My favourite funky producer right now is a little-known guy from Birmingham called Emvee. His best stuff is so full of melancholy but so tough at the same time. He's massively underrated.
I was introduced to him by Glasgow's premier bass-music bon vivant, Jackmaster, who is such a big Emvee fan that he will be putting out a 12" by him. Below you can listen to the A-side, which will be out soon on Jackmaster's Wireblock label.
Emvee, "Glitch Dub"
I knew literally nothing about Emvee so I carried out a short interview in which I asked some very, very straight forward questions.
How long have you been producing and how old are you now?
I’ve being producing since I was 13 and I’m now 20. It’s only been over the last three years that I have taken it seriously. I started off with the interest in the DJing side of music, then wanted to get into making it so I started out on a copy of Fruity Loops and it all kicked off from there really.
What type of music did you start making on Fruity Loops?
I started off making grime and R&B – those were my main genres at the time. Then after that I started to dabble in hip-hop and drum & bass just to push the boundaries and see what I could actually do.
You do bassline stuff too, right? What made you want to produce funky?
I started making funky when I started seeing the production challenge – like the fact that it was a new sound to me made it exciting to make. Just like bassline, funky has and still is teaching me a lot – like sounds and the fact that the overall feel is a live-sounding feel makes it that little bit more of a challenge.
What other influences do you draw on in your funky tracks?
With my funky I tend to look towards live percussion music of all types, but mainly soca, carnival, jazz and acoustic. It helps me create a natural sound with my drums n sound choices.
Which other funky producers do you like?
The main people I rate in the funky scene are Crazy Cousinz, Footloose, DVA and Perempay.
The funky scene seems to be very south-centric, who are the funky producers from the Midlands and up north we should all be looking out for?
I’d say watch out for me, ha ha, I’ve got a lot more in store. But besides me, there’s Darkus Beats Company – big tunes every time. Also there’s NB – he is a very big producer, he keeps trying to tell me he’s OK but he’s big. I would say those are the main two to keep a look out for.
Is bassline still ruling the clubs up north? Has funky taken off in the midlands and up north, and if not do you think it will?
Bassline’s still ruling from what I see in the clubs and raves but funky is starting to appeal more to the ladies, simply because it’s something new. It’s actually catching on in the Midlands more so than up north. I think that funky and bassline have their locations; bassline will always be an up north sound and funky a south sound. Midlands is just the meeting ground of both at the moment where both genres can work well side by side in the raves.
Do the girls go crazier for funky or bassline?
From seeing responses in the raves, the girls just don’t like too much of the same thing. Promoters need to start balancing out their nights properly. Like, I see girls go crazy for bassline when they’ve just heard an hour and a half of funky, and vice versa.
Emvee, "Nocturnal" (preview)
I'm going to terminate this week's column with a mix that I got Jackmaster to do for the Vice blog. Somehow I think you guys will appreciate it more than Vice readers.
1. Ghosts On Tape - Predator Mode
2. Footsteps - Green Light
3. Jalla - Turbulence
4. Hard House Banton - Reign
5. Emvee - Glitch Dub
6. Altern-8 - Move My Dody
7. DJ Rob 3 - The Chase
8. DJ Technics - Get Up On It
9. Mala - Left Leg Out
10. Zomby - Kaliko
11. Rustie - Badscience
12. Zomby - The Lie
13. Nastee Boi - Bangorz