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Vex'd + Plastic Man

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Dusted's Trent Wolbe talks to Planet Mu mover and shaker Vex'd and Plastic Man, Rephlex's man on the scene.

Vex'd + Plastic Man

Trent Wolbe: Tell me who you are.

Chris Reed: Iím Plastic Man, Chris Reed, from South London, Croydon, a little town called Thornton Heath. Iím a DJ, producer, done a few bits on Rephlex and a record label called Terrorhythm.

Jamie Vexíd: Iím Jamie, one half of Vexíd on Planet Mu. Done some stuff on Subtext. Unfortunately the other half of Vexíd couldnít be here but Iím here.

T: Normally itís the two of you producing records, right?

J: Yeah normally itís both of us DJing as well. But unfortunately heís not great on the old airplane. Not that good at flying.

T: What are you doing tonight?

C: Just DJing tonight. My kind of musicís kind of weird. Itís not really a live thing. Iím more of a DJ anyway. Iím kind of a DJ first, producer second. I just produce tracks to get more bookings, trying to push the genre rather than myself. Before I can start pushing myself I need to get the genre a bit more focused. I think itís important to play everyoneís tracks, which is why I focus more on the DJing than the live thing. Iím more about pushing the genre than myself. Which is probably why Iím not too bothered about the whole live thing.

J: I think the music, the genre itself does actually lend itself to DJing in general. It came out of pirate radio. Itís a real DJ culture, itís not so much at the moment based on artists and their performances, itís based more on DJs selecting tunes to play out.

C: If anything, the only performance youíll get on the grime scene is MCs spitting live. Thatís like as live as itíll get now. For a little while. I think itís gonna take a few years before you actually see producers doing live gigs and stuff.

T: It seems like pirate radio, especially Rinse and Resonance are way more important across the pond than they are here.

J: Yeah.

T: you guys have been on Rinse and Resonance.

C: Yeah, Iím on rinse every week. Resonance is actually legal, a legal station that tries to run like a pirate. So that it represents raw, gritty London sounds.

J: Resonance bills itself as a sonic art station. I donít think it could be connected much to the pirate scene.

C:Pirate radio is like totally illegal.

T: But as far as the scene, is it different at all? Does Resonance have different programming than Rinse?

J: Resonance has like mad sound design, weird soundsÖItís sonic art as in like installation art, as in nothing to do with Ö

C: Iíve never been to Resonance, but I expect that their studios are probably quite clean and tidy. Rinse is normallyÖwhen I first started at Rinse it was in a tower block in some run-down, really Iím talking like the worst council block in the whole of London. Surrounded by crack dens and shit. Weíd have to walk up to some really part of London, Iíd go over there from 11pm until 1 in the morning. Really fucking bad, shady shit man. But now itís like much more, theyíve tried to start getting it a bit more comfortable. Where we are now is a much more safe, itís kind of locked up. We have to move all the time.

J: Rinse is one of the most professional stations around.

C: As far as pirate stations go, Rinse is probably the most professionally run.

J: Theyíll always be around.

C: Apart from the likes of Core, who still play jungle and drum ní bass to this day, Rinse is in the top 5 pirates of London, of all time, Iíd say.

J: The importance of pirate radio in general, not just for dubstep, but for garage and jungle and hardcore, its importance is hard to overstate. You wouldnít have those forms of music if it wasnít for pirate radio. Without themÖI donít think jungle wouldíve been established. I donít think theyíd continue to exist. Itís really hard to overstate. Thatís the heart of the music.

C: The government donít want it to persist, thatís why running pirate radio is a really risky business. It costs a lot of money to keep a pirate radio station running. Itís kind of mad how the grime scene, which doesnít earn the most amount of money, has a thriving pirate scene which costs so much to keep running. Every time the DTI locks you down youíve got to start from scratch.

T: So it does happen often?

C: A few months back Rinse had like the worst run itís had in 11 years of running. In 2 months we lost something like 15 rigs which cost some stupid like more than 10,000 pounds worth of equipment getting taken away. The DTI kinda just come and nick the shit.

T: Whatís the DTI?

