Wednesday, 14 December 2011

2nd Drop 016 out now!

The sixteenth release on 2nd Drop Records is out now and features a mad illustration by UiU UiU .

Gerry Read - 'Roomland' (Distal Remix)
23Hz & Numaestro - 'Zumo' (Sully Remix)









Friday, 2 December 2011

2nd Drop 016: shipping 9th December

Our next release ships on 9th December:
A: Gerry Read 'Roomland' (Distal remix)
AA: 23 Hz & Numaestro (Sully remix)

Buy it here at the Surus website and get the MP3, FREE!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

2nd Drop Records at DIN, Corsica Studios, 8th December

Catch 2nd Drop Records at DIN, Corsica Studios.
Room 1: Bristol Takeover
Kahn (Hosted by M.I.K)

Room 2: Get Some
Kashmir Kid
2nd Drop Records
Ouzo Beats

Corsica Studios
10pm - 3am
Buy Tickets:
All profits go to Mind:

DIN: The Launch Party (Promo Video) from DIN MAGAZINE on Vimeo.

DjRum featured on Best of 2011

Dj Rum's track 'Undercoat' from his 'Mountains' EP is featured in Best of 2011
You can purchase this brilliant EP on our Surus page:
and if you buy the vinyl, you get the mp3 free!

Also check:

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Tessela Truancy Mix

Our friends at Truants Blog have interviewed someone we have our eye on for 2012, Tessela. See the interview below, which his mix includes Gerry Reads' 'Roomland'. Have a gander below:

When we first came across the sounds of the twenty-two year old West County based producer Tessela in the form of his All City released debut “Slugger” EP in June, it was immediately evident that it was going to be one of those releases that’s in it for the long haul, losing none of its original integrity and value despite many repeats. Coming from quite a strong musical background having learned a myriad of instruments at a younger age including the french horn, trumpet, double bass, piano and guitar, the young producer has strangely enough never been trained in the drums. Despite this, his current productions steadily lean on elements of confident sounding percussion, strong drum loops and binding rhythm that recur in his tracks, perhaps stemming from his current self-expressed increasing obsession with percussion. This doesn’t take away from the variety of sonic colours that the different pieces in his body of work have, with melancholy use of synth work and dreamily pitched-down vocal chops to name a few. With a number of releases that are upcoming on his radar such as a 12” and two collaborations ahead of him, we’re extremely pleased to present the thirty-fifth Truancy Volume to be crafted by Tessela, resulting in fifty minutes of what essentially sounds like a compellingly danceable and incredible club night not to be missed. Stream and download his Truancy Volume below, and read on for a little Q&A with Ed Russell himself!

Hey, how have you been? Could you please introduce yourself to those unfamiliar with your work? Hello there. I’ve been good thanks. Busy, but good. My name is Ed Russell, I’m 22 and I write music under the name Tessela. Earlier this year I had a release on All City Records.

You’re from the West County in UK, have you always lived there? Would you say that your surroundings have influenced you musically in any way? I’ve actually only just moved here and If I’m honest I kind of hope my surroundings haven’t had much of an influence on my music. I don’t live in Bristol as people often assume, but in Bath. It’ s quaint and sleepy which is great and suits me down to the ground but you can see why I wouldn’t want that to translate into my music! Being so close to Bristol though is amazing and I’ve been to a few really good nights there recently. There always seems to be such a good vibe in Bristol, and a real sense of community. I’m looking forward to getting more involved and exploring some more clubs and nights.

You’ve mentioned several times that you are inspired by percussion a lot. Is there a similar pattern you follow each time during your creative process while building up a track? I always start with the drums and will often spend the majority of the time it takes to make the track making the drum track. When I feel I’ve got a strong drum/percussion part I usually then think about a bass or hook line. I tend to plan out my tracks pretty meticulously before I actually get down to making them. I like having a really clear image in my head of what I want a track to sound like and then trying to recreate what I hear in my head in the studio. It usually happens via some pretty cryptic visual representations in the form of scribbles and crap graphic scores and its rare that I get down exactly how I imagine it or even close. It’s just nice to know what your trying to achieve instead of opening up Cubase with no direction.

Aside from music itself, what other sources do you draw your inspiration from? Hmm that’s a tricky one. I’d say art is definitely becoming more of an inspiration. My girlfriend studies Graphic Design and we’ve got a load of amazing books around the house so there’s always something to look at, we also share a studio so there’s art all around me when I making music. When I make tracks I’m often very aware of the overall timbre or tone of the music and I’ve always got a really strong sense of a particular vibe I’m trying to capture. I find this overall vibe or emotion is often portrayed in art just as it is in music. It’s something that’s impossible to describe but I think very much present in both.

In another interview, you mentioned that you prefer seing a good DJ set rather than seeing someone play live. What constitutes a good DJ-set and who does it best in your opinion? A good DJ set for me is someone who plays decent tracks in a good order and doesn’t clutter it with unnecessary effects and cheap CDJ tricks. I’m not that bothered about whether it’s bang on in time, if the tracks are generally beat matched then thats good enough for me. Obviously I don’t go mad for clangers, but I wouldn’t really be put off if a DJ lets the tracks slip a bit out of time. In terms of best DJ I’d say Surgeon has got to be up there. I’ve only seen him few times but his selection and diversity is amazing. I also saw Pearson Sound recently, he was really good as he kept it really simple and it was a really enjoyable set. For some reason my most memorable gig was seeing Jamie Vex’d about two years ago in Leeds at an Exodus/Room 237 night. It wasn’t long after his remix of Scuba’s “Twitch” came out, which I still love. I remember just waiting in anticipation hoping he would play. He finally did and I just went nuts. You know when you just lose it in a club then realise that you’ve been dancing like a twat for the past ten minutes? It was one of those.

