Happy new year! Before we return to sharing music with you, we wanted to take a moment to look back at some of the articles we published over the last twelve months and thank everyone who got involved with Truants in the last year. Whether it was through contributing to our site, collaborating with us on features or reading our words, we really appreciate all of you and we’re happy to have met so many nice people through Truants. All of you made 2012 a great year for us, much love!
We highlighted five Truancy Volumes, four interviews and three other articles below that we thought might be nice coming back to but don’t forget there’s an abundance of equally great articles that you can find in our archives. You can find all our rap and hip-hop related posts here, an overview of all our Sunday’s Bests can be found here, our Three-Peats are here and if you’re looking for some good mixes, this link might help you. And as we’re now on SoundCloud, all our Truancy Volumes and exclusive giveaways are uploaded to our account.
We’re looking forward to the new year: we’re with a lovely new crew and have features with Pariah, Hodge, Funkineven and Kid Smpl coming up. We’ll kick it all off with our first mix ever that is compiled by the full Truants crew later this week. See you in a little bit and hopefully in print by the end of the year: and as always, before we forget, an obligatory Drake link for the Truants crew! Here’s to a great 2013. X
Truancy Volume 59: Locked Groove. “I don’t dance” is a pretty bold statement coming from someone whose line of work is to make the rest of us dance – but Locked Groove clearly knows what he likes, and it seems to be working out. He shot straight to the top in 2012 with two EPs on Hotflush Recordings (“Keep It Simple” and “Rooted“) as well as one on Turbo (“Different Paths“), and Scuba’s heavy use of his material in his recent Fact mix shows that we have a lot to look forward to in 2013. Locked Groove has been in high demand lately, and his Truancy Volume reflects all the reasons why his DJ sets are worth catching. We caught up with him to see where he’s been at lately, which you can read below to find out such important information as why trance is maybe not so bad as you think and some of the more unexpected sounds that inspire him to do what he does. Read more: Truancy Volume 59: Locked Groove.
Truancy Volume 54: D33J. Our fifty-fourth Truancy Volume comes from Los Angeles beatmaker D33J. We first met him back at SXSW when we learned of his involvement with the WeDidIt Collective, and shortly thereafter realized that not only was he super likeable, but his music is as well, so naturally we’re very excited to finally share this mix with you. He released his “Tide Songs” EP (for free!) over a year ago, and 2012 has so far been a year full of big moves. He graduated school, moved to LA, released a string of seriously good remixes (plus today’s latest), played one of the first LA Boiler Rooms, and very recently signed to Anticon – an occasion that was celebrated by giving away even more free remixes. We took this opportunity to ask D33J a few questions to get us up to speed with what he’s been up to, check it out below along with his very vibesy Truancy Volume (tracklisting after the cut). Read more: Truancy Volume 54: D33J.
Truancy Volume 48: Anthony Naples. New York resident and new kid on the block Anthony Naples made quite a stir earlier this year with his debut release on Mister Saturday Night, “Mad Disrespect”. The record, made up of his first finished tracks, is exactly what we would expect from a New York house record; it’s sexy, made for the dancefloor, and possesses just enough grit. What else could we ask for? We’re not the only ones to take notice of his talents on the buttons; Four Tet has enlisted him to remix the A-side of his next Text Records release, “128 Harps”. When someone like him snaps you up people pay attention and clearly this is only the beginning for Anthony, who is looking to release at least two more records this year. With plenty of ambition and the ability to back it up it’d be shame not to hear what music makes it into his mixes, hence why Truancy Volume forty-eight is mixed by the man himself. Obviously he’s no newcomer to house music or dance music in general, mixing the likes of Bookworms and Kassem Mosse in the span of 45-minutes. We’ve spoken with him, briefly, and he’s been clear about his intentions and his hope that this mix and music is accesible enough to the dancer and listener. So sit back and for the next few have a peak into what makes Anthony Naples move on the dancefloor. Read more: Truancy Volume 48: Anthony Naples.
