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Choice Cuts

Kam Sandhu

Ingredients Records has been knocking out quality drum & bass for several years nows... Featuring music from the likes of Jubei, Dub Phizix, Skeptical, Mode and more. We sent our Organic home girl Kam to to meet Clive Ingredients find out about the latest Choice Cuts compilation... Bon Appetit!

Ingredients Records had its first release in 2009, and in a short time has become a go-to for fresh, quality drum and bass (as well as a good recipe). Tell us a bit about what drove you to start the label in the first place, and why you think it has worked so well?

I guess having been into the music so long, and having worked in distribution in what would have been my seventh year, I felt it was something I wanted to have a go at. My main inspiration for Ingredients has been wanting to provide a platform for people to want to feel inspired to make drum & bass. Having worked in sales and dealing very closely with all the record shops & distributors abroad, there was definitely a change happening around 2006 where record stores were buying less drum & bass and replacing them with dubstep records. While this was good for business and exciting for the UK underground music culture, I was genuinely concerned about what was happening to drum & bass and why.

I've always felt that kids aspiring to get into the drum & bass scene found it very closed off, many of them went off to make their own music and the dubstep scene grew rapidly. So Ingredients, like other labels, wanted to prove, if nothing else, that a drum & bass label will sign your music even if you're an unknown and release it on vinyl. That can only help to inspire a generation of producers and keep the scene alive. It's for others to say if it either has worked or if the label has served it's purpose, but when I look at some of the guys who had their first records released in my catalogue, then my own personal satisfaction seeing them framed on their walls is all I ever wanted from it all.

Ingredients has become a platform for breaking some of the best producers around right now. How do you manage to keep the quality so high? Do you spend a lot of time listening to demos? What's the process behind deciding on a release?

I think it's a combination of luck & judgement! I mean in Skeptical's case, he liked my labels output and wanted to be a part of it, through him I met Dub Phizix & DBR UK so it can work like that sometimes. But in terms of choosing the tracks, I look for tracks with some longevity in them, tunes you can play 3 years later and they don't sound particularly dated. I dread to think how many demos i've listened to in order to get to catalogue recipe026! I must get sent around 50+ tracks a week & I very rarely miss one out. That might sound obsessive but that's what it takes I guess. I create a second folder to the demo folder, and drop the tunes which stand out in there. From there I do it again until i'm left with the top 6 & then I decide which ones to release. It's just a process of elimination and it's relentless!

Of course we know that you offer some tasty recipes with your releases from the featured artist of the track. Have there been any artists that you can name and shame for not having any decent suggestions? What’s been your favourite recipe so far?

Haha it was great at the start, Jubei really took pride in his recipe and it was a great feature, but I think as the catalogue went along some artists found it harder to do that bit than write the music! So sometimes I added my own recipes, which was all good really. I think Genotype needs outing for his Fried chicken & Chips with a Stella! Haha jokes. My favourite recipe so far has been Dub Phizix's Toast, have a read of it, very funny.

You've been involved in the scene for longer than the life of Ingredients, and we know you have a big passion for jungle and artists like LTJ Bukem and Wax Doctor. Tell us about your big influences and what it is about the jungle era that you love?

Yeah i've been around a bit now, it's become something I do with my life as opposed to something I always wanted to be a part of. My passion for it started in 1991 with pirate radio tapes from stations like Pulse Fm & Rush. After raving in 92-94 I moved to London and my first night in December 1994 was at Speed at the Mars Bar in the West End, this was Fabio & Bukem's night of course.

Music from people like Bukem and Wax Doctor was my perfect style, I loved that era and I never get tired of hearing the music made in late 94 to late 97. Alex Reece, Wax Doctor, LTJ Bukem, Pete Parsons, Photek, Intense, Source Direct – it was inspirational music, full of soul and grooves, a real break away from the main stream drum & bass and it was intimate. Speed & Metalheadz at Blue Note were great days, I think because of the intimacy of around 300 people all there for the same thing and being blown away by the creativity pouring out. It attracted major labels who signed people like Wax Doctor, Photek etc and of course Goldie's Timeless album. One of my fondest memories though, was everyone waiting to hear what the next Dillinja tune was and Grooverider always had it, Dillinja was so ahead it wasn't funny!

You have a compilation coming up featuring some of the best Ingredients releases called Choice Cuts Vol. 2. Tell us a bit about what we can expect from the release?

Ok well this is the second compilation and it's my highlights of the label so far. They are purely to showcase all the new artists in one affordable compilation & they are digital only. When I look at these compilations it hits home to me all the work I have put in over the last 2 and a half years and it's a great feeling. Only time will tell how well these guys do in the future but i've every confidence in them and all I can do is continue to push them, which is basically what these compilations are all about.

What else have you got lined up for Ingredients in 2012?

I'm just getting some T-shirts & Hoodies made which will surface in April. Music wise up next is two 12's from Villem and Trex which are about to go to mastering and should be available in May. I'm putting together a various artists EP which is very strong! Expect some big name remixes on there and a new track from Chroma who are 3 guys to look out for in 2012. I've got a 12” from new guys Kinetic and Mark Recoil which is very 'Ingredients' plus a stunning track from Anile. I'm also behind the Mars label and that is coming together nicely, with remixes from Total Science & Klute in the making, plus i'm about to release dRamatic & dbAudio's new single alongside the vocals of Grimm.

I've just hired Katie Taylor to help me, she also helps Redeye Records with their social media and is generally found on the internet where music is involved! Check her blog site here

So another busy year ahead, including our second label night at XOYO in Old street London on June 8th, expect another quality line up and check my facebook for details on that in the coming months. and also my very own blog page which will feature all label news and recipes!

Big shout to Rico and Andy at SRD and all the people supporting Ingredients Records, it is very much appreciated.