Cut Classics: A Step Back

Welcome back from what was hopefully a dope weekend! Starting off this week proper we’re going to feature some vintage tunes that fit well in the mix. Released mostly on CD’s and vinyls, these tracks may be hard to acquire, but are absolutely worth the effort of tracking down. Reaching from 2007 to 2009, these classic tunes fit in well with any present day dubstep set and can really set the dancefloor on fire when used correctly. Featuring sounds from Tes la Rok, Benga, and DZ,  blow the dust off and check out these tunes.

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First up is a tune that eerily foreshadowed the sounds that are present today, back in 2007. Featuring elements from all across the bass spectrum, DZ’s,  ‘Strong on Ya’ , surely is not a track to be lost in the archives. Sharp synths cut through the mix nicely, bumpy mid range add hop, and amen breaks meld it all together to create a jam that would hold its own in 2012. Pressed in 2007 on Hotflush Recordings, this release also features a massive flip side entitled ‘Slums Dub’.

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Next up is an absolute party jam that can change the tone of any dance floor with the flick of the fader. This sing-a-long anthem made its rounds on the mix and live circuit back in 2007, and is bound to make a comeback. Tes la Rok’s remix of Uncle Sam’s ‘Round the World Girls’ released on Argon in ’07 will most likely be a hard find for the vinyl collector, but anyone can purchase both the remix and the VIP on Amazon (256kbps).

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This next tune is an absolute pleasure to play out particularly because its sharp synth patterns that cut through and add to any mix. Fans and Dj’s alike can equally appreciate this futuristic-party track by the ever-diverse, Benga. Released in 2009 on N-Type and Hatcha’s Sin City Records, ‘On the Edge’ is featured on The Croydon Dubheadz Compilation vinyl as a well-deserved A-Side. Give it a listen and you will see why  its always a good thing to dig deep in the record bag and brush off a dusty one.

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Thanks for listening to these tunes and we hope you’ve found something you can take away with you. Playing and hearing these finely aged tracks really add to a live show so don’t hesitate to drop some senior sub pressure on the masses and make sure to skank out if you hear one of these at the club. Check back tomorrow for another quality post, and some more fine tunes to discover.

-Peace

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-BWS (Shice)

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Big Sounds: Sleeper, Loadstar, Congi, Data & Alvarez, and Pressa

Easy all the heads. Halfway through the week, and I’m loving it! This weekend is going to be quite an epic one. Tomorrow night we have myself (Kinman) throwing down an all-vinyl set in Santa Barbara in support of Broken Note’s performance. If you’re going to be in town come check out the show! It’s free and Broken Note throws down really dope live shows with some truly powerful sound waves. It’s going to be at Eos Lounge on Anacapa, come kick it with the fam! Then, Saturday night we have Beyond Wonderland with the Hospital Records crew coming through in full-effect, Andy C the 3-deck master, Mistajam, Ed Rush & Optical, and Magnetic Man. Honestly haven’t been this excited for a show in a LONG time. It’s already a sold out show, those of you that got tickets, well played. If you don’t have tickets I would strongly suggest figuring out a way to get in because it’s going to be one for the record books.

In light of the rave this weekend, today’s music is a mixture of dubstep as well as drum and bass. Some top-notch music as always, so flip on the sub, light up the spliff, and get ready for today’s journey.

First tune that I want to highlight is an absolutely massive techno roller coming from the hands of Sleeper. The tune, titled ‘Oxygen’, would go hard in the airplane hangars that Saturdays event is held at. Pure minimalistic vibes and sub-pressure that can be felt miles away. Really can’t get enough of these percussive techno tunes that so many ‘dubstep’ artists are putting out lately. Quality material! Lend an ear below.

Sleeper – Oxygen

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Sleeper’s Facebook

Sleeper’s Soundcloud

This next bit is another one from a man who has been so on top of his shit lately, Congi. Holding it down for the Macabre Unit crew HARD. The track we have from him today is titled ‘Cult’ and is forthcoming on Tribe12 Records. He utilizes a really clever and meaningful vocal sample that should resonate extremely well to the heads with strong ties to a proper soundsystem. The spliff directive mentioned above was primarily for this one 😉

Congi – Cult (Forthcoming Tribe12)

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Congi’s Soundcloud

Pressa just recently dropped a 140 jungle tune called ‘Be With Me’. This one is for all the foot work crew! Displaying that classic vibe fused with modern sound. There seems to be a pretty big divide in peoples opinions about this stuff. Personally, I think it’s dope but I also understand the complaints of long-time junglists who feel it’s lost its authenticity. Each to his own, I guess. Anyways…..