What are you working on at the moment and what can we expect from you in the near future? I’m working on a fair bit at the moment which is great. I’m doing a 12” for 2nd Drop which I’m really looking forward to and should be coming out early next year. I’m also working on a really exciting collab EP which will most likely be for All City and hopefully also coming out early next year. Me and Hackman have got a collaborative 12” coming out on the new Audio Culture’s label and there’s a few other things in the pipeline which will be surfacing fairly soon.

What has been the inspiration behind the tracklisting for your Truancy mixtape? What’s the perfect setting to listen to the mixtape? The tracks in the mix are basically a little collection of stuff I’ve been listening to recently, a few old favourites and some new stuff by myself that isn’t really finished but I thought I’d include them anyway. Its probably best to listen to the mix LOUD in a club or somewhere with a decent soundsystem but listen to it anywhere really. I’ve tried to include a varied selection of tracks and not just music for clubs so hopefully it can be appreciated on speakers big and small.

Complete this sentence: At heart I’m just a frustrated … man! Off the booze for the next four months and its about as fun as it sounds.

When was the last time you danced? In my kitchen about an hour ago… Fleetwood Mac.

Gerry Read – Room Land [2nd Drop Records]
Siriusmo – Auf Wiederseheni [Monkeytown Records]
Tessela – Channel – [Unreleased]
Shortstuff – Tripped Up (Ramadanman Re-edit) [Ramp Recordings]
Photek – UFO [Addison Groove Remix]
Lory D – Acid Prastix [Numbers]
Tessela – Hardwood Groove [Unreleased]
Guy Andrews – Textures [Forthcoming Hemlock]
Horizontal Ground 6 – Track 2 [Horizontal Ground]
Cosmin TRG – De Dans [50 Weapons]
Perc – YSM (Sigha and Truss Remix) [Perc Trax]
Head High – Its a Love thing (Piano Invasion) [Power House]
Peverelist – Dance Till the Police Come [Hessle Audio]
Tessela – Stickem [unreleased]
Cloud Boat – Lions on the Beach [R&S]

Listen to the mix here:

Monday, 31 October 2011

2nd Drop 016: 'Roomland' (Distal remix) 'Zumo' (Sully remix)



A. Gerry Read - Roomland (Distal remix)
AA. 23Hz & Numaestro - Zumo (Sully remix)

Sometime you can't keep a good remix down, and we certainly felt that with these two beastly versions by two very exciting producers of bass music.

First up is an exciting producer 2nd Drop have been talking to for over a year now, Atlanta's Distal has been making a lot of noise across the bass scene with releases on Tectonic and Grizzly. Alongside putting a vast array of music on his own Embassy Label. Inspired by Gerry's original, Distal has produced something truly brilliant. In stark contrast to the sublime Youandewan remix and Gerry Read's killer original, Distal grabs the key elements and transforms them into an awesome juke workout. Drawing on an arsenal of stunning original features, this hyperkinetic version is bursting with character, energy and colour.

Gerry Read - Roomland (Distal Remix) - CLIP by 2ndDropRecords

On the flip, we welcome back Sully, who first saw wax on 2nd Drop with the anthemic Give Me Up in mid 2008. As a big fan of 23hz & Numaestro's original, Sully asked to remix Zumo soon after it's release in early 2009. Failed hardrives and a quiet 2010 for the label sadly meant this remix with its shifting syncopated beat patterns and moody El-B-esque swing, was sat on. Until now. Beautifully placed to carry on the Sully sound after his critically acclaimed album on Keysound in September, this long overdue remix now gets the release it deserves.

23Hz & Numaestro - Zumo (Sully Remix) - CLIP by 2ndDropRecords

Co-incidently, the artist on both of the original releases was our mysterious Portugese illustrator and graffiti activist Uiu. So in the spirit of the release we asked him to remix both the original illustrations to create a new version for this release. The featured art ensued. Slightly bonkers, but amazing!

Impluse Dubstep: Abyssal, DjRum, Berlin.

Catch our very own DjRum in Berlin, Germany.
Thursday 10th November, 11:59pm-06am

Markgrafendamm 24c; Friedrichshain; 10245 Berlin

3 € before 01:00 am -> 5 € thereafter

DJ RUM (2nd Drop, UK)
FONIK (Music Manifesto / EDJ, UK)
Turrican (Urban Poetry / Abyssal)
Visuals by Sensationalist

View the event here:

Thursday, 27 October 2011

2nd Drop Records showcase at 'From Disco To Disco'

Catch the 2nd Drop Records residents, Markle, Martial and Acronym showcasing the label's sound at From Disco To Disco, Reading on 12th November 9:00pm-3:00am. Free entry!
View the facebook link here:



2nd Drop Records performing at DIN, Corsica Studios, 8th December

2nd Drop Records performing at DIN, Corsica Studios, 8th December


Room 1: Bristol Takeover
Kahn (Hosted by M.I.K)

Room 2: Get Some
Kashmir Kid
2nd Drop Records
Ouzo Beats

Corsica Studios
10pm - 3am

Buy Tickets:
All profits go to Mind Charity:

DIN is proud to be able to host some of the city’s most promising and exciting artists for their first party. Tectonic head-honcho Pinch leads the line-up in the main room off the back of some stellar releases on labels such as Swamp 81, Planet Mu and his own Tectonic Records. A pillar of the electronic music scene in Bristol he fuses deep bass vibrations of dub reggae with modern day dubstep.

