[dropcap]I[/dropcap] hear it said a lot these days that, in modern drum and bass, the quantity is too high and the quality too low; you have to traipse through a lot of sub standard music to get to the good stuff. Well thats definitely not the case over at Ingredients Records. Their forthcoming various artists LP entitled ‘Substance’, is nothing short of outstanding, with each tune battling with the last for the top spot. This is a truly magical compilation of music from some of the scenes most gifted producers, on a label thats been serving up michelin star plates (pun fully intended) for the past 5 years since it’s conception. An array of fantastic artists have contributed to the LP, including: Skeptical, Mako, the legendary Total Science and Ingredients’ own, Response, making it a compilation that is sure to make a big splash in the scene when it drops.
Ingredients have definitely had some exciting releases lately, with Eveson’s fantastic old skool throwback style EP: ‘Dead Mans Chest’ and massive 12”s from the likes of Digital and Response, but I for one can’t contain my excitement for this LP. It’s been in the making for the past year and it shows; a lot of time and effort has gone into this release and we’ve ended up with a tasty chunk of drum and bass to sink our teeth into.
The release consists of 12 tracks total, with 9 of them on the vinyl release. One of the three digital exclusives comes from the aforementioned Ingredients prodigy: Response. After bursting onto the scene a couple of years ago, he hasn’t eased up yet, churning out a string of big releases on Ingredients as well as Function, V Recordings and more, he now brings us a remix of the A side of his first single on Ingredients: ‘One Nation’. This one is a subtle but effective re work of the original track, with some slightly less brutish and more illusive drums on the intro, building into amen inspired mayhem with that big grooving bass line, which seems to have gained some aggression since the original. The drums switch back to the stepper style of the original towards the end, accompanied by the salute worthy vocal to finish off a wicked edit of a fantastic track.
The second track brought to us by Response (which is featured on the vinyl release) is ‘Deeper Still’. Setting of with a jolty drum break backed by echoing pads, followed by punching bass stabs that are drawn out at the end of each bar. There’s plenty of time to bust some moves before the screw faces come out for the dark boisterous switch; this is definitely a useful weapon for the bag that can change the direction of any mix.
The A side of the Vinyl has gone to Skeptical’s ‘Square Breathing’, and its nothing less than what you’d expect from a man who’s become one of the scenes most prolific producers. Big beats from the start pump out and lead to the heavy electronic drop. Subtle flickers in the drum break heighten the intensity as the bass line radiates all around the room; this one’s definitely got the weight to make a strong impact in the club.
Another artist who’s had some heavy involvement with ingredients lately is Eveson. He’s had some great success with recent releases on the label such as his collaboration with Halogenix: Grey Dawn/A Dystopian Romance, and his ‘Dead Mans Chest’ project. For the Substance LP he’s pulled out a fantastic little roller entitled ‘Solaris’. Starting off with a speedy drum break and a metronomic vocal, which are later joined by dramatic keys, this one keeps building the intensity throughout. When the sub bass hits, it brings an underlying power to the track as the drums flow and the bass flexes. It’s another great track from Eveson and some standard Ingredients goodness.
Halogenix has also come in with a typically excellent piece by the name of ‘Soulide’. Crisp drums hit us straight off the bat accompanied by a 3 note glissando, before a beautiful vocal sample sets up the bouncing bass line. This ones a strong contender for the top tune, which is nothing less than we’d expect from Halogenix.
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Ingredients has developed very quickly in the past 5 years into one of the most consistent, high quality labels in the underground scene. We had a chat with the man behind it all: Clive Ingredients, to find out a bit more about the album and Ingredients Records itself.
So I hear this LP has been a long time in the making; why did you decide to undertake the project? And when you started, did you anticipate that it would take a long time to compile?
Yes about a year actually. I sat on many of tracks for all this time, and then asked Halogenix, Total Science, The Invaderz & Skeptical for 1 tune each to make it an album that people couldn’t resist. I think one thing I’ve learnt in these 5 years of running a record label is to sit back a little and not feel the pressure of finding loads of good music all the time. It’s quite difficult in today’s market as so much music is being made, but I tend to find the right music comes my way and I turned down demos all the time to end up with these 12 tunes that I personally really rate.