Pressa – Be With Me

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Pressa’s Facebook

Pressa’s Soundcloud

This next tune picks the tempo up a bit. A new one from Data & Alvarez that is just a skanker! The track’s titled ‘Resist’ and you can still make out the chant, faintly under the vocal processing. Hope you’re somewhere you can move your feet, this 170 business will get you going.

Data & Alvarez – Resist

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The final track we’re going to leave you with is a remix Loadstar did for Noisia. It’s been out for a while so many of you have probably heard it but, it’s one of the few remixes of a Noisia tune that is even comparable to the next level business that they’re on. This track is an absolute anthem for the late nights with no sleep and and pure vibes.

Noisia – Tommy’s Theme (Loadstar Remix)

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Alright goons, see you next time. Respect.

To the gods.

-Bassweight Society

Killawatt: Exclusive Bassweight Society Interview

What’s up everybody!  We’re back with our monthly interview.  Today, we get words from a man who has established his presence with insurmountable speed.  Killawatt, nominated for best new producer in the Dubstepforum Awards this past year, is on a path straight to the top.  Securing releases on labels such as Black Box/Box Clever, Boka, New Moon, Subway, and DubPride, Matt Watt’s sound has been gaining a really large amount of support from the likes of Youngsta, Thinking, and many more.  All of this action seen has been within less than TWO years!  That is not to say that Killawatt is new to the music scene, though.  He got his hands on his first pair of decks back in 03′, and quickly began to make a name for himself in the jungle scene.  Fast forward to 2010, he is now co-operator of jungle label, Satta Sounds, and continues to carry on that passion.  But, he also gained a strong love for deep, minimal dubstep music.  After gaining his first release on New Zealand imprint DubPride, Matt had decided to part ways with the dubwise tunes he had currently been producing.  After taking classes in soundscaping and sound design he became very infatuated with the appeal of the ambient and cinematic aspects of dubstep.  The rest is history.  Making his debut appearance on Rinse fm in July of 2011, Killawatt has been smashing dance floors with his hard hitting mixing style.   As he continues to build his signature sound he is beginning to slowly drift into a seperate realm of classification. By that I mean that he is pretty much in a category of his own.  On the late he has been fusing a lot of techno influences into his 140 productions and is creating some of the heaviest rollers out there right now.  HUGE rolling kick drums, techno stabs that can make a good girl turn bad, and some of the most well-executed use of bongos the past year has seen, and there has been A LOT of bongo use in the tunes this past year.  His ability to incorporate the multitude of percussive instruments that he does has been, without a doubt, unrivaled in 2011.  Just recently he has had releases on Boka and New Moon and will see one shortly on Wheel & Deal.

Let’s see what the man has to say about the complaints of so-called “purists”, 140 jungle, and who shot Biggie and Tupac.

