Erm… shit you know there ain’t even no formula for it, we just do what we do and thankfully some people just pick up on it.

“So everytime we put out a new record the fans are on it because they know we ain’t gonna put no wack shit out” Sonnyjim

SZ: It can be a bad thing and a good thing you know what I mean? A lot of fans can turn their back on a band or whatever if it’s different but with hip hop, people from your ends, the fanbase will build and be strong BECAUSE it’s unique, that’s the difference.

SJ: Yeah you know what that’s a really good answer actually. We’ve got a tiny tiny cult following, rather than being flavour of the month and then being forgotten about in a few months’ time when the next chart person comes along, do you know what I mean. Obviously some people have long ass careers or whatever, but… the fans that we do get, they become fans for life, do you know what I mean and then they just believe in what we do. So everytime we put out a new record they’re on it because they know we ain’t gonna put no wack shit out, and you just build up a core fanbase really, that’s that only way to survive when doing a niche within a niche man.

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Styly Cee - Notts Vintage

Styly Cee – Notts Vintage

There’s nothing quite like limited edition vinyl, and Styly Cee’s Notts Vintage is about as limited as they come – just 150 copies. The minimal disco bag packaging is made a little more special by the sticker that seals it shut, requiring a ritualistic breaking of the seal to get to the wax.

Styly Cee cuts, scratches, and samples his way through 14 tracks of Nottingham centred hip hop history

Purchasing the vinyl EP nets you a full 14 track download of an extended LP version of the release, combining all the exclusive tracks on the EP with more from around the 2000-2003 period.
Notts Vintage harks back to a different age in the UK music scene, an age before grime and its influence took such a hold and UK hip hop had a much more sampled aesthetic.

Styly Cee cuts, scratches, and samples his way through 14 tracks of Nottingham centred hip hop history in a largely strong offering featuring Cappo, Scorzayzee, Midnyte, C-Mone, Karizma, and Lee Ramsay – UK hip hop fans will recognise many tracks from mixtapes of the time, so it’s a treat to finally get hold of the full, unmixed versions. Scorzayzee and Cappo steal the show, but for a fan of UK hip hop history this whole release is valuable, and a rare slab of wax to boot – available from Son Records.

Verb T  ft Fliptrix & Kashmere - Tearing the Sky Down

Verb T ft Fliptrix & Kashmere – Tearing the Sky Down

UK hip hop’s had a good year – Jon Phonics has been behind the boards for quite a lot of it, too. There’s a promising year ahead as well, and this track is somewhat a prelude to one of the projects I’m most looking forward to: the new Verb T and Kashmere collaboration. Not to dismiss Fliptrix’s contribution to this corker of a track, which is lifted from Verb’s Serious Games LP, of course – and the daunting black and white video captures the neck snapping mood of the day with class. It’s a good look for the UK.

Ricko Capito - BBB Burial

Ricko Capito – BBB Burial

This new single from Ricko Capito has a number of things going for it. Firstly Caps (not the original Cappo/Caps, I must point out) has a gravelled, steady and slightly menacing quality to his sound and flow which feels as though it’s made for the tough 808 based beat as it shakes you to bits. Secondly, there are a lot of references to old video games – something I’m pretty font of.

Caps has a gravelled, steady and slightly menacing quality to his sound and flow

The video is a simple but effective talking head style clip; a solitary red light source creates a sense of ill-ease, facilitated by the air raid horns in the background.
My ears are now poised to prick up to news of Capito’s forthcoming mixtape, Headtop season 1. Yours?

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