Joker’s cohort Gemmy has released on labels like Planet Mu, Punch Drunk and his recently formed W.OW. (World Of Wonders) imprint. With his timeless synth-led productions he has made his mark on the dubstep scene with tracks like ‘Supligen’, ‘Back To The Future’ and ‘Rainbow Road’. Known as part of the ‘purple trinity’ alongside Joker and Guido his playful melodies and stern basslines allow his signature style to flourish.

Kahn is a relative newcomer to the scene, having already released on Punch Drunk he sits on the fence between dubstep and garage both sonically and rhythmically. Kowton (or Narcossist as some may know him) has been in a rich vein of form as of late with tracks like the acid influenced ‘Drunk On A Sunday’ showcasing his ability to make music than leans further towards house but with the rough edges that we’ve become accustomed to hearing from Kowton.

Room Two is hosted by the blog, party and label - Get Some. After writing about and promoting events in around the UK bass music scene for the last 2 years they have now started their label of the same name. They have chosen house and broken beat impresario Simbad to headline Room Two. Known for his diverse selection which ranges from house to UK funky and beyond, look out for his collaboration on Cooly G’s upcoming EP on Hyperdub entitled ‘Landscapes’. Joining Simbad on the night will be Kashmir Kid, Get Some signee Crypt with his vivacious basslines and garage influence, 2nd Drop Records and resident, Ouzo Beats, who will be playing tantalizing mix of garage, house and dubstep.

All proceeds from the night will be going to Mind, England’s leading mental healthy charity.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

DjRUM interviewed by iD Magazine

Read the original interview here

DjRUM - vinyl mix for i-D by i-D

Text: Milly McMahon
Photography: Oliver Clasper

Describing his explorative, electronic sound as “cinematic, atmospheric music on the edge of techno, dubstep, and hip-hop” DjRUM is the fast-rising, super-sampling, disc spinner, who Mary Anne Hobbs and Gilles Peterson tip for big t’ings…

Transcending genre, BPM and all other kinds of musical typifications, DjRUM is the ground-breaking talent, breaking mixes unlike anyone else on the scene. Boldly going where many DJs don’t, RUM explores garage, techno, reggae, funk and dub, in every set he lays down, all in the name of his unequivocal love of music. Embracing every fast-moving, break beat he self-produces, Rum, real name Felix Manuel, first began making his own music ten years ago. Then more interested in jazz, Felix’s signature sound has developed and evolved organically over the past decade, as he pushed forward, continually piecing together his unique, lo-fi samplers. Recently putting out his first release via British label, 2nd Drop Records (also home to Ramadanman) his EP Mountains was received with significant acclaim, earning him serious time on underground airwaves. Working away on Ableton, this bearded, bedroom DJ prefers to not use synths, instead favouring bass to keep his feel all the more filmic and immersive. Making it up as he goes along, Felix has his fingers in a lot of pies; currently grafting in the studio, he is also collaborating with singer/songwriter Shad[]wb[]x, as well working on his own debut album.

Backed by the taste-making likes of Mary Anne Hobbs and Gilles Peterson, this boy has a bright future ahead and he ain’t even begun to bare his best stuff. Felix got i-D online in the mood for some Friday fun, letting loose with the steeze, jam and funk, vinyl style. Fancy a splash of RUM? Don’t mind if we do!

Click here to see our i-DJ series in full.

Friday, 7 October 2011

DjRUM on Sonic Router

Our very own DjRUM is featured on the amazing Sonic Router website.

Read the interview below or visit the Sonic Router website here:

DjRUM's recent suite of music released by 2nd Drop Records stood out to us for a number of reasons. Given that there’s a certain propensity within electronic dance music for stylistic shifts, bittersweet vocal chopping and super tweaked, soundsystem ready cleanliness, Rum’s three part ‘Mountains’ odyssey should stick out like a sore thumb – but it doesn’t, it caresses most categories with ease. His music is deep, layered as much with restraint as it is palpable sound, but it kicks low, hitting your gut in a similar way to the work of a lot of his peers.

“I work almost exclusively with audio samples so my music has quite an organic, non-synthetic sound to it,” he tells me, as we begin our conversation discussing his processes. “I don’t just sample from records though, I also record myself playing instruments and even singing; although you probably can’t notice it, it’s very heavily processed.”

The two 12”s that combine to form the Mountains EP fully embrace that strictly imposed production style; re-textured samples and static drenched drones crawl over each other behind an array of stringent drum work on the first plate, which is populated by ‘Undercoat’ and ‘Mountains (Part 1).’ Parts 2 & 3 of ‘Mountains’ come separately, backed by the more straight forward garage clip of ‘Turiya,’ but they take the baton from the first part’s strung samples, re-phrasing the intonations with a more trip hop rhythm that over eggs itself suddenly upping to a more hardcore stomp, bringing the gabber-esque kick drum expression to the brittle layers and metallic shards of delay.

“Mountains’ is obviously the lynchpin of the EP,” Rum explains. “The three separate parts were all written at the same time. As I make tunes I tend to generate a lot of material that lands on the cutting room floor as I experiment with different elements. During work on ‘Mountains (Part 1)’ it became clear that there was way more scope in what I was doing than just a 140bpm tune so I started putting together parts 2 and 3. ‘Undercoat’ was similar, although there I managed to keep all of my ideas within one track.”

