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Friday, 21 September 2012

Elite Force Speaks to Funk and Filth - Exclusive Interview

The man with many names, and many many massive tunes under his belt, took some time out from running his multi-faceted dance music empire to answer some questions lobbed at him by Funk and Filth. Read on to find out his inspirations, motivations and how he stops himself from stealing his own Shreddies! Loads of free downloads for you to grab along the way too...

You and your music are hot property at the moment, you’re flying high (the current number 10 in our Funk and Filth Hall of Fame no less!), what do you use as inspiration for your music? What did you listen to a lot of when you were a kid?

Burning Man and the community surrounding it is a massive inspiration to me year-round. I love the culture, the altruistic nature, the lack of any commercial elements, the surroundings and the fact that music simply sounds better in the open air, in the desert. I find that it creates quite a purity of vision and allows you to focus on the heart and soul of what you do rather than what people think you ought to do, given their own interpretation of your career.

When I was a kid I listened to jazz, classical music then moved onto rock, thrash, skate, punk and found nirvana when I discovered acid house and the sampled beats of the likes of Depthcharge, Tackhead, Renegade Soundwave.

You get to DJ all over the place, to crowds of all sizes. What’s your favourite venue or event to play, and what makes it so special? Do you prefer the massive crowds or the more intimate venues, such as, oh I don’t know . . . a boat maybe?

Well I've already answered favourite event, but the answer is always the people and how open-minded they are to what you're playing. Large or small crowds don't really make any difference - your function is always the same, to be a participant in the night and to help make people dance. I do enjoy doing special events like the Boat Party - I love the sense of family that comes from that level of control and ownership of a night, which is why I am starting up THE ONE SERIES, a series of special events beginning on November 10th with SFR001 in San Francisco. The premise is simple - one DJ, one room, all night. I'll be doing the first one under my real name, Simon Shackleton and will be playing a truly eclectic blend for 6-hours. There will be more in a similar, but different, vein over the coming years.

Who is your favourite Producer right now? Do you have one tune that you always have in your back pocket, ready to drop into a set to lift the roof? How has your choice of killer tune evolved over the last 5 years?

I don't really have a go-to producer but some of the people that excite me at the moment are ... Marek Hemmann, Max Cooper, Adam Port, Jay Lumen, Tessela, Firebeatz, Solo, Maceo Plex. Ask me next week & I'll give you a different answer. As far as killer tunes go, I play at to so many varied crowds these days, one crowd's anthem would be another's death knell so I try not to be too imposing as to what I think people ought to love.

You can do a back-to-back set with any DJ in the world. Literally anyone. Who would you pick?

Lee Burridge. Sunrise.

We love you best as Elite Force, but you’ve got more than one alias. Can you briefly explain how this came into effect and what you think the main differences are between your various alter egos. Do they ever get in arguments with each other about who ate the last of the Shreddies?

Elite Force has released more Breaks, although not exclusively. Zodiac Cartel has released more Electro, although not exclusively. Simon Shackleton is the puppet-master and he decides what goes where. If we squabble over cereal he puts us into cold storage for a few weeks. Ask Zodiac. He didn't like it in there at all.

This is a big question now . . . not musically related but very very important to us! Footwear. What’s the coolest pair in your footlocker at the moment?

My dusty-as-hell New Rock Mad Max boots - the 3 inch platform soles make me 6 feet 5 inches tall. Be afraid.

Music production is a complex artform. As someone who clearly isn’t too bad at it ;) what would be your one tip for an aspiring EDM producer? What is the most important thing to get good at?

Don't follow the herd. 99% of everything in every genre sounds the same. Try to be the 1%. Oh and if you can come up with a better abbreviation than 'EDM' the scene would love you long time.

You’re known for putting on epic party nights . . . what would be your ideal location/venue/theme for your perfect night, and who would you have on the line-up with you? Are there any big Elite Force dates coming up that we should be aware of?

