Dawn Raid: Out of the Box

Dawn Raid: Out of the Box

Dawn Raid_Hocus Pocus Artist

Dawn Raid have hit 2014 at a pace, all guns blazing not only on the personal front but as part of the Hocus Pocus camp which, in their own words is busy ‘repping the 360 of D&B to the fullest’ and bringing to light some new names on the roster. Names which are peppered throughout this piece: you better take note, match up the names and etch to the memory: you wouldn’t mess with this crew.

Dawn Raid how’s things? I can see some tasty work on the soundcloud

As artists we’ve put ourselves in a nice healthy position with the label, which was one of our main objectives in year one. Out of the eight releases on Hocus Pocus thus far, we’ve managed to bang out four strong double a-sides, and also featured on the first Escape Artists EP which also featured a slew of artists we feel represent the music properly and in the Hocus Pocus image.

We have a few big releases dropping this year. We can’t let much out of the bag at this stage, the ones we can also feature on our soundcloud page, which are a couple of singles/eps with DJ Randall’s own MAC 2 and Stepback Sessions imprints. They’ve been featured heavily by DJ Friction and DJ Bailey on their respective radio shows, which we’re obviously very happy about.

Plus, Randall is somebody whom we have a massive amount of respect for musically, as well as also being a top bloke to boot!

Is that the best way for people to keep in touch with what you guys are doing? Soundcloud?

Yeah we would say so to a certain extent… apart from social media, soundcloud and our website www.hpocus.co.uk are probably the ones to focus on if you want to hear what we have in the pipeline. Over the past year we’ve also been putting out a series of mixes called called The Hocus Pocus Mixtape which has so far featured ourselves, K-Jah (number 004, image at end of piece) and Jinx (number 007, image below). These mixes have been really well received, and we regularly get peeps hitting us up about when the next one is due to drop, which is cool.

Jinx_Hocus Pocus Artist

Sudden Def_Hocus Pocus Artist

So mentioning the names there, tell me about the new people in the camp: could you break down who they are?

The camp is building in a way that we could not have envisaged after just a year of running the label. However, we feel that like-minded producers want to jump on board cause they can see that we are trying to do things the right way in a music and business sense. As a direct result, we have been lucky enough to welcome in to the fold producers of serious beat-making talent such as K Jah and Jinx who rep out of Birmingham; Freeze, originally from Preston now repping out of Bournemouth. There’s Sterling Sound holding it down in Wales and most recently Fire Syne (below) and Sudden Def (image above) bringing the weight out of London.

The tunes we’ve released from Fire Syne and Sudden Def are getting a lot of love from Bailey, Randall, Grooverider, Kenny Ken and Nicky Blackmarket to name a few.

What else is in store?

We have releases from MC BIC – our gigging MC, Freeze, K Jah and Sterling Sound. We’re also looking at a remix album which will showcase our artists remixing prowess across the Hocus Pocus releases to date.

Fire Syne_Hocus Pocus Artists

What styles do they bring to the fold?

We wouldn’t want to catergorise them. They all make top, top quality Drum and Bass/ Jungle across all the sub-genres.

Our primary concern is that the beats and bass have that real purist ‘long in the tooth’ flavour and make the D&B buying public want to listen and take notice of what Hocus Pocus and its artists have to offer: we are in this for the long haul and so are the artists that we represent (Freeze, below).

Freeze_Hocus Pocus Artist

Do you all play out in the same areas, or would like to? Are there Hocus Pocus nights planned?

In general we tend to have most of our gigs concentrated north of Birmingham as we’re located in the North-West city of Manchester which has a whirl of banging nights that we are fortunate to DJ at, in the main (Sterling Sound, below).

Sterling Sound_Hocus Pocus Artist 2

What music are you hearing that is hitting you right now?

Outside our circle we have close links and respect the music that is currently being put out by Savage Rehab, Bladerunner, Cabin Fever, Jaybee, Lighterman, Aries and Gold, Serum, Soulculture Ricky Force, NC-17, Madcap, Mr Explicit, Skitty, Rawtee, Habitat and Mark Theory. It should also be said that there is a lot of sick bass music coming out of the Northwest of England.

New and old school artists such as Dub Phizix, Snapshot, Sappo, Chimpo, Northbase, Propz and Rowney, Frisk, Rolaz, Nian Dub, Virus Syndicate, Livewire, MC SAS, Response and Erbman all put the work in and make good music.

K Jah_Hocus Pocus Artist

Wrapping this up, what’s something about Dawn Raid that people may not know?

Around the inception of Dawn Raid back in the day, we used to play weekly alongside our brethren Lee ‘Sabre’ Stone on a radio station in Manchester called Fresh FM – big up Ray K1. Our show was on a Sunday evening. The earlier show was hosted by a certain Saul Milton and Will Kennard: Chase and Status.

Respect to all D&BArena crew and any promoters looking for that real jungle flavour with an edge, you know what to do!
Hocus Pocus

You can follow Damian B on Twitter, @DAMIAN___B
D&B for some time now; studied at institution of Fabio & Grooverider.


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