Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Return of the Zen Death Squad!

Zen Death Squad are back with a gorgeous video for their new track Galaxy, out now on Muti Music's Clipping Paths Vol. 2. The first Clipping Paths was a seminal glitch hop release in the US so it's great to see ZDS and fellow Londoners Beat3 with tunes on the follow up!
Zen Death Squad - Galaxy (Official Video) from Zen Death Squad on Vimeo. ZDS have also produced an awesome ill.gates remix for Muti this month
You can still hear their interview on the very first UK Glitch Hop Glitch.FM show back in February on the Morbidly Obese Midget's Soundcloud. It's still mostly relevant.

Rusko makes glitch hop...

What do you think? With Koan Sound already taking funk to the dubstep kids, is this a tipping point for midtempo?

UK Glitch Hop in Europe: Paris + Amsterdam, November 2013

UK Glitch Hop represents in Europe this month...

The lucky Parisiens have Skanky Panky head honcho William Breakspear and wobbly wibbletastic wizard Mouldy Soul headling Digital Whomp at Belushi's on Friday 9 November. Ce'st super magnifique!

Then Then Shamanic Technology, Kursa and Spenghead present an Omni Temple showcase at the 25th High Times Cannabis Cup on Monday 19 November in the Old Hall at the Melkweg, Amsterdam from 10pm. If they don't get lost in a cloud of smoke on the way...

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Live Review: Whomp @ Plan B London / Opiuo / VENT / Itchy & Skratchy DJs / Triptych / Colony DJs / MC Intermet

Morbidly Obese Midget reports back from a funk filled basement in Brixton..

If you're going to launch a mid tempo or glitch hop night, you can't do much better for your first outing than booking NZ funk-meister Opiuo as your headliner. In terms of popularity and recognition, very few could claim to have spread this style of music further in the last few years, and Whomp was to be his only London date his debut UK tour. Homegrown support came from VENT, Itchy & Skratchy DJs, Colony DJs as well as the promoter himself, Tryptich. Word spread quickly through those in the know, and tickets to the 180 capacity basement at PlanB in Brixton sold out fast.

With 4/5 acts on the bill having released through London's Colony Productions, it was fitting that Colony DJs opened the evening. Mike Wallis serving classics from the pioneering label's 10 year history alongside new and forthcoming releases, while Lone Drum flexed his nimble fingers on the decks. By the time Colony Production's latest signing, Tryptich, took the controls, the room was half full with bobbing heads.

As the rest of the crowd filled the cosy basement, Tryptich teased out a deep, mid-tempo groove that got the whole place rolling. The only act on the bill to use vocal support, MC Intermet left plenty of space for the tunes to flow while doing a good job of gently hyping the dancefloor, leaving hands in the air and smiling faces.

The room read like a roll-call of UK glitch hop and psy breaks with Hedflux, Mouldy Soul, William Breakspear, Neurodriver, Krossbow, Spenghead, Automaton and Terrorbyte just a few of those present. 

A trio of Itchy and Scratchy DJs from Devon changed up the pace with old skool beats across four decks, building into chunkier electronic territory that ranged from full-on mid-tempo madness though laid-back to a storming finale. I've not seen these guys before, but if they're playing sets like this across the country they're certainly going to be converting more beat-freaks to the glitch.

Then it was time. Most of us had been waiting to see Opiuo live since first hearing the game-changing squelch-funk of the Physical Symptoms EP in 2009, yet never imagined it would happen in such an intimate venue. Before Oscar had even started playing, the tiny DJ booth was overwhelmed by a sea of arms and grinning faces and as the first beats dropped the place went nuts.

When you meet him, Oscar strikes you as one of those guys who's naturally laid back and positive, but he obviously invests a lot of his energy (and sunny disposition) into his music, conducting proceedings from the tiny booth as if he were beat-herding with his arms. 

When we spoke earlier in the evening (tune into Beta Birmingham on Glitch.Fm this Wednesday for the interview) he talked about how he edits every track live on the night, using Ableton to take over sections on drum pads, tablet, keys and midi-controls. His drumming background came into full effect on the staggered pulse beat intro of Robo Booty, while other tracks saw him wiggling his finger around a tablet.