It’s Rum’s wealth of ideas seem to be the main benefit of this EP. Across the ‘Mountains’ triumvirate he touches on rhythms and moods that it takes most producers an array of releases to touch on, and that’s undoubtedly something that his history as a core component of Yardcore can be thanked for. Being, as he is, relatively new to releasing his productions, one can assume that he’s been toiling away behind the scenes, finding his feet and sharpening his oft-tagged cinematic approach to music; but through Yardcore (a club night and radio show on that’s been going a long time now) it’s easy to trace the sounds that Rum exposed himself to, archiving a whole lot of everything…

“We did our first party back in 2006,” he recalls. “We had Ed DMX, Equinox and Boxcutter booked, but when Boxcutter missed his flight we called in a favor last minute and were lucky enough to get Jamie Vex’d instead. Wow, that takes me back… but it’s hard to say when I got into ‘dubstep.’ I remember a garage head mate of mine playing me ‘Fist of Fury’ by Horsepower back in 2001… is that dubstep? Maybe it’s 2-step… Anyway, I started hearing the word dubstep around 2005 I reckon. That year Monkey Steak’s ‘Grim Dubs,’ Burial’s South London Boroughs EP and the Rephlex Grime compilations got me really excited about that kind of music and I started getting properly into production like a year later. I’ve only ever been into dubstep as part of a balanced musical diet though…”

And that definitely shows in Rum’s music. There’s a carefully weighted balance between movement inspiring drum work and searing atmospherics, but the key to what really caught our ear was his evolutions and the sprawling nature of his composition. By rite ‘Mountains’ should be three separate tracks and as it stands he and 2nd Drop made the cut between the 140bpm aspect and the remaining beat experiments, but the panache with which Rum reaches these tangents really smacks of a hankering for prog music – not in the grandiose 30 minute sitar wigout way, but in the way it shifts slightly and constantly progresses.

“That’s definitely the intention,” he agrees when I finally let the ‘p’ word fall out. “I always found it interesting listening to music like DJ Shadow’s first few of albums – he sampled a lot of prog, but also took influence from the music’s composition. As he sampled the music to make hip hop he was putting it into a structure of his own, but those structures he created usually had an extended, evolving, progressive approach more akin to prog than to regular hip hop. I listen to a lot of jazz from that prog era, and I think it has had a similar influence on me…”

This notion of expansive and fluid structure is one that he explores further on his contribution to our ongoing mix series: “I did it in Ableton. It moves about quite a bit through different moods and genres. There’s reggae, techno, garage, dubstep, classical, funk, soul, hiphop, house… and it goes from quite an upbeat dancey vibe, through some really mellow spaciousness, into some really dark introspection, and ends with a round of applause. I’m pretty pleased with it actually. I think it sets the scene well for my own productions.”

Listen to the mix below:

Friday, 30 September 2011

2nd Drop 015: Gerry Read 'Roomland' b/w YouandEwan remix

Our fifteenth release featuring Gerry Read 'Roomland' backed with a superb YouandEwan remix,buy it here now:
Digital and vinyl available at all good online retailers and independent record shops.






Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Untold remix features on Gold Panda 'DJ-Kicks' series

2nd Drop Records' seventh release, Untold's remix of Ramadanman's 'Revenue' will feature on the forthcoming Gold Panda 'DJ-Kicks' series later on 31st October this year on K7!

Derwin Panda (as he calls himself) is a producer by trade, not a DJ, and the upcoming compilation will be the first mix he puts his name on. "I'd never consider myself a DJ, but through doing this I've really become more appreciative of it," he says. "I've so much more respect for people that do DJ now."

Gold Panda threw together a 22-track collection that jumps from deep house and techno to UK bass and back again. The mix also includes a new Gold Panda production, entitled "MPB." It will be his first official release since Lucky Shiner, an album he produced while dog-sitting for his grandparents that launched him to wide acclaim last year.

The Peckham-based composer, a relative novice on the decks prior to compiling his 'DJ-Kicks' edition: "I'd never considered myself a DJ, but through doing this I've become more appreciative of it. I've so much more respect for people that do DJ now".
Citing dubstepper Untold's dual features on the mix as particular standouts, he adds: "LV & Untold's 'Beacon' has all these little intricacies that makes it so interesting - Untold just seems to be a master at finding and building these lovely percussion sounds".

01. Gold Panda - An Iceberg Hurtled Northward Through Clouds
02. Melchior & Pronsato - Puerto Rican Girls
03. Bok Bok - Charisma Theme
04. Drexciya - Andreaen Sand Dunes
05. Muslimgauze - Uzi Mahmood 8
06. Pawel - Coke
07. Ramadanman - Revenue (Untold Remix)
08. SND - Palo Alto
09. Zomby - Godzilla
10. Closer Musik - Maria
11. Gold Panda - Back Home
12. Christopher Rau - Do Little
13. Jan Jelinek - If's, And's And But's
14. Nao Tokui - Monolith
15. Sigha - Shake
16. Opiate - Amstel
17. 2562 - Dinosaur
18. Matthewdavid - Like You Mean It
19. Brainiac - The Turnover
20. LV & Untold - Beacon
21. Autistici - Heated Dust On A Sunlit Window
22. Giuseppe Ielasi - 2

Buy the vinyl and digital here:

Shout outs to K7! and Gold Panda.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

DjRUM mix on Mary Anne Hobbs' Xfm show

DjRUM creates the soundtrack to an imaginary movie to celebrate the release of
his dazzling 'Mountains EP' for the Mary Anne Hobb's Xfm radio show.....

Here's the tracklisting:

Undercoat - DjRUM
Shadow Journal - Richter
Cave Dream - Pinch
Ghost of Frankenstein - Scientist
Blocked - Andy Stott
Epiphany - Juggaknots
Slaughta House remix (acapella) - Masta Ace
Como Los Certos -
Watermark (remix) - DjRUM
Mountains (pt.1) Edit - DjRUM

Listen again here:

Buy the digital here:
Buy the vinyl here:

Also available at Chemical Records, Sounds of The Universe, Redeye Records, Hardwax, Juno and many others.....