C: The Department of Trade and Industry. They lock down any illegal use of airwaves.

T: Like the FCC here.

C: Yeah, they run the radio in the UK. Not just the radio but all kinds of shit to do with broadcasting.

J: There are much fewer commercial stations in the UK than over here. Thereís so much less. Which almost has the sort of reverse result of making more space for pirates and therefore, in a sense, even though thereís less commercial stations, thereís more variety of stations to choose from because youíve got all these pirates filling that gap. Over here I think you donít even have the space for pirates.

T: Itís much much worse here.

C: Itís such a big country as well. In London itís quite small so if you get a pirate with a fairly strong aerial, youíll reach pretty much the whole of London. Whereas here youíd be lucky to reach Queens Manhattan, do you know what I mean?

J: Well Rinse is on the internet now.

C: Weíve got online streams so people can lock in across the globe.

J: Weíve got people in Belgium and Brussels who listen regularly.

C: But the thing with the stream is because we canít stream straight from the studio, itís streamed from somebodyís house thatís tuned to the radio. So for any reason if the radioís been turned off or if he canít pick the station up particularly well then the stream will come out fuzzy and shit. So itís a shame we have to run it like that but obviously if we put an internet point in the studio then it would be easily traceable and weíd get hit every week and weíd lose not just the rig but the whole studio, the equipment and everything else.

T: How often does the studio get raided?

C: itís very rare that the studio gets raided, but theyíll find the aerial which is always a way from the studio. The studio and the aerial are never in the same place. They might find the aerial. But itís hard for them to find the studio unless they know who the DJs are and they follow them around and them find them walk into the studio.

T: Rinse sponsors a lot of shows, right?

C: Well not really sponsored, but the shows associate themselves with Rinse because Rinse is a big part of the whole movement. If you put Rinse on the fliers, itís like, we know what weíre fucking doing, this is Rinse.

J: Weíve got a dedicated Rinse night called Rinse Sessions. Theyíre involved in a larger sense than just the provider of some airwaves. Theyíre deeply involved in the scene really.

T: How often are you doing shows out?

C: At the moment, this monthís been really busy for me, probably the busiest month Iíve ever had actually.

J Same, Iíve had more gigs than ever this month.

C: Itís a sign of the times, everythingís picking up now, and next monthís looking quite busy as well. I donít know. Itís getting busier and busier but I would say at the moment Iím doing at least 3 shows a month.

J: I donít know what it is, but I think people seem to have got a grasp on the music lately, in the past few months, more than ever before.

T: Why?

J: I donít know why exactlyÖ

C: More regular night, which means more bookings.

J: Some albums have come out.

T: Nobodyís really doing albums except you.

J: Well in the dubstep scene there may not have been that many yet. But within grime, Kano, Roll Deep, Lethal B, dubstep is still underground to stay the least, but theyíre coming. We just put one out. I think thatís helped generate interest in what else is going on in the dubstep scene. And the two musics, they are linked. Whatís good for dubstepís good for grime, and vice versa.

C: Two revenues for the whole thing now. The whole Planet Mu and Rephlex side of the scene is gathering interest from electronic music fans, and then you got the grime scene which is gathering interest in urban music fans. Hip hop, garage, R&B, them kinda guys are gettingí into the vocal side of grime.

J: The MC culture, yeah.

C: And then the electronica, old jungle heads are getting in to the dubstep, more twisted side of grime which Rephlex and Planet Mu have picked up on. Itís kind of like weíre getting interest from all angles at the moment, which is kind of why the bookings are picking up as well.

J: It does kind of reflect the influences of different people. Dubstep people, a lot of them are old school junglists.

C: And it shows in the music.

J: It shows the kind of sovereignty of the music.

C: A lot of the MCís in grime, they show their garage and hip hop roots.

T: Before was it mostly people coming from the garage scene?

C: When it first started it was all 100% the garage scene. But since Rephlex and Mu have picked it up, people have been like what is the new music, itís kinda cool, and they might found out that they like the vocal stuff as well.

T: How did you guys get into it originally?

