BigDeann #GrimeyMondays Interview #6 – Neon Beats!

– First up Neon, tell the people who dont know much about you what you do

Im Neon Beats, a grime DJ/Producer and one half of Mixclique, a grime label based in Ipswich. We have a FM slot in Ipswich on ICR FM 105.7fm in which we play the latest grime music and promote new sounds. Most of what i do as part of Mixclique is around music however I do sometimes find myself filming for our youtube series (Mixclique Vision) where we have filmed many established artists and DJ’s giving people all around the world an insight into our scene. Mixclique has three elements which are Mixes, Record Label/Releases and Film and we do everything in house.

– The long awaited digital release of the instrumental originally released on vinyl ‘attack’ is now going to be released on your new EP  (Attack EP). would you like to tell the people a little about that.

The release of Attack was pushed back for various reasons however it has certainly been long awaited and alot of people have been asking about whether they could get hold of that on a digital format. The release is on Plainface Records which is Score Five’s label and I have to thank him along with many others such as Spooky,Smallz,Vectra & more who have been supporting Attack and the new V.I.P mix which is on the EP. Attack was really the first beat from myself/Mixclique that everybody heard and Lady Leshurr did a very good job with the vocals on Too Much. I have to thank Hyperfrank & JP for their promotion around that tune and im very happy that it got played on Radio One and Logan’s show on Kiss, that was a real step for me. I have to say i made a mistake by not releasing the vocal myself through our label but I have learnt so much in the last year that I never even knew about music and how to organise a small label even though I have been mixing grime for around 10 years.

– Anymore plans for releases on vinyl such as the feature you did on plainface records?

There are some more releases and projects in the pipeline that I’d love to be able to tell you about however they are still in the works, vinyl is very much a possibility as part of this.

– As someone who collects vinyl and still plays vinyl, would you say DJ’s are still playing vinyl as much as say a couple of years ago ? a lot of people have lot hope in vinyl since the change over to digital.

I think with regards to vinyl alot of people now are not playing it which is unfortunate as for so long in grime music and other scenes it was seen as a tradition, I suppose it shows how the digital age has taken over. Stats I read today proved it, last year in the UK 16 million singles were sold all together which was an increase on last years sales, however only 1.6 million of those were physical cds. That shows that there is pretty much no demand for a physical product with a mainstream release however: what Butterz and a few other labels are doing is creating a need for vinyl again. They are doing that by putting all the focus back on vinyl with their sales and only adding digital if needed and I think that is a great idea. VInyl is something that will not die for a long time, there are still purists such as myself who insist on still hunting them down and its the side of grime that I love.

– What is your favourite Grime instrumental right now?

My favourite instrumental right now.. Thats a difficult one, I can’t really narrow it down to one, I have a few. I would say Darq E Freaker – Indigestion, J Beatz – Injuction and Rude Kid – Summer. All of those are instrumentals are hype and filthy, my favourite type of grime beats.

 Us guys at Mixclique have been talking about ‘Mixclique Records – 001’ for a while now and we recently announced that it is underway, obviously i know what’s going on but is their anything about the release that you feel like letting out to the people? Any plans on a next project already, or is it to soon to ask?  

With regards to the release its something that myself and Ethic have been planning for a very long time and we have covered so many angles except the very one that me started Mixclique for in the first place. We have worked hard since we started to make a brand with Mixclique and have an identity. The aim of the label is to release good grime instrumentals whether that be from established names or even from not so known producers/artists. We want to give something back to grime as we buy and support so much music ourselves that we want others that often miss out to hear these tracks. The releases are going to be in all good digital vendors and with regards to vinyl it is something we are 100% going to do, we just aren’t sure on which release yet. We are going to see how the first one goes and you never know it could happen.

– How long have you been Producing? and how long have you been DJ’ing? and How did you start off listening to grime?

I started making beats in 2002 but I would say I properly started in 2009/2010 after releasing a few free eps on the forums such as Just in Grime and Chaos Emerald with the best of my old material. They got a very good response and I just wanted to show everybody the different sounds I had been making. Some of the beats on those eps are so diverse, I would never make anything like that now as I know what I want my sound to be like (hard hitting and grimey) whereas back then i had no rules. Ive been DJ’ing for more than 10 years now, I started with RNB and Hiphop and learnt to mix from my brother on PCDJ. I started mixing acapellas and beats together to make mashups which I suppose were early signs of me wanting to produce. I moved onto garage and early grime when after DJ Luck & Mc Neat, So Solid and Dizzee appeared and I was intrigued by Grime. After a few close friends brought round some grime vinyls (Eskimo 3, Bongo Madness and I was given a bunch of others) I was hooked on grime and have been ever since. These days I still collect grime Vinyls and DJ with mostly CD’s and Vinyls, I’ve never mixed sets or anything on a computer and if I did it’d have to be with a Macbook and Serato vinyl control. With DJing it has been a long journey through recording tapes (one of which I made and gave to Nee-Hi, a very good artist and friend from Ipswich who I have known from almost day one when it comes to music), making mashups and giving them on cd to get played on pirate radio and working my way up the ladder. I was very proud to win a Trophy for getting to the Semi Final of the UK King of The Decks Competition in 2010 and I did it by playing grime music in Liquid clubs, im sure alot of other DJ’s wouldn’t have done that but I will never change my sound.

– Any plans to collaborate with any vocalists or producers soon? or any your not telling us about?

I would love to work with more vocalists or producers, I currently have my own music that I’m working on but the tracks I worked on with Lady Leshurr (Too Much) & Merky Ace (Easy) were a enjoyable experience and something I want to do much more often.

– The Grime veteran ‘Spooky Bizzle’ is very well know for his refix’s/bootlegs of people’s music and has released 2 EP’s with just straight bootleg’s on (Bag Of Myth’s EP), you’ve previously featured on one of them. Any plans to be working on the 3rd one with him?

With regards to the Myth Dubz and Bag Of Myths situation I think it’s fair to say that they have created a fair amount of conversation in grime for various reasons and I respect Spooky for doing what he wants. I did do a few refixes such as Afghan Cherryade which were very well recevied, but its something you have to be so careful with. The next tune that I have provided for Bag Of Myths 3 is one that is really enjoyed making and one that has even had recognition from the creator of the original and his label (Starkey & Ninjatune). I figured that his tune Blood Roses, had a very similar pattern to Pulse X and it would be sick as a mashup and several Dj’s have been playing that one.

– Who would you say your favourite MC from the ‘New Wave’ of talent in Grime is right now? I personally am a big Merky ACE fan.

Out of the new MC’s I think that Kozzie & Merky have been bringing something new to grime with the hype that they generate on a set and I rate Rival highly. The cd’s from all three MC’s were to a very high standard and Kozzie’s in particular, was a very high standard both with content and production.

– And finally, anything else you would like to add about ‘Neon Beats’ before i draw this interview into a close? 

I’d just like to say thanks to everybody that is paying attention to what we are doing for grime music and thanks for your support. There are some great plans this year that I would love to tell you about but all I can say is keep your eyes and ears open for the releases and events that you will see our name on! If you would like to send us music to play on our show or contact us for bookings/enquiries, please email mixlcliquerecords@gmail.com or hit up the twitter @neonbeats or @mixclique. A last thank you to @BigDeann the resident Mixclique Blogger, your work is very much appreciated!

Keep It Locked,

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