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BWS:  Alright, let’s get the boring stuff out of the way first.  Can you give the readers a little background about yourself.
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Killawatt:  Ez, I’m Matt Watt aka Killawatt and i’m currently based in Southsea. I’ve been producing dubstep for around 2 years now, dabbled in making scatty ragga jungle before  but never really took producing seriously until i got into dubstep late 2009. 
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BWS:  The percussive elements in your music are unreal man.  This is an attribute of your music that caught my attention when I first heard your sounds, and it has kept me hooked ever since.  Sometimes, in my opinion, people get too carried away with the focus on sub-bass, leaving other elements of the tune sub-par.  The fact that you are able to recognize the importance of each element and then successfully harness that importance is one of the best things about your style.  Do you use a lot of sampling when building your music or do you play intruments live? Or both?
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Killawatt:  I use a hell of a lot of samples for pretty much all aspects of my music. I never really used to be into sampling, probably because i didn’t really know how to make good use of it, but recently it has taken hold of my productions, largely due to the influence of Ipman and renowned sample based producers such as Amon Tobin. Ipman works as a sound designer and sampling is obviously a major part of that so we’re always talking about it and thats influenced me a lot. It’s also because sampling and resampling opens up so many sonic possibilities. You can create sounds and textures that you could never recreate using purely synthesis, the organicism of real sounds provides an extra layer of depth that really lifts the music. I also like the unpredictability of using sounds i’ve recorded myself or that somebody else has, you don’t have complete control over all the parameters so i think it makes me work harder to achieve a sound i want.  I very rarely play live instruments in. I can play the trombone and the guitar and i have recently started using them in a couple of secret side projects i have on the go, its actually been quite inspiring playing them again so i think it is something i will do a lot more of. Over time i’d like to build up a collection of instruments, both common and obscure, so that i can make use of acoustic and electronic instruments equally.
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BWS:  Your turnover rate for tunes is extremely high.  Is production your only full-time job?  If yes, what did you do to accumulate all your studio equipment before beats were paying your bills?
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Killawatt:  Well, i suppose you’d have to call it my full-time job since i don’t have a job and i do it pretty much full-time. That does not mean, however, that it pays my bills! I’m sure i will start to earn a half decent living off it at some point but its hard work scraping the pennies together at the moment. Luckily my parents are very supportive of me so they are helping me get along for a few months until i start earning more from producing/DJing or until i get a job. I’m pretty lucky in that sense really!
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BWS:  As a fan myself, I have a very large respect for the appreciation that you express to your supporters.  Maybe not in a verbose manner necessarily, but in the tunes that you give out for free.  Usually it’s quite obvious why an artist is giving their particular tune(s) out for free; they were old, unfinished projects thrown together half-assedly at the very last moment.  Your free music, however, is of the same top-notch quality as the music you release on respected labels such as Black Box, Boka, and New Moon.  Is this something that you set out to do?
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Killawatt:  I love sharing my music, it gets me into a bit of trouble with my peers sometimes but i write so much music, and so much of it will never see the light of day unless i give it out for free. I don’t see the point of uploading everything i make to soundcloud if half of its never going to get released or played so i may as well give it out. I would never give out anything i haven’t played or know i wouldn’t play so i suppose thats why they are of that quality. The end of last year went a bit over the top with the free giveaways, literally everybody was doing it and to be brutally honest some of the music that got given away from pretty awful, was almost embarrassing.  I’ve already compiled 2 free EP’s ready to giveaway the promote releases this year so you have them to look forward to! 
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BWS:  Lately you have been making tunes that have a more techno vibe to them.  Can we expect 2012 to be filled with releases like these?
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Killawatt:  haha yes you can expect a LOT more like this. Techno is my main passion at the moment so it was always going to filter down into my own productions. I’m not really making your standard 128 4×4 techno, i’ve tried but i can never shrug off my dubstep production so it ends sounding a bit crap. I’ve gone back to the 140 bpm tempo and tried to incorporate aspects of techno into it and people seem to like it so i think i’ll keep making it! I can’t really make half-step anymore, since ive been producing this more upbeat and energetic style, half-step has just seemed a bit labarious and sluggish, theres just not enough energy in most of the stuff coming out whereas with these techno influenced rollers with the big relentless kick drum lines and the pounding subs there is just so much natural energy, you move instinctively to the music whether you like it or not because of the sheer physicality of it and the rhythms that have been engrained in us over the past millenia from ancient ‘tribal’ music. I say ‘tribal’ because there has been a recent trend in everything with one bongo in being tagged as tribal music, its utter rubbish and is something i find pretty annoying to be completely honest. I’ll stop ranting!  Expect to hear plenty more of this sound this year though, either at 140 or 134 bpm!
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BWS:  There has been a sufficient amount of hype surrounding the 140 jungle that is currently being pushed by artists like Arc88, Benton, Dismantle, etc.  What is your take on it?  Considering that you used to produce jungle/own Satta Sounds, do you see yourself putting out tunes of this vein?  Or have you already, and we just haven’t heard them yet?