The set journeyed between the deep, staggering off beats of the Butternut Slap series and the jacking bounce of earlier tunes, with a trumpet led remix of Ray Charles having the whole room shuffling ragtime one minute and jumping to the ceiling the next. Vocals on tracks like Load Landfill provided soulful flavour and moments of reflection to counterpoise the face-slapping slabs of funk; the Function One system doing his gorgeous chunky sound justice in the small space. This was about as much fun as you can have dancing with your clothes on and I don't think anyone stopped for the duration.

Ordinary DJs might've been daunted to follow such an act, but Sam Ashwell knows how to rock a crowd. Whilst sticking to the mid-tempo, VENT's set was dirty and dancefloor friendly, showcasing some of the best British bass alongside his own killer tracks, and whipping the room into a sweaty frenzy that climaxed in a filthy mid-tempo remix of the Prodigy.


It says something about the nascent state of the glitch hop scene in the UK that this wasn't taking place at Electric Brixton down the road, where The Glitch Mob played last year at Spectrum; but even then CA's finest were just a curious appetizer for a night of d'n'b. Opiuo's other UK gigs have seen him at dubstep and d'n'b nights playing back-to-back with Koan Sound at the Academy in Bournemouth and on the bill with Chase and Status in Bristol, but it's fantastic to see someone take the risk and program a full mid-tempo line up in London. From here, hopefully great, wobbly, digitally twitching things will grow. 

Anyone lucky enough to have been at the first Whomp is going to remember this night for some time to come. You certainly won't get this close to Opiuo next time he plays London!

The next Whomp takes place on 28 December with Reso, VENT, Krossbow, Tryptich and Mike Wallis b2b with Lumo. Like it on Facewaste for more details.

You can read our pre-tour interview with Opiuo here

+ tune into to Glitch.FM from 10pm-12am this Wednesday for an in depth chat

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Live report: RAWK Music Episode 1, Worcester

Saturday night saw Worcester shaken to it's foundations with the first RAWK music. Niiko reports for UK Glitch Hop...

The sleepy city of Worcester has very little connection to the world of Electronic Dance Music. The local nightclub (aptly named Tramps) injects weekly doses of chart trash into the student hordes, providing little more than the occasional Skrillex track to those of a more electronic persuasion. That sucks.

But then... RAWK came along in a flash of light with a deep rumble of bass to hype it up for one solid night of filthy, glitchy, chest pounding bass music. We set out with the aim of creating a vibrant and colourful environment in which to bombard our guests with the music we love. We threw them an eclectic mix of filthy electronica from dirty electro and dubstep to glitch-hop and breaks. We poured blood sweat and money (we don't cry) into the planning for episode 1.

Thankfully, the night was a huge success and solidly marks the start of our invasion of the Bass Music scene. The Glitch-hop for the night was provided by RAWK resident DJ Orangudan, who's set well and truly set the tone for the rest of the night. Hammering the floor with wave after wave of whompy, stuttery, bass driven tracks... followed by an uproar from the crowd and calls for more. For a few amongst the crowd, this was their first exposure to the glitch-hop genre, and they were treated to the best of it.

RAWK will be throwing one off nights in Worcester every three months and work has start on setting up dates in Wolverhampton and Birmingham.

Find us on facebook here and keep an eye out for future events.

More music from Orangudan here -

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Interview: Opiuo

As part III of Butternut Slap hits the digital shops and Opiuo gets ready to play his first London headline gig, we've got an exclusive UK interview with the master of funkadelic bass!

Please introduce yourself.... 

Hello, my name is Oscar. I like beats. I'm from the little country in the Pacific Ocean known as New Zealand, but now days I find myself lost amongst the crazy inspiring streets of Melbourne Australia.

How would you describe your style of music? 

Funkadelic Bass Music. I want there to be no start or stop point to what I can do, what I expect of myself, and what others expect of me. It's all the things I like about music: fun, funky, bass driven, and mentally engaging. I want you to call it what you want though, that's the beauty of todays music scene. Go forth and name thee how you feel!


What kit do you use/what instruments do you play?

