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Five Minutes With: Original Sin

Five Minutes With: Original Sin

Original Sin’s been a busy badman lately… His Mad World EP on Playaz has been a big look this season, and he’s about to deliver a whole lot more on his own label Image Muzik. Home to like-minded bass hounds Taxman, Sub Zero, Dan Blackout and Supreme Being, the label are set to blow every possible cobweb out of the ether with its first showcase album We Are Your Friends. Only don’t call it an album, Original Sin prefers the term ‘collection of bangers’. We aren’t going to argue. Just listen to Dan Blackout’s promo mix at the bottom of this interview and you’ll know exactly what Original Sin means.

But first, a few words with the big man himself…

You’ve got massive EPs on Playaz but you got your own label too… What inspired it? Was it something for you to develop and have your own control over?

“Well I already owned Propaganda Recordings and I felt like I’d made a few mistakes here and there. I was only 23 or 22! I’d learned a lot through that for doing it for about seven years or so and I wanted to start another label with those things in mind and build it from the ground up.”

Nice. There’s a really distinctive, colourful imagery attached to the label. It counters the heaviness of the audio.

“Yeah you’re right, it does balance the music. I just didn’t want to have all that hard man image stuff that this type of music usually has attached to it.”

Haha! Did you feel pressures to have that image before? Is this a maturity thing?

“Erm, maybe! I don’t know if the word pressure is right but yeah, it was a different landscape when I started. It was run by a lot of the older guys and…. Well, let’s just say things are a lot more polite and inviting now. Back in the day it was practically gangland!”

Indeed. So the scene’s matured. You’ve matured. Perfect timing for Image Muzik… Has the album always been on the cards?

“I’ve always been aware that I had to take it next level. It’s more of a singles collection though. A collection of bangers, if you like! It’s not the type of album you’d make with people sitting at home and listening to it from start to finish in mind. That’s not what it’s intended for. It’s for the dancefloor! I used to love these singles collections back in the day and wanted to do the same. Anyway I’d realised quite a few tunes were waiting for release and I’d recently signed Code Red and Dan Blackout. Plus I get lots of stuff from my brother Taxman and Sub Zero and all those guys.”

So there’s a proper family vibe to the label. Literally, in the case of Taxman!

“Yeah! Whenever I’m the UK we hang out. We are actual friends. Sub Zero’s been a mate for about 15 years or so. Everyone’s mates; Code Red is a friend from Canada. Supreme Being lives with Dan Blackout and Sub Zero, so I crash with them when I’m over here.”

Where are you based when you’re not in the UK then?

“I got a flat in Toronto. I went out there just as I’d finished my album. It was Valentine’s Day, 2009, I met a girl and moved out there within three months. I’m over there forty per cent of the time and over here about sixty per cent of the time.”

Nice. So what happens next? We Are Your Friends is the biggest project on the label yet… Bigger plans for 2013?

“We’re building up the brand to do club nights. We’ve got some big ones in Europe, some nice ones booked in LA. So that’s the big plan. Also, pretty much straight after the album there’s the next EP.”

Full steam ahead. Wicked. Do you accept promos? Can Drum&BassArenablog readers send you stuff if they think it’s appropriate?

“Sure! Get in touch via our Facebook page, I’d love to hear any new material.”

Brilliant. I’m guessing quality control is tight?

“Well, yeah. It has to be. I won’t let anything go unless I’m looking forward to playing it every single set. And if it’s not my style then I’ll be checking with an appropriate DJ who does play that style to see if they’re really big on playing that track. There’s none of this ‘ah it’s a good tune, I’ll play it every now and again’ mentality. That might have worked for labels in the past but there’s no space for that now.”

Go hard or go home, basically – there are too many wicked labels and exciting producers to make space for mediocre quality.

“Exactly! It’s not good for the artists, it’s not good for the scene. Don’t waste the producer’s time saying it’s okay when it’s not; who does that even help? It certainly doesn’t help them make better records. You’ve got to be honest.”

For a taste of Image Muzik’s honest flavours, check out Dan Blackout’s promo mix below. We Are Your Friends is coming soon… Watch this space!

Drum&BassArena Editor: Dave Jenkins has documented beats for over 15 years working with the likes of UKF, Mixmag, DJ Mag, iDJ, Bandcamp, Resident Advisor, Radio 1 Xtra and many more.