Truancy Volume 47: Ryan Hemsworth. Naysayers are all too quick to short-sightedly dismiss the positives of the internet’s influence on the music industry in the face of declining sales and other obstacles. However, by doing so they neglect the fact that the industry is significantly indebted to the internet for the countless number of great artists, genres and a huge expansion into exciting unexplored territories that it’s helped emerge in the past few years. Nova Scotian producer Ryan Hemsworth is both a product of his time and one of the rising stars who is quickly attracting much-deserved attention his way with a number of incredibly memorable and otherworldly solo EP releases as well as his impressive substantial catalogue of rap productions for highly-praised flourishing talents such as Main Attrakionz, Shady Blaze and Deniro Farrar. The Green Ova affiliate cites the internet as a key catalyst in taking his work to the point it’s reached now, as it’s initially been responsible for creating bonds with collectives such as Shots For Everyone and The Villa that released some of his solitary work, but most importantly has acted as a mediator between him and his synergic vocalists, as he’s curiously enough met very few people he’s collaborated with in real life. Read more: Truancy Volume 47: Ryan Hemsworth.
Truancy Volume 39: Logos. While many current artists outside the direct circles of grime might cite the genre as a prime influence, not a lot of them manage to embody the heart of its icy emotions in their music quite like London-based producer Logos. Though he’s been producing for about eight years, there haven’t been a lot of releases to his name so far, with the exceptions being a rework of his own unreleased track “Frontier Dub” by Narcossist (nowadays known as Kowton) on Mindset Records and a 12″ on Radial Productions, his self-made currently inactive label created solely to as a means to release “Medicate”. With a lot of his sounds garnering much of its deserved attention through Dusk & Blackdown, it’s only a fittingly natural and logical step to see his upcoming release join the Keysound Recordings family with a four-track EP on the agenda. Our thirty-ninth installment of the Truancy Volumes has been gracefully provided by Logos in the form of fifty minutes of dubstep and grime pre-dating 2004 resulting in a mix that simply cannot be missed for its pure memories, dedication and vibes that shine through. We also spoke to James about his upcoming release, the mix itself and a tiny bit of Wiley. Read more: Truancy Volume 39: Logos.
Interview with Mala. “Looking at how things have developed in this music that they call dubstep now.. when you see how that word and that style of music has gone from being in a small place, in a few underground clubs in London, to transformed artists who can now sell out stadiums. For me, London is a place when growing up, it was always a challenge. My parents worked very hard for what we had so I always see it that you have to work very hard in London. Nothing came for free. And because England is an island, I always felt like I wanted to get out. I felt trapped, so to speak. When you feel trapped and you feel like your environment is difficult, somehow I channeled all that energy into making music. I think many people did that. When you’re growing up, you know what it’s like.. in Amsterdam, you have a little bit of water and canals and all that, but where we were at you didn’t see no water. You’d have to go down to the great, dirty Thames river or go down to Brighton which was the closest coast. Everything was gray: the sky was gray because the weather is shit most of the time. The concrete and the floor is gray, the buildings look gray. I think about London and the music that we developed, and by we I mean a handful of people: from Kode9 to Skream, to Chef to Plastician to Benga to Coki and Loefah and the rest of them guys. When I look back at it, this music could’ve only really started off in London. With the history that London has, with jungle music and soundsystem music from when the Jamaicans came over to England in the ‘50s and the ‘60s. London has that Caribbean influence and culture. The words United Kingdom, the country is what it is for whatever reason. Read more: Interview: Mala.
