Premiere: Samrai & Platt – Bad Riddim

Manchester’s Swing Ting crew are big favourites of ours at the Truants mansion. The crew of Samrai, Platt, MC Fox, Joey B and Murlo have steadily been building up a reputation for putting on one of the city’s most essential regular club nights. They also expanded into releasing music and following on from their label’s debut release from crew member Brackles last year, they’ve decided once again to keep it in the family with Samrai and Platt taking the helm. What comes of this is SWINGTING002, two tracks of some of the finest party-ready grime flavoured music you’ll hear this year. The massive “One Step”, featuring London dancehall vocalist Trigganom is a perfect example of Swing Ting’s desire to bring together a variety of dancefloor sounds to the fore. “One Step” comes alongside “Bad Riddim“, which we’re premiering below, a huge instrumental track which shows off the influence of soundsystem culture of the duo. We were interested to know more about what brought about SWINGTING002, and Samrai and Platt were kind enough to answer a few questions about their music, the label, and how the night shapes it.

So tell us about how SwingTing002 came about. Do you make your tracks with playing them out at Swing Ting in mind particularly? Platt: “One Step was a track that we’d made with a view to eventually have someone vocal. It existed in various forms, but once we’d heard Trigganom kill it on Eno’s remix of Skank, we knew he’d suit it perfectly. Really, I think we just wanted to make a super stripped back soundsystem tune. Bad Riddim’s something that’s been floating around for a while – Spooky’s been playing it for ages, but I think we realised that now’s the time to get it out there.

I don’t think we’d make anything that we couldn’t play at Swing Ting and that’s obviously the space we’re most familiar with, club-wise. If you look at the music we’ve put out as artists and as a label, I feel like sometimes it might look a little bit incoherent – it’s only when you come down to the night and hear what we play that I think all the dots are joined.”

Samrai: “Both were tracks we’d had in various guises for sometime but felt complete and ready for release now. The liberty of having your own imprint is that you’re free to make the choice of your own accord. The tunes we write have an ear on the Swing Ting dancefloor but may also be what we were feeling at that particular time. Also, we had a lot of extended family encouraging us to get these riddims out there so shout out to those guys!”

What are the tracks that are setting off your Swing Ting parties at the moment? “There are certain tunes that get reintroduced into the fold or classic standards that will always set it off but these are a selection of some fresh sounds that have been finding favour on the floor the last few months:

Murlo & Deadboy – Lovegiver
Lots of new Madd Again (Zed Bias, Trigga, Specialist Moss & Killa Benz) material
Famous Eno – Jaws & various Eno edits (Beezledub / Little Man / Gotta Man)
Kan Kan Riddim
Brackles – Vulnerable (Tinashe Bootleg)
Goon Club Allstars – Buzz Riddim Refix
Cute Bubble Riddim
Wizkid – In My Bed / Show You The Money”

We’ve seen you speak highly of Soup Kitchen as a venue for the night, what makes Soup Kitchen and Swing Ting such a good fit? Platt: “I think we’re now one of the longest running nights at Soup and we’ve always had a good relationship in terms of moulding the club to suit our needs. They’re very much on board with our bare bones aesthetic on the
night and realise that sound quality is key. They’ve spent a lot of time on, and are constantly improving the soundsystem and I think you’d struggle to find a better system in that kind of space anywhere in the country right now.”

Samrai: “They’ve never questioned what we’ve tried to champion musically and have supported us along the way.
Managers, bar staff, security have always been cool with us over the years making us feel welcome, finding a venue where you feel at home and appreciated feels pretty sacred right now.”

How do you feel things are in Manchester right now in terms of parties and general vibe? Platt: “There’s a lot of great music coming out of Manchester at the moment, but it’s important to stay grounded and not get too carried away. There’s so much history with music in Manchester, and people often want to find the next ‘movement’, it can get a bit grating hearing people force Manchester down your throat sometimes. Because of this, I don’t think people spend as much time building things organically – we’re really proud to be operating in Manchester, and will always rep it, we’re surrounded by extremely talented people and there are always new pockets of people popping up and doing interesting things. I guess really we just want to get our heads down and not get too involved in the hype game so much.”

Samrai: “Manchester’s currently amazing for parties. Guests we book to play often marvel at the energy, attitude and unpretentious nature of the crowd; Mancs and adopted Mancs love to rave hard with abandon!
There are a lot of promoters booking and pushing music that they care about and there’s a strong sense of community. Also, it’s a smaller city than London with less people to attend events so dances aren’t necessarily tailored to one sound or scene either, a party will often be a melting pot of styles which I personally prefer as you get to experience different worlds coming together both in sound and attendees. It’s also great to see a crop of labels developing too with their own aesthetic and vision in mind.”

This is your first release on the Swing Ting label where the residents are the focus, is this something we can expect more of? Platt: “There’ll definitely be more releases from us, from Fox and Murlo, and Joey B if he ever wants to get involved in the production side of things. But there’s also loads of great music we want to put out by people we’ve put on in the past, and will put on in the future. I think we always want to keep a connection with the clubnight where possible, but there are also people further afield who we’re looking to work with, and I don’t think we want to limit ourselves.”

Samrai: “We don’t want the label to be something that’s exclusive to residents only, I feel it’s important to keep an open mind, but there will be some material dropping from the main crew later this year and beyond. When a home-cooked release feels right for the imprint we’ll put it out ourselves but we also want to maintain working on separate projects and in conjunction with other labels too.”

What’s next for Swing Ting, label and party? Platt: “More of the same, really. We’re taking Swing Ting on the road a little during summer, a few takeovers, a few guest spots here and there, but we’ve got lots of exciting guests booked for Soup Kitchen in the coming months too. Label-wise, there’s a lot of music we’re aiming to get out before the end of the year and it’s all incredible. One project in particular is massive. We’ve just moved into a new studio, so I’m expecting the production output to increase a bit too.”

Samrai: “More music, more parties, more vibes, more risks and decisions but we wouldn’t want it any other way! There are some exciting spring, summer and autumn movements planned. Watch out for a pack of club recordings dropping later this year too in addition to all the releases.”

SWINGTING002 is out on Monday 16th March. You can pick it up here.

Antoin Lindsay