How many of us, hand on vinyl, can say that we really knew what we were doing in our youth? I may have been smoking in the locker room but Brackles, from age 15, was working his groove behind the decks, forging a sound that stands out from the crowd with its timely blend of all things garage, grime's roughest cuts and the most uplifting funky and house.
To his credit, this form of 'evolutionary dubstep' reunites the steps (thankfully) and slows down the tempo for a soulful, luxurious melody. We met before his regular show on Rinse to chat about the ever-changing bass music scene, the challenge of working with vocalists and duties that come with hosting a radio show.
Hi, have you had a haircut?
Erm, no, about six weeks ago. Though some of my press photos show me with long hair!
You look different – what did you get up to this weekend?
I went to Afrobeats at the O2 with my brother.
Reworking world class music with an African accent... So, how does Rinse Present differ to your earlier stuff, like Songs for Endless Cities or the Glazed single from 2008?
Glazed is probably the first tune I ever made, I'd call it dubstep – I'd been influenced by the likes of Tectonic and Peverlist, both Bristol heads. Then I refound my love for grime and then funky emerged in around 2007, which had a big influence on me, as well the big clubs and record producers. I also listened to a lot of broken beat and began to work those sounds more into my tracks.
What were your early influences – your parents? Did you study music?
I did piano for a bit but I didn't really like it!
Neither me, parents love to force it!
My parents were into a lot of different sounds. My dad liked Prince, rock bands, some folk music, classical jazz. I suppose that was quite a good starting point. I started DJing when I was 15 that was the thing all my friends were doing, my brother got decks before me and I decided that if I wanted to get bookings and play live, I would have to raise my profile and starting producing material. Not all DJs do but to me that made sense.
So, how would you describe your sound? People talk about 'future garage' but I hear that really winds you up!
I hear the words 'future garage' and I think what! I just don't see how it's future...
It sounds fun and exciting, inspiring! Do you prefer 'new school knob twiddler'?
What does that mean? I've not really thought about it! I'm more interested in making music; I don't worry about the labelling. No DJs are really that bothered.
So, how did this album come about?
It was suggested by Rinse years ago – it was the first time I had worked with vocalists, so it was good learning how to make space for their voice and mixing it with the instrumentals. It was a case of me suggesting the people I'd like to work with and then Rinse approaching them, they came to record at the Rinse studios – I feel privileged to have the likes of Lily McKenzie and Terri Walker on it. In the end, we had about 30 or 40 tracks and we had to cut it down to ten for the album, though there are a few bonus tracks floating about.
Yeah, 12 on mine. So, how do you see your role at Rinse: Education? Entertainment?
For me it's about playing people records that they haven't heard before – it doesn't have to be dubplates but something new, rare or interesting. At the moment, it's Champion, always FunkyStepz... I've been here since late 2009, doing my weekly show, before that I was covering every now and then.
Do you have any fantasy remixes or line-ups?
Argh, some of the garage legends like Tuff Jam. Karl Brown retired years ago but I think Matt Lamont is still doing the circuits. Wookie has made a big comeback recently.
If you could have written and produced any tune, and released it on your own label what would that tune be?
I don't know, probably something by Kraftwerk! Maybe Computer Love.
And to end things, are you up to anything unexpected this summer?
I might move to Bristol, a mate of mine has a room coming up for a few months. It might be good to get to know another city that has a proper scene, also my sister lives there! Then, of course, the usual slew of festivals.
Words: Kim Wilson
CM Sounds Competition
CM Sounds have some amazing music technology courses on offer. They are now teaming up with Kmag for a competition. We give you all you need to know right here.
Aural Imbalance Comes Out Of Plato's Cave
Aural Imbalance is one half of Out Of Plato's Cave, who have recently dropped an album on the Greta Cottage Workshop label. We speak to him about it here.
Snoop releases new photo app Snoopify
West coast rapper cum reggae star Snoop Lion, has launched his own photo editing app for iOS and Android.
London-based collective Innersoul are absolutely taking over London town. With a number of events taking place soon, their star is in the ascendancy. Grab the info right here.
Black Sun Empire Announce Blackout Music
Something very special is happening over in the Black Sun Empire camp right now. A new label, a new release, sample packs and more. Check it all out here.
Hospital Readies Hospitality Summer 2013
The all-conquering Hospital Records are ready to launch with the latest in their compilation series, Hospitality Summer 2013. Read on for more.
Good News Poppers Expand To Liquid Boppers
The Good News Poppers label is expanding into new territory, with the announcement of new sister label, Liquid Boppers. Kmag brings you all that you need to know right here.
Dispatch Recordings Reaches Round The World
Undoubtedly one of the hottest labels around at the moment, Dispatch are recruiting all comers. Their latest release is out now, and we get the skinny from DBRUK.
Beastie Respond Interview
With his debut album 'Fictitious Nostalgia' imminent, Danish DJ, producer and all round music man Beastie Respond chats to Kmag ahead of the forthcoming release.
Emissions Festival 2013 Preview
Emissions Festival has been a staple of the Bay Area's festival scene for the past five years, we have a look at what's in store for the 2013 edition.
In The Studio: Villem
Drum & bass producer Villem is about to release a sample pack so we spoke to him to discover how we works in the studio...
Paper Tiger featuring Homeboy Sandman video
Paper Tiger have teamed up with Stonesthrow's Homeboy Sandman for a transatlantic collaboration.
Perpetual Recordings Go Onwards
Perpetual Recordings have been going in the right direction for a year now and are ready to warm up your summer with some hot new releases. We get the full rundown on the label right here.
Arc Festival Review
Arc is a new festival from the Applepips and Hypercolour labels, in partnership with Luma and the RRFID crew, we went along to check out the inaugural event...
Top 10 Videos April 2013
This month's round-up of our favourite videos is a really varied selection – from skin clawing creatures to a fierce battle against music listeners, here's a look at what April had to offer.