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Killawatt:  I’m not a fan, although i was smashing Dismantles terrain EP, they’ve got that older jungle aesthetic but with very up to date production and most importantly sound massive through a system.  Again its one of these things where people run out of ideas so they hark back to an older style and then claim its new, most of the time anyway. The majority of it sounds pretty weak compared to actual jungle, with looped 4-bar breaks that have had basically no processing, or have been processed completely wrong. Jungle was well ahead of its time and this stuff just isn’t. The most authentic 140 jungle tune ive heard is Ipmans remix of my track ‘Sidewinder’ that was released on the Black Boxxx series in december, the man knows how to chop up a break or too! I suppose because of my background in jungle i will always have this view. I still love jungle and really miss playing it out, it’s so fun to mix, and a lot more challenging than dubstep in my opinion. I have tried a few times to make jungle again but the production values are so different to dubstep that i just can’t really do it anymore. I’m sure i’ll make it again someday but just not quite yet!  Big ups to the Satta Sounds crew, making big moves in the jungle scene this year!
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BWS:  There has been, among a select population, a growing discontentment for the current state of the genre.  These are typically the people who complain about dubstep not being “underground” enough anymore, or just plain “dead”.  I have a really hard time with those kind of claims, mainly due musicians like yourself, Compa, Phaeleh, Von D, and so many others.  Your sounds are fresh, forward-thinking, and exhibit uniquity, so how someone can claim that dubstep is dead is beyond me.  Where do you see yourself going with your music in the next year or so?  Do you have any insight on where the genre as a whole is heading?
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Killawatt:  Those people need to get a grip on life. This discontentment is something i find very irritating. There is so much good, new music being made and released but these people are either too lazy to go looking for, jumping on a bandwagon or are just bitter. I for one am really happy that dubstep has found the masses. Obviously the biggest crowd pullers are playing the more aggressive and obnoxious style of the sound but who says something isn’t allowed to evolve and adapt? Thats just what the majority are into and fair enough, if they have a good time listening or dancing to it then i don’t see how its a bad thing. Even if just 1% of the people who have discovered dubstep in the last year take the opportunity to delve deeper into the underground then that surely is a good thing? Without it going mainstream, J:Kenzo wouldn’t be doing his Daily Dose of Dubstep on Mistajams show and Skream & Benga would never had got their INDWT show and now their weekly friday night show. They have been representing both the mainstream and the underground consistently on 2 of the biggest radio stations in the country…how can that possibly be a negative thing?!  I honestly don’t have a clue where its all heading, and thats the most exciting thing about it. It will just keep mutating over time, giving birth to more and more different styles. I think dubstep has been a mini paradigm shift in music. Drum & Bass was too much of a clique to really do anything massively beneficial in genre development and house/techno/trance/garage had all gone a bit stale until dubstep came along. Now i think all the genres within EDM feed off each other and thats why there’s so much interesting music being made at the moment, even though a lot of people would say otherwise. Moreover, all genres within the whole of music feed off eachother now, not just EDM.  I see myself just doing what im doing now and hoping things go to plan!!
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BWS:  What should the readers be on the look out for, as far as releases from yourself, in the next few months?
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Killawatt:  January was a fairly hectic month with 4 releases coming out within 3 weeks of eachother. There’ll be a bit of a break now i think. Look out for my 2nd release on Wheel & Deal, my remix of Radikal Guru’s ‘Dread Commandments’ on Moonshine recordings alongside more Radikal Guru remixes by RSD, Hatti Vatti and Adam Prescott.  I have plenty more for the rest of this year already but thats all under wraps for now…there should be some news soon though so hold tight!
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BWS:  Alright, now, just for fun……
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BWS:  Who shot biggie and tupac?
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Killwatt:  MC Hammer
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BWS:  If you were stranded on an island and could only keep with you the following things, what would they be? 1 vinyl, 1 DAW, 1 piece of hardware, and 1 sandwich.
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Killawatt:  The vinyl would be Pink Floyds ‘Wish You Were Here’ – amazing album! Provokes pretty much all your emotions!  Don’t think i’d really be bothered about having a DAW if i was stranded on a desert island. Pretty useless really considering i wouldn’t have a computer!  My choice of hardware would be a solar powered fridge…pretty useful.  My sandwich would be cheese, ham, gherkins, mayonnaise and branstons pickle in homemade white bread! the king of sandwiches!
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BWS:  If you had the ability to make music with one person, dead or alive, who would it be? and what one question would you ask that person?
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Killawatt:  Would have to be Hendrix, he was just a straight up badman! I’d ask why he didn’t read the label on those sleeping pills!!
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BWS:  What would you consider to be the most ideal setting for your performances?  Who would you want to be there?
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Killawatt:  On a beach in the Maldives with my girlfriend, family, friends and all my favorite musicians! sounds like paradise to me!
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We just want to give a massive shout out to Killawatt for taking the time to answer these questions for us!  Respect.
Below you will find links to Killawatt’s Facebook, Soundcloud, and Myspace.  Make sure you check out his music if you haven’t been fortunate enough to yet.  Support the artists, BUY THEIR MUSIC!
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Thanks for reading everybody, make sure to watch this page as we have another great interview lined up for March!  Go ahead, start guessing ;).
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To the gods.
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-Bassweight Society (Kinman)

