Thursday, 28 June 2012

5 Years Young: 2nd Drop Records

A superb interview from Richard Akingbehin from Hyponik Promotions and amazing photos from our friend Meg Sharp about our 5th Anniversary.

5 Years Young: 2nd Drop Records

Roughly five years ago, Mark Gurney and James Bliss heard the song ‘Good Feeling’ by friend Ramadanman (now Pearson Sound), on seminal underground radio station, Rinse FM. Skream, the DJ who aired the track, announced that Ramadanman intended to give the track away for free. Roughly twelve months earlier, Mark Gurney was running Live Recordings, a youth project and record label that taught transferable management skills in the context of the music industry. Whilst running Live Recordings, Mark released Jamie Woon‘s ‘Wayfaring Stranger,’ backed with a sensational Burial remix.
When the funding for Live Recordings was pulled, Mark and James decided to create another outlet and 2nd Drop Records was born. Soon after, Ramadanman’s ‘Good Feeling’ found a well deserved home on 2nd Drop, receiving a 12″ vinyl release with ‘The Woon’ featuring on the B-side; a tough, sub-heavy re-working of ‘Wayfaring Stranger’.

Mark and James were immersed in the dubstep scene at the time. Regular heads at DMZ and particularly FWD; it’s a sure bet that 2nd Drop Records was conceived in the womb-like environment of Plastic People. Getting to know Rusko via Reso (who were housemates at the time), the pair heard Rusko’s tracks ‘William H Tonkers’ and ‘Roma,’ which soon made up 2NDRP12002. Throughout 2008 and 2009, 2nd Drop never really strayed too far away from that familiar, dark 140bpm template, with releases coming from the likes of J:Kenzo, LD and Sully. Come 2009 they, like many others, began to find themselves searching elsewhere for the next new sound.
“If someone had said to me that four years down the line we’d be releasing techno, I’d have laughed and been pretty surprised. But, if i’d heard the music we’re releasing now, I would have definitely been feeling it.”
James tells me it was the seventh release that was the so-called “turning point.” They welcomed Ramadanman back to drop ‘Revenue,’ and invited Untold to remix the track, resulting in the devastatingly stripped-back B-side. I can tell this 12″, perhaps the remix in particular, is still a serious source of satisfaction for the pair. Three years on, it’s still being played regularly in clubs, included in mixes, compilations such as Gold Panda’s DJ-Kicks, and has been labelled a major influence by recent signing, Tessela.

From that point on, 2nd Drop have put out techno, garage, and soul-infused electronica; building on the foundations of early dubstep, but gradually meandering away. Neither James or Mark see that as a conscious decision, more an organic progression that doesn’t negate the possibility of returning to its roots. They tell me that they would put out the 2007 Ramadanman record today. Stating that “it’s probably more relevant now anyway.”
The conversation moves onto vinyl, artwork and digital piracy. Mark and James come to the conclusions that they don’t care if people want to rip 128kbps copies of their releases, and that they would never do a digital-only release. The internet has changed the role of the record label. Gone are the days, they say, of selling tens of thousands of copies of a 12″, nowadays, trawling through Eastern European file-sharing websites asking for their tunes to be taken down is more of a reality.

In recent years, 2nd Drop have never really released straight house music, intsead, they’ve skirted around the edges, always opting for something more rugged and inspired. Recent output demonstrates this precisely, coming from Pedestrian, Djrum, Tessela, South London Ordnance and Gerry Read – a far cry from the strains of dubstep the they were originally putting out. Their discography seems to have followed a familiar pattern; think Loefah, Pinch, or even Ramadanman himself, all turning their attention to slower tempos. I want to know why they think this has happened. James tells me, laughing, that “five years ago, [his] perception of what techno was.. was.. Germans!”
Once again, the internet is cited as a possible reason for the change. Its impact, even over just five years, shouldn’t be underestimated. We discuss how exciting the scene is currently; “there are teenage producers drawing influence from all over the world, from tracks released before they were born; something not so easily done five years ago.”
“2011 was a kind of renaissance for us, we received a flurry of great music from LV, Djrum, Gerry Read, Youandewan and Tessela, who all embodied the elements of dubstep that we loved, but evolved it to into a newer, more interesting sound – through new tempos, hybridising genres and generally experimenting outside of 140bpm. It was exciting again!”

