Make it Funk EP – Q&A with Artist Denney and Netlabel ABAGA

24 10 2011

I heard from the folks over at the Netlabel, ABAGA, about some tunes from Denney, a 19 year old Producer and DJ living in Glasgow.  If you’ve never heard of him, Denney spins mostly drum and bass but his productions vary from mid-tempo to dubstep to more.  He describes his sound as a fusion of everything from jazz/hip hop to punk/hardcore and has received support from Radio 1’s Ally McCrae. Beyond his first release on ABAGA Records, ‘Make It Funk EP’, he has a few things in the works too, so I figured I’d synch up with both the Denney and Andrew over at ABAGA to learn a little more about the artist and the label.

Artist Q&A — Denney

What inspired you to make this EP so “funky?”

I have many interests besides drum and bass and I take influence from a wide array of musical genres and visual artists as well. I want to continue pushing the boundaries of drum and bass. Jazz and funk has been a heavy influence in the’ Make it Funk EP’ with the bouncy double bassline in ‘Alright’ to the James Brown sample in ‘Make it Funk.’

What’s your favorite place you like to get funky?
In a field/under a motorway/in a warehouse.
Who are your major influences?

An extremely difficult question but if I had to narrow it down:

  • Bladerunner
  • DJ Sappo
  • Calibre
  • Amoss
  • Mr. Scruff
  • Break
  • Thievery Corporation
  • Jurassic 5
  • Damu The Fudgemonk

 

Any details on the cover art for Denney?

The cover is a painting I created late April 2011 with a bit of tinkering in Photoshop. [note: he’s a full time painter and print maker by day]

What production software do you use? 

I use Propellerheads’ Reason and a bit of Ableton.
Where do you hope to take your music next?

I have many tracks lined up that are going to be released soon, probably sometime in December. I hope that on the back of the releases I will see some support and continue to play shows and release music.
If you like what you hear, you can find Denney at:

soundcloud.com/jdenney
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Denney/224362450959245

Netlabel Q&A – ABAGA

How has the process of starting a net label been for ABAGA? 

It’s been a huge learning curve starting this label. Two of my mates and I were producing music, and decided to get together and create a collective for musicians in Edinburgh that did not exist at the time and release our own music. Learning how to promote our music in new ways and getting ourselves noticed in the huge world of internet based music was a challenge, and I had to learn how to build a website from scratch. But when DJs all over the world start to pick up our tracks and play them, it feels rewarding.

BBC Radio 1 is playing a lot of our releases and getting me in for a live session has made it worthwhile too. We parted ways with one of the label’s founders a few years ago because we had some conflicting ideas he had other things he needed to concentrate on, but it was for the best. It has also been difficult telling some people I don’t like their tunes, especially if they have released with us before, but they have to realize it’s just my opinion. It’s important to be brutally honest when running a record label.
I see you call yourself a dedicated dubstep label but this release drum and bass. Are you mostly dubstep and dabble in dnb or what sort of split is it?

We have mainly released dubstep, but we do like to release a wide variety of music. Since dubstep has become increasingly popular, we’ve tried to stay clear of pigeonholing ourselves as a dubstep label, and release all types of electronic music that we like. We have a few drum’n’bass releases lined up, and some other bass heavy releases at a slower tempo too.
How do you find your artists and what was it about Denney that made you want to release this on your label?

A lot of our early releases were our own productions, and we started releasing music that was made by our mates that we knew produced. People seem to have come to us, so it’s been quite good for finding talent. We get sent a lot of demos, and every now and then, we hear a gem and decide to release it. As soon as I heard “Spiritual Contact” by Denney, I wanted to release his music. I loved the vibe of the track, and the production sounded real nice to my ears. It also helped that he just moved to Scotland, so we could meet at some point, but location isn’t too important when it comes to whose music we release.
What are you currently looking for in terms of talent?

First and foremost, the music has to have a good vibe to it, a nice beat to get the head nodding or a melody line that grabs the imagination or some aspect that holds our attention. A lot of sub bass is preferred. Good production of the music is also a bonus, with clear sounds and thought put into where each instrument and part sits. Innovation and original ideas are important. Since we mainly release dance music, it’s bound to have its repetitive elements, but we tend to stay away from tunes that loop 16 bars for 4 minutes. If it can be played in nightclubs or be danced to, is a plus too.

If this is the debut, what can we learn about what we’ll see next from you and Denney?

“Make It Funk EP” was our first release with Denney, and we’re going to release a second EP by him in a few months time. News on that will be posted at www.abagarecords.com and at www.facebook.com/ABAGARecords.


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4 03 2012
JAMMIN J – Something Special EP « Legit Drum & Bass Freebies

[…] out more info about the EP from ABAGA Records. You might recall I did an interview with the net label back in October, in case you wanted to learn more about those folks in […]

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