Ivy Lab: 20/20 Visionaries

Ivy Lab: 20/20 Visionaries
11 Aug, 2014


Ivy Lab bring the heat ahead of their next 20/20 showdown with some wise words on bootleg science, the ever-fertile hip-hop/D&B melting pot and why three heads are always better than one.

If you’re in London this Wednesday (August 13) there is no excuse for avoiding this genuinely unique event… Ivy Lab’s next 20/20 party will be happening at The Silver Bullet. Joining the trio are DJ Flight, Darkhouse Fam, Hyroglifics and El Train.

Not only will it cost you zero pence to enter, but the boys promise to showcase material that they have never played anywhere else.

They’ve been spreading the good word through some ace free bootlegs recently. Catch them all, and more information on the event right here.

We’ve been loving your latest bootleg of jungle classic Worries In The Dance! How did you pick the particular tracks you’ve worked on?

It’s a mix of factors. First off we wanted to choose a track people feel excited to hear an update of, but also the original source material has to be flexible enough to work into a remix. Worries In The Dance’ is all samples from one Saxon sound LP so it was really flexible. And, being 20 years old, it was ripe for a revisit. We do believe there is a cut-off time wise – we probably wouldn’t bootleg something that came out within the last decade.

You guys have been absolutely smashing the bootlegs of late…. What are your top tricks for bootlegs and edits, and what can we expect next in the series? 

There is no real trick to it. It’s just a matter of judging the appetite there is for a reworking to show up. You have to be careful of treading on sentimental territory, some music is off-limits ! But the bootlegs are like a casual business card for the 20/20 nights more than a heavily conceived concept – they’re just a bit of fun for the most part. We could spend a lot of time trying to explain in words what we stood for and what mish-mash of genres we’re looking to support – but the remixes do it in a much more elegant way. And who doesn’t like a freebie, right?  

Your bootlegs have been served on a tasty halftime platter… It’s a dynamic that’s really developed into a world of its own in the last few years. From a production perspective what benefits does a halftime arrangement offer you? 

We’re not sure it’s an inherent benefit of working at halftime, but at this tempo you have a licence to create very simple, hook-driven music. We’re making beats with a handful of channels: Beats + Bass +  a couple of  melodic loops. It’s that hip-hop aesthetic. Try and get away with the same ‘less in more’ perspective at double time D&B tune and you’ll get a much more mixed response. 

And, while it’s certainly no new thing, why do you think that type framework is working so well now? 

There is a natural cross over between the hip-hop and D&B. Both genres have similar inner city roots; both have a similar technical evolution (born out of the sampler) and the audience has a lot of crossover too. But the essential common theme is adaptability. Both hip-hop & D&B excel when incorporating ideas from other genres so when you tangle the two together they meld very easily. 

Bootlegs, schmootlegs…. If you could choose ANY artist in the history of the word to do an official remix of one of your tracks, who would it be and which track? 

A remix of Make It Clear by the Neptunes… 

And who, in the greatest widest world of music, would you guys love to do an official remix of?


Event hype, now: Your 20/20 party made its London debut in June, what inspired you to start these events? 

There were a number of factors that lead to the idea of starting a night; We were all keen to have somewhere in London that we could test out our new material that was away from the mainstay D&B circuit. We wanted to create a home for the emerging styles of music forged from the D&B & hip-hop melting pot styles that we’re increasingly adding to our sets and production output. It’s not always fair for us to be forcing this sound on people at your regular D&B nights. 

The last bash featured an ‘eclectic selection’ set from yourselves. Do you have any special tricks up your sleeves for your set at the next event? 

We do two sets on the night, the first and last hour of the event, both of which have a different slant. We open up eclectic; dropping softer beats and otherwise dancefloor-banished experimental electronica – come 1am though we switch and for that last hour we hit hard. That’s when the real 20/20 music comes into play and the solo dubs from Ivy Lab members get the showcase. We don’t really let a lot of this music off anywhere else so if people wanna hear it, they’re gonna have to reach the night! 

The launch party for 20/20 also included a very special all-vinyl jungle set courtesy of Om Unit, as well as appearances from Faith & Deft. Serious names!! Tell us about some of the artists you have on the roster at the next event… 

We have the Darkhouse Fam guys responsible for last year’s rufige vs hip-hop anthem Brockwild heading up the bill for the next party. Veteran selector DJ Flighthas been repping this hybrid halftime stuff alongside deep d&b which is very much our combo of sounds. Critical new-boy Hyroglifics and Brighton boyEl-Train round-up proceedings, the former with the darkness, the latter with some chilled coastal vibes. 

Artists/ releases you’re loving at the moment? 

Mr. Carmack, ESTA, Great Dane, EPROM, Alix Perez, T-Page, Cazal Organism, Exit Records, Soulection, Team Supreme, Armand Hammer, JonWayne, AK Sunchild 

You’re playing B2B with Foreign Concept at the Critical Music night at Fabric in October. We can’t wait for that set! Will that be ALL THREE of you and Foreign Concept? Is there enough room behind the decks for a b2b2b2b showdown? 

Yeah it will be all of us and in fact this won’t be the first time… Our room one debut was the three of us b2b with Foreign Concept as well! It can definitely be a bit packed there but it all contributes to the vibe in one of the coolest DJ booths in the world. 

This must be something you guys think about as a trio quite a lot, right? Where’s the line between ‘many hands making light work’ and ‘too many cooks’? 

Having three people in the studio just means you can rotate contribution & inspiration – it’s not as though it’s always the three of us on the buttons at the same time. Effective quality control is a lot easier when you have strength in numbers basically. 

What’s coming up next for you guys production-wise? 

We’re currently wrapping up our next EP for Critical which should surface in the next few months. Since that Sub Focus remix we’ve taken on a few other major label remixes which should surface by the end of this year. 

Final shouts?

Big up Critical, everyone involved in 20/20 and everyone who continues to support our music.


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.

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