C: I was always a UK garage DJ. Itís just been a natural progression from that to this. It wasnít like I started listening to techno, before I made something a bit like techno-garage. It was just a natural progression. As garage got darker I kind of moved with it. And as I started making my own stuff it was just coincidence that was how I made my beats. A lot of people think it sounds like electro or techno but itís purely coincidence, I never listened to it.

J: We came into it through a different way. We didnít come into it though an electronic route, which a lot of people seem to think that we did. Originally got into it through drum ní bass, as well we were into dark reggae. It was through that, we got a bit tired of where drum ní bass was heading and the state of that form. And at a point when dark garage came around, garage started to take a very similar route, like a parallel line to what drum ní bass was doing.

T: When was that?

C: This was about 2000, 2001, when it kinda got a bit more technically dark. But before then it was kind of two-step with a basssline, with a couple of dark synths in it. Then like 2000, 2001 the whole DJ Zing getting involved, and DJ Hype getting involved, it was kinda like they were bringing the whole breaks element into the two-step scene. So it was kinda like two-step basslines and patterns but with breaky beats.

J: It wasnít really the breaky bit that got me interested, it was more the kind of stripped down nature of some of the tracks, they had this space in it all of a sudden.

C: But I tell you what, the whole kind of the real turning point for the whole grime scene was when Pulse X by Musical Mob dropped. Really simple. You need to check it if you donít know.

J: That was the one step that started it outside of garage. It said, this music is for us now.

C: Garage music was at the peak, it was gonna die. Then this track came out of nowhere. At the time everything was nice and cheesy, it was kinda charty, and youíd have the odd two-step dark bit. And then that tune dropped in and it was totally fucking simple, really basic, and all the kids who had been trying to make these really amazing garage tracks that are really hard to make because they have quite high production valuesÖ

J: It was the most cold, minimal, aggressive track.

C: It was so simple. It was kind of what made me want to make tracks because I heard it and the fact that that track got so big, it was like everyone was like, I can make a tune like that, get Fruity LoopsÖit was built for MCs, totally. Everyone was kinda like, Iím gonna have a go at making a track like that. Itís simple, I can easily do it. And everyone downloaded Fruity loops whoíd never made a tune in their lives, playing with Fruity Loops trying to make a tune. And then for about 6 months we had pure shit. A lot of the old school garage heads we like I canít deal with this anymore, this is so shit, this tune ruined our whole scene. So all of the stuck up champagne-drinking tossers left the scene. And it introduced this music to a whole bunch of really young kids. 16 year olds who wanted to make music.

T: What was the audience before?

C: Champagne-drinking, coke-snorting 20 year olds.

J: People with money to spend.

C: It was a flash, like. Everyone come with their shirts and collars and shoes.

J: Very bling. Dolce and Garbana.

C: It was really commercial.

T: In the US the whole thing is pretty foreign.

C: Every night was like garage. Youíd go out on a Friday night, to the cheesiest club in the area and theyíd be playing UK garage, vocal tracks.

J: It was the same kind of culture of R&B.

C: Exactly like R&B but our UK kind of R&B, uptempo basically.

T: Jamie, it feels like your new album is built to stand alone, not for MCs.

J: Itís not built for MCs, but at the same time I feel like Iím particularlyÖ. I talk about grime and dubstep now because theyíre my biggest influences. But I wouldnít say that the de generate album or what we do is representative of grime or dubstep.

T: Who is representative these days of grime or dubstep?

C: Iíd say dubstep-wise, Kode 9, Digital Mystikz, Horsepower, Skream, Loefah. That kind of flex. That really deep, really reggae, is obviously reggae influenced. You can hear it in the subs, you can hear it in the melodies.

J: There are people who are more focusing on the real dubstep, what dubstep is, and thatís what theyíre doing.

C: Thatís real dubstep.

J: Theyíre leading that example. Whereas dubstep, you look at the latest Digital Mystikz at this time, and thatís what it is. Thatís not really my concern. Iím not going out trying to represent dubstep. We definitely think about what the goal is, but that goal is not necessarily defined by what dubstep is. Or grime.

