Drum & Bass
Ahead of the release of OSRORG001, Offshore's captain of the ship DJ Clever tells us a bit about how the project came about, operating out of New York City and over a decade of music from the label... With this in mind, the man himself has put together a mix of classic Offshore tracks... Pow!
- Martsman - Step Up - HOTSHORE001
- Mav & Twister - The Tubes - OSR011
- Deep Blue - Soho Code - OSR006
- Graphic ft. Beans - I Am Metal (Vocal Version) - OSR012
- Sileni - Twitchy Droid Leg - OSR008
- Fracture & Neptune - Ups & Downs - OSR019
- Fracture & Neptune - Ups & Downs VIP - OSRORG001
- Deep Blue - Who Got the Beats - OSR015
- Graphic ft. Beans - I Am Metal (Martyn's 3024 Robot Mix) - OSR017
- Nucleus & Paradox - Think About It - OSR009
- Hi-Lar - Back On Trip (LXC Remix) - OSR020
- Dissident - Society of Silver Skeletons - HOTSHORE002
- Deep Blue - Soho Code X - OSR010
- Alley Cat - Sweet Spot - OSR022
- Tundra - Sprouts (Omni Trio Remix) - OSR013
Offshore Recordings has been putting out solid cutting edge drum & bass for over a decade now... On reflection, how has the genre and the label evolved and developed in this time? In 2012, what does the label stand for?
To be honest, the fact that Offshore has existed for over 10 years only dawned on me during these past few weeks. It's been a really interesting journey over the years - I've met tons of amazing people and visited some great cities. The genre has always had brilliance (along with total crap) to offer. What you find and take away from drum & bass all depends on where you look and who you associate with. Before I took a break from music I was so focused on the next thing and constantly finding and playing brand new tunes that no one had ever heard. Lately, I've been playing and listening to tracks that have stood the test of time. Fortunately, I don't look back on the Offshore catalog with many regrets. I can safely pull any OSR 12" (or 10") off the shelf with a smile on my face. I hope that most fans can do the same and feel that the time is ripe for new listeners to appreciate a robust catalog missed due to timing or age. Offshore tunes remain relevant and 2012 stands for continuing that legacy.
The first release in the series sees 2 classic Offshore tracks getting the remix treatment for 2012. When signing and commissioning music, what do you look for from an artist? What were the motivations behind remixing firm favorites from the Offshore back catalogue?
I like to think that I'm friends with the artists on Offshore, so I'd hope that we share similar tastes and views about both music and life. So, I look for artists that strive to make music as art and not for money. Offshore has never been about making money. Nearly every penny we have ever made has gone right back into the label. There was a point when I made some money from DJing, but it wasn't enough to say that I've made much from drum & bass. Offshore has always done it's own thing and with that I've attracted like minded artists that appreciate being involved with the label for the ideals that it stands for. As for the motivations behind remixing back catalog favorites, it seemed a nice transition into the project. Fracture and Neptune were involved with the label very early on and released a few things over the years, but they've certainly come into their own of late. They are making some of the most promising music in the genre right now, so they were a natural pick.
True to its namesake, Offshore Recordings has always been seperate from other drum & bass labels, operating on it's own plane both geographically and stylistically, how does this effect the labels outlook?
Honestly, I'd say the separation from the larger part of the scene produced both positive and negative effects. It's allowed me to continue the label in a direction without any restrictions, but it's also pigeonholed the label to a degree. Some drum & bass fans might hear the name Offshore and make assumptions based on one tune they heard or what a friend said about the label. I guess that remains the case for anything, but it definitely affects my outlook from time to time. Granted there are a lot of fans of the label and people that fully appreciate what we're doing that allows us to exist and continue doing it, for which I am extremely grateful. It would seem that the genre has evolved a bit or perhaps broadened it's listenership. So, I think that with the help of Organic, now is finally a great time for Offshore to exist separately while being closer to the scene than in previous years.
Offshore has always been a bit of a renegade within drum & bass, both musically and also aesthetically. Visually, the releases have always been eyecatching and unique. Can you tell us about the visual criteria for an Offshore release and also the theme behind the latest release?
Much like the music, I've always sought artists that were expressing themselves and willing to work with me and my visions. My feedback always plays a part in the Offshore artwork. I like bright colors and bold designs that stand out. Offshore has primarily worked with two artists over the years, first Nicholas and now Jakob (Cede). Oddly enough, they are good friends. Both produce strong illustrations and very unique artwork. For the latest release we've taken landmarks from both London and NYC and submerged them in water. We never really discussed whether we were predicting a natural disaster or Offshore global domination. We'll let people make up their own minds once they've heard the 12".
Tell us about the mix and how you went about it...
The mix is entirely composed of Offshore vinyl back catalog. Adding the Buried Treasure compilations would have given me too many options to choose from and when I began DJing, DJs played vinyl. That's still the best way to do it, in my opinion. So, I basically pulled the majority of the vinyl off of the shelves and tried a few things here and there. I've never been one to plan out mixes or sets, it usually just comes together for me. I attempted the mix a few weeks back, but I did so with a single speaker that was blown, so it wasn't ideal. I ordered some new speakers (the exact ones that blew from 1995) and put together the mix that you'll find here. My goal was to represent the various sounds of Offshore and depict how they all share a similar scope. I wanted to include the original version of "I Am Metal" along with the Martyn remix to show what came before the Compound One remix. I also thought it would be interesting to compare "Ups & Downs" alongside the VIP version. I couldn't do an Offshore mix without including a number of Deep Blue tracks. Sean is my favorite drum & bass producer. Now, if I could just get him to come out of retirement and produce new material for the label. Unfortunately, there isn't an ASC track in the mix, which is a bummer. That would be the one thing I would change, as James really helped out with the label early on and he's finally getting the praise that he should have gotten years ago. I'd also like to point out that the Omni Trio remix of Sprouts was the last track drum & bass track that he worked on to my knowledge. Another legend that I've been lucky enough to have grace the Offshore catalog. I hope that everyone enjoys the mix. I'm very excited about the relaunch of Offshore through teaming up with Organic. Dave and Alexander have been great to work with and this should be a truly amazing series.
OSRORG001A - Fracture & Neptune - "Ups & Downs VIP"
Fracture & Neptune outdo themselves transforming “Ups & Downs VIP” into a straight-up dance floor pleaser. The duo calls on their favorite ingredients; a tough 2 step beat, wall shaking sub bass and a funked-out Emu bass line. Clearly influenced by musical greats of the classic 90’s era, though reinvented with modern production etiquette and finesse, Fracture & Neptune create what is arguably their most dance floor track to date. Proceed with caution when this beast gets dropped.
OSRORG001B - Graphic feat. Beans - "I Am Metal" Compound One Remix
Compound One blur the lines between Hip Hop and Drum & Bass while reinterpreting another gem from the Offshore vaults. Half-time, bionic drum-beats lacerate through full fat analogue bass tones. On this rare occasion Compound One move away from their usual 140 bpm template and embrace a more dynamic Drum & Bass tempo. Cleverly re-arranging original Antipop Consortium member Beans’ rap vocal while maintaining the impact and rawness of the original track. - To complete the package, artwork has been specially commissioned from Offshore Recordings mainstay and graphic art guru Cede. Articulating the transatlantic nature of the series perfectly while capturing the essence of musical exploration…
Available on 12" Vinyl and digital download... Buy now HERE