Well I'm really excited about THE ONE SERIES at the moment. In the medium term I'd like to bring other DJs who I have great respect for, into the series for their own 'solo' night. I'm also all about finding unconventional locations to throw these parties in - they don't have to be completely off-grid, but the sense of destination and surrounding that you get from being at somewhere like the woods in British Columbia for Shambhala, or in the desert for Burning Man, or on a boat on the Thames, or in a Scottish Castle or a stately home creates a sense of shared experience that you just don't really get in a club, or very rarely!

Who I'd want to involve would depend on the location and timing of the event really, but I have a few people in mind. In the meantime, I'm primarily looking at it as a vehicle for my own unique shows and to build something new & fresh for people to engage with.

You seem to have your fingers in a lot of pies . . . writing, producing, DJing, event management, social media . . . how the hell do you manage to fit it all in, and what can we expect to see next . . . a RVMPD3 album by any chance???

I very much doubt there'll be a RVMPD3 at the moment. I've enjoyed doing those series and putting the music out there, but there's only so much music you can dish out to people without diminishing the impact of doing it. I'm also not a big fan of re-treading old ground - the first album was officially released and painstakingly licensed, the second was entirely free from but right now I don't have any real interest in pushing more music out there of a similar style. I'll probably still do the odd revamp for my own sets, but I'd prefer to focus on original production work for the foreseeable future.

Fitting stuff in isn't that complicated really. Everyone has the same amount of time - you just make choices as to what you do with it & try to find ways to stay motivated.

And finally, the question that everyone needs to know, and what we ask everyone. . . Funk or Filth . . . . musically which way are you feeling right now?

If it couldn't be groove, then it would have to be funk.

It's not possible to recommend the RVMPD2 album enough! 18 big, fat, bassy tracks, all given the Elite Force treatment, and all available for free download. What more could you ask for?? Many of them have been featured on Funk and Filth throughout the year so far, but you can grab the whole lot right here. Make sure to keep your ear to the ground about the The One Series too. Cheers Shack!

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More garms in the Funk and Filth Shop.

More Elite Force posts on Funk and Filth:
- Funk and Filth Hall of Fame: Filth #10 - Elite Force
- Happy Monday : Elite Force
- It's all about... Elite Force

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

JFB - Music To My Ears

Regular visitors to Funk and Filth will know that we love a good pair of cans, and they might also remember a few weeks back we were very excited about the impending launch of some new headphones.
Not just any old headphones mind you, these are JFB's new headphones and, not only did we get a chance to try them out at the launch party, we've had a pair pretty much surgically attached to the old noggin for the last week and we can confirm, they are pretty damn good!

The two times DMC champion has teamed up with noise-making-equipment gurus GermanMaestro to put together the JFB 8.35D signature headphones, and they've aimed to make a pair of cans that can be used during live DJ performances as well as at home in the studio, or when travelling.
The launch party was a daddy of night, with A.Skillz and Ed Solo dropping massive sets either side of the magician that is JFB. JFB was on top form, taking turntable showboating to the next level! Even A.Skillz preferred to go on the decks before him, knowing what a hard act he is to follow! ;)

It was on this night that I first got a pair of the JFB headphones on my bonce and, even though I was a mere 20 feet from speakers taller than myself, thumping out some big baselines, the noise cancelling on the headphones immediately impressed! Since that night we've been thumping tracks from Stanton Warriors, Knife Party and Odissi (all available for free download below) through these retro-styled bad boys, all of which prove that the sound quality is pretty much spot on! Add to this the fact that they are nearly indestructible - seriously, I reckon after a nuclear blast all that would be left would be cockroaches wearing JFBs! - and you've got yourself a pretty sweet deal!

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More garms in the Funk and Filth Shop.

JFB punching out the Funk and Filth T-shirt styleeeee!!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Win the perfect Funk and Filth Hard Drive! [Competition now closed]

Here at Funk and Filth we love to recommend the best in bass music for your listening pleasure, honestly, we frickin’ love doing it! And 99% of what we shove in your direction is absolutely free for you to download and chuck onto your iPod, burn to a CD for the car or store elsewhere in your collection. (There’s the odd track here or there that isn’t free, but is just soooo good that we have to recommend, and what’s a pound or two here and there in amidst all the free funk and filth?!)

A recent survey of highly educated music type analysts has concluded that over the last year, spanning our Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud and GooglePlus pages, as well as, Funk and Filth have shared in excess of 16 gajillion gigabytes of music! Wow, that’s a lot! But what can you do with it all!? Well, unfortunately we couldn’t find a 16GJGB hard drive to store it all on, and there just aren’t enough blank CDs on the planet, but for storing say, oh, how about 320GB, something like the WD My Passport Essential is absolutely spot-on perfect, and it’s what we’ve been using!

Western Digital have put everything into this little baby in order to make it perfect for getting your tunes off your laptop and into a more portable form, ideal for carrying your digital music collection for DJing gigs, taking to parties or if you’re going on the run from the authorities for an extended period of time. 320GB is roughly enough for up to 80,000 MP3 tracks, so you could play a pretty long set with one of these filled up!

The WD My Passport Essential also comes with:
- USB 3.0 - 3 times faster than USB 2.0!
- Automatic backup – for us lazy people
- Password protection - in case you want to store something other than tunes ;)

Now you could pick one of these up at Curry’s, but we’ve got one of the little bad boys, right here, right now, ready to give away to one of you sexy lot! And all you need is a Twitter account to enter!

Head over to Twitter and send the following tweet before 6pm on Monday 17th Sept (UK time) COMPETITION NOW CLOSED:

Yo @FunkAndFilth, I want to #win your portable hard drive #competition please, so I tweeted this! #funkandfilth

Make sure you include @FunkAndFilth and all the #hashtags so we can track your entry! And do it as an original tweet, not a retweet please! Make sure you follow @FunkAndFilth as well so that we can private message you if you win!

That’s it, that’s all you have to do. The full terms and conditions can be found at the bottom of this post. Now here’s some free music!

Competition terms:
- The competition will close at 6pm (GMT) on Monday 17th September 2012 - If you’ve won, we’ll notify you within a week of the closing date, via Twitter (so please make sure you follow @FunkAndFilth so that we can private message you) - Only one entry per Twitter account - Winner chosen at random from all entries received within the competition period. Once chosen, the winner will be notified that they have won a black colour Western Digital My Passport Essential 320GB Hard Drive - The device received as a prize will be the model tested by Funk and Filth, so the packaging will have been previously opened, but all accessories, instruction manuals will be included - Funk and Filth will cover delivery costs to UK addresses only (excluding Channel Islands). The winner may be required to cover any additional shipping costs beyond the UK. - This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Twitter.

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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Piecing Together Bestival 2012

OK, so I knew from last year's effort that Bestival was going to be a pretty hazy memory, but looking back at our original 'who-we've-gotta-see' list it is pretty impressive how many of these must-sees that I completely-failed-to-see-whatsoever!

Amongst the patches of memory that remain - which include some great sunny weather, a freezing cold tent, lots of bacon wraps, THE INCREDIBLE JOHN MONTY, Hip Hop Karaoke, a naked man painted head to toe in gold bodypaint and some uncharacteristically sanitary festival latrines - we did catch some pretty awesome sets from the following people, free downloads below.

Koan Sound - These boys are the future. Fact. And they cemented this by rocking up at midday on the first day of the festival with the firm conviction that they were going to rip new ones right, left and centre! Awesome sets full of monster bass, like this...

Flux Pavilion - Bumped up from the Big Top arena to the bloody main stage at the last minute, he stomped out a massive set as things started to get pretty messy on the first day!

Krafty Kuts - The highlight of Bestival! Not only did we see him play the Roller Disco in the evening, but he topped off the whole weekend with a colossal set at Arcadia on the Sunday night! And he included the Electric Soulside monster in his final set! Boom!

Stanton Warriors - The Warriors certainly came out to play, and tore up the Arcadia stage in standard warriors fashion!

There was also some main stage hilarity and crazy dance moves from the Cuban Brothers, some vocal showboating from the legend that is General Levy, a menagerie of bassline monsters from DJ Die, Dan le Sac's Big Beat Chop Shop, dirty beats and pretty flashing lights from Sub Focus, and the lyrical stylings of the one and only, Jedi-reflexed, glowstick dodging Scroobius Pip!

Big weekend. Time for another shower I think. I may never be clean again.

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