Well it was worth the wait, we’re massive fans of this release over here at In-reach, it’s jam packed with huge tunes with a signature ingredients sound, which heads have been loving since the labels conception. Is this sound something that you had in mind when Ingredients began?
That’s great to hear, thank you. Hmmm that’s a good question actually because I’m around 47 releases deep & I guess there is a consistent vibe through the catalogue. Thinking about it I’m a Reinforced man in my heart. Their releases were quite dark but also some of the Manix stuff used lighter sounds and pads. But their heavier releases, although they were using breakbeats all the time, had a fusion of dub, hardcore & techno. I think I was schooled on the whole by that label, whether it was Goldie’s early stuff, definitely Doc Scott’s ‘As nasty as I wanna be’ EP and the 4Hero, Nookie stuff. I’ve been a fan of this music for 24 years and have had many influences along the way, but I think subconsciously it’s the Reinforced days that are coming through in my A&R but in a more modern style.
Speaking of the old skool, the Substance LP also features some long standing artists such as Total Science and Genotype. You’ve also played host to a couple of recent releases from the pioneering Digital; what’s it like to be putting out music from such legendary producers, whose tunes I’m sure you’ve been rinsing for years?
Yeah it’s an honour, quite surreal. Was a huge Digital fan in 1999-2002, he was out on his own, plus of course Total Science who I think I first saw play in 1996! When Marcus Intalex sent me some tracks for consideration to do a 12” I was going through the demos as quickly as possible before he changed his mind haha. He’s been my most influential producer / DJ since 1999 and him & ST Files pretty much saved me from giving up on it all as until “How you make me feel” came along, I have to say I was totally bored of the music! There was loads of good tunes around I guess, but 1997-1998 were tough years for the music and I struggled with it. It’s amazing to see their names when I look back through the catalogue, I still have a few more on my radar too, Seba has always been a priority to have on Ingredients which, 47 releases deep, is not going too well!
Total Science have brought us an exquisite roller with an element of darkness to it. As the intro progresses it alludes more and more to whats to follow; a strong rolling bass line alongside constant hope filled keys. The occasional electronic growl adds some mischief to the track bringing a certain versatility that would be at home on a big club system or on the headphones for some easy listening.
Genotype has teamed up with the DBR UK boys to produce ‘Zombies’, an absolute stormer of a track! They’ve started us off with some tribal drums as we move towards the drop, which consists of some dark weighty and ominous pads in the background to round off the eerie vibe.
As well as these legendary producers, Ingredients has always been a label that has acted as something of a platform for up and coming artists and has brought recognition to some incredible producers such as: Jubei, Skeptical, Villem and more recently Response. How do you go about uncovering such talent, in what’s become a highly saturated scene?
Yes it’s been great seeing these guys go from their first full release on vinyl to where they are now. Jubei was about to sign an EP to Metalheadz when I signed The Path, so although I released his first solo vinyl, it wasn’t long before he was signed to Goldie’s Headz. But he’s been a huge part of the label’s growth, as has Skeptical. It’s not something I’ve worked out yet, but I can honestly say there’s not been anyone I didn’t sign who I thought “shit I could’ve signed him” – although Mefjus told me recently he used to send me demos haha. I guess I’m just dedicated, I’m not afraid to make mistakes and I know what I think will do well long term. Something I seem to hear in music is honesty, I go from there really. That might sound an odd thing to say, but I really can tell if someone’s feeling what they’re writing & that’s important to me.
Two fresh names featured on the Substance LP are Monika and Altitude who are both making their debut on Ingredients. Monika’s ‘Of Honour’ is as smooth as they come; uplifting keys with a hint of funk and echoing pads. There’s a strong jazzy element to the bass line, which combines with some soft murmurs to complete the vibe. Altitude’s contribution is entitled ‘Make Believe’ after the longing female vocal that rings out before the drop. The grooving bass line on this one won’t struggle to get people moving in the dance.