With five years and twenty releases steeped in London’s underground culture, this label have established themselves within a tight-knit community, whilst globally picking up plaudits for their A&R abilities and relentless quality control; and they show no sign of slowing down. An EP and a 12″ from Pedestrian are imminent, so too are a Djrum EP and album, a 12″ from Youandewan, music from exciting youngster Happa, and at some point, a label compilation. A lot of these forthcoming tracks, alongside a careful selection of recently released 2nd Drop music, and classic, influential material from the likes of Gregory Isaac, Raekwon and J-Live are included in the 2nd Drop Hyp Mix; an influences showcase mixed by Mark and James, together with long-time label affiliates DB, Ralph Solly and Marshal Darling. A deep insight into the label’s current musical ethos, and how they got there – here’s to another five years of 2nd Drop Records!  

We celebrate our 5th birthday this Friday (29th June) at Blink in Hidden. Full details here.

Our 5th Anniversary mix here: 

Read the original article here:

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Pedestrian 'The Ransom Note' interview

 Pedestrian's recent interview for The Ransom Note website:

Pedestrian aka Jack Sibley, is fast becoming notorious for his intricate, crystallised production and instinct for DJ sets. With universally strong releases on Push & Run, 2nd Drop, Brownswood and Metalheadz, he flows over genre constraints with sounds that submerse; penetrating basslines, defined synths, organic audio sampling and crackling melodic harmonies. Unlike many DJs on the scene, with Pedestrian no two sets are the same. his passion for unique, meaningful sound saw him included in K Magazine’s ‘10 Bass Music Artists To Watch Out For In 2012’. Having released a stunning collabouration with Maribou State 'Rush Don't Run' On Southern Fried Records earlier this month, we caught up with the man of the man of the moment as he prepares to join 2nd Drop Records for their 5th Birthday celebrations at Hidden this Friday, along with Jimmy Edgar, Kyle Hall, Catz n Dogz, DjRum, Tessela and South London Ordnance.

How did you get into music? Was there a particular artist or scene that influenced you?
I guess I got into music, initially anyway, through a love for Hip Hop and started attempting to make beats in my early teens. Then I got heavily into D&B and later the whole 'Bass Music' and House side of things. Making tracks as Pedestrian happened when I started experimenting with tracks in the 115-140 BPM range. I couldn't say there was one particular influence, I draw inspiration from so many different genre's, sub-genre's, artists and bands so I couldn't pin point it to one or the other.

What was the first album you bought? What did you like about it? … Can you remember how much you paid for it?
It's pretty bad, I can't really remember what the first album I bought was! I'll hazard a guess at Eminem - The Real Slim Shady LP. I can't remember how much i paid for it, but i do remember having to hide it from my parents as they banned me from listening to it (I probably wasn't alone there). Haven't listened to that record in years and years, might have to give it a spin for old times sakes.

How have you developed your songwriting since the early years? Is the equipment you use now much different from what you used when you wrote your first tracks for Push & Run?
For me, it's been a gradual process of learning what I feel sounds right, and i'm still learning a lot. I often read articles, watch video's and talk to other producers about techniques, equipment and methods, which is hugely helpful. My equipment is pretty much the same although i've collected a few hardware FX units, random instruments and plug-ins in the time since then.

