Fred V & Grafix: Killer Debuts!

Fred V & Grafix: Killer Debuts!

Every now and then, an artist comes around with a debut release so mind-bogglingly heavy that it physically stops you in your tracks. Most people will be able to tell you where they were when they first heard Bad Company’s ‘The Nine’ or Sub Focus’ ‘X-Ray’, both of which are still considered essentials to any record collection.

Now, it’s the turn of Fred Vahrman and Josh Jackson, better known to you and me as Fred V & Grafix, as their debut EP on Hospital, ‘Goggles’, is set to come and attack a rig near you. Fred took time out of a wet afternoon to chat to us about the EP and some of their favourite killer debuts, as well as sharing a cheeky exclusive with us which we guarantee will have you salivating…

Congratulations on finally getting round to your first EP on Hospital! It’s been a while coming, what’s it been like working on one of the world’s biggest labels?

“Hospital have been absolutely amazing. Being able to play consistently at sick Hospitality gigs is probably the highlight for me! Plus it’s nice having everything taken care of – which interviews to do, what we should say; it’s nice to be able to just focus on tunes! Not to mention that all of our favourite artists are on Hospital like High Contrast, London Elektricity and Netsky. We’ve gone in a totally different direction to what we would have done if we had signed with someone else.”

As far as the first release goes, can you talk us through the EP as a couple of the tracks will probably surprise people who think they know your style?

“Well the title track ‘Goggles’ is kind of house influenced. I started the track ages ago and called it that because I just thought it would be a funny name for a track to be honest! I laid down what was a small idea, sent it across to Josh and just made it better basically!

‘Games People Play’ and ‘Denmark Road’ are more the style that people will associate with us; they’re much more liquidy rollers. The first of the two was actually inspired by a tune called ‘Charlie Brown’ by Coldplay!

Then finally you have something completely different in Basilisk which is a drum step track and more in line with what I listen to away from drum & bass. The guitar riffs are definitely influenced by bands like Rage Against the Machine, Muse, that sort of thing.”

Collectives seem to be more and more popular these days. How does the chemistry work between the two of you when it comes to laying down some new tracks?

“It’s so important, probably the most important thing for what we do. I think we work in a similar way to Camo & Krooked in that Krooked comes up with a lot of the ideas, and then Camo puts together most of the arrangements. I come up with most of the ideas and then Josh makes it sound bigger and better! I really don’t think I could finish a track on my own any more.”

Are there any recent releases or upcoming artists that have really blown you away?

“I really like the new track by Dimension, ‘Digital World’, and I think he’s going to be absolutely massive. I love that tune so much, I guess that’s really inspired us to see him doing so well. It’s great because he used to send us tracks so it’s wicked to see him getting recognised.”

With the EP just about to be released, are you ready to have a bit of chill time or are you already working towards your next project?

“I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to say… We have an album coming out later this year on Hospital so we’re putting a lot of effort into that, and I think we’ve got the first single nailed. There’s not even a release date yet so there’s not much more I can say about it.”

It sounds like there’s something else…?

“OK, but I really hope I’m allowed to reveal this! We’re working on a remix with Sub Focus at the moment for a new single called ‘Endorphin’. We’re actually going to be at his studio in London before we go to America next week and we’re massively excited about that, we’ll learn a lot from the experience. It’s the last chance we’ll get to work on it before it’s released as it’s coming out pretty soon. I haven’t got a release date yet but it won’t be long so watch this space…!”

Written by Adam K & Chris D

Fred V & Grafix’s Killer Debut Memories!

Sticking with the theme of debut bangers, we asked the guys what their own personal favourites were, and they came up with this audio boutique:

Netsky – Starlight (download now)

“This is the first one that immediately comes to mind. I remember hearing that played by Crissy Cris on 1xtra when Boris (Netsky) was completely unheard of and thinking how heavy it was. I never thought then that he would end up as one of the biggest producers on the scene.”

Camo & Krooked – Climax/Reincarnation (download now)

“We remember being blown away by the originality of both these tunes. This was also their debut Hospital 12’’ and ‘Climax’ appears in almost all of our sets.”

Wilkinson – Moonwalker (download now)

“Mark’s debut solo 12’’ on Ram; I remember hearing Andy C play this in Plymouth and it instantly got the reload! Pure gullyness!”


Fred V & Grafix – Goggles is out now. Listen and download.

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.