C: With me as well, I make grime, but when I did that thing for Rephlex, I kind of thought, my grime at the time was really simple and stripped down and simple and designed for MCs. When I made that Rephlex thing, I just kinda started playing it at [Rephlex club night] Forward, which is a night thatís more about the DJ and about the tunes theyíre playing. I mean youíve gotta play for a crowd, and they didnít really have MCs at their night, so youíve got the play the more interesting grime if youíre playing grime, or dubstep. Dubstep was the main thing at the time. I kind of went in there as the first ever person who was gonna actually play a grime set at Forward. And I was really kinda worried so I started making some stuff that I thought was still grime but a bit more technical, so itís kind of lots of intricate shit going on.

T: Well the stuff from the grime album sounds very Rephlex.

C: Well I kind of designed it for that market more. Kind of trying to get it Ö I didnít really know what Rephlexís market was like, but at the time I started making some more interesting music to play at Forward. So like they kinda picked up on this like intelligent grime, you know what I mean. That was what it kind of was really, stuff they picked out especially was like a bit just like grime, but a bit more intelligent you know. A bit more like things going on and it can be played on its own without MCs. But still to this day I do make tracks that are totally stripped down. If I put an album out on Rephlex, people would be like, this is shit. But to me itís not shit because I know that itís not designed to be played by itself. But Rephlex are totally into the whole thing, so itís cool.

T: Do you credit them with assigning the grime name to it? After that itís all, at least in the US, whenever you hear about this music, itís usually not dubstep, itís grime.

C: I think in a way the whole grime thing is like the umbrella for all of it. You can kinda, if you wanna talk about it on a worldwide scale, you canít start going, oh I play ďsublow,Ē I play ďeski.Ē Everyone would be like, what the fuck?

J: Eski is just a term for Wileyís own sound. Sublow was for Jon E.Cashís term for his own sound.

C: Because it went though a stage when nobody knew what it was called and everybody tried to name it.

J: Coming up with suggestions, sort of.

C: Jon E. Cash printed a flier out which he put into record shops saying this new musicís called sublow. It was like a little paragraph about this whole new musicís gonna be called sublow. Like, if youíre into the bass and you like spittiní over rhythms, then you gotta start playing this sublow. This is what weíre gonna start calling it. It was a proper flier in shops.

J: People just didnít know what it was called at all. A lot of people did not like the name grime at all.

C: At the time grime was such a derogatory term for the music. Because when I started playing at Forward, when I started trying to take what the music at the time, everybody was calling it 8-bar or whatever. I kind of thought, everyoneís going, itís grime, itís grime. And Iíd be like, my music ainít grime, itís more fucking interesting than that. Nobody really wanted to be associated with grime because it was so shit at the time. But now since the Rephlex comp came out and few more people are like, grimeís an alright name.

J: I think also the productions of grime became more interesting.

C: Oh yeah. The glass ceiling has sort of appeared again. There is like some kind of standard whereas back in the dayÖ

J: Some of the stuff like Terror Danger, and by numerous peopleÖ.

C: Wiley, the productionís really tight.

J: Itís really good music. The ideas are tight, the mixdowns are tight at least. Kinda tight [laughs].

C: It was just so shit. If you couldíve been in there and gone into the record shop, youíd hear like 90 tracks that just had the same handclaps in Ďem, obviously produced in Fruity Loops, just with the preset sound. I used to sit there and think, why do people press this shit? How does it sell? It took about 6 months to clear it out and then eventually people were making good music with the same concept. They just tried to emulate it a bit.

T: From over here, itís a totally different perspective, but it seems like the stuff that came out before the Planet Mu and Rephlex releases, itís all on very small, very new labels like Subtext that have two releases, both yours. Are we gonna see labels like Tempa, Subtext a year from now? Where are they gonna be?

J: The problem you need to understand is that the sales level of dubstep has been so small up until now, it is a big risk to put out a record. When youíre selling 500 records and not all dubstep records do, not all GOOD dubstep records sell 500 records, although it might be changing now, youíre not breaking even. You might JUST break even.

C: Itís a big risk to press 500 records.

