Hylu & Jago: Pressure
In case you’re new to them, Hylu & Jago are a DJ/MC production team, who work with all sorts of musicians and vocalists. Their live shows is powered by their own soundsystem and encompasses Dub, Reggae, Jungle… plus they run a studio too. So they’re busy. They’re feeling the ‘Pressure’, and as as the new video drops we found out why.
Hi, tell us about yourself, how long’s the project been going?
We started working together in 2009, and are part of Unit 137 – established in 2012 – which is a collective of DJs, producers, vocalists, engineers and instrumentalists drawn together by a shared passion of conscious, forward thinking bass music. We are based in South-East London and share our own recording studio, record label and sound system.
Tell us about the release with Kosher and what you wanted to put out there?
Hylu: ‘Pressure’ came together shortly after linking Kosher in November 2013. Jago met her via London Urban Arts whilst teaching vocal skills to a group of young people. We made the riddim the first time she came to the studio to record the vocal.
Shortly after this we travelled to Jamaica with Kosher and stayed with her family in Montego Bay and Linstead. We travelled all over the island.
We went to Rebel Salute Festival, ran our own private dance with BiggsInternational sound system and generally enjoyed our time on the island relaxing and making music.
After returning to London we finalised the release by involving Ghost Writerz on remix duties and completed the mixes and music video, which will be released next week.
Jago: I just knew that I had to bring Kosher into be a part of what I’m part of. I felt compelled to work with her because of her energy. As soon as we had the riddim laid down we started to write the lyrics. The song all fell into place perfectly.
Had to ask: are you fans of reggae from the 70s, has it influenced your sound? Just pick up on the horns.
Hylu & Jago: we are fans of Reggae in general, especially the Roots music that was released in the 70s. However, we listen to lots of different genres, so the influences that make up our sound are quite broad. Glad you picked up on the horns!
Fortunately, we have the pleasure of working with some extremely talented musicians. We were/are part of a reggae band called ‘onlyjoe’ since 2009, who are also part of Unit 137.
Their drummer Ben Bell, guitarist R. Kent and trumpet player A.P Grimshaw are regulars down at Unit 137 studios. And we also work with many other experienced musicians…
The nights you do must be rammed? I could imagine them going till the early hours...
Hylu: our last event we organised was in 2013. Since then we have mainly been focusing our time in the studio and other elements of Unit 137. However, we have just launched our new event called ‘No Pips’.
The dance will be held at The Stretch (Dixon Road, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW) on Friday 12th February 2016 (22:00-04:00). Check the event page for more information.
Jago: this new night ‘No Pips’ is gonna be a vibe. Definitely something special; there are so many members of 137, so it’s rare we all get the chance to perform all at once together. That added with the fact that there are no sound restrictions and the full Unit 137 sound system will be powering the dance!
It’s important to be able to perform regularly and represent with the sound, so hopefully we’ll be able to continue organising No Pips frequently!
Tell us about the soundsystem… what sort of lorry/logistics does this take to not only deliver but break back down at the end of the night? Takes stamina.
Hylu: Unit 137 Sound System launched in 2012. At this years Boom Town Fair, the Tangled Roots Stage, we will be launching the newly built boxes, which will progress the full sound system to be a 20k rig.
So, yeah it definitely takes time moving her around; she’s heavy…
Luckily, we have a multi-talented van driver aka Parker aka Mark Hague and an experienced team consisting of Sleepy Time Ghost, Sam Evans and other members of the crew who help engineering and loading in/out of venues…
What are some big shows that you’ve done?
Hylu: we have been doing shows together as Hylu & Jago, Unit 137 and onlyjoe for over seven years. The last BIG show we did was Boomtown Fair 2015. However, one of my favourite shows as Hylu & Jago has to be when we were invited to perform in Sopot, Poland at Sfinks 700 for Radikal Guru’s album launch in 2013. Massive respect to all the crew out there!
They looked after us really well, the food/drink was amazing and the event was vibes. Pandadread Sound System were powering the dance and we performed after Radikal Guru & Danman.
We recorded this session and ended up including part of Danman’s vocal on the introduction of ‘Pressure’…
Sending a massive respect to Danman. Hopefully link up soon!
Jago: I like shows where people don’t have to spend loads of money to get in. I like the events that are for the people. That’s what dances are about! They aren’t about putting all the money in the promoter’s pocket. Sound system or music in general wouldn’t be quite the same thing if you listened to it on your own…
Tell us about your recording facilities?
Hylu: Unit 137 studios is based in Lewisham, London. Harry aka Sleepy Time Ghost, Jimbo and various members of the crew built the studio in 2011.
The entire studio build took about four months. The building we are in is called Firex House with other creative types nearby.
Unit 137 studios offers a creative environment for various artists and producers, split over four rooms is a dedicated live room, control room, mix-down studio and kitchen area.