Interview with Madteo. “Detroit is such a fucking powerhouse of music,” Matteo Ruzzon sets forth. The Italian musician who produces under his Madteo alias moved to New York back in the early nineties, and has been a fervent listener of the crème de la crème of music coming from Michigan and its environs for as long as he can remember. He also displays a predilection for Italo disco and rap music, buying a median of twenty physical records a week which, over the years, have added up to an impressive collection of thousands of records lying around his apartment. The listener will hear his extensive knowledge of as well as his ardent love for music back in his own productions – an unconventional and sundry intermixture of house, techno and hip-hop: raw, slow, brain melting slabs. “Sounds,” Matteo stresses, almost mimicking Dizzy Gillespie, who once declared he simply wasn’t into music that much but preferred listening to sounds instead. “Yeah, I like sounds. When I’m producing, I like the exploration of different sounds. It leads you to eschew whatever categorizations to begin with and limits the quantity of different layers that go into making a track. With this approach, the limiting, I realized certain sounds didn’t always have to be a part of the picture. I only work with one or two different ones sometimes.” Read more: Interview: Madteo.
Interview with MORRI$. When he’s not busy sharpening his own production crafts, Kansas-native Phil Canty is probably making his moves as curator for Team Bear Club, a multi-faceted collective created by him and a group of friends to put forward music and events in the Lawrence, Kansas area. Even before his output as MORRI$, music has always played a prevalent role in Canty’s life. While he’s grown up witnessing a variety of musical environments and stimuli, his home base and present location Kansas provide him the type of panoramic surroundings that are most responsible for shaping his current musical character. This is something that can evidently be traced back in his sounds, with organic elements tying in perfectly with his firm hip-hop foundations to manifest an unequivocal sound that he and his Bear Club colleagues have self-branded as goombawave. It’s a sound that is universally apprehensible, so it’s no surprise that it’s made its way onto the Night Slugs roster, with the debut “White Hood” imminent on the UK label in the near future. To us, MORRI$ signifies a type of artist that is most valuable and increasingly rare these days; a purely talented producer that makes music with longevity and, most importantly, sincerity. We caught up with him a little while back on his background and general musical perspective and you can find the extensive results of it below as we patiently anticipate this burgeoning artist’s future maneuvers. Read more: Interview: MORRI$.
Interview with Ben UFO: “I don’t produce so I feel a sort of pressure to justify my position, and I feel that when I do DJ it has to be good. I have to make it worth people booking me, and in order to do that I have to spend a lot of time looking for new music. I was trying to figure out whether or not the techniques I use for digging have changed and I’m probably more reliant on the internet than I used to be. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. What I like about going to record shops is that I’ll always end up going away with something I don’t already know. Discogs and YouTube culture also generally facilitates a certain kind of listening, I think. I’ve noticed it recently, for example a lot of the tracks we’ve been releasing on Hessle Audio lately are tools in quite a traditional sense. For the most part, they’re tracks designed for DJs to work with, but when people are primarily consuming music via YouTube, it’s in these isolated bursts where the temptation is to look at everything in the same light, as if all the dance music ever written was designed with a singular purpose in mind. I think that explains a lot of YouTube comments sections – people expressing their disdain when music written with a specific context in mind doesn’t work quite so well in their preferred context, which is sat behind a laptop.” Read more: Interview: Ben UFO.
Interview: Rivet, Interview: Kowton, Interview: Svengalisghost, Interview: Kahn, Presk interviews Doc Daneeka & Benjamin Damage, Introducing: South London Ordnance, Truancy Volume 43: Charles Drakeford, Introducing: Don Froth, Interview: Thefft, Truancy Volume 42: Mr Beatnick, Interview: Lando Kal, Truancy Volume 44: Chippy Nonstop, Interview: GoldFFinch, Exclusive: Shadow Dancer – Al’s 4.43am Mix Vol. 2, Truancy Volume 56: Huerco S., Truancy Volume 60: Bookworms, Interview: Dusky, Truancy Volume 52: Nautiluss.