J: Itís no wonder there are so few record labels out there, really. And now I think itís started to become more viable. Youíll hopefully see more dubstep records cominí out. Because also the shelves in record stores are empty of dubstep. Thereís not much out there to find right now. But there are so many dubs to hear on Rinse FM on the radio. Just white label stuff that ainít getting released. Not even white labels, stuff that doesnít even make it to white labels.

T: How does that come around?

J: People make DJ mixes, an artist makes a tune, burns off however many CDs to however many DJs are choosing to play his music. Theyíll cut it to dub or play straight off CD. And thatís as far as it goes for so many tunes. But these tunes may be really influential in this small group of people who are listening and feeding off of that. But in terms of people from outside that small London base, theyíre not aware of these shows at all, unless they download them off the Internet. And thatís where the internet comes in. This is the first music that has really been propelled by the internet in terms of spreading it outside of that small London area.

T: Every big artist, it seems; you guys both have blogs, simple onesÖDJ/Rupture has a blog, Kode 9, sites like Gutterbreakz, and all of them have great mixes up all the time.

C: I think thatís key at the moment. The whole internet, I think like I was saying to Jamie the other day, get more mixes out. Like Iím gonna try to put a new mix up every couple of months if I can because the response I had to the last one has been crazy. We literally put up a link to it one of them sort of like, [hosting service] Yousendit things. We literally had to re-up it every couple of hours because 25 people had downloaded it every hour. Thatís pretty fast. Considering the amount of people who buy records. If thereís only 500 record sales but 100 people have downloaded your mix in 4 hours, thatís pretty mental. So thereíre obviously people interested, but it might just be more people who are musically interested rather than actually DJs who wanna buy our vinyl. Itíll be interesting to see what CDs do.

J: Well if you put it up in MP3, you can get it on a CD, your iPod, whatever, on your laptop all the time. Almost all the dubstep records are on vinyl only. For someone who doesnít DJ, for someone whoís not trying to make it as a DJ itís not a particularly, itís not even worth investing in. You might not even own a record player. You have grime records coming out that are 6, 7 pounds for one side. Awful.

T: With De Generate, have you seen people from the US and other countries coming in from different audiences?

J: Definitely. I get emails from people in Australia, made places telling me they got the album and theyíre into it. And thatís all they know, the De Generate album. Thatís their first point of reference. To me itís good because I hope theyíll get into our music and then use that as a way to get into what else youíve got around. Like I said I donít think we define any one scene, but I think thatís a fine thing for us to do, thatís all right to want to represent dubstep, but thatís not what we do. But to point people in that direction, with De Generate as their first step and hopefully theyíll take more steps to find out about Loefah or distance, or D Double E or Terror Danger and theyíll keep checking it. It seems like weíre getting a lot of new people who havenít heard this music at all.

T: You played with Ceephax Acid Krew, a totally disparate sound.

J: Well Plastic is playing with Ceephax Acid, what three times.

C: We have a good laugh, me and Andy [Jenkinson, a.k.a. Ceephax Acid Krew].it's totally different, but it always works. It's weird.

J: The kind of person who's gonna buy a Ceephax Acid record will probably buy a lot of brand new stuff. Theyíll have a Vexíd record, or whatever.

C: Anyone who can listen to something as crazy as that is gonna be open-minded about their music. He is mental. His music is so crazy. Anyone who's got the mind to allow that music in their lives is gonna be into anything, they are gonna be the John Peels of the world, the people who can just find something good in any sound. if you've got enough people listening to his stuff, going to the gigs, and Iíll play before or after, some of this stuff Iím playing, this sound, that thing about that tune is so cool. There's a lot of scope. It's so different. With people Ceephax Acid Krew playing next to you, it's like from another planet.

J: I didnít put out an album, I didnít get signed to Planet Mu in order to connect to the electronica audience at all. But what I'm enjoying is how open that audience is. You go to a night and youíll be able to DJ grime and dubstep and the next to people who DJ breakcore, and the guy before is playing electro or dub or whatever.

T: People will stay all night long.

C: Theyíre not listening to all of it, butÖ

J: Sometimes you get that worry, it actually being that....I like to think that they're actually absorbing it rather than just standing there and taking it in.