Future Jungle – Insights and Outlooks with Arc88

Ay, welcome back, we hope you had a sub-filled weekend. If you remember, today’s post will be following up on our introduction to Future Jungle last week. Way back then, we introduced the sound we hesitantly dubbed ‘Future Jungle’ and had a sick jungle mix from local dj Archive. We also promised some inside info from someone behind the mixing board, and boy did we deliver.

Arc88 sat down with us last week and really educated the crew on what Future Jungle is, where it came from and where it’s going. In the Q & A you can expect to gain an insight of the emergence of 140 Jungle, its furtherance by artists pushing the sound and a general understanding of its place in the dance music horizon – all from a producer, who we think speaks for the genre.

Arc88 Interview:

BWS) Could you briefly explain a bit about yourself, where you’re from and a bit of backstory of your dj/production career until this point?

Arc88) I’ve been producing for a few years now, I’ve fucked about with loads of different genres but decided to stick with this because its a style I’ve dug for years.

The first 140 Jungle bit I made was a bootleg. (probably better if i don’t say what) After that I made ‘A Feeling’ (which is coming out on Terrain) that gained some interest which inspired me to carry on. With that I built “2 Many” which turned out to be my first release on Terrain which I’m still getting mad feedback internationally so I’m grateful for that.

BWS) Rad. So is 140 Jungle a new style to you? or simply Jungle slowed down?

Arc88) This sound is a bit of a mix really, I try and keep it as legitimate sounding as possible because I want someone to listen to it and assume it was made in 1990, but with new production tools and software. You don’t get that same gritty true sound they did back then, so the production is going to sound a fair bit cleaner.

What I do really, is infuse a very early Hardcore sound with a later style Jungle drum track, as opposed to the earlier Hardcore jungle sound where the drums would be fairly minimal. (I use pitch changing drum rolls and fills quite in the style of Shy Fx, Bass Master Warriors, Potential Bad Boy etc.)

It is slowed down to a certain degree when you consider Jungle music, but early Jungle was around 150 bpm anyway and hardcore/acid house started at 135 – 140 bpm, so with modern bass music now, it made sense to refer back to these early styles.

BWS) Education! What inspired you to create this style of music? and who are some other producers that you would consider your peers in 140 Jungle?

Arc88) Well I’ve always loved Jungle and I’ve heard a lot of Hardcore so as soon as people were feeling it, I thought there’s no reason to not rep it fully.I haven’t heard many other producers go for this sound apart from the obvious being Skream and Rusko… But people doing it proper underground still are: Myself , Benton , Unitz, Dismantle, Taiki and Nulight and I rate this guy at the moment called Dj Gold with a track called 45 War, its fire. (below)

BWS) Listening to your mix on Terrain Record’s website – it’s sick! Do you see, or perhaps, feel, a resurgence of Jungle  in 2012, and will it be in the 140-150 bpm range rather than in the 170’s?

Arc88) Thanks man, and yeah I do big time. I can’t wait for how it’s gonna blow. It’s just a matter of time with the reoccurrence of acid house and stuff like that. We’re gonna go back in time to ’91 and it’ll be pure madness, and yeah I think it’ll stay at this tempo for a while because I can’t see people not playing dubstep in the near future and if it fits in with their set, they will play it.

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BWS) Hell yeah!  With that said, is 140 Jungle well received when you play out?
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Arc88) Yeah man it seems to be, due to growing popularity, it seems to be getting dropped earlier on in sets which is always good, but at the moment if you have an entire half step set you kind of want to speed up towards the end and finish on a hype. Either way I’m just glad its getting played out…I would be interested to see some reactions to it overseas.
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BWS) Yeah we’ll try and link you something. Going back in time, what are some of your influences when creating this sound?
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Arc88) Ahhh well for the hardcore sound I like K Class, Acen, Total Kaos, SL2, Altern 8. For jungle… Shy FX, Mickey Finn, Bass Master Warriors, 4 hero, Origin Unknown, Dj SS, Blackstar, Congo Natty…ahh theres too many!
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BWs) Which dj’s are currently pushing this sound?
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Arc88) At the moment:  N-type, Dismantle, Unitz, Benton, Taki and Nulight and myself are pushing it proper.
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BWS) Do you see yourself sticking with 140 jungle in the future, and are there any releases or labels we can look forward to in 2012?
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Arc88) Yeah I’m gonna stick with this sound. I might move it in the direction of acid house, but thats as far as I see it going at the moment, there’s more freedom than people think with this genre so I wanna blow some minds before I think about doing anything else.
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2012 holds: ‘Pelican’ (Terrain) ‘A Feeling’ (Terrain) ‘Powwa Moves’ (Wheel & Deal) ‘The Code’ ft. Daddy Freddy (Wheel & Deal)
BWS) That’s what we like to hear! Signing off, do you have a message for bass music enthusiasts in the States?
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Arc88) Stay locked to UK music. Listen to Rinse FM over the internet… download my 140 jungle mix from terrainrecords.com.
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BWS) Thank’s again and we look forward to hearing more from you!
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There it is, another great interview with Arc88! Take a minute to let it marinade, maybe read it over one more time, because Arc just dropped some real knowledge!  His insights are much appreciated at BWS and we hope our readers are as stoked as us!
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We’ll be back with more future jungle posts, in the meantime, check out the aforementioned artists and Arc88’s mix on Terrain’s site.
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Follow us on Facebook!
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-BWS (Shice)