Review: Darling Farah – Body. Why does great dance music elicit such a profound physical response? It’s more than just an aesthetic appreciation for an artist’s creative vision. It’s more than just the communal energy of a packed dance floor. And it’s certainly more than just an alcohol-induced compulsion to let loose and move. On a fundamental level, whether biological or metaphysical, it would seem that dance music forms a natural and inextricable bond with something inside of us.For the past two years the musical output from 20-year old Darling Farah, the London-via-Abu Dhabi-via-Detroit producer born Kamau Baaqi, has been a testament to the covalent nature of the connection between dance music and the human body. Read more: Review: Darling Farah – Body.
Chronicles: Real Trap Shit! Over the last ten years, trap music has been leading a life of its own within rap circles: though the developments in production and rap style have seen a lot of changes over time, the genre is still making headway and remains fortifying, all while rejecting the idea of being bound to just one era in rap music’s timeline. Its purpose stays explicitly the same and this pure and unadulterated style of rap combined with raw energy has an everlasting appeal that still keeps the subgenre burgeoning today. Lots of words have been spent analyzing the ramifications of an apparent offspring scene, but sadly not as many have popped up to simply enjoy and reflect on the roots of trap music. It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of the original Southern sounds here at Truants, so we joined forces with our friends to compile a list of some of our favourite jams that have appeared over the last few years. Want some trap shit? You came to the right place. Read more: Chronicles: Real Trap Shit!
Review: Fatima Al Qadiri – Desert Strike EP. At first blush “Desert Strike” shares a striking number of similarities with its predecessor “Genre Specific Xperience.” Once again we have street music recast as quasi-religious wordless prayers in some 32-bit parallel universe to our own, and Qadiri utilises the same chants, steel drums and distorted bass swells that characterised her previous release. It’s hard to say whether the difficulty in distinguishing between the two is a demonstration of her success in developing a distinct voice or failure in integrating her conceptual wont into her sonic worlds. The fact GSX was designed to project particular genre workouts through her idiosyncratic lens inclines one to the former, with the subtle tweaks to her sound palette representing a decisive step forward perfecting an environment Qadiri has already carved out rather than a repetition with diminishing returns. Befitting of an artist in the thrall of nineties video game unreality, here the sequel is an upgrade rather than a reinvention: better CGI graphics, improved character models, more immersive. Projecting into the future, we’re seeing the evolution of a crystalline architectural object gradually building in intricacy and design. Thus, “Desert Strike” is a streamlined release: more hi-fi with extraneous elements eradicated. Read more: Review: Fatima Al Qadiri – Desert Strike EP.
(In no particular order) Riccardo Villella, Jon Alcindor, Cayley MacArthur, Aidan Hanratty, Sindhuja Shyam, Sam Billetdeaux, Simon Docherty, Tim Willis, Stephanie Neptune, Tabitha Thorlu-Bangura, Jess Melia, Eradj Yakubov, Sophie Kindreich, Maya Kalev, Jack Murphy, Gabe Meier, Ross J. Platt, Donny Marks, Ian Maxwell, Michelle Myers, Tobias Shine, Oscar Thompson, Gabriel Herrera, Meaghan Garvey, Matt Gibney, Mike Deegan Jr., Sven Swift, Steve Braiden, Ryan Hemsworth, Sarah Lola, Bob WNCL, UNO NYC, Yung Breyner and FEF Juusy, Boiler Room, Kuedo, Southern Hospitality, Stroboscopic Artefacts, Nik, BNR, Pure Baking Soda, Sinjin Hawke, Zora Jones, TJ, D33J, Hessle Audio, Idle Hands, Bromance & Brodinski, Christiaan Broedelet, Audio Culture, Dazed, Joe Cowton, Presk, DJ+, Hum+Buzz, Locked Groove, Olf van Elden, These Guys, Hemlock, Colors, Vase, Beatnick & Don’t Be Afraid, Manaré, Guy Andrews, the L.I.E.S. family, South London Ordnance, Helix, Darling Farah, Deniro Farrar, Perrion, TTT, Morri$, Nautiluss, Trouw, Fabric, LuckyMe, Nayvadius Cash and everyone else! x x
Stream: Jus Us – TT Lover (Direct Hit Entertainment Inc.)