C: Sometimes I felt like people didnít understand what I was playing at drum ní bass nights, what I was playing was too slow for them. But people at the techno, drum ní bass, IDM night, they just like every kind of new, anything that sounds like it's new orÖ

J: At a drum ní bass rave, youíll get people who listen to drum ní bass and thatís it. Drum ní bass heads. Or people who just listen to hip hop i listen to hip hop and that's it. you won't ever get someone who says I listen to Ceephax and that's it. That doesnít exist.

C: You canít just listen to Ceephax Acid Krew. He's one of a kind. If you just listen to him youíll fucking go mad. Your head would explode. Your ears would fall off and run away.

J: Your arms would shrivel up.

T: You were talking earlier about your shows in America. Whoís been coming to shows here? Whatís the response? Do you feel it here in the same way as you feel it there? Does it still have a ways to go?

J: The Philly party was mostly people who were into hip hop and electronica. They understand and get into electronica and the more kinda breakcorey elements of a mashup. Their main interest is maybe dance or hip hop. In Boston is a little more electronica kids. I donít know. It's not that easy to tell exactly where someone's coming from.

T: You did a whole series of 12 inch records, one or two song outings. How did you approach doing an album?

J: No, I really did not want to put out a collection of tunes that didn't make it as singles. A lot of people do that. I really didnít wanna put something out thatís totally disparate. I don't know if it is a cohesive album, I donít know if it is exactly the beginning-to-end listening experience that we all would like to do one day. I really wanted to stick to something that was genuinely varied, that represents a lot of different sides to what is going on now in the music now and what has influenced us, I really wanted to show where we come from musically. That's why we're involved in this music, that's why we got into it in the first place. There was no other kind of music that could accept the kind of stuff that weíre making. Weíre making 140 BPM... it was influenced by dark garage or whatever. When ďLionĒ came out...we never thought of that as a garage record, but at that time, all the dubstep and dark garage people picked up on it because no one else would. They were the only people in a scene that was open enough to accept that and who would embrace it. Thatís the beginning of our connection to the music.

T: Had you listened to Planet Mu stuff for a while?

C: No, I really hadnít been at all. I had heard Remarc and Bizzy B.

T: It seems that recently [Mike Paradinas, owner of Planet Mu] has been signing more people like Bizzy B, along those lines.

J: Thatís new, is it?

T: Before I feel like it was stuff like Capitol K, more experimental stuff like Gasman, Venetian Snares. The new Mu-ziq 7", Ease Up, it's going back to this stuff.

J: Yes but that came out quite a while ago.

T: We just got it here. That's how I came to it, through Planet Mu.

C: Electronica music was not a massive influence. I wasn't particularly aware of what was going on there at all. I knew some stuff, certain artists, I was into techno for years. Some things. But I never followed the scene, the labels. It was a very pleasant surprise for someone like that to be interested in us. It was only after being signed that we realized how influential they were, and what that meant really.

T: What are you up to now?

C: I'm putting together an album for Rephlex at the moment. Trying to get an instrumental album. If thought goes well, I might put out an album on my own label. Because I know Rephlex ainít really into the whole vocal thing. Itís a shame but I kinda still want to represent that whole thing because thatís a massive part of my whole thing. I like DJing for MCs.

J: We've always wanted to do a vocal track. And in every set we play we try and hold down at least one vocal tune as well. That would be something in the future for us, definitely.

C: I'm in the studio with a bunch of MCs at the time.

T: Like who?

C: I can't disclose too much.. but pretty much everyone. Everyone who's good anyway, everyone who's doing something, Iím working with at the moment.

T: What about the bad ones?

C: Iím working with a couple of them too [laughs]. I'm about to get on the mic and sing as well.

J: ďKilling Floor / Bombardment of Sound,Ē Planet Mu 12", end of the year, beginning of next year. Thatís our next big release.

C: Iíve got rinsefm.com, Friday nights 9 Ė 11pm on Greenwich Mean Time, you can lock in [in New York] 4 to 7 in the afternoon on a Friday. Last hour of your workday, lock in. next release on Terrorhythm is the Cha VIP and Cha Vocal mix featuring Chisel Fresh and Napa, we're doing a video for that too so itíll be interesting.

