AJ Tracey: “I will not be making any more grime music”
In a rare Bristol-California link-up, producers Vexxy and Jato (respectively) have forged ‘Night Shift / Nylon’ – an unusual style of collaboration where each supplied one original piece and then remixed the other’s. The result is four varied tracks that explore and contrast an intoxicating blend of sounds from both beatmakers, an infusion of grime, wave, trap, and dubstep and beyond.
The EP is arriving through Terrorhythm, the label established back in 2002 by legendary experimentalist Plastician. The imprint has a track record of pushing sounds at the forefront of upcoming scenes, fusing together genres in ways that are often unexpected, but always giving powerful results – the goal being to find brilliant outliers that fit in their own space.
“I’ve always been about representing stuff that is outside the centre of any genre,” Plastician says. “I love tracks that sit neatly between two styles, or offer a segue between genres for DJs to use to keep the flow in their sets correct.” Having personally contributed to the proliferation of grime and dubstep through his own massive productions over the years, he has helped the development of underground sounds into the major international genres they are today.
Plastician is still committed to finding the next vibe for listeners to ride, saying: “Both Vexxy and Jato were on my radar – I do a lot of digging on Soundcloud. There are lots of grime, wave, and dubstep tracks landing in stores and sites every day, but it’s the ones that stand out that earn a bit of special attention.” Ahead on the EP dropping, we found out more about the international pair of producers, what went into the creation of ‘Night Shift / Nylon’, and their plans for the near future.
How did you working together come about?
Vexxy: The idea for the EP came after I sent Jato my track ‘Night Shift’. He really rated it and asked to do a remix. Once the remix came back to me, I listened and straight away, I fell in love with it. We talked about the idea of a collaborative EP in which we both provided an original track and remixed each other’s work. Soon after that, everything came together pretty quickly and we had the EP finished.
What influences have gone into the EP?
Jato: I’ve been listening to a lot of Mssingno demos and darker house music lately. Anything you can imagine hearing in a dark club in the early morning was what I was drawing from.
Vexxy: I’ve been using a lot of analogue synth sounds in my tracks recently, which has helped me to develop a more melodic sound. I definitely enjoy experimenting with the Eski grime sound and combining it with certain sounds within the ‘wave‘ genre.
How has the style of your production changed over time, from when you first started to now?
Vexxy: I feel as though I started with dubstep because that’s what I was heavily into at the time. However, the more music I’ve discovered, the further my sound has drifted from what it originally was. I’d say the first track I wrote which I began to experiment with more melodic sounds was ‘Phase Out’, which was released on ‘Nag Champa’, my first EP.
Jato: I think the shift in sound comes from maturing as a producer. I know at least for me, when I started, I was hyper-focused on making each track a high energy heater. As I’ve grown up some, I’ve settled into a sound palette that I feel better suits who I am as an artist.
What other releases can we look forward to? What does the future hold?
Jato: I’m currently wrapping up a five-track EP that’s been in the works for the last year. That will be out late this summer. I would love to finish out the year with a few singles, and maybe experiment with some garage.
Vexxy: I’ve just had a track of mine released on ‘Inflorescence’, a wicked compilation put together by Italdred. I’ve also got a track with gl00my releasing on Liquid Ritual in August, so stay tuned for that one. Other than that, I’ve been working on some new material, but I don’t have any plans to release those tracks as of yet.
Who are some other artists that you would love to work with?
Jato: Ariana Grande would be unreal. Also, Instupendo and Bladee.
Vexxy: I would really like to work with a grime MC at some point. There are definitely a few artists out there who I’d love to work with – but I would want to work on the track together. Maybe I’ll just sort out a vocal edit of one of my tunes and see how that goes before starting something completely fresh.
What have you been listening to recently?
Vexxy: Lately I’ve been listening to and supporting a lot of tracks from Pholo, Grace, XOX, L U C Y, MOREOFUS, B:Thorough and LTHL.
Jato: I’ve had Glacci’s ‘Nightshade’ project on loop since it dropped. I’ve also been revisiting the ‘Feel Infinite’ album from Jacques Greene, GRRL’s new album ‘Pay Attention’, and finally, ‘Nothing Left’ by D33J, Deb Never, and Shlohmo.
Stream the premiere of ‘Night Shift (Jato’s Brandy Remix)’ below, and pre-order ‘Night Shift / Nylon’ on Bandcamp, ahead of its release on 11th July via Terrorhythm.
Artwork designed by Morgan Hislop