We very much enjoy your blissed-out bass beats but the word pedestrian has many meanings, including music that’s a bit slow or perhaps a little on the unadventurous side. Why did you opt for the title Pedestrian? Have you ever been described as producing “pedestrian” music?
There's a few reasons I opted for the 'Pedestrian' alias. I was living in Cambridge when I first started listening to stuff around 120 BPM and I used to walk to Uni or work listening to it on my iPod and it was the perfect tempo to walk in time to. I also like to include the idea of walking somewhere in my song structures. I mean that by ending up somewhere different to where you started and seeing different points of interest along the way opposed to going round and round in circles for 5 minutes. I was aware from the start of the word pedestrian can mean a bit boring and mediocre but I quite liked that as a challenge to do the opposite, which i have tried to do. I really was expecting to see reviews describing my music as pedestrian, but fortunately it hasn't happened yet! The only time I've seen the word play was in a review for something of mine a little while ago which said something like "...and this track is anything but pedestrian" which was a pleasant surprise. 

If you had to give your music a personality, how would you describe it and has it developed any schizophrenia over time?
 Wow... I'd say my music is a happy go lucky kind of chap, maybe with a slight case of narcolepsy. I think schizophrenia is a bit far but definitely a curiosity for different styles.

If you had to pick one act you had to see live this year, who would it be and why?
 I'm really lucky to have seen a lot of gigs and some really high calibre bands, for instance my first gig was Rolling Stones at Wembley and my second was James Brown supported by Red Hot Chilli Peppers, which is pretty unusual I know! But one live act that I've been loving for ages and haven't managed to catch yet is The Black Keys. A few friends said they were amazing a few months back at Alexandra Palace, so I guess it would be them. I'd also go and see the live Bonobo show any time, seen it about 4 times and each time it is incredible and different, highly recommended to anyone who loves that kind of music. 

What do you make of the emergence of big budget visual shows that artists now tour with? Some might say that they detract from really listening carefully to the music being played, making an average act seem far better than they deserve to be. Who have you seen who has got the visual element right and have you ever seen an act get it wrong?
 It's a fair point to say that an average act seem better than they are, but at the same time if the act are incredible anyway it can only enhance the experience and make it even more intense. To be honest I haven't really been to any of these new hybrid shows although I hear Amon Tobin's is out of this world, the videos alone look crazy enough. 

You were ranked in K Magazine’s ‘10 Bass Music Artists To Watch Out For In 2012’. Do you feel under any pressure to produce a certain kind of music when you receive plaudits like these?
That was very nice of them and I really wasn't expecting it. I don't really feel under pressure by it at all, I'm going to make what I want to make and I hope people like it. I'm not going to say, oh well they've categorised me as a 'Bass Music' producer so thats all I'm going to make. Hopefully the people at K Mag, the readers and listeners will appreciate that.

Imagine you were stuck on a desert island. Which album, movie, book and work of art would you like to have with you assuming you would be able to enjoy them all?
A desert island with a DVD player? Now thats my kind of being stranded! I'd take the album 'TM Juke - Maps From The Wilderness'  because it is the most perfect album for on a beach or a sunny day and I don't think it will ever get boring. Assuming I was alone on this island, I would probably take a film of the adult variety because lets be honest, it could end up getting pretty lonely out there! The book I would take would be something with over 1000 pages at least, so once I'd read it I could use it as kindling for bonfires. As for the art, I'd take a large wooden art installation to try and make it into a raft to float back to civilisation. I think that would be a lot more useful than a painting.

If you had the opportunity to play one particular set at one specific venue, what time and place would you like to be?
I'm sure there are loads of absolutely mind blowing venue's around the world that I haven't seen, but for memories sake it would have to be The End when it was still up and running, say 2-4am. I loved going to that place and such a shame that it shut down and what has happened to it since then.

Read the original article here:

Many thanks to The Ransom Note for a super interview

Buy the vinyl and get the mp3 FREE from our Surus store:

Monday, 25 June 2012

Win 2nd Drop Records goodies!

As part of our 5th Birthday 2nd Drop Records, DJ Mag, and Found have offered up some superb prizes for the forthcoming night at Hidden on 29th June.

All you need to do is send the answer to the following question before Wednesday 27th June.