T: Tell me a little about Terrorhythm?

C: It's my label, I run it totally all by myself. Distributed by Static Media at the moment.

T: Any plans to distribute here?

C: I met a guy the other night in Boston whoís with Forced Exposure. They do Rephlex over here. When I get home I'm gonna send him an email. Iím totally up for getting stuff over here. If I can get some kind of P&D deal over here, even if itís only like 300 records, something stupid, some small amount just to get it across 50 odd states, a few records in each state. I know that there are at least 5 people in each state who have bought a grime record.

J: If anyone canít find a record and they know who distributes it, then email Ďem and tell Ďem. It's sort of like lettin' 'em know thereís a demand for it. The amount of people who do that is very small, but they all make a difference.

C: If anyoneís reading this and they want to get in contact, my distributor is staticmedialtd@hotmail.com. If theyíre really into the stuff, itís best to email him or me, info@terrorhythm.co.uk. I need to get another website as well so people can actually spell it. I mean, dyslexic people are kind of totally fucked about that kind of thing.

C: Distribution is the most difficult thing.

J: Itís such a risk in England, putting records out, we donít know the market over here and then they donít sell. No one wants to pay 500 pounds to press another record, and that's another record you canít put out.

J: Thatís where stuff like Bleep.com comes out. A lot of people bought my whole album in mp3.

C: Terrorhythmís on bleep, the whole back catalogue.

C: There's a section on Bleep called Road. My whole back catalog's on there. Four releases at the moment. Road is that kind of section, I don't know why they call it Road. To be honest they should just call it grime, something that people actually know what it means. Road is kind of a London term. Anyone who sees Road, it looks like a record label. You can search it and it says Terrorhythm. We've got 4 releases on there. I like to put the mp3 release out before I put the record out, it gives people an excuse to go buy it online before it's out. The Cha vocal will probably be on Bleep in the next couple of weeks, if anyone reads the article and they fancy.

C: If we could get a bar here to pay for a couple of nights, just a token sum, nothing extravagant, if we could get something monthly going on over here [in the US] I'm sure the whole grime thing would take off eventually. I think New York especially.

J: Iíve been blown away by the reaction here. People who are so excited to have us. I never thought that would be the case. I thought it would be unknown DJs coming over from London playing music no one had ever heard of.

T: No one is doing this over here. Shadetek are the only ones doing anything remotely close over here, and I think theyíre in Berlin.

C: Big up to Shadetek as well. I think especially when someone's been flown out from London, people make more of an effort. Although people like Shadetek and Joe Nice and those guys that are out here are totally representin'. A lot of people see USA, local DJ, I can see him next week. But when they're gettin' UK acts out here, itís always busy. People will get out of their beds to come see you. If we can get something bi-monthly, something so we can have a regular and check out whoís working on the grime scene, in dubstep.

J: We're not trying to make money off it, we're just trying to spread the music and make it heard by people. Just pay for our tickets!!

C: Thatís all. So long as our expenses are covered, and we have somewhere to stay. Thatís all we ask. I know no one in the grime scene would turn down a weekend in New York.

J: Everyoneís excited that people outside London are listening to this.

C: If we could get, in any country, just regular things where people from the UK are able to come out and represent and link up with other DJs and give them tunes, because thatís how Forward started out. Just any DJ coming along, listening to the latest tunes, linking up with producers, giving CDs out. If we can get something like that happening over here or in any country, itíll grow so much.

J: Those clubs always act as a place for people to network, to exchange ideas and physical tunes.

C: The internetís all good, but when you meet someone in personÖ

J: Itís about starting a relationship with someone, thatís what Forward has done, thatís what successful dubstep nights in London have done. If you had nights of that in the US and other parts of the world, then that would be the focus to start building the scene.

C: If people saw that someone from Londonís coming over, having a successful night, theyíd be like, why canít we just do this? Weíll start our own night on the times when theyíre not here. And then your Americans and Germans and French people starting their own nights, their own producers, their own DJs playing things from their own countries... that would be sick.

By Trent Wolbe

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