Moving on to the vinyl release, you’ve gone with the currently popular choice of pressing three tracks per 12”; a choice which theres been some debate about in the scene recently. Could you give us an insight into the reasoning behind this method as opposed to pressing one or two tracks on each side?
Yes I still love 1 track on each side when I DJ and have been very late to switch it up a bit, which I did for Digital’s last EP. With this album it was more that I know how much it means to producers to have their music on vinyl, so I put as much as I wanted to on the triple pack, keeping it strong. I think it’s worked out well, but I guess you’ll never please everyone and recently I asked the fans on my Facebook page & got a resounding “1 track per side”!
You certainly can’t please everyone, although Ingredients is usually pretty close. Something I’ve always wondered about Ingredients was where the name came from; the old releases used to come with recipes as well. Would it be safe to assume you know your way around the kitchen?
I’ve sent a few curve-balls out regarding the name of this label. It actually means that I wanted to find new talent & add ‘Ingredients’ to the d&b scene. That’s what it really means and I don’t mind admitting this now because I’ve backed it up! When I worked in distribution, I saw a pattern in record sales, when an artist got signed to a big label, their back catalogue on smaller labels started shifting quicker because obviously people were discovering them for the first time and collecting all their records. I thought one day “how good would it be to have a label that had loads of unknown artists who eventually got signed to bigger labels, you’d have a valuable record label!” and well that was what started me off really. I was also concerned how hard it seemed to be to get new artists into the fold, having been in London for years, I knew it was tough and quite off-putting for aspiring producers. Dubstep was killing it at the time and I was genuinely concerned that D&B wasn’t progressing, so that was another motivation. Writing this now I must sound arrogant but even more so if I’d said this back then. But these were my motivations and it’s great 5 years later to be looking at it and thinking it actually worked.
As for cooking, yeah totally, I was a chef for 9 years in total. I was chatting to James Breakage one day on AIM and I told him it was going to be called ‘Ingredients Records’ and knowing that I was a chef, he said “You should put a photo of a plate of food on the sleeve and put the recipe on the back” – so I developed that idea from there. Haha he said to me 2 years ago “So when are you gonna tell everyone this was my idea??” so there you go James, although that’s all he did 🙂
Ah, that explains a lot. So the LP is set to drop on 27th of April and we can’t wait! And you’ve got a few launch parties lined up for us right?
Yes we hit Volks, Brighton on April 18th, Fabric, London April 24th, Thekla, Bristol on May 1st & finally Sound Control, Manchester May 23rd.
All the events are listed on the label Facebook.
Thanks for taking the time out to chat with us, we can’t wait for whatever Ingredients has in store for us next. 🙂
Thanks guys, see you at the events hopefully.
Finishing of the vinyl release we have Mute & Mako with ‘Photostep’. This is one of my personal favourites of the release; the drum break is simple but really gets your head nodding, while the drop hits you like a wave of techy delight. This one will have you bouncing around till the very end.
The quality of the LP really shows when you take a look at the tracks that didn’t make the vinyl. Along with Response’s ‘One Nation remix’, the digital exclusives include ‘Waterworld’ by The Invaderz and ‘Pushing On’ from DBR UK. A nifty little vocal sample preaches ‘Pushing on’ while drums roll and some hollow pads create a funky vibe on the intro. The bass line takes no prisoners steaming in with full force and once again those feet cant help but move. ‘Waterworld’ sets off with a very atmospheric intro with the occasional faint dolphin cry, luring us into a full sense of security, but don’t get too comfortable! The whole track breaks loose from nowhere and seems to be half way between jungle and drum and bass. The bass line pumps as some bongos bring the jungle vibes over the full on attack mode drums. However an underlying element of calm and control still runs deep through the track as it flows through the dance.
So to sum up, you’re going to need to purchase this LP immediately! It’s just too big to miss. Head over to databeats to bag your copy.