Klute's Commercial Suicide imprint has just celebrated 10 years in the game, and right on cue is dropping the labels various artists compilation. The good man himself tells us about the project, the last 10 years of mayhem, nicking Tiesto's booze, and blacking out in alleys outside clubs... ''Pills thrills and belly aches''.
The last 10 years has seen drum & bass through it's teenage age years, and maybe ironically in many ways stabilized in its basic form. Especially regarding speed and tempo given that the music rapidly changed tempo through the 90's before settling at the 170 bpm mark. This coincidentally also covers the time since Commercial Suicide's conception. Maybe more aptly, Commercial Suicide embodies the teenage angst of the genre, what have been the defining moments and releases for the label in the last decade?
I'd say people started using the specific term "drum and bass" around 94, so were looking at more like 16 or 17 years which when you think about it is starting to become quite a long time. I was making music as Klute since 94/95 and began Suicide in 2001.
In my opinion a lot of the "blueprint" of d&b was written before 2000. Like all genres of music theres a finite period of discovery before the boundaries become more rigid and disciplined. Drum & bass has very specific disciplines that cross all the sub-styles. I think drum & bass more than any other style of music is obsessed with production and to some extent i think that has held it back, certainly in respects to the musical side of things.
Im not sure what Commercial Suicide means to everyone, someone once described it as the vanguard for the disassociated, who knows.
For me the defining moments have been constant and plentiful and i feel very honoured to have maintained things for so long and remain kicking and punching into the future. Obviously starting the label was a giant leap of faith for me, even the name. I was told before that if i used it people would boycott my label and never buy it. Im glad that didnt end up being the case.
Releasing the 3rd Klute album "Lie Cheat & Steal" was a huge step for me because it showed i was capable of doing it and enabled me to go on to release further albums by myself, Amit & SKC. Landmark releases are always going to be hard to pick, but from the top of my head Klute - Glue Sniffer, it surprised me how popular it was across the board. Amit - Roots, Amit borrowed an idea from Digital and has ran with it ever since and has become massively influential, this is the tune that will always define him. Break - Destiny Comes Ringing. I was introduced to Charlie very early on and went on to release numerous EP's by him, all of which are extremely high quality but for me this one sums him up. SKC - Killing Me Softly LP. One of the most consistent artists in drum & bass, now taking a sabbatical to concentrate on professional poker. Klute - Hell Hath No Fury / Learning Curve, just because its one of my favourite releases ever. Ach, theres so many.... Go check em out on discogs and make up your own minds.
An album celebrating 10 years of releases as a label has to come with it's fair share of tough decisions; Should I include new artists to the label? Should I include remixes? Should I reference the back catalogue? What have been the main pressures and considerations going into the project?
Well, in the end what started as a project to celebrate 10 years ended up being side lined. I decided id rather look forward than backwards. Drum & bass has always been about looking forward and that's what excites me the most. I may indeed do a compilation of highlights one day but i decided i didnt want to dwell on 10 years anymore.
Compiling the album was very hard work and as always the hardest decision is deciding what goes on vinyl and what doesnt. Its very cost inefficient to press 18 songs onto vinyl so you have to compromise. I like things to flow on a CD with the idea that its listened to as a whole, so choosing what fits and in what order is always tough.
The artist list for the album reads like a who's who of rolling drum & bass, which tracks are you most happy with? Which were hardest to secure? How long has the album been coming together for?
I wouldnt be lying if i said i'm happy with all the tracks. Im really chuffed that so many people came through for me and Commercial Suicide and am eternally grateful.
The hardest to secure were the ones by the slackest characters and in every case it was the master that was the mission. Some producers are extremely efficient...........others took ages! A couple didnt make it on because their masters didnt arrive in time. The last 6 weeks was the most stressful.
I dont even want to think how long this album has taken from start to finish. Its taken most of the year as i did a fair amount of touring which always gets in the way of the flow. Im so proud of the result now.
In the last 10 years, you must have performed at countless events and travelled across the globe? What have been the most memorable moments? What has been conveniently forgotten after the after-party, or never to be repeated or told of?
Youre never going to get any dirt, not at least for another decade! So in respect of that things might seem a little tame.
One of the most legendary nights of my life was the first time i played the PHAT festival in New Zealand. I was invited to play their prestigious "last set" which sounded potentially dull to me, but i flew in from London and pretty much decided to go straight up to the site (about 16 hours before my set). Instead of driving 2 hours we were flown in by helicopter into this forest of paradise somewhere in the NZ south Island. Pills thrills and belly aches until finally it was my set time at noon the next day and i was accompanied by a divers tank full of Nitrous Oxide and a 6ft ballon of the stuff was chucked into the crowd and passed around as i tried to maintain. Always a mess at Phat. The set was wicked, the next year i didnt fair so well.....but thats another story.....
The Roxy in Prague is always a danger zone of excess and ive certainly had my fair share of oblivion, mostly at the hands of my good friend Tolga. Things like wandering out of the club and blacking out in the back alley and waking up only to find the gigs all over and everyones gone home.... Not good...
In Belgium at one of their enormo summer outdoor raves, Dom (& Roland) and I went for a wander and ended up in Tiesto's backstage area, nicking his beer.... Until we got kicked out by his entourage. I don't think they knew who we were. There's loads and loads of silly things like that and i always think it comes across the wrong way in writing. Always much more fun to be there and live it for what it is. Ive had great times and antics.
Commercial Suicide Compilation Track Listing
1 Optiv - Midnight Nation
2 Mindscape & Jade - Orion
3 Gridlok - Enemies of the State
4 Dub Phizix - Scum
5 Break - Freak
6 Calibre - Student Music
7 Klute - Shy Piece
8 Nymfo & State Of Mind - Roxy
9 Seba - It Aint the Weather
10 Dakosa & Anile - Settle The Score
11 S.P.Y - Bulldozer
12 Cern, Dose & Teknik - Huntsville
13 Vicious Circle & Nocturnal - Last Chance Saloon
Amit - Skull Puncher
Dose, Trei & Menace - Valium Express VIP
Dub Phizix – Polar
Soul Intent – Control