To perform Opiuo live I use a laptop, DTX drum machine, a stack of Akai controllers, an iPad, outboard delay, Access Virus snow synth. I grew up playing drums, and a little piano, but these days its mostly geeking out in a dark room to the wee hours of the morning, or playing my music live on the spot. I have also performed + toured Opiuo as a 5 piece band. It was fucking unreal! :)

What first turned you onto glitchy / mid-tempo bass music? Any particular artists or tracks?

To be honest, it was hip hop + funk that made me think to write mid tempo funky music. At the time I did not know of that many artists doing what I wanted to do, and most of my initial inspiration came from faster, more breakbeat like music. Tipper obviously, and also AMB were the first producers I heard who made me realise there is music out there like what I was starting to make. Then I was shown people like Bassnectar etc.

I don't pay too much attention to the "tunes of now", or the "scene" so I can purposely continue to stamp my own style on the world, with out falling into a trend or fad. But these days there is so much amazing glitchy, mid tempo music out there its hard to resist, I'm stoked!

One of your first releases was through Colony Productions in the UK. When did you first hear of them?

I first had the Colony thing come about through Vent hitting me up and saying they liked what I was doing. Tipper I saw play way back in the mid to late 2000's when I saw him drop ridiculous music on the faces of many at a festival somewhere in Victoria Australia. It was insanity!

What's the scene like in Melbourne? How has it changed in the time that you've been playing?

Its now flourishing more than ever, with so many amazing people making and playing their own music. Gone are the days of someone with power in the scene only because they have the hookups. People are responding to self produced, performed music with huge energy. I think some of the best "beats" music is coming out of Australia. There are now nights dedicated to the sorts of musics I make, whereas before you were a part of another style of music night, ya know. it's fucking great!

What's the craziest gig you've ever played?

My nephew's open day at his pre-school. Kids were high as hell on sugar. True story. A close second would be during a storm on the east coast of Australia (I forget the name). The stage collapsed, and water fucked all the equipment. People were covered in mud jumping off the speakers until they fell over and the party was stopped. It was fucking nuts.

Where do you like to play the most?

Anywhere there is an inspiring crowd full of excited people. I've played 100's of shows, in 3 continents around the world, countless countries, and everywhere has something that makes me love it so. To choose one is impossible, so I say anywhere where the people are up for a good party, and want to dance to good music.

What can we expect at your UK shows?

A set of live electronic instrumentation, flipping old and new Opiuo music into a funk chunk monk feast fit for your mum and her cat.

Who's inspiring you most at the moment?

All of you. No, truly. My fans, my team, my family and my friends inspire me the most. Humanity is crazy and fucked up, but I love people around me so much, I'm inspired to do what I do. We ain't here for long, so follow any dream you damn got, and make the most of it.

Who are you looking out for in 2013?

Wally. I still never found him in the where's wally book from when I was a kid.

What's your next project in the pipeline?

Getting oil from Canada to Australia. It's much cheaper I hear. Also making another full length album. Remixing incredible musicians, even some film music. Taking my own expectations to the next level.

Where are you looking forward to playing next?

My next shows are always my excitement. I love playing so much that every show means something to me. It's about performing and presenting me, and my music in the best way possible, so every moment counts. Next up this week is Exeter (24 October), London (26 October), and Bristol (27 October)!

Thank you!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Interview: It Takes Two To Tango

It Takes Two To Tango stormed the Beatport charts last week seeing Keep It Fresh, his first release on Simplify Recordings, peak at #3 in the Glitch Hop Chart. Since he gave us a wicked guest mix on Glitch.FM back in June, he's also released a free EP under his own name and a compilation through his own label Apex Music. Time to find out more about this funky injun....

Please introduce yourself....where did the name come from? 

I'm Marc or It Takes Two to Tango. The name was originally used for a duo project between my self and a mate who would play guitar in the tracks. However uni came along for us both, so I just kept the name and went from there.

How would you describe your style of music? 

Well like most musicians I listen to everything you could think of but I guess Glitch Hop would be the main genre. However I like to think that I make funky music also with a bit of melodic stuff in there as well. But at the end of the day its kind of what ever I want really.

What kit do you use? 

Well in the studio (My bedroom ha) I have and iMac and a Macbook. I use both of them for production but mainly the iMac. Both are running Ableton and Logic Pro, which I use to produce. Plug-in wise just your standard FM8, Sylenth and Reaktor but I also have a few secret free download plug-ins I keep to myself. I have a bit of hardware as well got some Korgs, EMX -1 Microkorg, Koass Pad (Which I use live as well) and then have my guitars and basses.