Who runs Hypercolour?
a) Jamie Russell
b) Kurt Russell
c) Jack Russell

1 x signed vinyl copy of Jimmy Edgar 'Majenta' (Hotflush)
1 x Tessela 'Darlene, Please' 12" '(2nd Drop) on vinyl
+ 2nd Drop vinyl, badges and four tickets for the event 

Enter the competition here:

Saturday, 23 June 2012

FACT Magazine review our forthcoming Hidden night

FACT Magazine review our forthcoming Hidden night on 29th June:

Yet another beguiling night on the way as part of FOUND at Vauxhall’s Hidden.

On June 29, Blink will host some great names for the ‘Glass Table’ night. Preening Hotflush signing Jimmy Edgar will bring a touch of glamour with a DJ set. Celebrating his recent Majenta release, the Detroit producer-cum-fashionista all be investigating the odder ends of electro and techno. Joining his is wunderkind Kyle Hall, who was recently obliging enough to take us on a virtual stroll around Detroit). His fuzzy strand of techno is frequently ingenious, and he remains a buck to back. Catz & Dogs, Tom Demac and Set Roberts will also be appearing in the main room.

2nd Drop host Room 2, and have brought some fascinating young talents along for the ride. Tessela‘s weirdo techno will be counterpointed by South London Ordnance‘s atmospheric stew of bass-heavy sounds. Also appearing are DjRum and Pedestrian. Finn, Cropper and Sol round out the bill.

The night runs from 10.00pm until 7.00am. Tickets and further information available from:

Djrum 'On The Road 2010'

Our good friend Rob Booth, of Electronic Explorations podcast fame, is releasing a Djrum track on his first Electronic Explorations compilation. The track 'On The Road 2010' was initially intended for the 'Mountains EP' but is now featured on this mighty complilation. The track has been given away free on the XLR8R website. Thanks for Rob for his continued support of 2nd Drop Records,
and we must say this compilation is very strong indeed!

Read the original article below:

Since its inception in 2007, Rob Booth's Electronic Explorations podcast has consistently provided listeners with cutting-edge music from underground and emerging artists. Booth's taste and execution has resulted in widespread popularity and influence, demonstrated by the fact that his show now claims up to 80,000 listeners a week. With such a large listener base (not to mention a new website), Booth has noted that financing Electronic Explorations has become increasingly difficult. In order to raise funds to help keep his program afloat, Booth has solicited tracks from scores of producers from around the world to compile into an enormous 60-song collection that will cost buyers just ₤5. "On the Road 2010" is the entry from UK producer Djrum, and is a mellow and fuzzy bit of bass music working in the same beat-step realm as, say, Shlohmo or Shigeto. The song's melodies are provided by strings and chopped, pitched-up vocals, which give the tune a moody and somewhat dark feel. The forthcoming compilation, aptly titled Electronic Explorations, is set for a July 1 release, at which time you'll be able to hear exclusive tunes from the likes of Machinedrum, Ital Tek, Chrissy Murderbot, Al Tourettes, Kahn, Akkord, Distal, Trevino, and many, many more. Submissions from a handful of the artists—including Akkord, Ital Tek, Kowton, and others—have already emerged on Booth's SoundCloud, and you can pre-order the album now on Bandcamp, where you'll also find the complete tracklist and release details.

Download the free track here:

Buy the compilation here:

Buy Djrum's 'Mountains' EP on Surus:

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

2nd Drop 020 photos

2nd Drop 020: Djrum remixes
A: Mountains pt.1 (Pedestrian's pirate radio remix)
AA: Turiya (Tessela remix)

Catalogue number: 2NDDRP12020
Illustration: Will Barras












Monday, 18 June 2012

2nd Drop 020 out today!

Our 20th release is out today, Monday 18th June:

DjRum remixes:
A: Mountains pt.1 (Pedestrian's pirate radio remix)
AA: Turiya (Tessela remix)

Catalogue number: 2NDDRP12020 

Buy this release at our 2nd Drop Records webshop on Surus, buy the vinyl and get the MP3 free!

