Unearthed Sounds - Mix Series, Vol. 1
As part of a new series we’re launching moving into 2018 we have got our buddy J:Kenzo to record the first in a series of mixes we will be showcasing from artists and labels we work with. We figured this would be a good way of showcasing our clients and their labels, displaying what they’re all about and also what they might have forthcoming in the way of new music. Our interview with Jay follows…
Hi Jay, so, we’re nearing the end of 2017, how would you say this year has gone for you and the label, live up to expectations?
This year has been really good, a real highlight was to finally piece together and release the second compilation on Artikal. A lot of hard work went into that project both musically and visually. DJ wise its been positive to play to so many open minded people who embrace all the sounds that I play in my sets.
Artikal has been running for 5+ years now. Can you remember what your intentions/goals when you first launched the label?
The main aim was to release music that I was feeling really. When the label started I was working for BBC 1Xtra on their Daily Dose sessions and was being sent some great music that didn’t have an outlet so I started Artikal to bring through new artists and release music that appealed to me.
Do any releases in particular stand out to you that you’re particularly proud of? Or perhaps a release that you feel was somewhat overlooked?
I’ve been proud of every release, working with each artist, crafting each project. The artwork and music as a package coming together really excites me and is something I still enjoy doing.
There are a few releases I feel were overlooked but that might just be my opinion.
Taking risks like releasing Perverse’s ‘Timelapse’ soundscape on vinyl which was a bit of a step left to a normally dance floor orientated label was a testing ground that I still stand by. But overall its been good to release so many talented artists over the years.
There are so many highlights - Thelem’s ‘Haunted Harmonics’, TMSV’s ‘Haze’ both compilation albums and introducing new artists like Youngsta and Markee Ledge, Compa, Argo, Pugilist and Causa to the label has been amazing.
Can you give us any cheeky upfront information about what we might be seeing from you or the label in 2018?
We have a stacked start to year with releases from Pugilist, Hebbe, Mister Shifter, Dark Tantrums, Cimm and myself plus the long awaited collaboration project from Distance and I (Chestikal) that I’m really looking forward to dropping.
Are you a vinyl purist or are all formats welcome?
Over the years I’ve had to adapt from Vinyl to CD’s to USB so I welcome all formats. Vinyl has and always will have a special place in my heart. I still buy a lot of records and cut dub plates and play them in my sets.
What was the last piece of musical equipment you bought?
I’ve just pre-ordered the new Behringer D Analog Synth which I can’t wait to get my hands on. The first piece of hardware that I’ve purchased in some years.
If you could choose any track, ever, to remix, what would you choose?
Now that’s a question… a really tough one. So many tracks I can think of but one of my favourite tracks that sticks in my mind would be Deep Blue’s ‘The Helicopter Tune’ a jungle classic from 1993/1994. I’d like to see what I could do with that remix wise!
What has been your favourite release of the year? Across any genre. Also, what are you listening to a lot right now?
There has been some great releases this year but I would say Om Unit’s “Self” album has to be a personal highlight. I’ve been listening to a lot of new Funk and Soul and instrumental Hip-Hop recently artists like Thundercat, Anderson Paak and Onra I’m really feeling.
If you weren’t producing/DJ'ing what would you be doing do you think?
I’d be doing something in the building industry in some way shape or form… but I couldn’t see a life where I wouldn’t be involved in music.
Big up Jay. Here’s to 2018 and another successful year for Artikal Music UK as well as your own J:Kenzo productions.
Big thanks for putting the mix together for us. 002 coming in early 2018!