What first turned you onto glitchy bass music? Any particular artists or tracks? 

Well electronic wise the band that got me in to that was Enter Shikari they opened up the idea of synths to me even though I had a funk and metal background. Glitch-wise id say it was a gradual build the the tempo being at the same pace as most funk songs and hip hop tracks.

Ultimately though I'd have to say the lord and mighty Oscar (Opiuo) Is where I really got in to the glitch hop style. Its just cool now that we speak a bit and I'm good mates with his PR and manager who I owe a lot to.

What's the scene like where you are? 

Well I'm based in Redditch which is a little town near Birmingham which not many people know so I normally just say Birmingham. I travel to like Derby and London where they're starting to put on glitch nights to perform. Although I do play at the O2 Academy in Birmingham a bit so its getting there. (Check out Beta Birmingham - M.O.M.)

Where do you like to play the most? 

Well having only really played in London, Derby and Wales at Beach Break live I haven't got around a lot but I would have to say Derby where I played a show about a small cafe with around 250 people in a room which is meant for a 100. Everyone was moshing and right in my face, it got a bit sweaty but was amazing.

What's the craziest gig you've ever played? 

 I would have to say Beach Break Live. The weather had been terrible, raining all weekend, then the sun came out for the day I was playing. However, when I went to the stage I was performing at all the DJs before me were playing minimal house and happy hardcore, so I was worried the crowd wouldn't like my stuff. I started my set with one person dancing, no lie, and about 10 sat on the surround fences, but by the end I had a crowd of about 300, which was just amazing. I finished with my track 'Yes Sir I Can Boogie' and they all went mental. So yeah best gig so far.

Who's inspiring you most at the moment? 

I think I'd have to say I listen to more bands then anything. Like most producers I know I try to not listen to whats going on in the scene because its easier to compare yourself to them and make music like them without meaning to. Id have to say bands like Sum 41, Rise Against, Pure Love, Givers, Lemon Jelly. Stuff like that.

Who are you looking out for in 2013? 

 I'd probably have to say my beautiful friend Charlotte Carpenter, singer-songwriter and just down right amazing girl. I'm feeling the sounds of Dead Astronauts as well (who I recently remixed), so nice and chilled, with a little dark screech.

What's your next project in the pipeline? 

Well I have a new track out soon as well as a sexy remix for Tut TuT Child, but I also have a very sexy track in the works with the loverly Charlotte Carpenter and a new EP.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Wobblebox II: Krossbow + Nimbus @ Inspiral Cafe

Back in May, DJ Katty Grooves launched Wobble Box, a new night at the beautiful Inspiral cafe, with Mouldy Soul and Agent Smith bringing glitch grooves to the home of psychedelic down-tempo in Camden. This month's installment looks to crank up the energy factor with Brighton's Nimbus and the lads from Krossbow set to turn this intimate venue into a veritable sweat box as it wobble off its foundations into the canal.

10-11.30 Andrew Rushton
11.30-12.30 Katty Grooves
12.30 - 1.30am Krossbow
1.30 - 3am Nimbus
3- 4am Mr. Strangelove

Don't miss it... unless of course you're lucky enough to have a ticket for London Decompression in which case you're excused! (As long as you get there in time for my set at 9.15 - Morbidly Obese Midget)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Why you should sell your kidneys to get hold of an Opiuo ticket

...because Opiuo brought the funk! 

Back in 2009, when a couple of lads called Koan Sound first started releasing dubstep and a year before the Ghetto Funk blog exploded mid-tempo, a Kiwi producer living in Melbourne followed up a couple of low key remixes with a free EP called Physical Symptoms. The 100bmp sound somehow manged to be clean, floaty and melodic, yet also fun, dirty and psychedelic, as bouncy as bed springs and as funky as James Brown. It was a lot like having warm sex juice squirted right into your brain via your ears.  

A split EP with VENT followed on Colony in the UK around the same time as exposure to the US through An-ten-nae's seminal Acid Crunk vol.2, while the progressive psychedlic scene was treated to remixes of Fiord and Antix.