Shout outs to MAH!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

2nd Drop Records performing at Liminal Sounds, Rhythm Factory

Liminal Sounds @ Rhythm Factory, Fri 16th Sept
£3 B4 12 / £5 after
View the event here:

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Charlie Dark remix on

Charlie Dark's remix of LV, Zaki Ibrahim & Message to Bears 'Explode' is now on This track features on a brilliant "Sunset Beatdown" ideal for those long summer evenings. The whole compilation can be bought for £6.86 or the single tracks for just 99p!

Visit here:

2nd Drop 013 / 014: DjRum 'Mountains EP' release

Buy from our 2nd Drop Records Surus website below:

DjRum EP Part 1 - 2NDRP12013 Ships Friday 26 August

Mountains Pt 2 & 3 / Turiya - 2NDRP12014 Ships Friday 26 August

Mountains EP - 2NDRP12014D Digital Pre-order now,
available 29 August

Listen to audio clips here:

Happy 10th Birthday FWD>>

2nd Drop get props in the Guardian online newspaper. 2nd Drop head honchos Markle and JBliss talk about the early days of FWD>>, excerpts from the article:

It inspired the wider scene

Mark Gurney of 2nd Drop records says FWD>> inspired the name of his label: "Mala from Digital Mystikz didn't play at FWD>> on that many occasions and he never allowed recordings of his sets, so it was a real moment in 2007 when he graced the Plastic People controls and played his dubstep anthem Lean Forward. For those who know this tune, it has the most beastly second drop, which would get rewinds even though it came two thirds of the way through the record. I remember muttering to myself in a haze of weed smoke and Guinness that it was "all about the second Drop". I texted my best mate James to tell him I had a name for our new label whose first release would be a then little-known producer called Ramadanman, in May of that year."

They couldn't keep the secret appearances a secret
It was at FWD>> that a new secret production outfit called Magnetic Man debuted. Well, it was supposed to be a secret, anyway. As Mark Gurney remembers: "The core dubstep cognoscenti had been caning their tunes Everything Cool and Soulz for months, but nothing was officially known about them. As you walked into Plastic People and on to the dark dancefloor, the decks had been covered by a white mesh screen, a ruse to conceal the identity of the act. But as the hardcore fans had been there since the doors opened we'd seen everyone who'd come in and out of the club. Also, the fact that Benga's Afro was strikingly outlined behind the screen probably didn't help …

Read the whole article here:

Friday, 19 August 2011

Happy Birthday FWD

This can be read in it's orginal form here:

10 reasons to wish FWD>> a happy 10th birthday

From championing dubstep and grime, to letting girls wear trainers, FWD>> has gone down in clubbing lore. Here's why …

Skream, Jammer, Wiley and more congregate around the decks at FWD>>
Fast FWD>> ... Skream, Jammer and Wiley gather around the decks. Photograph: Georgina Cook

This weekend marks the 10th anniversary of FWD>>, the iconic British club night that created a space for British Underground Music to thrive. Before grime and dubstep had an official name, it was at FWD>> in east London that you could hear bassy beats, and skank with the skinny teenagers who would later become some of the most influential dubstep artists of their generation. It was where Mala, Coki, Skream and Benga were first heard. For many discerning clubbers, FWD>> is the stuff of legend, and here's 10 reasons why …

It helped change the face of pop

FWD>> showcased Ramadanman, Coki, Skream, Kode 9 and Benga but it was more than just a dubstep night. It also paid homage to grime, garage and house, pushing through some of the best British talent over the last 10 years. "I saw FWD>> as an incubator of new ideas," says Ramadanman. "As the sound system was so good, there were no worries about your new tune not being faithfully reproduced, which I think led to more experimentalism." Without this, it seems unlikely that James Blake, Katy B and countless others would have made mainstream waves today.

You could go on your own because it felt like a family

People felt fine venturing out to FWD>> on their own, because they felt sure they'd meet people they knew inside. There was a terrific sense of community. DJ Zinc recalls celebrating Skream's birthday together drinking shots at the bar, while Benga commented on "how familiar it all felt". It's unusual to consider how attached people can be to a club. It wasn't unheard of to have a favourite spot in the grimy corners of the Velvet Rooms (the night moved to Plastic People in 2005). According to Ramandanman: "Plastic People is an intense club. It's no frills, no fancy lights, smoke machines. Just a big pair of speakers and decks. But FWD>> changed my life." Journalist Emma Warren recalls: "There was a real community. The only time I ever saw someone not turn up for a set was Joker, and that was because he missed his train from Bristol. When Martin [Clark] played for the first time, he was so good that people started a petition to get him back again. There was a sense that people felt as if it was theirs. You didn't go along in a passive way – it was active, you were part of it."

The girls could wear trainers

If you were partying in the 90s and you liked "urban" music, it was highly likely that you went to Garage Nation. Remember Craig David? Wookie? Sweet Female Attitude (they'd bring you flowers, don't you know)? Garage dominated the pop charts, and the girls at Garage Nation were slick and sexy. FWD>>, on the other hand, embraced a completely different style. The girls wore trainers, a sign that the polished, commercial garage era was nearing the end. As Benga puts it: "People didn't watch for what each other was wearing." The dress code was an anti dress code, and DJ Zinc fondly remembers "suits being turned away at the door because it wasn't an after-work, getting smashed kind of thing ... FWD>> was for people serious about the music."

The DJs would arrive in white limos (but you wouldn't know this)

Well, Croydon-based DJs such as Skream and Hatcha, who travelled from south to east London in limousines for the simple reason that they were cheaper than taxis. The irony being, of course, that there was no sense of celebrity attached to any of those DJs – according to Zinc they'd often "get it to stop round the corner, 'cos it was a bit embarrassing".

There was no hierarchy

All my personal experiences of FWD>> have been dancing to bass and marveling at how many of the DJs end up on the dancefloor themselves with no sign of fans asking for autographs. The clubbers were too busy getting lost in the music, which is why it became a common practice for people in front of the DJ to lean forward and "pull up the track" (ie reload a song that was particularly great). Kode 9 recalls his favourite reload moment: "I remember hearing Classic Deluxe by Horsepower Productions and running from the back of the club to the DJ booth, just to rewind the track. Standard."

It created iconic images

FWD>> attracted a host of industry veterans. Chock full of photographers, A&Rs and journalists, the night was well documented through the underground media. One photographer of note, Georgina Cook (aka DrumzoftheSouth) was a FWD>> staple, documenting the scene. She took the above photo in April 2005 and comments: "At that time there were a few FWD>> regulars getting anxious about the introduction of grime DJs and MCs to the FWD>> lineups. So it was pretty special when Mala (Digital Mystikz) and Wiley (Roll Deep) were billed on the same night and even more special to watch the reaction of Jammer, Wiley and Skepta when Mala dropped Skream's phenomenal Midnight Request Line.

They would stay open when only one person was on the dancefloor

FWD>> was known for embracing the new. So new, in fact, that not everyone was initially up to speed with, say, the breakneck 140bpm of grime, or the heavy bass wobbles of dubstep. Writer, DJ and FWD>> regular Martin Clark comments that: "There were a few times when we'd do a mix and look up and there were, like, two or three people left on the dancefloor, or no one at all, but we'd carry on because it was about getting lost in the music." Journalist and clubber Chantelle Fiddy adds: "The girl count was about five in the early days: me, Ms Dynamite and a few others on the dancefloor, but none of that mattered because we were embracing the excitement about these new sounds."

It inspired the wider scene

Mark Gurney of 2nd Drop records says FWD>> inspired the name of his label: "Mala from Digital Mystikz didn't play at FWD>> on that many occasions and he never allowed recordings of his sets, so it was a real moment in 2007 when he graced the Plastic People controls and played his dubstep anthem Lean Forward. For those who know this tune, it has the most beastly second drop, which would get rewinds even though it came two thirds of the way through the record. I remember muttering to myself in a haze of weed smoke and Guinness that it was "all about the second Drop". I texted my best mate James to tell him I had a name for our new label whose first release would be a then little-known producer called Ramadanman, in May of that year."

They couldn't keep the secret appearances a secret

It was at FWD>> that a new secret production outfit called Magnetic Man debuted. Well, it was supposed to be a secret, anyway. As Mark Gurney remembers: "The core dubstep cognoscenti had been caning their tunes Everything Cool and Soulz for months, but nothing was officially known about them. As you walked into Plastic People and on to the dark dancefloor, the decks had been covered by a white mesh screen, a ruse to conceal the identity of the act. But as the hardcore fans had been there since the doors opened we'd seen everyone who'd come in and out of the club. Also, the fact that Benga's Afro was strikingly outlined behind the screen probably didn't help …

They survived closure

FWD>> came close to closure at the beginning of last year, following moves from the Met to review the licence of the club. Although their reasons concerned the prevention of crime and disorder and public nuisance, Kode 9 claims "there were no fights in FWD>>". A petition was quickly issued, with fans celebrating the club's diversity, and the infamous Plastic People survived. As a result, the night has lived to inspire a new generation, collaborating with the radio station Rinse, and continuing to do what it does best – celebrating young talent. Elijah, of grime label Butterz Recordings, says: "I was going before I started to DJ, it was part of the reason I started to buy records, then part of the reason I wanted to take DJing seriously, then once I did that it was my aim to play there myself." Long may it continue.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

2nd Drop 013 & 014: DjRUM Mountains EP

Mountains EP

2nd Drop 013
A: Undercoat
AA: Mountains Part 1

2nd Drop 014
A: Mountains Parts 2&3
AA: Turiya





Release date:

A main player behind the seminal Yardcore nights in London and with previous releases with On The Edge and Smokin Sessions, DjRUM has always existed on the alternative edge of a number of scenes, but after producing a stunning remix of LV and Message To Bears ft Zaki Ibrahim "Explode" for 2nd Drop's last release, which got widespread acclaim, his talent is finally getting the recognition it deserves.

Now 2nd Drop are proud to present a full EP of original material.

Mountains EP part 1:

Undercoat leads the first part in typical DjRUM style; multiple layers of gravelly, heavily charged atmosphere, ever shifting beat patterns, murky pockets of drums and percussion, and his trademark use of epic strings. This moody, cinematic cut builds and builds throughout and before you know it the beats have jumped into sultry techno.

DjRUM - Undercoat (Mountains EP) - CLIP by 2ndDropRecords

Mountains pt 1 on the flip picks up from where Undercoat left off, dropping straight into pulsing techno drums that gallop away and build into sheets of shifting, emotive synths, accompanied with haunting vocals snippets. Packed with detail and nuance, this track keep on giving with every listen.

DjRUM - Mountains Part 1(Mountains EP) - CLIP by 2ndDropRecords

Mountains EP part 2:

Mountains pts 2&3
The second and third parts of the Mountains suite nestle snugly together. Dissolving from the lush techno of Mountains pt 1, RUM lightens the pressure accenting the melodic motifs of pt 1 adding an almost lilting, percussively funky rhythm, only to be broken with a galloping
gabba style beat washed over by his trademark string and synth blanket. However, the pressure is short lived, as once again the track gives way to a verdant and lush pasture of classic RUM ambiance.

DjRUM - Mountains part 2 & 3 (Mountains EP) CLIP by 2ndDropRecords

Turiya on the flip pays subtle homage to Alice Coltrane by using her later adopted spiritual name. And you can hear her ethereal jazz and harp qualities evoked through his use of melody, before dropping into a broken 2-step bump with a nicely chopped up vocal. This track really brings out RUM’s penchant for amazing strings once again as he drifts them in gently towards the later half of the track, creating further layers of lush melodic bliss.

DjRUM -Turiya (Mountains EP) - CLIP by 2ndDropRecords

The illustrator on this release is the incredibly talented Matt Taylor from Brighton. We instantly fell in love with his furry and feathery skulls, and had to have them spinning around on a record. Check more of his work at

The Mountains EP will be released in two parts on vinyl and as a bundle in MP3/ FLAC at all good record shops and online retailers.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Catch 2nd Drop Records' Acronym play at Subplate, Reading

Catch 2nd Drop Records' Acronym play at Subplate, Reading:

Main Room:

SLUM DOGZ (Circus Records/Maximum Boost)
BENNY PAGE (Digital Soundboy)

KRAFTY MC (Slum Dogz) - JJ:MC (Nu Era Hq) - YOUNGA FOXY (Inovation/MadManArmy) - FLEWID (Adjusted Audio) - G.DOT MAN (SubPlate)


ACRONYM (2nd Drop Records)

Tickets £6 in advance from or £8 on the door
2-4-1 on all drinks before 11pm!!
Doors 10pm - 4am

and join the Subplate page.

Email: for guestlist.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

The Kort interview: DjRum

The Kort blog recently interviewed 2nd Drop Records' DjRum.
Read all about it below:

The musical compositions of London’s Felix Manuel first came to our attention by way of a remix for enigmatic dub-kwaito experimentalists, LV. Having enjoyed their wild card catalogue for quite some time, it was with delight we discovered DjRum’s remix of their recent minimalist beauty, “Explode”. Orchestral string arrangements, twinkling chimes, and a classicist sense of structure gave Zaki’s sublime vocals the perfect complement, creating a gorgeous piece that stood out from the rest.

LV feat. Message To Bears and Zaki - Explode (DjRUM’s remix) teaser clip by DjRum

The Kort chased down Mr. Manuel as we were eager to learn more about this mysterious artist; it’s not every day you come across a seasoned, old school composer in the world of bass music…


The Kort: So to begin, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? How’d you get into music?

DjRum: Well I started out Djing, and production came later…actually I started out playing jazz piano. I was really serious about that, but then I got my first pair of decks when I was like 18 and that was it. I started producing at around the same time, really lo-fi sample based hip hop. I began getting technical with my production maybe like 5 years ago, but I still feel like my production is pretty lo-fi.

K: We first heard of your work through the recent remix you did of LV’s “Explode”, how did that come about?

D: Hmm…well Second Drop Records got in contact through a mutual friend, wanting to work with me and it just sort of fell into place! I’ve been a big LV fan since their first Hyperdub release so i was honored…plus Zaki’s vocal is unreal! There’s no way I could turn that down.

DjRUM - Plead with me by DjRum

K: Your use of a thumping electronic beat with more organic samples and textures is what drew me in, do you really strive to bring some human element into your productions?

D: I don’t use synths at all…well maybe for bass sometimes. I’ve never been that keen on really electronic sounding instruments, brash synths, etc. All of the synth-like sounds you hear in my music are made by layering heavily treated samples. I wish i knew how to use synths well but I’ve never been interested enough to get to grips properly! I spend far too much time crate digging for that…

K: Definitely feel you on that one, it can be infintely more fun to sample cheap vinyl than tinkering with a software synth! Do you use a 404 or any sampler for your work, or sample directly to computer? Any particular programs you stick to?

D: ABLETON IS THE DADDY. It’s very quick and easy, which means ideas can flow out much more quickly. I find this really important, I made my first tune on a 4 track with a Dr. Sample and a belt drive turntable. I’ve used lots of different software though, I used Cubase for a while but I’d much rather use something that keeps it simple.

K: That’s a good way of looking at it, I have Ableton but haven’t cracked at it yet…much more a Record/Reason diehard, for better or worse.

D: Give it a go! I’ve never come across anything better for manipulating audio.

DjRUM - Bucky (lo-fi mix) by DjRum

K: So what are your thoughts on DJing, are you a vinyl devotee or are you willing to DJ with mp3 programs, and/or Serato?

D: Having spent 10 years working on turntablism techniques, I’ll never turn my back on vinyl Djing. I’m much more accomplished behind the wheels than I am doing an Ableton live set, but for practical reasons I do find my self playing out on Ableton. I do most of my mixing on my radio show on Ableton as well. I think that certain genres of music suit different platforms… hip hop needs turntables, techno needs digital precision. If you wanna use turntables to delicately blend tunes, you should probably fuck off and get yourself on a laptop. Turntables like to be pushed around!

K: That’s a valuable distinction between genres and DJ styles, I like that a lot! Who are some of your favorite DJs?

D: Strictly Kev is probably the best Dj I’ve ever seen, absolutely amazing style, proper showmanship, acute taste and obviously a wicked crate digger. He just drops pure knowledge. Most of my favourite producers I wouldn’t really rate as Djs particularly…

K: True that…who are some of your favorite producers then?

