By: Dream Chimney
The following interview was conducted in November 6, 2023
This week we see the Detroit Rising 'Rocket Love Remix EP' hit the streets. The tracks are lifted from the album ‘A Cosmic Funk Adventure' that was out in 2018 on David Scwartz's Downjazz imprint. Detroit Rising is a collection of artists comprised of 10 groove masters including the current and original members of Parliament-Funkadelic, Prince, Public Enemy and Mary J Blige. The re-tweak collection pulls together some of the most influential and talented producers in the UK right now. Featuring Jimpster, Kaidi Tatham, Sean McCabe and from the hallowed London centric CoOp bruk scene, EVM128. Taking the OG of Gorgeous to another level with his mind-warping broken bass expansions and explosions of funk dance rhythms, we asked the multi-talented EVM128 to take us through some albums that have made a dent in his musical world.
EVM128 - 8 Album influences
Massive attack - Blue lines
(Unfinished Sympathy )
I was born in Bristol so I have a soft spot for Trip Hop which was a sound born out of the city. When I first heard Unfinished Sympathy, I was blown away with the beats, the vocals, the strings. I love albums that you can play without fast forwarding a track, you know those ones you can just press play, sit back and listen to it's entirety and feel the story and emotion behind the art as a whole, a bit like a book I suppose. This album never gets tired, and for me was when Massive Attack were at their best while Tricky was still in the band. This album never gets old. I hope I can make one that stands the test of time and becomes a classic like this! You gotta not think too much and be honest and true, that's when magic happens!
Goldie - Timeless
( Inner City Life )
Big big fan of Goldie, and I'm a Junglist at heart. I was into Jungle before Garage and Bruk and early on, Goldie stood out, he's an original. His music, his art, and his obsession with Stussy! All of which I relate to, being from a Graff and streetwear background alongside my music. (Did I mention that he and I are both called Clifford). Again it's an album you don't fast forward. You play it out and feel it. Wow, it’s a real journey and well ahead of its time, still stands up tall now. The video is dope too, I love the grit and simple style. I’ve always been one for juxtaposition like, I love it when a sweet vocal sits on a heavy beat and bassline, that rough with the smooth is what really gets me going! Goldie does that just right, his new live band is sick too, which I caught at this year’s We Out Here Festival in Dorset. If you haven’t seen it you need to! Big Up Goldie!
LCSM - Earthbound
(The Box )
IG Culture, the Bruk godfather! This is his latest band and it’s a blinder! Killer album from start to finish and he does it live too. It’s a live studio album where IG went into a studio with the band and jammed and recorded the whole thing and then went back to those recordings to make the album and chopped it as he pleased to make a coherent arrangement. This process inspired me loads, I think it’s a great way to work and what came out in the final album is phenomenal! A wicked slice of proper UK Jazz /Bruk, well ahead of time as IG always is, and I think this one will stand up for a long time to come.
Portishead - Dummy
( Glory Box )
More Bristol Trip-Hop this time from Portishead, which was also the name of the next town to where I grew up. I remember my mum listening to this constantly in her car and at home! Even though it was played a lot I never got tired of this album. Deep deep lyrics and beautiful voice of Beth Gibbons. It’s haunting yet beautiful and much like a movie soundtrack, it’s also an album you can run in its entirety, all killer tunes pushing boundaries of experimental electronic music. I was inspired by this sound mainly because it does that rough and smooth thing I love, that Yin Yan thing! Also, I thrive inside music that gives room to experiment and be creative.
Yussef Kamaal - Black Focus
( Lowrider )
We did a gig at Londons jazz cafe with Kamaal Williams aka Henry Wu, alongside IG Culture, Qendresa & Melissa Brown (Vocals) McNasty (Drums) Myself on Sampler and drum machine. We did a bunch of Broken beat classics kind of reworked slightly and it was truly amazing, packed out the venue with big queues outside. I knew how talented Kamaal aka Henry Wu was and needed to hear all his music after working with him. This album is amazing. Real UK Jazz funk at its finest, it’s honest and effortless, funky, and dirty too! It’s inspiring seeing how hard he works at his craft and he’s serious about his art. He means business and that energy shows in his music, particularly in this album. The drums are just so potent, works so well with Kamaal’s keys, pure energy!
Bugz In The attic - Back In The Dog House
( Worla Hurt )
Classic Bruk album this one, if you don’t know about Broken Beat then this is a good place to start. I discovered Bugz when I used to go to Plastic people in east London religiously every second Sunday. Once I heard this sound in a club and felt the energy of the room, the dancers, the head nodders, the note takers haha (that was me!) I was hooked. I knew I wanted to create music like that, I would go home after the club and stay up til 6am trying to make music with that same energy and creativeness the likes of Bugz, IG Culture, Seiji, Domu, and Daz I Kue were doing. It was so infectious and still is. The sound was ahead of time but he, it only took 20 years for the world to catch up ! Worla hurt is such a deep one, the lyrics really hit home about the state of the world and how we should be moving together more united. - The worlds a jungle, but it’s all we got, we should not, make it feel like a world of hurt” . Its’ a stone cold classic in my opinion and I hope I can one day make something as strong as this.
Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation Of Millions to Hold us Back
( Night of The Living Baseheads )
I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s listening to HipHop like Public Enemy, Eric B & Rakim, EPMD, Run DMC, Big Daddy Kane, Ultra magnetic MC’s, Gangstarr, Kool G rap & Polo, Jungle Brothers, NAS, I mean that list goes on and on. Basically, I loved gritty hardcore rap music before I discovered Jungle, Garage and Bruk Music. Particularly Public Enemy were like a huge storm, an unstoppable force and complete wall of sound, full of samples and raw rough beats that slap you in the face! I went out and bought a black bomber jacket and glued a big Public Enemy patch that my older brother gave me to the back! I was hooked, I wanted to be like them! Sampling, drum machines, finding hard kicks and snares and the whole thinking outside the box and being creative with it has always been an influence in my music which all stem from Hip-Hop.
Donald Byrd - Places and Spaces
( Fallin’ Like Dominoes )
I know this is 8 but had to squeeze it in because I’ve always been a fan of Jazz from listening to it via my Dad - who was a blues musician - but listened to a lot of jazz and reggae too. This album was played a lot and its always drawn for even now. So many good tracks in this album from Dominoes to Wind Parade. All of it is exceptional musicianship and I love Donalds voice too as well as him being an awesome trumpeter. I love the freedom and expression of Jazz music and Donald was great at fusing Funk and Soul into the mix as well. This record is always in my box and forever inspirational.