With the release of Slurp and Giggle, his debut album in the Summer of 2010, Opiuo became staples in almost everyone's mid-tempo, glitch hop and ghetto funk sets, with mash-ups and remixes bubbling up thick and fast. While it's hard to pin down such a nebulous thing as influence, the increasing level of funk in burgeoning mid-tempo dubstep sound and recent glitch-hop progressions owe a lot to this man.

More recently the ongoing Butternut Slap series has revealed a deep love for soulful vocals , live instruments and a tendency towards the off beat that keep things moving forward, while his Sunmonx project has allowed him to indulge more chilled out tendencies.

As remixes for Infected Mushroom and Koan Sound have extended Opiuo's tenticles towards new and bigger audiences, anyone lucky enough to have tickets to the London gig at Plan B on 26 October will get to experience the man who's setting the trend in an intimate venue for what could be the last time. If you've not been fast enough on the draw, he's playing what promises to be an unforgettable back-to-back set with Koan Sound at Bedlam in Borunemouth on 20 October and in his own right at UKF in Bristol on 27 October.

Oct. 20th - Bournemouth, UK @ O2 Academy
Oct. 26th - London, UK @ Plan B Basment Bar
Oct. 27th - Bristol, UK @ O2 Academy
Nov. 1st - Oslo, Norway @ Jaeger
Nov. 2nd - Paris, France (Details coming soon!!)
Nov. 3rd - Trondheim, Norway @ Bl├Žst (Mad Love Ent. Presents: Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On)

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Interview: Automaton

Terrorbyte and Automaton from Beta Birmingham delivered a brilliant debut show for UK Glitch Hop on last week. Here's Automaton on DJing Mayan pyramids, following in the digital footprints of prefuse73 and a very special release coming out soon...

 Please introduce yourself....

My name is Thomas Dunstan, sometimes known as Automaton... I'm 33, from Birmingham UK and I'm an electronic  music producer, music technology lecturer, live sound man and father to an amazing six year-old girl.... I release hip hop infused electronic music on Satamile Records in the US and Beta Birmingham (soon to be called Beta Test) Records in the UK.

How would you describe your particular style of bass music?

I don't like to drop the names of genres or sub genres... essentially it's a mixture of all the sounds that I have enjoyed in my life... fundamentally hip hop, electronica, funk and dub with a glutinous helping of bass!

What kit do you use?

Ableton, livid instruments ohm64, a technics 1210 and a whole bunch of weird and wonderful plug-ins.

What first turned you onto bass / glitch / lazer music? Any particular artists or tracks?

I tend to like any music that isn't mediocre, whatever its roots may be.... I can say that some of my favourite artists are Tipper, DJ Shadow, Toots & The Maytals, DJ Premiere, Bassnectar, Boards Of Canada etc., but I'm sure a lot of people out there would say the same.

I think it was hearing point to b by prefuse73 that made me realise that you could actually successfully release this kind of sound. also funkstorung and bitt meddler were massive influences on me.

What's the scene like where you are?

I think me and Terrorbyte are the scene in Birmingham.

Where do you like to play the most?

Festivals. You get a much better crowd, better soundsystems and it's always much more of a doss than playing in nightclubs.I played Shambala Festival and Espiritu Mundo Festival this year. My favourite nightclubs to play in are Hootenanny in Brixton and the Hare and Hounds in Birmingham

What's the craziest gig you've ever played?

Soma soundsystem in a place called Ague Azul. It's near the Palenque ruins (Mayan pyramids) in southern Mexico on new years eve 2000. There were lots of naked people, waterfalls, monkeys and we were all mashed up on peyote.

Who's inspiring you most at the moment?

My students inspire me loads. I love the enthusiasm they have and the freaky ideas that they come up with.

Who are you looking out for in 2012?

I always look out for the stuff that Colony Productions are releasing. and I'm really liking the work of Shamanic Technology too.

What's next in the pipeline?

A very exciting project involving all of the UK glitch hop heads, DJ Switch and the Rane Corporation. This project will take UK glitch hop to the world.

Where are you playing next?

The oh yeah music centre in Belfast, lakota in bristol and in brum -the yardbird, the birmingham ballroom, the hare and hounds, PST and suki10c