Also available at all good independent record stores and online digital stores.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Djrum at Secretsundaze Go Bang

On Sunday August 26 there’s only one place to be: secretsundaze Go Bang!, an all-day, all-night minifestival, with Matthew Herbert, Four Tet, Levon Vincent, Sven Weisemann, Ben UFO, Brawther, Giles Smith and James Priestley, Djrum and more. It’s going to be one hell of a party!

This August Bank Holiday Sunday, secretsundaze – undisputed leaders of London’s daytime party scene – take partying to the next level, bringing the magic, with an extra special event at exciting new outdoor venue London Pleasure Gardens.

Matthew Herbert
Four Tet
Levon Vincent
Sven Weisemann
James Priestley
Giles Smith
Sei A
Ill Blu
Djrum (2nd Drop Records)
Al Tourettes

Plus More TBA

5 Years of 2nd Drop Records picture frames

We're preparing to celebrate for the 2nd Drop Records 5th Birthday, with limited edition framed pictures of all 20 releases. Watch this space!






Sunday, 10 June 2012

South London Ordnance at Fabric

Video footage of South London Ordnance warming up for Jack Beats in room 1 at Fabric, London, 1st June 2012.

2nd Drop 020: Djrum remixes

Two of Djrum’s finest tracks from his Mountains EP get taken apart with a set of pliers and an industrial blow torch and twisted into two absolute dance floor leviathans by Pedestrian and Tessela for 2nd Drop’s 20th Release.

Pedestrian’s take on Mountains pt 1 is simply breath taking; swapping the pummelling techno beats of the original and pumping it full of tough garage swagger, whilst maintaining the smokey textures of the original. This is so ridiculously in demand, we’ve never been to a club and NOT heard this wheeled! The 2nd drop is something to wait for…. it’s XXX large!

Fresh from his awesome Darlene, Please 12” in March, Tesslea gives the anthemic Turiya a new direction by building on the classic garage vibe of the original with an even more classic rave influence, guiding the euphoric vocal across a tougher hardcore continuum, like SL2 cross bred with El-B. Thus, completing a 12” that we hope will stay in many a DJ box/ Serato file for a while.
And finally, we are delighted to present the highly respected artist Will Barras as responsible for the fine artwork for this release. We wanted to build on and reference the previous Djrum artwork from Matt Taylor, and Will took it down a darker bovine strand, depicting a gothic afterlife where the army of the apocalypse ride skull headed beasts through the desolate wastes of the world.

Pre-order the vinyl and get the MP3 FREE at Surus:

Vinyl and Digital available on all good music websites and record shops.

Release date: 18/06/2012
Format: 12" Vinyl
Catalogue number: 2NDRP1202

Saturday, 2 June 2012

2nd Drop Records 5th Birthday Party

The 2nd Drop Records 5th Birthday Party is soon upon us. Catch four of our artists including DjRum, Tessela, Pedestrian and South London Ordnance, with the 2nd Drop family to host room 2 for a very special birthday party. Confirm your attendance below:

Blink and Hypercolour present GLASS TABLE

Jimmy Edgar DJ Set (Hotflush)
Special Guest
Catz N Dogz
Tom Demac (live)
Ste Roberts

Live visuals by Florence To

2ND DROP RECORDS 5th Anniversary
South London Ordnance
2nd Drop Family


Limited £8 Earlybirds on sale now / £10 / £12.50 / Motd

From Brighton to Berlin, Blink is unifying electronica’s elite.
As part of the FOUND series

South London Ordnance K Mag Review

Another super review of South London Ordnance's 'Sanctuary / Roofy'

Enigmatic young producer South London Ordnance may only be releasing his debut record now, but the groundswell of support has been building exponentially over the last few months, and given the strength of the two tracks on offer here it is no wonder. 'Sanctuary' is a bold first statement, channeling the grit of London as it fires off snares and deadly sub surges while finding its groove somewhere between the industrial power of techno and the skip and shuffle of UKG. On the flip 'Roofy' sits back on a slightly easier swing, allowing the wavering synths, deep bassweight and scuffed drums to get to work.
Thanks to K Mag.

Read the original review here: