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Two Inch Punch is Ben Ash, a London soul fan that has recorded some of the best maximalist modern funk tracks of the year. Swiftly progressing from remixes to his own production, his music is constructed out a wild mix of samples and sound, taking snatches of the dub that his father used to play (guy played guitar for Desmond Dekker) and the church songs of his gospel-singer mother with the hectic groove of London’s 21st century folk music.
It’s a defiantly digital take on the psychedelic soul of Stevie Wonder and Shuggie Otis, and he’s found a natural home on PMR, also label to Julio Bashmore and Jessie Ware, and is releasing his superb new EP on Monday. Ahead of that, we commissioned him to compose this stunning set of electric R&B and wired soul.
1. Hey Two Inch Punch, how are you?
2. What were you thinking about when you made the mix?
Predominantly Rainbows & Unicorns in deep outer space
3. Would you like to highlight a couple of tunes from it?
Maybe just an unheard track called digital Love Letters which will be on this coming EP & a track called Brokken ft. Jagged Edge which will be on a mixtape i am doing after this EP.
4. What old things are you currently excited about?
I am excited about an old vintage Korg synth i bought on eBay!
5. What new things are you currently excited about?
I just did a remix for Waka Flocka Flame I am excited about. Gonna be out soon.
6. You also write songs for others. Can you tell us about the importance of songwriting on your own music?
When i write for others I wanna leave an imprint of my sound where I go. I want people to hear a track by an artist and think, Two Inch Punch wrote that. writers like Burt Bacharach, Timbaland, Stevie Wonder, DJ Premier, Brian Wilson & Ryan Tedder, you can hear their sound in the melodies and production they bring to any song.
7. PMR is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting labels in the UK. How do you feel your music fits into their roster?
I am a big fan of R&B & soul as is everyone on the Roster. PMR reminded me of the vibe Ed Banger & Rawkus had back in the day. A really tight family and I can genuinely say I am massive fans of everyone on the label. It’s really early days for the but every move they make excites me. Everything on the label, even the electronic, house & dance stuff has so much soul.
8. I heard you dad played guitar for Desmond Dekker and Jimmy Cliff, and your mum was a gospel singer. What do they think of your music?
They are a massive inspiration & I get more nervous playing my music to them than I would the head of Universal Records. Everything I do I do to make them proud, my mum is def backing me. She has a tumblr / twitter / Facebook / soundcloud everything to promote me to her friends etc. Jessie Ware’s mum is the same, she promotes her all the time, it’s so sweet.
9. You’ve written for Lil Wayne. Awesome! What was that like?
Not as glamorous as it sounds. I get asked a lot. I co produced a track that he rapped on when he got out of prison that never saw the light of day..
10. If you could collaborate with any other rapper, who would it be?
11. I love the way that psychedelia and soul are balanced in your music. It makes sense you’re a big Stevie Wonder fan. What’s your Stevie Wonder record?
Probably Fulfillingness’s First Finale . Only Stevie can call an album that and get away with it.
12. What three things does music now need more of?
There is so much disposable dance music which is hot for a week and forgotten about. I really believe in valuing music more. in the 90’s I used to buy a CD and play it non stop for a year and know every word or every drum fill or chord progression to every song on the album. That doesn’t happen as much now
13. What’s your favourite fizzy drink?
Not fizzy but Vita Coca is kinda killing it right now. I hope they send us some if they see this…