D: Scuba, Murcof, Andy Stott, Svarte Greiner, Madlib…oof and Rockwell!!!

K: Yeah, that Andy Stott record is nuts, the recent one…

D: I’m not so keen on the recent one if i’m honest…

K: Oh really?

D: Yeah i hated it at first, then it kind of grew on me…but for me the Daphne records stuff, Hate, and his more solidly dub-techno stuff is where it’s at. BIG fan.

K: For sure, Modern Love knows what’s up…and so you live in London, whereabouts exactly?

D: SOUTH London, love it down here!

K: How long have you lived there?

D: Hmmm don’t really know, maybe 5 years or something like that…I first moved to London maybe 9 years ago, but south London for like 5 years. It’s nice, you should visit! I think Peckham might be the center of the world…

demo by DjRum

K: Haha, yes indeed…I’ve been to Brixton and Clapham, went to a DMZ night at Mass in 2009…speaking of, you got a favorite venue in the city?

D: To be honest, I generally prefer squat parties to clubs, but clubs do tend to book better lineups. I like unpretentious venues: a room with some speakers in it, that’s it. Corsica Studios is good. They’ve got an AMAZING sound system!

K: I’ve heard good things about Corsica…

D: Yeah, they got a nice Funktion One rig set up well by people who know what they’re doing and care, and it shows. And again, it’s just a room with some speakers in it…job done! I think that really struck me when I first went to DMZ actually…lights off, music up, no mucking about!

K: Yeah, they’re serious there. All about the tunes, the way it should be…

D: I’m all for having a party, but sometimes you do just want to find a space to skank out!

K: Eyes down, ears up…

D: That’s it!


DjRum’s remix of LV’s “Explode” is available on vinyl and digital now, and his two digital releases from 2010 can be found here. You can also tune in to his monthly show on, Yardcore, by clicking here. Cheers to Felix for the interview, we’ll be keeping an eye on this like-minded producer’s stellar work for a good, long while…and we strongly recommend you do too!

Friday, 24 June 2011

2nd Drop Records Stickers

2nd Drop Records Stickers which we will give away at our DJ sets for FREE!




Saturday, 18 June 2011

2nd Drop Records Pin Badges

We've got a whole load of merchandise made up, here are 2nd Drop Records Pin Badges which we will give away at our DJ sets for FREE!





Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Truants Blog review of LV, Zaki & Message to Bears 'Explode'

Thanks to Truants blog for this deep and insightful review:

It’s rare that we here at Truants would write about the same artist twice in the space of a week, but sometimes it’s just inescapable. Fresh from the release of the “Routes” album with Joshua Idehen, London trio LV have dropped another gem in the shape of their collaboration with folk artist Message to Bears and singer Zaki Ibrahim. The release, with one original and three remixes spread over two 12″s, is the most intriguing and rewarding set of singles I’ve heard this year. After LV and Zaki hooked up in the studio in South Africa, 2nd Drop Records, who previously put out LV’s “Don’t Judge” in 2009, made the inspired decision of drafting in Oxford folk act Message To Bears. The result is almost as if The Album Leaf or Efterklang added a stripped-back palate to a spaced-out London ting. ”Explode” is many things. A jagged, chunky scratch-like effect is complemented with a simple four-note piano phrase and a lilting, rising string line. Zaki, meanwhile, sings of how she has “shoulders in Burma, my feet are Creole”. Throughout the track her vocals drift in an out at different levels, almost as if she’s singing to distant versions of herself. All the while that simple piano phrase grows and fades, builds and dissipates. At little over three minutes, it’s a track that never outstays its welcome – in fact, like some of the tracks on “Routes”, you just wish it wouldn’t end. In a way, however, that’s something that makes this release special, as I’ll explain later.

Explode -- LV & Message to Bears Feat Zaki Ibrahim by LVLVLV

The first remix comes from the mysterious Londoner called Mothy. The remix, entitled Mothy’s Implosion, embellishes the strings, swamps the piano in a sea of reverb and takes just one line, “worry not my love”, as if to highlight the heartfelt and uplifting message at this track’s heart. It’s another short number, but what that leads to is a feeling that this remix is merely an extension of the original. DJ Rum (stream below) adds skittering clicks and whirrs, as well as additional piano and strings, and builds a new track around the full vocal track. Killing everything off half-way through, he then takes and repeats the line “into thin air” – then acting like he’s about to end proceedings with a Bill Evans-style piano drift, straight out of “Kind of Blue” – only for a repeated, menacing dubstep stab to poke its head into this previously calming number. Terror is never quite unleashed, yet the air of tranquility is most definitely disturbed. The last remix comes from London renaissance man Charlie Dark. Musician, DJ, runner, English teacher, this is one interesting character. Just see the videos about his Run Dem Crew. But back to the track. The plaintive piano is still here, but now too we have suggestive synths and a driving, if somewhat restrained set of percussive elements. It’s definitely the most upbeat remix, and rounds off the package in uplifting fashion.

LV feat. Message To Bears and Zaki - Explode (DjRUM's remix) teaser clip by DjRum

LV feat. Message To Bears and Zaki - Explode (DjRUM's remix) teaser clip by DjRum

Bizarrely, with this set of tracks I find it best to play them all at once – the varying takes on the track, the disparate use of the vocals and the inclusion of new elements while at the same time retaining the same mood, mean it feels almost like a suite in what one might call it the classical vein. You can cop the two records at Boomkat, or, if you’re that way inclined, download the lot here. And, finally, make sure you watch the gorgeous video.

LV and Message To Bears – Explode EP, out now on 2nd Drop Records.

Buy here:

Read the original here:

Bigups to Truants!